We all know there are risks when traveling. Traveling abroad can bring even more and unique risks. Our Greensboro private investigators have worked cases in over a dozen countries and on three different continents. We have seen, first-hand, some of the things that happen to tourists. Being experienced private investigators has allowed us to develop very acute observational skills and we have a much better understanding of human behavior than the average person. Odds are you’ve heard some stories of travelers becoming victims of a crime or being taken advantage of while on their vacation. Unfortunately, evil exists in all parts of the world and sometimes it can be difficult to avoid. With that said, choosing the right destination can be the first step to having a more safe vacation. