5 safe countries that aren’t as risky as their reputations

photo by CC user Pedro Szekely on Flickr

Every strange person you meet anywhere in the world has the potential to cause harm. If you let that bother you will never leave your house and get to see anything in this big beautiful world.

You should pay attention to what is going on around you at all times if you are alone. Don’t draw attention to yourself by wearing flashy clothes or jewelry or waving around large amounts of cash, and do dress in an appropriate manner for the country you are in. If you are worried there are always guided tours where you will have the safety of being in a large group. Don’t assume cultural norms are the same everywhere and do some research before you travel. Check out these five places that aren’t as risky as you think.

Iran

The most visited cities in Iran are Mashhad, Isfahan, and Shiraz and there are many mosques, archeological sites, stunning examples of modern architecture and beautiful gardens and parks to stroll through. When when on a tour of Iran be sure to visit one of the bazaars to view or purchase the beautiful Persian rugs. Visit Tehran, the capital city, and visit the top of Milad Tower to see a panoramic view of the city. Tour the Golestan Palace complex to view its marble throne and beautiful rooms that were once home to the Qajar dynasty. Take a day trip to Alborz where you can go skiing or hiking. If you are looking to relax on a beautiful beach there are many on the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. You can also explore the beautiful tropical waters of Kish Island.

Colombia

Visit the capital city of Bogota and be sure to check out the district of Usequén where you can see traditional architecture, attractions, and fabulous restaurants, and an open-air market on Sundays. Chapinero is also a great district for clubs and restaurants. Traverse the network of cobble stoned streets in Cartagena a walled city on the Caribbean coast. Take a trip down the Amazon River and see pink dolphins, anacondas and other spectacular sights. Some of the best beaches in the world can be found here so be sure to plan for some time at the beach. Take a boat ride and head off to the Islas del Rosario where you can scuba dive amongst coral reefs in crystal clear waters ranging from turquoise to purple.

Russia

Russia is the world’s largest country and its landscape varies from subtropical beaches to forests and tundra. Moscow is the capital city and no trip is complete without visiting the Kremlin or Red Square. Take a trip to St. Petersburg and visit the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace. Take a river cruise on the Volga or Svir or step back in time and ride the Trans-Siberian Railway across this exiting country.

Morocco

Visit Marrakech, a walled city that has existed since medieval times that boasts a number of luxury hotels. Take a walk and you will stroll past mosques, palaces, and gardens of architectural wonder. The market place is set up in a network of alleys and you can shop for jewelry, local pottery, richly coloured textiles, and exotic aromatic spices. There are also fortunetellers, strolling musicians, and snake charmers, to keep you entertained. Be sure to try out a hamman, a public steam bath, and spend a night in the Sahara desert.

India

India has been a country for over 5000 years and it is a blend of modernity, ancient history, spirituality and philosophy. There are beautiful temples, mosques, churches and other sacred places everywhere you go. It is a great place for people watching, as there are people pretty much everywhere. You can stay in an ashram where you can learn how to practice meditation and yoga, trek through jungles filled with tigers, snakes and many other splendid sights, or travel around at your own pace stopping at points of interest to you. You can stay in accommodations from everything as simple to a hut or a tent or pamper yourself in a 5 star hotel. This is truly a nation of diversity with 29 states, 22 state languages and 2 official languages.

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