View Full Version : The worst city in the world you've been to..

6th Mar 2015, 14:30
As mentioned before, by far and away, Lagos, Nigeria..

Ancient Mariner
6th Mar 2015, 14:56
Singapore without a doubt. The most boring place on Earth.

6th Mar 2015, 14:59
Hartford Connecticut USA - A true s**t hole.

6th Mar 2015, 15:07
Ancient Mariner, for all it's drawbacks, at least Singapore is predictable and safe!

Ancient Mariner
6th Mar 2015, 15:08
I kind of enjoyed our visit to North Stonington, Mystic and Groton.
Hartford much different?

Ancient Mariner
6th Mar 2015, 15:10
Octane: Ancient Mariner, for all it's drawbacks, at least Singapore is predictable and safe!
Indeed, and that is precisely what makes it so boring. So boring that my wife left after a year and a half and went back to Norway. Says it all, eh?

6th Mar 2015, 15:12
Hartford Connecticut USA - A true s**t hole.

I dunno... IMHO, Amsterdam and Paris are the dog sh1t capitals of the world.

6th Mar 2015, 15:16
As mentioned before, by far and away, Lagos, Nigeria

Not as awful as Glasgow

6th Mar 2015, 15:19
In order from the bottom up: Lagos, Regina, Iqaluit.

After an excellent landing etc...

6th Mar 2015, 15:22
Ancient Mariner, your wife would not have been bored had it been Lagos, there would have many things on her mind. Boredom wouldn't have been one of them!

6th Mar 2015, 15:36
Brindisi, Italy.
Run by the Mafia.
Had to nightstop there on a ferry flight after the Greeks closed Corfu airport on half an hour's notice (they do that).
After visiting 2 hotels, I stayed in the most expensive in the city as it was the only one I felt vaguely safe in.
Come next morning, the fuel desk guy informed me, after refueling, that they only took cash. Had to hoof it back into town, where a friendly restaurant owner pretended to sell me 25 pizzas on my credit card for a 5% cut. This was cheaper than the banks, which were all closed anyway at 11am because...oh, f#ck knows; probably a football match the night before.
Behind me as I paid for the fuel was a 727 co-pilot holding an Amex card. He's probably still there..............

david parry
6th Mar 2015, 15:38
Olongapo City;)

6th Mar 2015, 15:39
New York City. No redeeming values.

6th Mar 2015, 15:42
Lagos for sure.

Did not bribe the right people, had to wait 8 hrs for fuel :sad:

6th Mar 2015, 15:42
Hey, obgraham?


barry lloyd
6th Mar 2015, 15:54
Kingston, Jamaica.

The only city in the world where I was warned not to go out by the hotel staff.

As I headed to the hotel doors about 7pm, in order to get some exercise after the nine hour flight from London, the doorman came running over and said "Where are you going sir?"
"Out for a stroll", I said. The doorman then proceeded to give me at least three good reasons why I probably wouldn't come back alive. About half an hour later my colleague, who was staying in a different hotel, rang me and said "I'm staying in the hotel; the concierge says it unsafe to go out."
We left our hotels in daylight the following day, passed through downtown Kingston and realised we'd both had some very useful advice.

6th Mar 2015, 15:57
It's quite interesting the different perceptions from amongst us. I visited New York a couple of years ago and after being brought up on the TV series 'Kojak' in the 70's, was expecting to dislike the experience. How different the reality, I found the people very friendly and engaging. I wish I'd planned to stay longer and will have to revisit at some point in the future.:ok:

6th Mar 2015, 16:02
Happened to us in Washington DC - the nation's capital.
Hotel staff recommended we take a cab for three blocks to get to a restaurant. Three relatively young and fit guys need to take a cab to walk three blocks !!!!!!!!!!!!

Ancient Mariner
6th Mar 2015, 16:03
Octane:Ancient Mariner, your wife would not have been bored had it been Lagos, there would have many things on her mind. Boredom wouldn't have been one of them!

Been to Lagos myself, and Warri and a few other "interesting" places further up the coast.
As for my wife, she's been around and I'd be more worried about the locals safety than hers. What she doesn't have in mass, she'll make up for in fury.:eek:

6th Mar 2015, 16:03
Plymouth. Without question.

Doors to Automatic
6th Mar 2015, 16:10
Detroit - god-awful place when I was there in 1991, not sure about now though.

6th Mar 2015, 16:31
Here is another vote for Kingston.
Only city I have seen where armed guards are Employed by the hamburger joints :sad:

6th Mar 2015, 16:45
Hasn't this been done before?

I consider myself fortunate, never having visited some of the leading contenders, Lagos, Port au Prince, Dehli, Karachi and other sewers masquerading as habitable locales. Cousin's daughter once gave me the book "50 Crap Towns" when I was thinking of moving back. Discovered I had never visited any of them.

Innate good taste I think.

Never liked Toronto, mostly because I went there on business too often. Dead boring but nothing compared to the really awful.

barry lloyd
6th Mar 2015, 16:54
Happened to us in Washington DC - the nation's capital.
Hotel staff recommended we take a cab for three blocks to get to a restaurant. Three relatively young and fit guys need to take a cab to walk three blocks !!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes one of our number once had the misfortune to fall off a kerb (curb) and break his ankle. Didn't have the requisite information with us and finished up in a hospital on the wrong side of DC - very unpleasant. Had a few unpleasant experiences in New York some years ago, too. Not one of my favourite places. Completely over-hyped - as is London.

6th Mar 2015, 17:00
Bandar Abbas. Worse than Djibouti.

