The harsh reality is that some cities don’t deserve a second visit.
This does not mean these places are unattractive. As a matter of fact, some of these destinations can provide an incredible experience but have been ruined by some factors: pollution, insecurity, noise, overpopulation, scamming, and traffic. For this reason, they do not deserve a revisit.
These cities have some redeeming qualities, from the food, people, scenery, and history. They can provide a different experience, but most of them are lagging because they are typical tourist traps that pose a great danger to travelers from other parts of the world.
And the dangers go beyond muggings and petty scams. Often, western travelers may be attacked or assaulted in the name of robbery or terrorism. Sadly, these crimes are organized by armed gangs that have overpowered the local authorities.
For many travelers, most of these places are supposed to be magnificent and to offer great adventure. These cities are expected to help visitors discover new things about themselves and to experience other cultures. But they end up being a disappointment.
Travelers need to be informed about these cities because some of them look glamorous in pictures and hide their true identity.
Here, we reveal 20 cities that you may only visit once:
20. MANILA, PHILIPPINES
Poverty is the first thing that greets any visitor entering Manila. At first glance, you can clearly tell that Manila is unable to handle its population.
Statistics point out that there are some 2.8 million informal settlers around this Filipino city. These families reside near railroad tracks, garbage dumps, and rivers. At one time, in 2012, the government was forced to construct a temporary wall between the Philippine International Convention Center and Ninoy Aquino International Airport to ‘conceal’ the poverty status of the city.
That is not all. The place has crazy traffic and was once cited as having the worst traffic on earth. A menace that has continued to cost the city billions. The transport system here is pathetic, and the heavy traffic is responsible for the poor air quality. Commuters can spend hours in jams while they get exposed to all the pollution.
In 2014, a Switzerland firm revealed that Manila was the second riskiest city worldwide in terms of risk exposure to five dangers: river flood, tsunami, earthquake, storm, and storm surge. The streets are also unsafe, especially to cyclists and pedestrians. In most cases, vacationers are advised to avoid wearing expensive jewelry, mostly around Ermita and Malate.
The facilities are also a letdown. Ninoy Aquino International Airport once held the title of the world’s worst airport because of its long queues, substandard facilities, and dirty toilets. In Manila, you should never drink tap water unless you know its source.
19. GARY, INDIANA
In Gary, the chances of being hit by a stray bullet are extremely high. The city is full of gangs and all things characteristic of a ghetto America: crackheads, unemployment, and abandoned buildings.
Gary was hit hard during the recession, and several businesses were forced to close. The city lost its glory after the steel industry collapsed due to competition from overseas. Today, it resembles a ghost town as it has continued to lose its population over the years.
Today, violence and crime are the norms because most residents are jobless. The chances of being attacked, raped, or killed are pretty high. At one point, this Lake County city came second in crimes per person with almost 900 violent crimes, out of which 54 were murders.
18. JAKARTA, INDONESIA
There is a consensus that the traffic in Jakarta is crazy. That is why seeing a family of five crammed on a scooter is normal.
The city is admirable for those seeking a tropical vacation, and it offers tourists great adventure with its unique culture. However, the city’s name has been tarnished by threats of kidnapping and terrorism, especially of foreigners.
In addition, the city has always been susceptible to tsunamis and earthquakes because it sits in a series of fault lines. Indonesia is also known for having drug problems, and Jakarta has been a hub for most drug-related activities. This has significantly perpetuated crime in the Indonesian city.
The poverty in Jakarta is disheartening, and slums have emerged everywhere. Then there is the garbage. The city has a litter problem that is yet to be addressed. Most city residents do not bother about how they toss their waste. This is why garbage-smell reeks most places around the city.
17. BRAMPTON, CANADA
Those who have visited Brampton claim there isn’t much to do except having to deal with bad driving and wannabe thugs.
Brampton residents have accused the municipality of being incompetent and failing to develop the infrastructure. The residents have consistently complained that Brampton’s potential has been squandered by these corrupt officials who have left the city in a worse state.
