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"Too dangerous to visit"??

 
 
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Author Solivagant
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 05:49 | Edited by: Solivagant 
This "click bait" web article from UK's Daily Telegraph is a bit more interesting than the majority of their ilk with their never ending "10 best xxxx destinations" format.

It utilises the UK Foreign Office (FO) recommendations on where travellers should/should not go, and presents this in terms of World Heritage Sites. So, currently, there are 67 WHS which, if one followed the FO's advice, are "out of bounds".
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/lists/world-heritage-sites-too-dangerous-to-visit/

There may be slight differences between FO advice and those of other countries. The FO has a bit of a reputation for being over cautious and also a bit "political" in its recommendations. Interestingly the "out of bounds" advice includes
a. Virunga in DRC - recently visited by Els
b. Bam in Iran - hopefully to be visited by myself in around 3 weeks time. The FO "map" has a red line which diverts significantly to encompass just the town centre of Bam but not the countryside to its West. Well - we will see!!
c. Moenjodaro and Takht-i Bahi in Pakistan which we visited a couple of years ago and which, in my understanding, are no more dangerous now than then (though I am perhaps more surprised about inclusion of the former than the latter)
d. There is also a mistake - Geghard is in Armenia not Georgia - and am surprised about it too! It isn't particularly close to the Azeri border and conflict zones and I think the compiler might have got it wrong.

Nevertheless the trend is disappointingly towards an increase in the "unsafe" areas. I note that Diyarbarkir in Turkey is on the list - how much longer before other Turkish WHS are added? And Egypt just has 2 sites listed - but that country's trajectory doesn't seem hopeful.

Author echwel
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 07:06 
Ah well, it only adds to our ever increasing list of obstacles on the way to fulfill the quest...

Author warwass
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 07:49 
Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs): to visit this part of Tajikistan you simply need to have a special permission from Tajik consulate that allows you to enter Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region; it is easy to get, no extra cost; if you are travelling from Chorog to Murgob, you pass by the southern part of the Park; it is also easy to arrange a trip (for 1, 2 or 4 days) to the Park from Murgob.
Anjar, Baalbek, Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab): I have visited all three last year using a travel agency from Beirut and cannot say I felt unsafe.
Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley in Armenia is safe!!! Maybe they meant Svanetia in Georgia, but this place is also safe now.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 11:06 
warwass:
Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley in Armenia is safe!!! Maybe they meant Svanetia in Georgia, but this place is also safe now.

Yeah I am guessing they were aiming for Upper Svaneti, but as you say that isn't even covered by an FCO travel warning.

Author elsslots
Admin
#5 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 11:18 
Erbil also still is quite easy to visit. Tauric Chersonese shouldn't be difficult also.

Author elsslots
Admin
#6 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 11:47 | Edited by: elsslots 
It's also interesting to compare the advices of the various countries. Sometimes the differences are down to countries having a specific (negative) relationship with the country to be visited. I can also see that UK and USA citizens are considered maybe more of a target, and that their governments are more cautious because of that.

But often they just use other or outdated intelligence. See the comparison below for example. Why would that little red corner in the southwest of Iran be more dangerous to Dutch than to UK citizens?

NL on Iran:
https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/reisadviezen/inhoud/iran

UK on Iran:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iran

P.S.: I believe Chogha Zanbil WHS lies in that area (Khuzestan province)

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 12:04 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
P.S.: I believe Chogha Zanbil WHS lies in that area (Khuzestan province)

And Susa, and Shushtar - Thank goodness I am not Dutch! Never mind Els, I will (DV!!) tell you what they are like!

I see that Canada is very worried about a DPRK Nuclear bomb - obviously things look worse on that matter the closer one is to the USA! See -
"Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to North Korea (officially named the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) due to the uncertain security situation caused by North Korea's nuclear weapons development program and highly repressive regime." !!!! http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Actually these advisories can be of importance even if "stupid". Any UK travel insurance is INVALID if one enters an area not ok'ed by the FO so, whilst (Russian!!) Crimea is no doubt not "difficult" any UK citizen would void his/her insurance by visiting.

Author elsslots
Admin
#8 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 12:21 
Solivagant:
a. Virunga in DRC - recently visited by Els

The advice on DR Congo seems to have worsened since I visited. It now says (on the Dutch Foreign Ministry website): "It is no longer safe to travel to the Nyiragongo volcano. Also a visit to Virunga park is not safe." This in relation to the upcoming elections in 2016 & kidnapping of foreigners.

Author elsslots
Admin
#9 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 12:52 
Solivagant:
Actually these advisories can be of importance even if "stupid". Any UK travel insurance is INVALID if one enters an area not ok'ed by the FO so, whilst (Russian!!) Crimea is no doubt not "difficult" any UK citizen would void his/her insurance by visiting.