6th Mar 2015, 17:23
I'll add to the hotel story ceptin' only this was in Detroit. Left our hotel to walk across the street and a parking lot to visit a restaurant. The doorman looked as if he'd been tossed out of the Marines for being overly aggressive. He said he'd walk us to the kerb and we should phone him when we wanted to return and he would watch our return journey. He said the hotel had lost a couple of clients on this 100 yd walk.

After an excellent landing etc...

6th Mar 2015, 17:39
Not as awful as Glasgow

Really? Glasgow has loads of superb Victorian architecture. Also has more parks/green spaces than any other city in the UK. Loads of interesting pubs, clubs and nightlife as well as more highbrow concert halls, museums and art galleries.

No mean city :ok:

6th Mar 2015, 17:41

No mean city?


6th Mar 2015, 17:59
rgb - it's a quote from The Bible (St Paul referring to Tarsus I think) Was used as the title of a book about Glasgow in the 1930s, specifically the notorious Gorbals, complete with razor gangs, etc . Its a very different place now.

I think Nazareth were a Glasgow band - certainly Scottish, at least.

eastern wiseguy
6th Mar 2015, 18:19
Nairobi......never felt so threatened in my life.....and I was born in Belfast:hmm:

6th Mar 2015, 18:19
San Jose, USA....what a dump.

Krystal n chips
6th Mar 2015, 18:23
Nothing wrong with Glasgow whatsoever......always been enjoyable visits as indeed have all my trips to, and time in, Scotland.

Ah, yes, the dulcet tones of one Ms Maggie Bell. Seen her live, a wonderful performance and entertainer....." No Mean City"....to save any confusion in advance.


As for the theme of this thread.....Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Leeds, Sheffield all spring to mind......the first mentioned is overqualified for the title in fact, along with the populace.

Then there's London.....and Washington D.C.

6th Mar 2015, 18:26
Since it is cities I cannot nominate Tilbury.

My mate and I got warned about leaving our motel in Washington DC, but we did anyway and had a great time with some friendly locals. I'm sure it was a scam by the motel to keep us in there to drink their expensive beer.

I've not answered the question. Hard to say. Birmingham, England is up there. My wife says Portsmouth.

Still, the winner is Shanghai.

6th Mar 2015, 18:53

Nazareth was indeed a Scottish band. IIRC, from Glasgow as a matter of fact.

6th Mar 2015, 18:59

San Jose, CA? WTF? I mean, it certainly doesn't rank up there with the nicest of cities but a dump? How long ago were you there?

barry lloyd
6th Mar 2015, 19:02
Can't say I was mad about Baku.

Me neither. I was there in the early 90s, though I've heard it's improved since. I know the oilies used to drive to Georgia whenever they could for some decent R&R.

6th Mar 2015, 19:29
In the 60's Karachi, today Johannesburg.

6th Mar 2015, 20:44
No great experience of cities but I have to say that London was :yuk: in my book.

6th Mar 2015, 21:11
How do you define worst?

In terms of awful places with few redeeming features i.e. boring, ugly and devoid of culture Slough (not a city but a very large town) and Bradford spring to mind in the UK.

Detroit is a run down and depressing place.

New York is a great city unless you don't like big busy cities.

Nairobi, Lagos, Abuja are run down, dangerous and generally awful places but then most African cities are either like that or steadily on the way to being so.

Kingston in Jamaica is dangerous and a shithole. Many Caribbean islands are not very nice places if you venture outside your hotel and if it wasn't for the sun and sand they wouldn't have tourists either!

Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and in fact all Indian cities are chaotic, dirty, smelly and noisy although I find I like them not least because if you are sensible they are not dangerous in the sense of somebody likely to rob or murder you if you so much a set foot outside your hotel.

Sao Paolo Brazil is a slum of 12 million people. Three of us got attacked in broad daylight in a busy street midday on a Sunday once. Street crime is the profession of choice for many.

Rio de Janeiro was similarly dangerous but seemed to have improved when I was last there in 2013.

Mexico city another corrupt shithole.

Singapore may be boring but the food, climate and safety make up for it!

I personally dislike any city where the odds of being attacked in the street are high.

Having said that I was pick pocketed in Rome by gypsies when I wasn't paying attention and that is a a city I love for its culture and history!

6th Mar 2015, 21:19
Ross Kemp: I've been to world's worst danger zones and Glasgow is tops | Latest News | Breaking UK News & World News Headlines | Daily Star (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/258601/Ross-Kemp-I-ve-been-to-world-s-worst-danger-zones-and-Glasgow-is-tops)

Interesting and indisputable facts from the well travelled and highly experienced commentator Ross Kemp. :)

Ross Kemp: I've been to world's worst danger zones and Glasgow is tops

6th Mar 2015, 21:30
San Jose, CA? WTF? I mean, it certainly doesn't rank up there with the nicest of cities but a dump? How long ago were you there?

About five weeks ago. :)

As my American acquaintance who was in town at the same time politely put it "if you think its bad now, you should have seen it a few years back".

Distinct lack of edible places to eat, full of closed down shops, full of tramps.

I was there for four days and ready to leave by day two having seen anything remotely worth seeing, and I was getting bored of the hideous food (and that includes when I got desperate and ventured out to so-called "japantown" where the food was anything but Japanese in terms of quality !).

And yes, this was smack right in the middle of downtown.

Compared to San Diego, San Francisco and Nappa that I visited on the same tour ... San Jose is in really, really bad shape !

6th Mar 2015, 21:47
Dhaka, Bangladesh :yuk:

6th Mar 2015, 21:47
Try and avoid cities whenever possible as I don't like them in general but I really don't like London or Birmingham.

Cagliari is (or was last time I was there) a bit of a dump and sadly Venice is overpriced and has to be said stinks to high heaven in the summer.

