15 Countries That Don’t SEEM Dangerous, But Really Are

by SharonKurheg

Every couple of months, the United States government revamps its travel advisories for going to other countries, based on how safe or unsafe they perceive said country is (they never mention the travel advisories that other countries have for their citizens who plan to visit the U.S. – and there are several).

That being said, at any given time, there are some countries that the U.S. thinks are relatively safe. So they’ll typically say to just “exercise normal precautions,” (places such as Austria, Fiji and Canada are currently at this “Level 1” level) or maybe even “increased caution” ( these “Level 2” places currently include Hong Kong, Germany and Mozambique).

However some countries may APPEAR to be perfectly safe (at least by U.S. government standards) but could really hurt or kill you, if you’re not careful.

A user on Reddit named Catwinky asked about it (heads up: adult language. NSFW) and here are some of the answers:



  • Canada is inverse Australia. In Australia, everything looks terrifying, but if you keep your distance, most of it just wants to be left alone, and most of the time, it’s just as terrified of you (exception for the birds, they’re just jerks).
    In Canada, everything looks adorable, very little of it is afraid of humans due to habituation to direct contact because no one respects the danger, and all of it will absolutely rip your throat out. That beaver can chew through a maple tree in minutes, do you want to know what the overgrown lake rat will do to a femur? That moose can walk away from a collision with a semi-truck, weighs more than a small car, can out run you, and will not think twice about turning you into an antler ornament. The deer will not think twice about eating you if you happen to get gored to death. I’m going to say that one again. The Deer. Will Eat. You. Those adorable seal pups? Momma seal is bigger than you are and there’s a reason they’re effectively wolves in the water. That squirrel, oh the squirrel is harmless… kidding, it will take your finger and scratch out both your eyes.
    And all of that doesn’t even count the actual predators. No, those aren’t puppies, kitties and teddy bears. If you’re lucky they will remove your hand. If you are unlucky, they will remove your head. Implausibly, the only thing that isn’t going to actively try to kill you are the snakes and spiders.
    The only common point… the birds are still jerks. Bless the cobra-chicken. — GreenBeardTheCanuck

Costa Rica
a city with many buildings and a bridge

  • I have traveled quite a bit in Central America and the horror stories I’ve heard from other travelers were few and far between. But after spending 6 weeks in Costa Rica, a cab driver in San Jose scammed us out of 100 bucks, I met a guy who had to be treated for knife wounds after he resisted a robbery, and our friends were robbed of all but their clothes while camping out on a beach. This happened at night while they slept and after talking to some locals and expressing surprise that they did not wake up while this was happening, the locals informed us that the robbers probably sprayed ether into their tents to knock them unconscious. Now I’ve heard of plenty of nefarious robbery practices, but this was some next level shit that I’ve only encountered in Costa Rica. — skunk8una


  • looks like paradise but you drink water during the ramadan in public, you get jailed (even if you are a non muslim and a foreigner). — bruceleeinme


  • It never appears in the dangerous city statistics but I’ve lived in the worst cities in the world including Buenaventura in Colombia where they’ve daily dismembereings and Georgetown, Guyana was in a world of it’s own. A tiny city with daily murders, I saw s**t everyday. Everyone seems to carry a machete in that city and it is dangerous as f**k — Mobile_Capital_6504


  • While I wouldn’t say dangerous, Ireland has a strong and growing anti-social behaviour problem that is not being sufficiently addressed. — Beautiful_Golf6508
  • My boss told me a story about studying abroad in Ireland as an undergrad. She and another student were carrying groceries home and walking through Limerick. A group of school-aged boys stopped them, with one of them pulling out a knife before demanding money. My boss said that her friend took one look at them, laughed, and kept walking. One of the boys tried stopping her, to which she replied, “I’m from Baltimore, b**ch! Your Limerick pu**y knife isn’t s**t”. I guess the boys were so stunned that my boss kind of shrugged at them and said, “She is from Baltimore” before catching up to her friend. — Pleasant-Sport2512


