Admittedly this blog came about while playing my buftravels drinking game. Its pretty straight forward but no need for the details; I was in a very "altered" state and had a bit of enlightenment during the process. I thought, what would be the worst place I could be in right now in my condition? Folks, no need to risk your lives. Between a bit of research and a few 1st hand experiences here are the top things to steer clear from while killing your personal mini keg. You'll thank me for this blog one day; I accept checks or cash. Or you can always leave me a line in the comments section and get another free gift from buftravels. The greatest magnet you will ever own shipped to your door absolutely free. It may look better than your fridge though.
After days of research I have found quite the collection of places to steer clear from when you decide to have that beer or ten. Mercer's annual Quality of Living Survey which ranks cities around the world measuring a variety of factors including, crime, financial growth, and social instability was a excellent place to start. The likelihood of you having a fun "night on the town" in these places is minimal at best. If you make it through the night you had a good time.
Among all of cities worldwide in 2012 the worst one was none other then Baghdad, Iraq. Despite the occupation and rebuild projects things aren't going well and just being there sober is dangerous enough. Additionally much of the Middleast doesn't tolerate drinking at all. Countries like United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, and the Palestinian territories all have varying Prohibition laws. I can say that Dubai, UAE would be the exception with access to alcoholic beverages, however a public "drinking scene" non existent here as well. Best advice if you want to drink a lot, the Middleast is not the place to do it.
The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Harare as the world's least livable city in 2011. The city sits on the one of the higher parts of the Highland plateau of Zimbabwe at an elevation of 1483 metres (4865 feet). Unfortunately, the government seems to be the problem as one local testified in this quote:
"As a white local I can confidently say that Harare is among the safest cities in the world. It is a nation filled with the nicest people in Africa. Unfortunately, the people have been persuaded through propaganda that white people are bad news for them and are horrible and only keen to oppress. However, fortunately very few of the locals have taken to this ridiculous propaganda enforced by the government. So, in order to have a great stay in Harare treat the locals as friends and on an equal level. Don't be rude and you will be treated as friends otherwise you may find yourself being perceived as what they are forced to believe in the propaganda and this could land you in a very vulnerable position."
The original landscape could be described as a "parkland." Though it does have some wonderful places to offer like the Harare Wildlife Sanctuary the government remains a big issue. A European college student was shot and killed for failing to stop her vehicle as the presidential convoy moved through the city in 2006 and as this local testifies:
"Never, ever, ever stop your vehicle around the President's palace. Intentionally or not! Even if your car breaks down in front of the palace...hurry up and push it as fast as you can out of there. Even if it is not your fault, the guards might come after you and harass you, or worse. The President's guards forced a group of schoolchildren (who I know through friends) on a broken down bus to climb a tree as punishment for their bus being broken down. They also beat another man I know whose car had broken down in front of the palace, until his vehicle was out of the vicinity."
I don't know about you, but this doesn't sound like a good place to be getting intoxicated. Car robberies against tourists as well as inflated hotel and service prices are frequent. It is suggested that if you know a local, have them book your accommodations to prevent this. In 2008, the inflation rate peaked at 231,150,000% per annum. In U.S. terms, this means that if you deposited $10,000, it would be worth about 4 thousandths of a U.S. cent in one years time. That sucks. (For the record, 10,000USD = 46.720 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars in 2009.) Have fun trying to convert your bar tab...
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby is well-known for its crime. Car jackings, muggings and worse are common. There is a great deal of concern about the level of crime and civil disorder and about the ability and willingness of the police to cope. Police officers have been found to be complicit in major crime. Police brutality against minor offenders, complainants and witnesses has been the subject of criticism from the international group Human Rights Watch.
The drink of choice in Port Moresby as in the rest of Papua New Guinea is South Pacific lager: "SP beer". However, once that cultural experience is done, you will probably prefer to move on to the more refined 'SP Export' lager, or 'Niugini Ice' beer. To buy alcohol you have to go to one of the characteristic yellow and green colored shops that are usually integrated into the supermarkets. You don't want to go to the ones that aren't. They have a relatively limited selection of wines, mostly Australian or New Zealand brands. The prices are higher than you would expect because of the taxation of alcohol. The locals tend to get quite rowdy when they drink so it's best to avoid anyone that seems to be under the influence.
It is possible to minimize the chances of becoming a victim of crime by being aware of your surroundings, avoiding places where large groups are gathered and avoiding places where offenses are prevalent. The Waigani area, particularly the area around the traffic lights and the Port Moresby Golf Club, has experienced numbers of car jackings.
It is always wise to seek the advice of a person familiar with Port Moresby before venturing into unknown areas. Saltwater crocodiles are still common throughout all of Papua New Guinea.
Flint reported 2,337 violent crimes per 100,000 people and came down in first place as the most crime ridden city (violent crime) in 2011. The city also reported 83 forcible rapes per 100,000 people. The national average is 26.8 forcible rapes per 100,000 people. These numbers aren't good. Stumbling around the streets here doesn't seem to produce anything positive let alone getting rowdy at a bar. Chances are you'll get more than you bargained for. Closely behind in 2nd and 3rd place on the list was Detroit, MI and ST. Louis, MO.
Detroit reported 48.2 murders per 100,000 people. The national average is 4.7 murders per 100,000 people. St. Louis reported a rate of 57.8 forcible rapes more than double the national average. I have spent time in St. Louis and had a few beers there. So long as you follow your judgement you will be alright but there was quite a few places that made me think twice. I also had a pretty aggressive drunk beggar asking me for money on the streets. All in all, I never ran into any real big issues but I could see it happening.
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Honduras is now among the most dangerous places on Earth. No other country can match its rate of 86 slayings per 100,000 inhabitants a year, according to a 2011 United Nations Report. That is roughly 20 times the U.S. homicide rate. And you thought Detroit was scary. One of the world's most ruthless gangs, Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, operate here unchallenged and unchecked. Authorities won't even intervene for fear of being gunned down. This is no mans land folks. Taxi cab companies are actually forced to pay a monthly 30$ toll to the gangs or be killed. The same rate as the governments toll. The government's toll is annual though...
I think we've got a winner. Besides Afghanistan, San Pedro is the closest you will get to a unofficial war zone. Getting drunk here would surely result in only bad things for your physical well being. I guess you could hide in a hotel somewhere but who the hell wants to do that. This is the gang's backyard, not a tourist destination. It is not uncommon for San Pedro hospitals to treat a dozen or more individuals with gunshot wounds at any given time. Witnesses reported medical staff didn't even have time to mop up the pools of blood on the emergency room floor due to the numbers being treated.
On the Other Hand... the Best Places