All About ‘Do Not Travel’ Destinations

The Australian government’s Smartraveller site, which is one of the world’s standard references for travel advisories, classifies travel risk in several categories. The highest classification of travel risk warning is the ‘Do Not Travel’ category. This classification can also affect your travel insurance, as insurers reevaluate the coverage issues in travel to these places. The current ‘Do Not Travel’ countries The current list includes several countries in the midst of wars, and others with major internal issues and conflicts. Several of them are known to be particularly dangerous to foreigners. In some parts of the world insurgents, militants and terrorists specifically target foreigners.
Afghanistan
Burundi
Central African Republic
Chad
Guinea
Iraq
Niger
Somalia
Sudan
How do countries get onto the ‘Do Not Travel’ list?The ‘Do Not Travel’ list is compiled according to the government’s assessment of risk, known dangers, and professional threat assessments by security and intelligence agencies. The ‘Do Not Travel’ classification is an unequivocal advisory status, which has drawn complaints from foreign governments in the past. In practice, the ‘Do Not Travel’ is generally accurate, and typically applied to places where the risk level is considered unacceptably high. In many cases the ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory has been proven to be accurate.How current is the information?This category of travel warning has a natural requirement for currency of information. The intention of the ‘Do Not Travel’ advice is to ensure that travelers are fully informed of the risks. The information is as current as possible, and is changed as often as necessary.Will the government help if you are in trouble in a ‘Do Not Travel’ destination?The government will definitely try and help, but in the ‘Do Not Travel’ category, helping may be very difficult. There are several issues which impact the ability of the government to provide assistance:
Access to people in trouble in war zones can be extremely difficult. Risks are greatly accentuated in actual combat areas, and realistically getting effective help to people is sometimes very dangerous. Although it is possible for help to be provided, there’s often a virtual obstacle course of situations to be overcome.
In some parts of the world, terrorists, criminals and pirates target foreigners, particularly tourists and businesspeople. The ‘Do Not Travel’ warning is often based on these situations, and the level of difficulty in providing assistance is one of the factors in assessment.
Government help usually proceeds through the diplomatic channels available, if any, in these countries. Diplomatic issues can also be a problem in some areas where governments have limited control over the situations affecting foreign nationals.
If traveling to one of the ‘Do Not Travel’ countries, check out the online travel insurance websites before booking. These sites have a lot of useful current information and give international travel insurance rates. You can check with insurance experts about travel risks, and get informed advice about any problems.

Australia Travel Destinations: Adventure Outdoors on the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road, Australia’s beautiful scenic drive comparable to California’s coastal Hwy 1, follows the striking Victoria coastline southwest of Melbourne. Starting at Torquay, the 243 km. drive winds through cliff tops to breathtaking headlands, crossing rivers and rainforests and meandering down onto coastal beaches to open to stunning panoramic views before ending just east of Warrnambool.This dramatic, windswept region covers an incredible range of surroundings, taking in surfing beaches, historic ports, and whale viewing points, spectacular national parks, rainforests and mountains. The most impressive section is perhaps the stretch between Lorn and Apollo Bay, where sheer cliffs drop away into the ocean, commanding views of swelling waves crashing onto the rocks below. At Apollo Bay, water sports and great adventure travel activities abound, with surfing, sea kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and fishing being most popular.From Apollo Bay, the Great Ocean Road winds through the Great Otway National Park, studded with some of Victoria’s most striking scenery of ancient rainforests, tall wet and dry inland forests, slopes and woodlands. Wildlife is abundant throughout the park with 36 species of native mammals, including koalas, kangaroos, emus, and Australian fur seals. At Melba Gully, thousands of glow worms provide a spectacular light show, and a dawn canoe trip on Lake Elizabeth offers views of platypus in the wild. Mountain biking, horseback riding and walking trails lead to dazzling waterfalls, the most spectacular being the Triplet Falls.Great Otway National Park is also home to the 91 km. long Great Ocean Walk, with its diverse landscapes of towering cliffs, white, sandy beaches and thick forests. From here, the long curving road rejoins the coast at Shipwreck Coast, near Port Campbell, which highlights perhaps the most dramatic of the coastline sights – the Twelve Apostles. These giant rock stacks, rising majestically from the Southern Ocean, were created over millions of years by the constant erosion of mainland cliffs, blasted by winds, waves and salt. Of the twelve apostles, only six remain, but these provide particularly impressive views from sunrise to sunset with their dark, foreboding- to brilliant ochre colors changing with the sun’s light. Among the other remarkable natural rock formations here are the London Bridge and the The Arch.Towards the end of this scenic route, at Warrnambool, whale and dolphin watching are especially popular with children. Here, Southern right whales abound and bottlenose dolphins can be spotted from the shore while Australian Fur Seals loll on the beach. The Great Ocean Road ends shortly thereafter at Port Fairy, a charming, small fishing village.The spectacle of rugged coastline, breathtaking forests, waterfalls and cliffs, combined with abundant wildlife and a wealth of activities on offer provides families with the best of Australia’s wildlife travel experiences and adventure outdoors.

