Worlds worst place to backpack #4

Its certainly not on the top of the list for tourism destinations. In fact, its almost at the bottom of my list. Coming in at number 4 of the worlds worst places to backpack is Chechnya.

graffiti at Quneitra
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Chechnya is a federal republic within the borders of Russia. It has its own president, parliment and consitution. Its ongoing conflict with Russia since the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been the bane of its existence.

There has been pretty much an ongoing war since its inception onto the global stage in 91.


Human Rights Watch rencently issued these comments....
"If you are detained in Chechnya, you face a real and immediate risk of torture. And there is little chance that your torturer will be held accountable,"


You'll want to watch your antics in the bedroom whilst traveling in Chechnya. If your caught in the act of, or even accused of sex in the bum, your better hoist your pants up and run for the hills.

Article 148 of the Criminal Law Act punishes "anal sexual intercourse between a man and a woman or a man and a man" by caning and then if your caught again, death. Death comes in the form of stoning for women or beheadings for men. Tough love.

Chechnya is famous for its traditional knives and daggers. This is probably the first thing youll need to buy upon entering the country. English is spoken by pretty much no one so good luck there.

Flashpackers may be slightly enthused to know that you can enter by plane 3 times a week from Russia. For the slackpacker there exists a weekly train route but its prone to hijackings and bombs. But forget it. Seriously. The regions of Dagestan/ Chechnya / Ingushetia are notorious for kidnap risk. One of the highest rates in the world. If you dodge that, you have to deal with the worst of the worst in corrupt cops, i dont think even the Dalai Lamas patience and supply of $100US notes would hold up. The 'officials' tip off the local gangs who then either rip you off again, or simply kidnap you and eventually rip you off for more, or blatantly knock you off. Mass graves are like recreational parks in Chechnya.

(Local Kindergarten..)
Partypackers wont be so enthused to know that there is not a single disco or club in Chechnya. Its not a dry country per se but dont try and look like your having fun.

(Leave the kids at home..)
There is only one hotel to stay, a random 5 star bang smack in the middle of war torn Grozny. Its most famous guest of all time was Mike Tyson. Ha, aint nobody gonna mess with Mike. The Hotel Arena actually steamed in with a classy review on Trip Advisor, check it out...

If somehow your still convinced on traveling to Chechnya, watch this famous Russian film, called Voyna, literally translates as 'War'. Funny enough the capital City Grozny translates as 'terrible'.

Worlds worst place to backpack #5

Pakistan - Hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

U.S. Kills Bin Laden

The numero uno wanted hombre in the world was recently taken out underneath the noses of the regime. A lot of questions remain in the dust and dried up blood. The dilemma backpackers face is simple.

Is this a safe country to travel or is this a safe haven for extremism?

Osama Bin Laden with first virgin

Pakistan is situated in a very volatile region of the planet. Its bordered by Iran, Afganistan, China & India. Pretty much screwed on all sides in terms of niggly little armed conflicts and geo-politik tug-o-war.

Map of Pakistan

Its safe to say that Pakistans long and windy roads are no longer the same as the famous backpacker trails of the Silk Road.

land before time?
Hippie VW 1
Hippie Van
Silk Road 1992

Those days are gone. Long gone are the free wandering hippies, goneski the tourism infrastructure, however loose it was back then, its looser now. The only thing left that remains from the free floating 1960s are the drugs.

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Pakistans current tourism campaigns seem to be directed at all the wrong people. Theres no Flashpacker accommodation anywhere in Islamabad. Theres no party scene for those Partypackers in Karachi.

Slippery Osama had evaded the most intelligent intelligence in the world. He was a mythical figure, a mystery man, a man who was supposed to be hiding out in a cave. But nah, he was kicking it Pakistan. Living the dream with the million dollar pad, couple of attentive ladies, watching dvds with popcorn on the couch. Sounds like your average hungover day in an inner city hostel?!?

Lets not get carried away.....

Anti US and Johnny Foreigner sentiment is running at fever pitch. Coupled with the constant onslaught of Drone attacks in the countryside, its not such an inviting place at this time.


The only fun thing youll find in Pakistan at the moment is a game of cricket in the street. It could turn ugly real quick though. And never, ever, high five anyone.....

Stay cool, stay clear of Pakistan.

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