Some of the landmarks are the Chinguacousy Park, Gage Park, Peel Art Gallery, and Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto. These are entertainment spots that make the city stand out and attract more visitors, but they have not been able to fill the infrastructure ‘gap.’
16. MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND
The place is lovable because of its bridges and water bodies. In fact, the city had to build several bridges that would go over the canals and small lakes. The place is also known for having the most roundabouts and holds a Guinness world record for this. Other things that make it stand out are the Milton Keynes Museum, Xscape, and Emberton Country Park.
But Milton Keynes has no life. The place is known to be soulless and unwelcoming.
The city is very slow, and cases of kidnapping, raping, robbery, and murder are common because the police do not respond fast enough. Milton Keynes has had drug-dealing problems for long and is full of racist residents who are unkind to visitors. The locals are known to engage in drinking and noise-making, mostly. The public transport system is pathetic and makes it difficult to move around.
15. KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
The city is surrounded by gorgeous mountains and has been a point of interest since the 4th century BC after Alexander the Great discovered it. For a long time, it has acted as a transport link for traders traveling between Europe and Asia and was at one time a great trading center.
But sadly, Kandahar has witnessed intense bloodshed.
This is the traditional home of the Taliban and one of Afghanistan’s most volatile areas. When Obama increased new U.S troops in 2010, Kandahar was one of the areas that was given plenty of attention. It was the area that witnessed intense fighting in 2010 and 2011 though it is no longer a hot spot.
Kandahar is prone to suicide bombings, kidnappings, and other criminal activities. In fact, war has brought some lawlessness in this once beautiful city.
14. CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
This is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S.
Camden has become deadlier due to high unemployment rates that have left young men battling for territories. In 2011, Camden Police Department had to dismiss 168 officers, and this made the situation worse. That same year, it was reported that the murder rate was ten times that of New York City and 30% higher than New Orleans, Louisiana.
Once, Camden was a bustling industrial center. It was a major manufacturing hub and was home to RCA and General Electric. But those factories closed (after race riots of 1969 and 1971), and were never replaced. Since then, the city has been dealing with alcoholism and drug abuse. At one point, it was estimated that 42% of the residents were living below the poverty line.
13. VARANASI, INDIA
This is the spiritual capital of India and has attracted tons of people for centuries, mostly because of its unique temples and the Ganges river.
But Varanasi can be unpleasant. First, the city is made up of several narrow and dark alleys that are sure to confuse any tourist. The paths are dirty and are full of people and animals that can make one uncomfortable. Also, don’t forget that these paths are full of cow poop. In addition, Westernized women cannot walk in these alleys unless they are dressed like conservative Indian women.
The city is full of beggars and scammers who are experts in identifying vacationers. If you are not careful, one of the ‘holy men’ can daub your face with paint and ask for payment.
The monkeys are vandals and will steal your belongings at any opportunity. Then there is the raw sewage flows freely around the city. When you visit Ganges River, you will be ‘greeted’ by corpses and garbage everywhere.
12. CHESTER, ENGLAND
Racism is still a problem in Chester, and the city is swarmed by chavs who are poorly educated, aggressive, rude, and noisy troublemakers. The price of housing here is high, and xenophobia is all over.
Tourists should better avoid the underpasses and empty streets as they are likely to run into bullies and crack heads. Some neighborhoods, for example, Blacon, are completely out of bounds.
The traffic can be a mess, especially after 4 pm, and worse, the transport system is unreliable. Most travelers also complain that Chester has too many traffic lights. If you walk down the streets, don’t be surprised when a 16-year-old brandishes a knife when you glance in their direction.
As a tourist, you need to be accustomed to vandalism and fights from scallies. There is also a rumor that Welsh people should not be found in the streets after nightfall. Some say it is a myth, but somehow, it still lingers. Better avoid getting hanged!
11. NHA TRANG, VIETNAM
This Southern city overlooks the gorgeous Nha Trang Bay and has a beautiful culture, beachfront, and scenery. You may be welcomed by the people’s kindness, smiles, and the great food, but the city has its dark side. There are several stories of scams, kidnapping, and robbery. Experts warn that you need to watch out or you may be swindled by the extremely pushy sales people.
Mugging is common, and once in awhile, someone on a scooter may grab your neck and pull out all the cash from your pockets, before taking off. Nha Trang is a complete tourist trap (a favorite for Russian tourists), and there is hardly anything to do because everything is a hassle. In case you are an English-speaker, expect to have more problems as you will only be able to communicate with a handful of people.
10. GRANADA, NICARAGUA
In Granada, the locals have a bad habit of overcharging foreigners. So, expect to pay 3000 Córdoba for a shoe that a local will buy for 1500 Córdoba.
The other problem is that the locals will try to rip you off most of the times. For example, taxi drivers will try to hold to your change for long, or they will increase the fare without notice.
As a gringo, forget about loitering the streets with your expensive Nikon camera. Theft is a concern in Granada, and you cannot carry an expensive item around while most people are struggling to support their families.
Travelers complain frequently about the heat, especially during April. Others complain that there are street children everywhere, especially around the tourist areas of La Calzada and central park. ‘Western’ women receive cat-calls because they ‘stand out’ in the eyes of Nicaraguan men.
9. ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
This is a resort city that is famous for its beaches, casinos, and boardwalks. Sadly, Atlantic City is also home to plenty of crimes. Violent crimes and property crimes dropped between 2011-2013, but the statistics are still worrying.
The city once enjoyed a monopoly on gambling, but it was outdone casinos started springing up in other parts of the U.S. When visiting any of the city’s casinos, you need to take extra care as there will always be someone trying to steal from you.
In Atlantic City, visitors are required to watch out for boardwalk birds as they fly almost everywhere and will likely disrupt your peace if you have some food. Initially, pigeons used to dominate the boardwalks, but they have been replaced by aggressive seagulls.
8. ISTANBUL, TURKEY
In Istanbul, the street is a jungle.
No one is polite as most city residents tend to be rude. In this city, you may think every day is a Black Friday sale because of the never-ending hustle and bustle. When walking down the streets, you are sure to brush shoulders because there are always hundreds of people loitering. It is such a mess!
The traffic here is insane and makes it impossible to move from one location to the next. And even if you get to your location, the taxis will still overcharge you and ruin your day. Some streets are full of shoe-shine boys who lure you into using their services then ask for outrageous amounts.
While the city is massive and majestic, visitors should always avoid the populated areas because these are the places that are full of evil people. To the contrary, Istanbul is not as liberal as most people think, especially regarding clothing, alcohol consumption, and attitude.
7. READING, UK
Voyagers will likely visit Reading to participate in Reading Fringe Festival. They can also visit South Street Arts Center, the Hexagon, Reading Abbey, or Basildon Park. The Oracle Center is also a great place to visit.
While traffic can be okay when there is no incident, it can come to a halt during busy hours. The Cemetery Junction is particularly one of the busiest parts of Reading and can be a nightmare because one needs to deal with several lanes and may get fined for unknowingly driving on the bus lanes. The roads here are just dreadful, and you are better off avoiding Reading during rush hours.
Sadly, most residents agree that the city is economically and morally deprived by high crime rates, unemployment, and poor public services. The housing prices are also too high. There are too many chavs and degenerate kids who are extremely unfriendly and rowdy. These yobs may attack when you least expect, so you need to cautious.
The place doesn’t offer much but cultureless, unfriendly trendies who don’t have style.
6. FALLUJAH, IRAQ
Fallujah is located in Iraq’s Western Anbar province with the majority of the residents being the Sunnis. This was the spot of a major insurgency during the second Gulf war. It is where most of the fighting and killings took place in Iraq. Fallujah has been nicknamed the “City of Mosques,” and the mosques are believed to be Saudi funded.
In fact, Fallujah was the first major city to be taken by ISIS in January 2014. However, Iraqi troops overpowered the ISIS-controlled city and reclaimed it back. At one point, it was the military stronghold under Saddam Hussein. During Saddam’s regime, most of the town’s population had high paying jobs as security officers and soldiers.
5. CAIRO, EGYPT
The pyramids are great because they are among the seven wonders of the world and are only 28 min away from Cairo.
But Cairo is not very pleasant. First, there is traffic and honking that one must get accustomed to. The traffic makes it impossible to visit several places within a day. The hundreds of scooters and cars on Cairo’s street are a burden to the clean air and are responsible for the miserable air quality. The situation gets worse because the city is in some sort of depression and is surrounded by higher grounds. This makes circulation a problem as all the pollution gets trapped within the atmosphere.
Sexual harassment is rampant. In fact, a 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women’s rights revealed that 98% of foreign women and 83% of Egyptian women had encountered sexual harassment.
Other things that are irritating are the crowds, scammers, and the trash that is all over the city. In Cairo, most people do not observe time because the Egyptians seem to have their own time. If you are supposed to meet someone at 2 PM, expect him to show up three hours later.
4. CIUDAD JUÁREZ, MEXICO
This Mexican ghost town is deemed so dangerous that even the police are afraid of it.
Ciudad Juárez is mostly run by criminals, and most of its original occupants have been forced to flee because they fear for their lives. The murder and violence cases in Ciudad Juárez exceeds what is witnessed in other places in North America.
In the past years, the city thrived because of its cotton, but today, drug smuggling is the only industry that has survived and is largely controlled by the Juarez cartel. In 2008, one of Mexico’s powerful syndicate, the Sinaloa cartel, moved in and initiated war, causing the murder rate to soar as the government watched helplessly.
In fact, by 2015, police confirmed that two murders would occur per day. At one point, the city’s crime rate put it ahead of Venezuela’s Caracas, New Orleans, and Medellin, in Colombia.
The rising violence has been believed to be caused by the changing cartel dynamics. Recently, the city has been on a mission to revive its lost glory, and it even welcomed Pope Francis.
3. NAPLES, ITALY
Naples is a historic city and is the third largest city in Italy – after Rome and Milan. It has been renowned for its remarkable look and has attracted several globetrotters due to its outstanding monuments such as the Castel Nuovo and the Church of Santa Chiara. If you love Italian art, Museo di Capodimonte will impress you. You are also sure to be attracted by the National Archaeological Museum that is housed in a 17th-century building.
However, not everything is great about Naples. This European city is struggling with violent crimes that have become commonplace. For a long time, the city has been under the control of a local mafia (Camorra) that terrorizes on a regular basis. The place is also terribly filthy and is horribly congested. Naples has been a dumping ground of toxic waste for decades. So, its trash problem goes way back.
2. TANGIER, MOROCCO
This ancient city is near the Strait of Gibraltar and is a key tourist attraction for those looking to enter the Mediterranean.
But the city is full of con artists who pose as tour guides and will gladly collect your money and leave you stranded. Pickpockets are also common, especially in the tourist areas.
The duty-free shops in Tangier have a tendency of overcharging. Therefore, visitors need to be more cautious when making purchases. Here, driving is treacherous because most drivers do not observe road rules and have little regard for passengers.
While most parts of the city are okay, it can be particularly dangerous to visit the ‘bad parts’ of town. According to locals, touts, port hustlers, and beggars are ‘authorized’ by police and have to make ‘payments’ (baksheesh). They always hassle vacationers and can make the city a nightmare.
1. FRESNO, CALIFORNIA
For the longest time, Fresno residents have been complaining about the poor air quality that is caused by static air flow from the valley. The place is known to get scorching hot in the summer with temperatures rising above 100 degrees and sometimes reaching 110 degrees. The high temperatures and the bad air quality can make the environment unbearable, especially to those who are asthmatic.
But vacationers love it because it is only an hour to Yosemite National Park and its warm and sunny climate attracts visitors all year through. The city has excellent eateries and is located near lakes and great skiing places.
Sadly, the crime rate in Fresno is worrying and has been reported to be above the national average. In fact, Fresno was once listed as among the ten least literate cities in the U.S. While expenses may be on the low in Fresno, there is hardly anything to do.
The crowds can be crazy, and most travelers have insist that Highway 99 Corridor is unsafe. Some locals believe that the uneducated workforce is a major drawback to the economy.
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