  • Japan is certainly not dangerous in the grand scheme of things, but I think the “omg it’s so safe” thing is dramatically overhyped. The fact is that “incidents” in Japan simply do not get reported to the police.
    As an American who lived there for 4 years, I encountered a fair bit of sketchy situations… drunken violent misbehavior, outright physical abuse in families/couples, blatant theft, stalking, etc. Not one of those incidents was reported to the police. — BringBack4Glory

The Netherlands

  • the most active Mafia/criminal group that is involved in importing drugs in the EU is not the Italian Mafia or the French Mafia like most people would expect, it’s the (Dutch and Belgian)-Moroccan Mafia (also called the Mocro Mafia).
    They control Europe’s biggest port (Rotterdam) and have significant influence in other major ports such as Amsterdam and Bruges (Belgium). The drugs are routed from South America to the EU through Dutch former colonies and oversea territories.
    While drug trafficking is their main activity, they are also involved in arms, human and stolen cars trafficking. — JesusGAwasOnCD

New Zealand

  • The amount of gangs here, the amount of power they have, the lack of strong laws and lack of rehabilitation.
    And Australia keeps expelling their gang leaders to NZ.
    The police are powerless and heavily under resourced. Many are migrating to Australia for a better life.
    People are starting to get the message and low socioeconomic people are now attacking, robbing, assaulting, doing ram raids, even attempted murder and the worse they get is home detention.
    Add to that the severe drop in quality of education that plays a big role in the above. — VintageKofta

Papua New Guinea

  • Looking at the pictures you see sandy beaches, tropical animals, and just another paradise in Oceania.
    Don’t go if you are a woman without armed escorts. It’s very likely the worst place in the world for gender related violence. — LaconicSuffering


  • Most people think “Oh wow pretty” but we have a massive drug and alcohol abuse problem which leads to a whole load of hopped up junkies causing s**t.
    Not to forget being generally not being well off, poverty breading crime and all that. — Snavster

South Korea

  • South Korea itself is not that dangerous, but North Korea is a constant threat. — West-Commission210


  • I backpacked Thailand and had many scary instances. Tourism is number 1 there, and any incident is swept under the table.
    I saw someone pull a gun at a tourist in a restaurant. The restaurant immediately cleared. I walked by again in a couple hours, and it was full again, like nothing happened.
    I was stung by a box jellyfish and couldn’t feel my legs. I went to the hospital and was told by a doctor that a tourist died that very same day on the very same beach. No signs or warnings at the beach. The beach was full. I would never have known if I didn’t go to the hospital.
    A tourist was bartering with a seller. The seller pulled out a knife and threatened the tourist. The tourist took off. Everything continued as normal. — Different_wishbone75


  • Wife’s family is from there. I’m not allowed to visit when they go back (I’m white) and they emphatically insist they cannot keep me safe. Even my wife and her brother need to have escorts everywhere because they didn’t grow up there and the locals know it. — thejuggler


  • Motorbikes are king and it felt like traffic lanes (including the ones in the middle, that delineate what direction you’re going!) were just suggestions. Plenty of guidebooks will tell you the safe way to cross the street…establish eye contact with drivers, maintain your speed, etc.


  • Everywhere. There’s dangerous s**t in every country. — top_steppa (Amen, friend. Amen.)

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DaninMCI March 1, 2024 - 6:39 am

Having Ireland and South Korea included on this list takes away from the accuracy of this list. Any country can be dangerous if you venture into the wrong area or a neighboring country invades. Why would you ever travel? You would have never gone to the old West Germany, you would never, ever have gone to Israel.

Alan Gore March 10, 2024 - 12:10 am

I too lived in Japan for the same length of time, and encountered no danger anywhere, not I the subways, not in the “projects,” the bar districts, and the docks. You will see a lot of drunks, but I’ve never seen a violent one.


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