Thursday, May 5, 2011

5 Of The World’s Most Dangerous Vacation Destinations

When you’re heading out on vacation, you normally think about how hot it’s going to be, what there is to see and do and how good the hotels are going to be.
If you’re thinking about going a little further afield than normal or are looking for something a little different, it’s always recommended to take into consideration information such as crime and looking at the countries around the world, the following five are some of the most dangerous anywhere on earth.
N.B. Just a word of warning – not all of the photos used are family friendly.

1. Russia

If you’re planning on taking a vacation to Russia, as beautiful as the cities and landscape may be, the country does unfortunately have some major negative aspects.
For example, reports that Russian gangsters simply do what they want might not always be true, but with there reportedly a bigger mafia presence than a police one, it’s highly likely that some do do what they want.
Furthermore, statistics show that a Russian is assassinated every 18 minutes – that’s 80 murders a day – and with the rate of kidnappings on foreign visitors on the increase, going to Russia for a vacation may not be as safe as you initially thought.

2. South Africa

With more and more people referring to South Africa as the ‘rape capital of the world’, it’s no wonder that vacations here have decreased sharply in recent years.
With its appalling rape ratio of 118.3 per 100,000 people and the sight – and use – of firearms being something it a daily occurrence, couple this with the numerous infamous riots that have taken place on what seems like a regular basis, if you’re planning on going to South Africa for a vacation, you really need to ensure you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

3. Colombia

Great views all across the country and clear skies with a beautiful coastline, what more could you ask for from a vacation destination?
When you realise that 80% of the world’s cocaine supply comes from Columbia and that tourists aren’t welcomed as much by some of the locals as they are in other countries around the world, you realise that maybe Columbia isn’t the best place in the world for a break.

4. Egypt

With parts of Egypt being highly popular tourist destinations, choosing the wrong part of the country could mean it seems like you’re stepping into one of the most crime ridden parts of the world.
What’s more, with poverty taking a hold on Egypt’s society, tourists can often be confronted by locals asking for money – or worse, be robbed or even kidnapped.

5. Brazil

Without doubt a beautiful country with great culture, clear waters and golden beaches, Brazil sounds like the best possible destination for any family to visit on first looking.
Unfortunately, poverty is still a huge problem in Brazil, occurring right throughout the country and kidnaps aren’t unusual either.
Throw into the mix that Brazil is still one of the top 20 countries for the number of murders per 100,000 people and that over half a million people were killed by firearms between 1979 and 2003, it soon becomes apparent that a vacation to Brazil may not be a fantastic idea.

7 Strange And Unusual Sports From Around The World

Whilst football and ice hockey might have their crazy moments, they are massively popular, mainstream sports that are loved by millions.
If you’re wanting something a little different, you don’t have to stray too far and the following information details seven of the strangest and most unusual sports from around the world.

1. Chess Boxing

A sport which does exactly as it says on the tin, two participants take to a boxing ring and compete in a standard boxing fight until the round is over.
Once the bell sounds for the end of the round, both fighters exit the ring to participate in a game of chess until the next round begins.
A winner is declared if an opponent is knocked out or check mate is declared in the round breaks.

2. Extreme Ironing

Once the desired number of entrants has been reached, which can vary around the world, the entrants are taken to a somewhat daring location and are given the same number of clothing items to iron, with a winner is declared once an individual completes their stack of clothing.

3. World Nettle Eating Championship

Contestants from around the world gather to participate in this strange stomach turning event, with all participants are placed at tables and giving an exact weight of nettles to consume.
Simple and straightforward, a winner is declared when a participant has devoured the required amount of nettles.

4. Rock-Paper-Scissors

No longer just a game played amongst children, there is now an official World Championship which is held every year.
Hundreds of contestants gather together to play for the coveted Rock-Paper-Scissors crown and a respectable (for the competition) sum of money.

5.  World Boomerang Throwing

Originally started by the Australians in 1988, the sport has rocketed in popularity over the last two decades and is now held annual in different locations around the world.
Contestants are awarded points for the accuracy of their throw, as well as distance and in certain circumstances, the time it takes for the Boomerang returns.

6. Octopush

Also known as underwater hockey, two teams are assembled, each with six players and – wearing snorkels – aim to effectively play an underwater game of hockey, albeit with a heavier puck that doesn’t float.
Unheard of in many countries, Octopush is a particularly popular sport in some parts of the world and it’s oddness mixed with its similarities to regular hockey are said to be responsible for its popularity.

7. Shin Kicking

Although many people are unaware of this sport, it’s in fact a particularly popular event in southern England, featuring in the annual Cotswold Olimpicks and with roots in numerous ancient sports.
Somewhat painfully, the aim of the game is to kick your opponent as hard as you can in the shins, causing them to fall to the floor. Each time this happens, you are awarded a point and the contest – which is held over three rounds – sees the person with the most points gained throughout the bout being declared the winner.

The Weird And Wonderful Rules of The Road From Around The World

No matter which county you may live in there are laws or the road which must be taken seriously.
Most of the time, these laws are perfectly normal but on the odd occasion certain laws come to light which leave people asking the question “really?” .