As mentioned, most islands in the Carrib have terrible capitals. The hotels are fine but we stopped going when we couldn't tell one island from the next.

Haven't been to Belize City for quite a while but last time I was there there was a gunfight in the bar I was in.

As for the US TBH I don't feel very safe anywhere. It just has this tension in most places.

Can't understand the problem with Singapore, I think apart from it being unbearbly hot that it's a fine place. For a city.

Edit: The Australians have got the hang of how to do cities. Boy lives just outside Brisbane and it's a top place, again for a city. Sydney is quite impressive too. Mind you, I like Australians which helps.

6th Mar 2015, 22:05
Telford, ok not a city but a big roundabout with a mall, bus station, car parks and a few bucket £ shops. The poor folk who might use these amenities are housed in little boxes made of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

Souless, like Singapore, oh! and driving into Southampton UK reminds me of nameless strips in the US, casinos, hotels, large retail outlets, the future. :(

6th Mar 2015, 23:06
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

6th Mar 2015, 23:26
Re the NYC (Manhattan) experience.

Under Dinkins, it felt about as safe and friendly as Nairobi.

A few years of Giuliani & Bratton completely changed it around. He even cleaned up Times Square ffs, one of several "impossible" things he did, like merging three police departments.

Personal experiences definitely color perceptions. All the lovely plazas and museums of Madrid mattered not a whit when my wallet was stolen on the subway that the staff at the hotel from hell told me was perfectly safe.

Metro man
7th Mar 2015, 00:31
Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, number two on the Telegraphs list after Dhaka and only beaten by 0.2 of a point.

Harare came fourth but was quite pleasant in the 1980s/1990s.

7th Mar 2015, 00:55
Houston TX. A place devoid of all character or soul; a vast sprawl (roughly 1,600 square miles) of dull, featureless housing with a concrete canyon centre. It shares with the Island of Jersey the ability to make you start wondering what the purpose of life is after 24 hours there, and concluding that suicide is the only way to go.

7th Mar 2015, 02:02
You guys haven't been around much.

Shamattawa, Manitoba is the worst place in the world. Even if the fetal-alcohol-afflicted urchins dont punch holes in your wings to get at the gas to sniff.

East St. Louis, Illinois is right up there though

7th Mar 2015, 03:19
Kampala, Uganda during and after Idi Amin days. Probably isn't much better today

The Hotel on "Tank Hill" with a dead man hanging over the barbed wire fence.

Entebbe still as it was left all shot up with fluorescent tubes hanging from terminal ceilings and shot up MIG's all over the place.

Bird sanctuary at the end of the runway on the lake side just inviting a bird strike.

Did you know Uganda was the jewel of Africa?

Solid Rust Twotter
7th Mar 2015, 05:37
OC, you need to get back there. Entebbe is pretty laid back and in a beautiful setting. It's one of the places on my list of spots to live if I ever retire.

Kampala not as pleasant as Entebbe, but I doubt it's as bad as you remember. Obviously certain places are out of bounds for mlungu.

By African standards, not bad at all.

Lousy cities? London, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Kabul, Baghdad, Amman and plenty more.

Um... lifting...
7th Mar 2015, 06:29
Some I've only stopped for fuel or a night, others I've spent a bit of time in. Nouadhibou, Dakhla, Bamako, Ougadougou, Khartoum, Bissau, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Port-au-Prince, Port-of-Spain, Lima, Marrakech, Brindisi. The list could go on for pages.

There are terrifying enclaves in nearly every big city in the world, no matter how ostensibly civilized the overall place is. There are always areas where the divide between the haves & have-nots stand in stark relief. When you stumble into one of these areas, the best move is to confidently and promptly start making your way out.

You're not at home, and you're a fool if you think that you are. This applies even in your own country and city.

7th Mar 2015, 07:30
I have been to practically every city mentioned. Only M.Mouse mentions Calcutta. Pooping in the gutter up stream and cleaning their teeth in it downstream. Saw what I thought was a child's doll thrown away on a rubbish heap and then realised that it was a baby.

Why do I like Indian restaurants :confused:

7th Mar 2015, 08:05
Luanda, Angola. Basically, an exorbitantly priced, rubbish-strewn open sewer. What a dump!

I actually feel sorry for most of the inhabitants. The country has vast oil revenues being squirreled away by corrupt gummint officials.

7th Mar 2015, 08:11
I suppose it all comes down to personal preferences and expectations, and of course what you're used to. If it's just near airports, then I'd wager most of the nearby areas are of little merit as they are either low-rent or just functional to service the airport. Most cities, even the most rancid, have their hidden corners and gems which are charming. Maybe they are kept for those in the know and that's the way it is. Also places change, as has been mentioned NYC was an edgy place up until the 90's, caution was needed in many places, avoidance in others. Then a mayoral campaign started to clean up the streets and the good citizens agreed and adapted and today it's a different place. Some might say it's lost it's character, some not.

How about Rio de Janeiro ? Stunning views, amazing weather, friendly people, what's not to like ??? Stunning traffic jams for most of the day, stifling humidity, crushing poverty cheek by jowl with riches, unpredictable violence, high cost of living and newly, almost no more water to drink, wash and clean away sewerage…..:hmm: People love it, people hate it and it just depends on where you are when 'viewing' the situation.

I've often found featureless suburbs to be devoid of redeeming features, almost soulless, but to the longtime inhabitants they are fine, as each is cocooned in their own home just how they like it, shops to buy their daily needs and other amenities such as familiar schools, clubs, parks etc.

7th Mar 2015, 08:36
Lagos,Ahmedabad,Maiduguri.Lagos the only place I had armed bodyguards.If you are into corruption filth and squalor you would love it there. Ahmedabad - religious riots and the ever present smell of cow shit drying at the side of the road. Alcohol banned. Maiduguri-Scary,Islamic.,second worst place in Nigeria.

7th Mar 2015, 08:45
Another vote for Port Moresby,PNG as the worst.

Second was Recife,Brazil where I spent 4 weeks during the World Cup.Three guys were mugged within 50m of the hotel ,2 in broad daylight,the other one had a gun stuck in his face about sunset 20m from the front door.The hotel was an Ibis,the newest place in town,but situated in no man's land.Was mostly on my own,and was warned not to walk at night anywhere.The 20k trip to the stadium consisted of favelas both sides of the highway.

7th Mar 2015, 08:51
Without a doubt Lagos for me. It's such a shame, I love Africa but ......

7th Mar 2015, 08:52
Ross Kemp in spite of his statement must have led a very sheltered existence if he thinks Glasgow is the most dangerous place in the world. Even Paisley a few miles away is more dangerous - I still have the scars to prove it. I do not like Glasgow much but as cities go it has much to recommend it,certainly not dangerous.Remember Ross Kemp is an entertainer not a factual reporter.

7th Mar 2015, 09:09
Ross Kemp is an entertainer not a factual reporter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Kemp#Investigative_journalism).
And, probably, a target for those wanting to have a go.

He has promoted himself as a tough guy with SAS aspirations,
he took the role of Army Staff sergeant Henry Garvie from the British Special Air Service.
so likely to be confrontational.

P6 Driver
7th Mar 2015, 09:11

7th Mar 2015, 09:11

You guys haven't been around much.

You put that on this list??

I strongly suspect that it is very difficult to nominate a city of 200,000 that has not been visited by someone on this list.

If there are any they will be in North Korea.

barry lloyd
7th Mar 2015, 09:25
There have been reports that Mr Kemp, rather like his contemporary Mr Grills, live a rather different life when the cameras are switched off. Unfortunately, I can't find the references at the moment.

7th Mar 2015, 10:20
I thought Belize City was the biggest dump I had been to until I went to Honiara.

7th Mar 2015, 10:35
Umm, must disagree with a couple of posters here - obviously no problem with Edinburgh, and have just returned from Uganda (Entebbe and Kampala) and no problems there either..??

Mel Effluent
7th Mar 2015, 11:21
Another vote for Lagos. Pointe Noire and Djibouti came a close second but, happily, i haven't been to either for years.

7th Mar 2015, 11:33
Pooping in the gutter up stream and cleaning their teeth in it downstream.

Sounds like Crapper's Corner, Bombay. :eek:

7th Mar 2015, 11:37
Titusville, FL. Definition of dump.

7th Mar 2015, 12:23
Marseilles. Wrong place at the wrong time, big trouble with the Algerian population. I heeded the taxi driver's advice and got the f#@ck out of there. Shame, it was beautiful to the eye.

7th Mar 2015, 13:13
For overseas viewers, Ross Kemp is an English thespian that has a shaven head and scowls a lot, he plays the part of a soldier in a children's television programme.
It is unlikely that he has ever visited Glasgow.

7th Mar 2015, 13:16
Jeddah. Followed by anywhere in West Africa and loads of places on the sub-continent.

7th Mar 2015, 13:53
Parabellum - if you think Jeddah is bad try Riyadh. Nowhere in The Kingdom is good its just that some places are less bad than others.In the eighties it was very safe but apart from that I never found a single redeeming feature. Very strange people - even making allowances for being Arabs. Perhaps due to them marrying their cousins for too many generations.

7th Mar 2015, 14:40
I rather liked Maiduguri, thought it was the nicest city in Nigeria. Of course that was 30 years ago.

After an excellent landing etc...

7th Mar 2015, 14:55
I lived and worked in Jeddah in the eighties for seven years, and it was a fly/mosquito infested rubbish dump, however an aquaintance tells me its now a much cleaner city.

7th Mar 2015, 15:01
Slough is the a$$hole of the Earth.

Reading is about twenty miles up it. Milton Keynes, Stevenage and Basildon are even further.

7th Mar 2015, 15:01
I found the west side of Saudi not too bad, much of the population originated from Africa during the slave trade days, ( I think this was legal up to around 1960 or so) and therefore had a more bearable personality than their fellow citizens on the east coast.
I once spent all night in the old terminal at Jeddah during Ramadan, I missed the flight out in the evening and had checked through to departures, absolute bedlam, no drinking water available, wall to wall pilgrims. I flew home on one of the last BA VC10 flights in the morning, the first chilled lager after take off was heaven after 4 months of Pepsi.
I then moved across to the east coast, worked there for about six months, and was very happy to move on after that.

7th Mar 2015, 15:21
Bangui, in the Central African Republic, doesn't have much going for it. Come to think of it, the only good thing about the place is that you can leave.

Don't care much for Singapore either. It's an eerie mix of a gated community and Disney Land.

7th Mar 2015, 16:00
Ahh, Calcutta.
I remember a meat vendor with his wares hanging out in the open. He was killing flies ON THE MEAT with a fly-swatter and spraying the meat with fly-spray.


7th Mar 2015, 19:15
Saw a meat vendor in Kathmandu who wasn't at all concerned that the meat was crawling with flies.It wasn't a particularly nice place 30 years ago,don't know if it's changed since then.

flying lid
7th Mar 2015, 19:51
Reno, Nevada when trying to rush back to our hotel on "the other side of the tracks" with young son wanting a Poo, a mile long freight train rumbles slowly through town, then an Amtrak passenger train San Francisco to Chicago stops over the crossing for 10 mins !!!

"Dad, I don't want a poo anymore, but need a change of underpants !!!

I believe they have now put the railroad in a cutting.


