giovedì 1 ottobre 2009

Top 7 world's ugliest cities (no good for vacation)

There are certain cities around the world that have a bit of an unfair rep for being ugly. Manchester, Detroit and Gladstone might not be beauties, but there are far worse out there. Just try a holiday in one of this little lot, and you'll soon discover why.

Sumqayit, Azerbaijan
While Azerbaijan's oil city capital, Baku, is hardly anything to write home about, it looks positively utopian compared to nearby Sumqayit.
Sumqayit is the country's third-largest city, and due to its seaside location, was at one point going to be a resort town.
But then industry moved in.
A massive power station was built to service the burgeoning oil works in Baku, and the Soviets decided to make Sumqayit their chemical production hub after World War II.
As a result, the city is horrendously polluted, and crammed full of rusty chemical works, metallurgical plants and dirty pipes.
Places to visit include the children's cemetery, which contains the graves of thousands of children born with physical deformities and severe mental deficiencies; almost certainly a result of the pollution.

Guatemala City, Guatemala
There are few more visually stunning countries on earth than Guatemala, and the national capital should, in theory, fit the mould.
After all, it sprawls over ravines and between mountains.
Somehow, given such promising foundations, the city manages to be an absolute dump.
It's well-known as a dangerous place to be — mugging is one of the main industries — and filthy buses belch out fumes on a 24-hour basis.
There's barely a single building, whether slummy shack or brutally stark office tower, that doesn't look like it may collapse given a firm push.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Barring the odd beheading, there's very little to see in the Saudi capital.
Most of the city is covered in utilitarian apartment blocks and recent attempts to spruce up the city's grim skyline with modern skyscrapers have had all the class of a drunken rugby league player trying to gatecrash a schoolies party.
Think 1960s- and '70s-style concrete architecture and you're there.
All this is topped off by regular dust storms, which regularly shroud the city, and temperatures that push 50°C on a distressingly frequent basis.
And don't expect there to be a flip side to ugly cities, either.
Many that have the features of a slapped pig compensate with a rollicking nightlife.
In Riyadh, however, if it could be deemed in any way fun, it's banned.

Chisinau, Moldova
On the way in to the city centre from the airport, the lucky visitor is treated to the site of thousands of decaying buildings.
The concrete apartment blocks line the roadside, covered in mould and looking like death traps for the poor sods inside.
If ever you want to see a place blighted by Soviet architecture, this is the spot to visit. Everything is grey, bulky and entirely devoid of style.
There are a couple of tired-looking parks in the city centre to break up the monotony, and there is supposedly a lake to the west of the central grid.
Alas, it has dried up and been filled with litter.

La Oroya, Peru
There aren't many mining cities that will be on the prime spot of any beauty contest podium, but La Oroya is especially bleak.
The town is dominated by giant smokestacks and surrounded by wasteland.
This would be understandable if it was built in a desert area, but the lack of the vegetation is all down to the acid rain caused by La Oroya's smelting plant.
It's high up in the Andes, but any natural beauty the area once had is covered by a giant smog cloud.
Still, if you like the sight of residents hocking up phlegm into the streets as a result of their pollution-prompted lung diseases, then it's a great spot.

Naypyidaw, Myanmar
A common complaint about planned capitals, such as Canberra, Ottowa and Brasilia, is that they are utterly soulless.
Well, you can bag Canberra all you like, but at least it has stuff to see and do, unlike the new capital of Myanmar (Burma).
Fearing a seaborne invasion, the ruling military junta decided to move the capital from Yangon to Naypyidaw in 2005.
According to the few Westerners who have been allowed in, it's a place of wide, empty highways, building sites and identical apartment blocks inhabited by government staff.
Even the City Hall, currently Naypyidaw's most impressive building, looks like an old Soviet-style community hall, topped with a slap-dash Burmese-style roof.
The only people who have a positive word to say about Ciudad del Este are the smugglers who operate there.
All other visitors seems to be under the impression that it's a dirty, ugly s---hole, packed with seedy duty free shops, horrendous traffic and shabby buildings splashed in faded neon.
However, if you like black-market goods, an undertone of impending violence and architecture that suffers from a clear absence of architects, it's great.

Which cities would you add to the list?
From David Whitley

9 commenti:

Anonimo ha detto...

Ammazza che schifezza di posti!!!!!

Anonimo ha detto...

Cis ono città che sono anche più brutte.
Per fortuna nessuna di queste si trova in Italia.

Reddit ha detto...

I would nominate Oslo and Stockholm. For wealthy social-democratic capitals, they are really unattractive and boring compared to Copenhagen or Bergen. Stone Town on Zanzibar is the most charming ugly city I've visited.

Nickface ha detto...

Hey, I'm just happy Detroit isn't on there, whether it belongs there or not.

colin ha detto...

If you're referring to the Canadian Capital, it's Ottawa (no second 'o'). As for soulless... you could be right on that one.

Survivor ha detto...

You could put most of the cities in Russia on this list...

jim-gagnon ha detto...

Medan, Sumatra
Split, Croatia
Gary, Indiana, USA

all pits

Luciano Ardoino ha detto...

Ok, next time I will insert it

thanks ;-)

kd ha detto...

You spelt Ottawa wrong, dickface