1. Night time snacks

In Arkansas, it is illegal to use your horn in an area where cold drinks and sandwiches are sold after 9pm, whilst in Boomfield, Connecticut, it’s simply against the law to eat in your car.

2. Getting rid of bodily fluids

In Dublin, Georgia, it is illegal to spit out of the window from a car or a bus – if you’re driving a truck, though, feel free to.

3. Turn up the music! (or not)

If you’re a taxi driver in Finland, remember not to play music in your cab if you have a passenger present, otherwise you’ll have to pay royalty fees to the Finnish copyright society.

4. Do you drive on the left or right? Or both?

One of the weirdest rules of the road is in Bangkok, as when you’re driving down a one way road, you have make sure that you’re driving in the right direction.
Seems easy, right?
Not when the direction of the road changes at certain hours of the day!

5. I did not have sexual relations with that motor vehicle

Truthfully, no-one actually knows the full, in-depth description on the following law, so just be sure not to molest a car if you’re a resident of Clinton, Okla.

6. There’s a spot! Oh, wait…

In Japan, it is illegal to park at the side of the road almost everywhere.

7. ‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello

In France, it is illegal to take a picture of a policeman or a police car, even if either one is just slightly visible in the background.

8. Emmeline Pankhurst will be turning in her grave

Think women have equal rights?  Think again, as in Saudi Arabia, women aren’t allowed to drive a car.

9. Dressing up for driving

And just to make sure there’s a little decorum added to the car driving process, in Thailand, all drivers must wear a shirt when in control of a vehicle.

Ten Of The Most Beautiful Places Of The World!

We live in a world blessed with sights that are beautiful beyond words. Every human being probably dreams of visiting at least one of those places in their lifetime. Living in modern cities with high-rise buildings, we tend to miss out on what Mother Nature has to offer as well as some of the most incredible man-made structures built throughout the course of history.
Look at the places below, and you will see beauty that fills the eye and warms the heart. It wouldn’t be appropriate or humanly possible to just pick a few places from the huge collection of amazing sights around the world and call them the “best.”
They say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and there are perhaps other places that have touched your heart. For this reason, we do not claim the places included in our list are the best, but rather among the vast collection of the most beautiful places of the world.
Skardu Valley – Pakistan
Photo by bogavanterojo

Photo by NotMicroButSoft

Skardu Valley is part of the Baltistan. Baltistan is spread over an area of 26,000 square kilometres – just right below the jagged and glaciated ramparts of the Karakoram. Once part of Laddakh, it was known as Tibet-i-Khurd – Little Tibet. Archaeological exploration has proven that it was encompassed by the Silk Trade Route.
Shangrila – Pakistan
Photo by NotMicroButSoft

Shangrila Resort Skardu, also known as “Heaven on Earth”, is nestled amongst some of the world’s highest peaks. It encircles the heart shaped “Kachura Lake” and is surrounded by fruit laden orchards and flower filled gardens.
Lake Saiful Muluk – Pakistan
Photo by Fahd Murtaza