7th Mar 2015, 22:39

You guys haven't been around much.
You put that on this list??

I strongly suspect that it is very difficult to nominate a city of 200,000 that has not been visited by someone on this list.

If there are any they will be in North Korea.

I was speaking tongue in cheek. I am well aware that all and sundry are well travelled,
Shamattawa probably doesn't have 2000 people in it, but it's still, hands down, in my experience, the worst place in the world. (Harare included)

(though a few parts of Cape Town seemed to be coming up in the running the last time I was over in your neck of the woods)

8th Mar 2015, 03:00
Shamattawa is not a city. Shamtown is just your typical example of what happens to people that live in isolation.
Q:What do Pikangikum, Pangnirtung and Tuktoyatuk have in common ?

A:The place names all mean "Place of many Cariboo" in the local language.
and they are all isolated communities with isolation issues and problems similar to the isolation issues and problems of Shamtown or East Kilbride.

St.Kilda on the west coast of Scotland was cured of the isolation by moving the people away from the isolation to the mainland.

You can find trouble in any city if you look for it. The trouble will find you in the worst cities. I got into a gang fight on the LRT in one nice city, lucky for me there was only five of them and they did not know how to fight in the confined space of a train. I managed to intimidate them off the train at the next stop and rescue the woman they were beating and kicking at the time.

Metro man
8th Mar 2015, 03:08
Aboriginal communities in the Australian outback, whilst not having the numbers to qualify as cities, could certainly rate a place on the list. If crime, violence and drug usage was measured on a per capita basis they'd be in top place.

8th Mar 2015, 05:02
Lacking the global experience of some here, I'll confine my comments to North and Latin America plus a few places in Europe.

As for crime ridden eyesore places to be stuck in the Eastern USA, anywhere within 3 miles of about half of the major airports. Among the worst are ATL, MEM, HOU and MIA. It could just be too many overnights in these locales to suit me I suppose... Dishonorable mention goes to JFK, EWR and LGA.

In Latin America, Mexico City, San Pedro Sula and Monterrey all qualify in spite of their many redeeming features. All across Latin America and the Caribbean, the road between any town and the airport is rife with a disheartening display of poverty and decay. I remember a popular TV talk show host I flew a few times making mention of this when I picked him up in Honduras. I've noticed the truth of it ever since. And yet these are some of the most friendly and genuine people I've met anywhere. Go figure...

As for Europe, major cities like London, Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid are just fine in the good areas and also have areas better avoided. Like most cities in the world I suppose. But even Birmingham, the roughest city I've visited in the Eurozone, couldn't possibly compare with the more notable cities in Africa, India, and Central or East Asia could it?

I live in Los Angeles but haven't been downtown in 25 years or had any reason to go to the known "bad areas". I did fly out of Van Nuys and Burbank for more than a decade, but never had any trouble with anyone to speak of even though there are places nearby where the cops don't even go at night.

But the most memorable city of all is Detroit. We landed at DET (Detroit City) to drop some clients off one afternoon and walked into the lobby of the Signature Flight support to place a fuel order. A short time later we heard the beginning of a pitched gun battle across the street. The Signature employees guide us to cover behind a brick wall, saying we'd probably be okay here. We waited there until we heard sirens and the gunshots tapered off. When we stuck our heads around the corner to look, everyone was gone from across the street. While we were being fueled, we inspected the airplane for battle damage. Finding none, we paid up, lit the fires and got the hell out of there!


8th Mar 2015, 09:31
Time to merge this with the guns in USA thread??? :hmm:

8th Mar 2015, 11:03
This one's pretty small as cities go, but as it's the home of the most northerly cathedral in the UK (which incidentally is named after one of ours!) I guess it qualifies. Have a listen if you have time - sounds like a great place. I must go sometime.

BBC Radio 4 - Mark Steel's in Town, Series 2, Kirkwall (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00s9f90)

Flap Sup
8th Mar 2015, 14:38
Since i haven't been to either Mogadishu or Djibouti, Lagos gets my vote for worst place in Africa.

IMHO, there are much worse places on earth than Africa. The most hopeless and joyless place i have visited is Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Like it combines the worst from Detroit and Dhaka. Only few places are drugs and hiv more widespread - and no one cares. No jobs, hardly any agriculture, just hopelessness. Temperature range from -40 in the winter to +40 during summer, yet practically no insulation or aircon exists.

8th Mar 2015, 22:33

Nice to hear that!

It was a beautiful place. Sad to see it abused

Glad to hear things have improved.


8th Mar 2015, 23:41
Time to merge this with the guns in USA thread??? :hmm:

Naw, Detroit is on it's own. Nobody wants it anymore. Canada doesn't want it either, so maybe it deserves it's own thread. Or maybe partner up with Chicago? That reminds me... I should have included MDW! :cool:


8th Mar 2015, 23:56
I should have included MDW

I was wondering why you didn't. :p

9th Mar 2015, 00:03
I didn't get outside of the airport at DXB. However what I saw and experienced in the cattle truck bus which took us on a somewhat forgettable 15 minute drive from the point where we left the A/C to the terminal itself - and the overall 'aura' of the terminals - left me in no doubt that this marked an absolute low in city experiences.

I'll also volunteer that Amsterdam did not get many stars. Interesting yes, but weird in many ways. Admittedly were were tired and dogs were being blown off chains. Perhaps it deserves a second chance in better weather.

9th Mar 2015, 00:26
Delft is nice - a bit like a little version of Amsterdam but without the sleaze and the graffiti.

9th Mar 2015, 00:40
Bombay, or Mumbai if you perfer, for out of the US.

For the US, a place called Carrizo Springs, Texas.