In the NL it's different. There's no relation with an advisory from the FO. They only would not be able to help you in case of a "molest" (civil war etc). But if I went to DR Congo now and would break my leg in Goma because I tripped over a loose rock, I would still be insured.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 12:57 
Whilst we were driving around Mexico last year we were in places that the were off limits according to the US State department (Michoacan: Morelia and Monarch Sanctuaries plus areas around Cuernavaca) but of no note to UK and Australian equivalents.. Felt perfectly safe to us, but then I guess it probably would until things went awry.

Author Khuft
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 14:17 
elsslots:
It's also interesting to compare the advices of the various countries.
See the comparison below for example. Why would that little red corner in the southwest of Iran be more dangerous to Dutch than to UK citizens?NL on Iran:https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/reisadviezen/inhoud/iran
UK on Iran:https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iran

Out of curiosity, I checked the German equivalent for Iran.
http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Laenderinformationen/00-SiHi/IranSicherheit.html

While it lacks a nice map feature, it contains a plethora of information. Overall, Germany has not issued a travel warning to any part of Iran, but they mention some parts they "strongly advise against" - including the border regions with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Irak. On the Bam question, they provide a bit more flavour:

Von Reisen in den Osten der Provinz Kerman und Sistan-Belutschistan sowie in die Grenzgebiete Irans mit Pakistan und Afghanistan wird dringend abgeraten. In diesen Gebieten besteht ein erhebliches Entführungs- und Anschlagsrisiko. Dies betrifft insbesondere das Gebiet im Dreieck zwischen den Städten Zabol, Bam und Chabahar.


--> the gist being, that in the area east of Bam, there's a high risk of being kidnapped, as well as a high risk of terror attacks.

Well anyway, I hope you'll be fine Solivagant, and look forward to your reports!

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 15:22 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
But if I went to DR Congo now and would break my leg in Goma because I tripped over a loose rock, I would still be insured.

Out of interest - Does this apply to all "Dutch Citizens" when travelling or just to those having a health insurance provided by certain employers?
So, on the face of it, someone could go to the US, have a heart attack, have to spend weeks/months in hospital because of inability to fly back, run up a medical bill of (say) $10 million and get it all paid??
What if they went with a "dodgy heart"??
or went when pregnant and had a baby there - all still "paid"??
What if you were a "decrepit" 80 year old??
It costs us as a couple from UK around £200 pa for health insurance (plus a few other types of cover for e.g lost deposits from inability to travel because of illness of self or relative) up to say £10 million for a year to most of the World. However - if we went to US or Canada it would cost rather more. And each year I get older it costs more! And I would not be able to claim for ANY "pre-existing" condition!! Only journeys up to 31 days,. No cruises, "dangerous activities" and many other exclusions. All with private insurers - only within EU (and a few other countries) do reciprocal "state based" arrangements apply

Author FoxPerignon
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 16:56 
Can't speak for all the sites but in egypt I've been to wadi el hitan last week (on a daytrip from Cairo) and things seemed generally safe to me (at least on the same level as other sites in Cairo/ aswan). The site is truly spectacular by the way and deserves to be more widely visited.

Author Jarek Pokr
Partaker
#14 | Posted: 6 Apr 2016 17:17 
And what's wrong with Loropeni in Burkina Faso ? I was there in March, 2014 just after a muslim rebelion in Mali but it was perfectly safe. Little difficult to get because of infrequent transportation, dusty, but for sure safe... Also Los Katios in Colombia - Park was recently removed from List of Heritage in Danger

Author elsslots
Admin
#15 | Posted: 7 Apr 2016 00:42 
Solivagant:
Does this apply to all "Dutch Citizens" when travelling or just to those having a health insurance provided by certain employers?

To put it simply:
- The basic coverage of health insurance is the same for everybody in NL. Though it has been privatized, insurance companies are not allowed to reject somebody because of a pre-existing condition. This will cover health costs abroad up to the same level as in NL. (mind you - this basic coverage is compulsory but not free, I pay 78 EUR a month)
- For additional costs. I've got a 'continuous travel insurance', valid for 365 days on a row with World coverage. 'World' indeed means the whole world, no countries excluded. It costs 100 EUR a year, of which is 12,50 for health costs (other parts are for cancellation for example,). So if you end up in a hospital in the US or Japan, where health costs are higher than in NL, the travel insurance will pay the part that is not covered by the general health Insurance.

There is some fine print of course about when you travel in certain situations (pregnancy seems tricky for example), but generally the above covers most situations.

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 "Too dangerous to visit"??

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