Lake Saiful Muluk is a lake located at the northern end of the Kaghan Valley near Naran. A fairy tale called Saiful Muluk, written by the famous sufi poet Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, is associated with the lake. It is the story of prince of Persia who fell in love with a fairy princess at the lake. The impact of the lake beauty is of such extent that people believe that fairies come down to lake in full moon.
The Grand Canyon, United States
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
A steep gorge by the Colorado River, Arizona in the United States, the Grand Canyon has some truly enjoyable scenery. It is 277 miles in length, 4 to 18 miles in width, and about a mile deep. Scientists believe that the canyon was created by the Colorado River over a six million year period.
The Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Overlook
Native Americans built settlements in the caves within the canyon before the emigration of Europeans. It was also considered to be a site of pilgrimage by the Pueblo people. The first recorded visit to the Grand Canyon by the Europeans was in 1869. Although it is not the deepest canyon in the world, it is known for its extremely large size and beautifully intricate landscape. The Grand Canyon National Park is said to be one of the first national parks in the United States and it attracts more than five million visitors a year. Weather conditions in the Grand Canyon vary greatly between seasons as well as varying at different elevations. While winter snow is experienced by the higher forested rims, the inner gorge has a desert temperature because of the low elevation.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
One of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia is the world’s largest coral reef. It has the distinction of being placed in the World Heritage as well as the National Heritage lists.
Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
With more than 600 islands and coral cays, the reef covers more than 300,000 sq. km. Corals make up the reefs and cays and are responsible for a huge variety of sea life in the reef — green turtles, several varieties of whales and dolphins, the dugong, about 4000 types of mollusks, 1500 different species of fish, as well as beautifully colored bird life encompassing at least 200 species. The Great Reef Marine Park is a huge tourist attraction with millions of tourists visiting the area each year. Sporting activities include reef sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling, amongst others.
Cape Town, South Africa
Aptly called “Heaven on earth,” this beautiful town at the tip of the African continent, with small roads surrounded by huge mountains, makes a person feel small; showing how marvelous and dominating nature can actually be.
Cape Town at Night
Cape Town
Cape Town
The Cape Dutch style buildings depict the architectural heritage of the place. Beauty abounds in the black clouds that seem to pay homage to Table Mountain at all times. Cape Point, Signal Hill, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Robben Island, Rhodes Memorial, and the beaches are some of the famous tourist attractions. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town is famous for its natural floral kingdom as well as its harbor. This town is one of the most popular tourist attractions of South Africa with its wine tasting day trips, whale watching, and dolphin watching.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal in India is one of the wonders of the world and is one of the most beautiful mausoleums constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his favorite queen, Mumtaz Mahal. Located in Agra, white marble was used in the construction of this symbol of love, and the Taj Mahal is considered to be the pinnacle of Mughal architecture.
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
As the story goes, the emperor was grief-stricken when he lost his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took thousands of craftsmen and artisans, and about twenty years to construct it. The masons, stone cutters, carvers, inlayers, calligraphers, painters, and others were brought from throughout the entire empire as well as from Iran and Central Asia. Semi-precious stones were used for inlay ornamentation. It later became the mausoleum of Shah Jahan too. This is a huge tourist attraction with one to two million tourists visiting it every year.
Canadian Rockies, Canada
The majestic Canadian Rockies are the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains. They are a visitor’s wonderland and the playground for western Canada. They are older than the American Rockies and are formed from over thrusting.
Canadian Rockies
Canadian Rockies to Moraine Lake
Glacier at Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies house five national parks, and four of those national parks (along with other provincial parks) combine to form a single UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of beautiful mountain landscapes, lakes, canyons, waterfalls, glaciers, peaks, limestone caves, and fossils. Mount Robson is the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies and climbing it is considered a challenge. These beautiful mountains are a haven for hikers and walkers alike.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu in Peru, which means ‘Old Peak,” is one of the most enigmatic ancient sites in the world. According to legend, Machu Picchu was long ago considered to be a sacred place. The credit for the creation of the extraordinary city goes to the Inca people who have erected many stone structures and turned the place into a work of art.
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Two thousand feet above the Urubamba river, these ruins consist of baths, temples, palaces, and about 150 houses, all very well preserved. These gray granite structures, some of which weigh more than 50 tons, are so perfectly sculpted that they are nothing less than works of architectural genius. They were rediscovered by a Yale archaeologist in 1911. The ethereal beauty, workmanship, and history of the place attracts millions of tourists each year.
The Pyramids, Egypt
The Egyptian pyramids are massive monuments with a square base and four triangular sides rising up to a point. There is still a lot of curiosity (and many theories) as to how the pyramids were actually constructed.
Egyptian Pyramids
Pyramids of Egypt
It is generally believed that the Egyptians began constructing them after 2700 B.C. and that they were built as tombs for the pharaohs. The most well-known (and the largest) pyramids of Egypt are the Pyramids at Giza which are said to be the largest ever built. It’s said that the Great Pyramid at Giza took 23 years to complete, using a work force of around 30,000 people. About 118 pyramids have been identified, and they are popular and intriguing to tourists and home researchers alike.
Petra, Jordan
Described by the UNESCO as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”, Petra is an archeological site on the slope of Mount Hor. It is one of the new wonders of the world and is famous for its rock-cut architecture.
Petra Attraction
Ed Deir Petra
This site was kept hidden until 1812 when it was discovered by a Swiss explorer. It was said to have been prepared by God for the Jewish people. Petra once flourished under the Roman empire but a rapid decline began with the Arabian trade being taken elsewhere. Then an earthquake caused a great deal of destruction. Tourists frequent the place to get a glimpse of the ruins of this beautiful city.
Great Wall of China, China
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China is a man-made structure that was constructed over two thousand years ago and took about 100 years to complete. The vastness of this project brings to light the immense capabilities of man.
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
The constructions started in the 5th Century B.C. It is actually not a single wall, but rather many walls put together, and it stretches over 4,000 miles. It was constructed to protect the Chinese Empire from the Xiongnu people in the north. The wall was initially built of stone, grass, earth, and wood, but bricks were used once the production started. It is believed that about 2-3 million Chinese died during the construction project.
The Iguazu Waterfalls, Argentina-Brazil Border

Heralded as the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, the Iguazu Waterfalls are a true wonder of nature. They are located at the border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. While the Argentinean side allows visitors to walk right around the water or explore the National Park, the Brazilian side is known for its panoramic views and splendor.
The Iguazu Waterfalls
The Iguazu Waterfalls
The Iguazu Waterfalls
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is believed to have exclaimed upon seeing these falls, “poor Niagara.” The area surrounding the falls provides ample opportunities for rock climbing as well as water sports. Iguazu has the distinction of having a greater annual flow than any other waterfall in the world.
With all of these, and many more beautiful places that exist in our world, we surrounded by choices. The only way to decide on the places to visit is to follow your heart. While some may love the tranquility of water, others may bury themselves deep in architectural miracles, ancient sites, or the serenity of a small town.