9th Mar 2015, 01:07
Post 88 reminds me of the old days in the fr8 business when we would sleep overnight in the hangar near the 'freight circus' which had a few old beds. Strangely we did not fear the ghetto so much as a taxiing Lear in winter when it would blow open the door and turn the place into a well shaken sno globe !!

Ahh what we low timers once did for love


9th Mar 2015, 02:43
If the traffic system counts Nottingham has my vote.

9th Mar 2015, 03:02
Lagos gets my vote, followed closely by Port Moresby.

9th Mar 2015, 04:11
Papua, New Guinea

In my younger days, saw a fight break out while unloading at a remote port, one of the tribal members pulls out his cross bow and shoots one guy in the leg. Lucky it was toward the end of unloading, we got out of there pretty quick…

9th Mar 2015, 04:46
Yakutsk in Siberia in winter is pretty awful. Due to the permafrost the buildings are built on pylons and in the old wooden houses sometimes to have to walk uphill for go out of the house from the living rooms. In the older houses the toilets are of the 'long drop' type and a spike of.... grows throughout the winter only receding as it unfreezes in the brief summer.

9th Mar 2015, 05:16
Although I had a pretty good time in Hong Kong my visit to the Walled City where my saintly friend ran a charity clinic of sorts will live long in the memory.

9th Mar 2015, 08:51
Sadly I have lived and worked in all of the following - and dislike them all in different ways and for different reasons. These are the worst - and I have a couple of others that come a close second

Tarin Kot - capital of Uruzgan Province Afghanistan
Dubai - all that glitters in NOT gold - especially for non-Emiratis
Lae, Port Moresby and Popandetta - all in PNG
Norilsk - Siberia

Currently living in Honiara and it is heaven by comparison:)

9th Mar 2015, 09:52
rgb, the band Nazareth hailed from Dunfermline which would get my vote were it a city and not merely a town and former Royal Burgh.

Most cities I've been to have had good and bad points. The centre of Sao Paulo was a bit intimidating at night, but when I was giving a seminar at the astrophysics department, it was on a beautiful campus adjoining forest where we could hear monkeys calling in the trees. Magical.

Let's just say that Canberra seems to have abolished the Insomnia Fairy.

9th Mar 2015, 14:31
Having said that I was pick pocketed in Rome by gypsies when I wasn't paying attention and that is a a city I love for its culture and history! When in Rome, do as the Roma and pick someone's pocket. :p I don't dislike Rome, but that feature has removed it from my list of places to visit again

9th Mar 2015, 17:25
Not a city, but I think that it can out do all the places named so far in undesirability and places to avoid - Le Bourget. Seems to be getting worse.

9th Mar 2015, 18:56
Norilsk just about N70 E090

9th Mar 2015, 19:04
Thanks everyone, it's fascinating reading all your experiences. Did I mention Lagos makes Manila look good? When I took the staff to Port Moresby for Xmas dinner one time, the security guys were concerned and insisted on an escorted convoy with big boys on board. I thought it was over the top, but when we exited the restaurant at 10.30 pm, and saw all the dodgy characters hanging around, I saw the light..
Lagos is still number 1 in my experience though. Give me Houston or bad western cities everytime. At least you can call 911!

9th Mar 2015, 20:24
Aberdoom, Scotland

Metro man
10th Mar 2015, 02:50
Having said that I was pick pocketed in Rome by gypsies when I wasn't paying attention and that is a a city I love for its culture and history!
When in Rome, do as the Roma and pick someone's pocket. I don't dislike Rome, but that feature has removed it from my list of places to visit again

I have heard that the bus routes to the Vatican are the worst for pickpockiting, you'd need to keep your wallet in your underpants and even then have as little as you need in it.

I thought I had seen real poverty in Africa, then I went to Manila and realised how bad things can get. It's the only place I've seen security guards with automatic shotguns, these are military only in the US and classed as destructive weapons.

Manila shopping centres ban the sale of hammers and crow bars inside, if you buy one you pick it up from a collection counter outside. Criminals couldn't get these items past security on the way in so they simply purchased them inside before going on smash/rob sprees.

10th Mar 2015, 04:41
No mentions of the area around LAX? I had to spend a week working there in the 80s and the hotel parking lot had razor wire on the fences and armed guards.

10th Mar 2015, 09:32
not sure if its a city but Milton Keynes totally lacks character. In Oz we have Canberra which is also like Milton Keynes except full of politicians and bureaucrats so gets my vote.

10th Mar 2015, 09:49
Likewise Telford, a New Town, basically a large roundabout which surrounds a mall, sports centre, car parks and a few bucket shops. The locals live in little boxes made of ticky tacky and they all look just the same. A soulless place.

And talking of soulless places Singapore comes to mind. Civilised but characterless.

10th Mar 2015, 11:56
I really don't understand the votes for Singapore (ok, a few years ago it wasn't so good). But warm climate, nice hotels, fantastic food - what's not to like?

The most boring place I've ever been to was Hawera (sp?) in New Zealand, but to be fair it's not a city. A local friend described it as "a two dog town, and one of them's dead".

10th Mar 2015, 13:05
I spent a couple of months in South Africa back in 2003 and travelled far and wide (work and play).I found everywhere I went interesting and stimulating with one exception: Bloemfontein.

There's no shortage of boring places in the world,Oz is full of them too,but they are mostly smallish towns,so can't really expect much.

10th Mar 2015, 16:31
I made a comment that I thought that Medan, in Sumatra, had to be the @rsehole of the earth. (I was just passing through).
The quick comeback was.. "What did that make you, then?"

10th Mar 2015, 18:00
Singapore gets bad votes for two reasons: jealousy and ignorance.