Top 10 Kuching Travel Destinations You Must Not Miss

Travel to Kuching on your own is not as difficult as you may think. Here I’m going to list down the top 10 places or attractions that you should not miss when traveling in Kuching.1. Kuching Weekend MarketThe locals simply call it “Sunday Market”. It really more than a Sunday’s market, because the market start operating from Saturday’s afternoon around 2pm. The crowd is forming from 3pm onwards, 99% are local shoppers & traders, and you will be that remaining 1%. At this weekend market, you get to see all kind of stuffs people are selling & buying there. Goods been traded ranging from cloths, home accessories & supplies, local produces, meat & fresh vegetables, foods, so on and so forth. Basically everything you can think of that can be found at Kuching, but definitely not the branded merchandise of course. This is the most traditional market that you will ever find in Kuching, which remain never change since some 20 years ago, or longer. You can easily hire a taxi from your hotel and will never cost you more than a RM15, unless you are staying somewhere off the Kuching city.2. Sarawak MuseumYour Kuching travel will never be completed if you miss the Sarawak Museum. It’s free entrance anyway, & it has so much to tell you about Kuching and also the story of entire Sarawak. Some says that by just visiting Sarawak Museum alone and spend an hour walk through the entire museum is as good as travel ling to the whole of Sarawak for a week. It’s located next to Merdeka Palace Hotel in Kuching.3. Malay Village across the Sarawak RiverAnother highly recommended place to visit and the best part is, it won’t cost you much to get there too, perhaps around RM2 per person only for the boat transfer. The small boat (called Tambang) transfer you from Kuching Waterfront across the Sarawak river already half of the fun. In the village itself, you won’t get to see a lot of tourist there, and I also must say this is not a place for tourist, but an authentic local Malay village. Take short walk around the village, you will find that it’s so much different from the Kuching city centre right just across the river. Try their local “Kampung” (mean village in Malay) Malay’s food, cheap and delicious, but be caution, almost all of them are spicy, just in case you have problem a taking spicy food. Just my 2 cents, do not leave Kuching if you haven’t visit this village yet.4. Main BazaarThis is where most tourists like shop for local souvenirs. At Main Bazaar, not only souvenir shops you can find there, but also lots of other shops selling other stuffs, just like a carpenter shop selling traditional handmade goods. Just stroll along the conservation old shop lots you will discover lots of interesting things, so I will leave it to you to explore them. Trust me, there are lots of interesting stuffs can be found there, such as tribal handicrafts, antiques & etc. Please bargain the price right, or shop around first before making your purchases.5. Annah Rais LonghouseIf you really don’t have time and budget to travel inland to places like Rejang river’s Iban longhouse, then Annah Rais Bidayuh Longhouse is your best choice. This is a very real authentic Bidayuh longhouse located at some 90km away from Kuching city. It is patronised by the tourists daily and many say that it has become a tourist place. Nevertheless, the local people still carried on with their traditional life there, despite lots of tourist visiting the longhouse everyday. Rest assured that you will not see the local people are trying to sell you the tourist piece stuffs. Although the longhouse itself has already equipped with satellite or antenna, the main longhouse structure still remain pretty much original. They are working very hard to preserve the way it should be. If you prefer to stay back and to experience yourself the local way of living there, you can opt to stay with one of the local villager there who run a homestay program called Annah Rais Longhouse Adventure.6. Semenggoh Orangutan Wildlife CentreThis is one of the most important “Must Go” place among all places in your Kuching travel destinations plan. You get to see the Orangutan in the wild and not caged. They roam freely in the surrounding jungle & will appear at the Park headquarter during the feeding time. Interestingly, they know the timing better then you do. So remember the feeding time, 9am & 3pm daily, if you miss it, you got to find them in the jungle then. The entrance fee cost you RM3 per person, a fraction of cost compare to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Sabah that cost you RM30 per person, and you get to see pretty much the same thing, but only with the better facility.7. Sarawak Cultural VillageThis is a very well-built and well-maintained Sarawak various ethnic house’s model. They were built in a real human’s size (not a mini size model), and the best thing is they even employ the real people to live there in a traditional way of living. This is a very good concept of living museum, which you will get to see how various ethnic in Sarawak live the traditional way. They have lots to offer to visitors, even a very interesting cultural dances show.8. Bako National ParkI can’t stretch enough that this is the only place that will get you excited every moment when you are in the park. The journey on the boat transfer alone already part of the adventurous trip, because you will get a chance to see the wild crocodiles when you are on the boat, however, this is not a guaranteed sighting though. When arrive at the park, you will most likely be greeted by the long-tailed macaque or the wild bearded pig. The wildlife is almost everywhere. This is also a good place for jungle trekking too. You will find a lot of trails, some offering you a good chance to see the endangered species of flora & fauna, such as proboscis monkey. Opt for the night jungle trekking too, the ranger can arrange for you and you will get to see the different creatures at night. Remember to bring mosquito repellent, lots of mosquito in the park though and they are simply, wild too!9. Jong’s Crocodile FarmLots of people like the idea that the crocodiles are kept in the huge piece of land that form pretty much like a swampland, the crocodile natural habitat. The crocodiles are not caged, but you do! What a good idea right. This crocodile farm is well worth your visit, as you get to see thousands of crocodiles that are kept pretty much like they are in the wild. Moreover the entrance is barely RM8 per person, highly recommended!10. Jalan Song Eatery Place (Must Go)Again I need to mention, this is another non-tourist place, but it is very important for you to know that this is the most popular eatery place in Kuching for the local Kuching people. If you are a good food lover, this is the place for you to sample all kind of Kuching’s local dishes, such as Kolo Mee, Sarawak Laksa, and etc. Only visit this place for your dinner, because during the day, it’s just like a ghost town, but it gets very happening when the day turns dark. Since you are travel ling in Kuching and you got to try the local dishes, this place have put everything together for you. I would say it’s a “Must Visit” place in your Kuching travel destinations plan.