Some people don't like their little neighbour to be richer, cleaner, more peaceful, less corrupt and (yes!) more fun than their local sh!thole.

Others made a stopover 30 years ago, didn't venture out of the hotel belt, ate western food, and have no idea what Singapore is like today.

10th Mar 2015, 18:07
From Telegraph Expat

Best cities for quality of life (source: Mercer)

1. Vienna, Austria (18th most expensive according to the Economist Intelligence Unit)
2. Zurich, Switzerland (4th most expensive)
3. Auckland, New Zealand (15th most expensive)
4. Munich, Germany (29th most expensive)
5. Vancouver, Canada (38th most expensive)
Worst cities for quality of life (source: Mercer)

226. N'Djamena, Chad
227. Khartoum, Sudan
228. Port-au-Prince, Haiti
229. Bangui, Central African Republic
230. Baghdad, Iraq

Solid Rust Twotter
10th Mar 2015, 18:14
Bugger! One has spent pretty much zero time in the nice places and a fair portion of one's existence in four of the dodgy ones mentioned by Mr Ian.:(

Must be doing something wrong....

Ancient Mariner
10th Mar 2015, 18:27
Toffeez: Singapore gets bad votes for two reasons: jealousy and ignorance.

Moi, a Norwegian jealous of Singapore? Hardly.
Ignorance? Visited frequently since early seventies, lived there 2004/2006, been there many times since. Most visits 2 to 10 days each.

My wife and I find Singapore excruciatingly boring. Fact.
I can find good and other bad things about Singapore, but those are shared with many other cities around the world.
For boredom, Singapore reigns supreme.

10th Mar 2015, 19:05
Aw, c'mon Per,
What about Bugis Street - or have they sanitised that too?

10th Mar 2015, 19:21
Bugis Street had gone when I was there in the early 80s, obviously didn't fit in with the 'Corporate Image' the powers that be want to project. It just seemed a heartless, soulless place, bit like Southampton UK which resembles a drag in nowhereville USA, hotels, casinos and major retail outletzzzzz.

pax britanica
10th Mar 2015, 21:24
As to the Daily Torygraph survey I am surprised it didnt list the top five cities as Tunbridge Wells, St Albans, Ascot ,Stoke Poges and Farnham as the top 5 but more seriously I think their choices are questionable

1. Vienna, Austria (18th most expensive according to the Economist Intelligence Unit) - Austria usually seen as very boring and pretentious
2. Zurich, Switzerland (4th most expensive) Switzerland? Dull dull dull , lots of banks that take ill gotten tax avoiding money from rich Brits
3. Auckland, New Zealand (15th most expensive) Auckland-you have to be kidding, Wellington maybe but Auckland is like a land locked pacific island full of large muscualr drunken polynesians
4. Munich, Germany (29th most expensive) Not even liked by other Germans , smug and black forest schmalzy
5. Vancouver, Canada (38th most expensive) In the top 5 for global suicide rates but a lovely place on the day a year the sun shines

10th Mar 2015, 21:36
I lived in Geylang,Singapore for 2 years 2003-2005.
Supposedly the seedy part of town but the variety of food was excellent and shops were open long hours which suited me.East Coast was great for a visit too,the pepper crab was excellent at various places and I liked being able to have a beer or two while ten pin bowling there.Cheap night out.Singapore is expensive if you stick to the Western food,but immerse yourself in the local culture and food and it is fine (except the frog porridge and pig stomach soup :})

10th Mar 2015, 21:55
Singapore has many more, and better looking, hookers than Vienna, Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver combined.
What have you guys been smoking these last 20 years?

Bravo TWT! The first intelligent post about SIN. Lived in Marine Parade, loved East Coast Park and Ponggol. Great food and beer.

10th Mar 2015, 21:57
I was in Singapore during a durian festival, unbelievable stench.

However the flora and fauna were pleasant, the hummingbirds feeding at arms length, my resident gecko and the beautiful plants.

Oh and the hawker stalls for a good cheap lunch.

Still preferred Hong Kong. Especially landing at Kai Tak.

10th Mar 2015, 22:13

Ancient Mariner
10th Mar 2015, 23:13
Toffeez, I aim to please. Then again I've spent most of my life since the age of 16 outside Norway. ;)

Solid Rust Twotter
11th Mar 2015, 04:28
Enjoyed Singas. Good variety of food and drink but the island does get a little small after a while, particularly if one is confined to a geographical area for standby reasons.

11th Mar 2015, 09:41
the island does get a little small after a while,Isn't this true of being confined to any small island?

3 weeks on Gan and 6 weeks on Malta was enough for me.

Though Île de la Réunion is my exception to the rule, and I am always looking forward to my next visit.

Ancient Mariner
11th Mar 2015, 10:09
does get a little small after a while

Spent three months in Gibraltar '83/'84 while the border with Spain was closed. Was anyway not able to remove myself further than VHF range from our arrested vessel being sole engineer onboard. Absolutely enjoyed the place. Particularly the Flying Angel Club, cheapest bar in town, and the Paddington (Bear) Pub.
Happy days.

Ancient Mariner
11th Mar 2015, 13:20
Basil: narrow pathway outside our downtown hotel

Between Orchard Hotel and Orchard Tower?

11th Mar 2015, 15:33
Didn't feel very safe in Genova.

11th Mar 2015, 15:45
Enjoyed Singapore on my two brief visits. I stayed at the Marriott on Orchard Road, and found a great wee open-air eatery place in a park nearby. Order food (some sort of flat fish coated in a chilli paste) from one stall, beer from another, and sit outside enjoying the warmth (evening and chilli). Got a severe horlicking from MrsP for telling her about a little shop selling Japanese silk fabric for quilting BUT NOT BUYING HER ANY. "But it was Sunday evening and the shop was shut". "That doesn't matter!" Such is the lot of the married man.

11th Mar 2015, 16:31
Got a good chuckle out of that one.
"Well you see, it's all your fault - and so now it's up to you to make it up to me."

That's what we were put on this earth for, dontcha know?

Sounds like you should have taken her to Lagos or Moresby.

11th Mar 2015, 19:02
For me Tripoli, the gun fire at throwing out time is quite sobering :(

11th Mar 2015, 23:15
Ah Magnus, Magnus, Magnus,

the correct trick, as worked by my father and myself some good few years apart, I hasten to add, is to return with several examples of the fine wares available, but to make sure that all but one or two are too large patterned or have too many colours to be fashioned into anything other than waistcoats or similar for yourself......

plus a half dozen tailor made fine cotton shirts at a bargain price..... that ten years hard wearing later are still going strong, although one is getting a little worn at the collar.

Getting back on thread, I can appreciate that some people just don't like Singapore. After a couple of weeks there myself I do find myself itching for a change, as I feel it's just a little sterile & artificial, especially at Christmas time. Plastic snow, fir trees, Santa & reindeer, when it's +30C & 90% humidity at ten at night is just simply wrong.......

I have to say that Singapore is edged (just) by Bangkok just purely because of some really run down areas, a bit of grime & graffiti here and there gives it a proper "lived in" feel. Singapore is just a little bit like a new pair of shoes that haven't quite been wholly broken in yet.

I guess you kind of have to like a city that you can travel to, work in & visit whilst there is a military coup under way & not really notice because everyone is so polite, friendly and welcoming.

Ancient Mariner
11th Mar 2015, 23:50
Donkey497: I guess you kind of have to like a city that you can travel to, work in & visit whilst there is a military coup under way & not really notice because everyone is so polite, friendly and welcoming.

Much like Manila then. ;)

12th Mar 2015, 00:25
Another vote for Lagos. Dirty, dangerous, chaotic, being shouted at by Mrs Ouku when 6 years at school which could be heard 1/2 mile away, night watch men being shot by robbers, houses collapsing over night, public executions on the beach, aback log of ships waiting to be unloaded, Mum being threatened with a hot iron by the cleaner because he wasn't ironing the clothes properly.

As an alternative almost any border town anywhere...full of transients out to make a quick buck, with cheap accommodation, loads of whores and con men. Taftan in Pakistan fits that bill very well, along with very salty fresh water. Koh Kong in Cambodia is another.

12th Mar 2015, 08:48
Sorry Lagos, you get my vote too:ouch:

12th Mar 2015, 09:38
Lagos too.

Spent two weeks out there on a legal case - lots of lowlights:

Even in the top law firm in the country the loo was broken and had to be flushed with a bucket. This appeared optional for staff :yuk:

Everybody (especially "professionals") on the make - you could buy a professional legal opinion if you wanted (we didn't :=).

Best hotel in town - dodgy food, powercuts, decor falling apart.

Road system - comical but actually sort of enjoyable. Potholes that would best be filled by dropping a skip in them. Did see a body left lying on the side of the road left for two days though. The street-traders in the middle of the "motorway" lanes were something to see!

Taken to the top restaurant in town - nothing fancy by European standards but food was ok (apart from nearly choking on the curry soup where the meat was still on the bone).

Security - felt somewhat dodgy at the airport and needed an escort elsewhere.

Overall it was so bad it was, in a sort of a way, quite enjoyable. You could never tell how they could suprise you next :D

Ancient Mariner
12th Mar 2015, 09:47
Wokafans: Overall it was so bad it was, in a sort of a way, quite enjoyable. You could never tell how they could suprise you next

And that is exactly why I've enjoyed places like Lagos, Baku, Qinjiang, Mudanjiang, Arzew, Abidjan and all the other "hell holes" I've had the pleasure of visiting.

12th Mar 2015, 10:41
It's dark, you're three squashed into the back of an ancient yellow "Cab", clothes clinging, wringing and heavy with sweat, you are hot and stink like a Derby horse, your head is hitting the ceiling as you wallow across gaping furrows in the "road".

The windows are open and broken, It's raining so hard, visibility is about 10 metres, and everything outside is sodden. Smells, nay stinks, arise in clouds of mist from people, clothing, buildings, rivers of open sewerage through which you splash. You see everything outside through a yellow haze, the underpowered lights in squalid caves selling vegetables glistening from the rain, guilded by the yellow light, so near you can touch them through the open window.

Slightly ahead, out of the yellow haze, a colourful, but soaked procession of people move singing and dancing to "percussive music" through the torrents of rain. As we pass, I look up to see a bier, being carried by six men, struggling with the weight, and then I see the deceased, not old, a middle aged man, lying on his back surrounded by flowers, with his face being washed and shining from the constant rain.

We continue past the singing, dancing group and are swallowed up in the yellow murk and smells. It will take another hour to get to the Maharaj Hotel tonight.

Doing business in Bombay is not quite the same as Westminster, I'm never going back. :=


12th Mar 2015, 11:40
Basil,I feel lucky every day having seen how people of many countries have to eke out an existence ! Many things that people in the so-called 'first world' whinge about are so trivial...

18th Mar 2015, 07:03
Oh Calcutta !

18th Mar 2015, 13:52
TWT - could not agree with you more - I spent 40 years travelling sometimes in places that were absolutely vile. The citizens of the UK do not realise how fortunate we are with health care ,education and a decent standard of life available to all.It is not perfect but a damn sight better than the lifestyle that most of the world enjoys.

18th Mar 2015, 13:59
And just who is to blame for that?

A lot more population control and investment in mandatory education would go a long way.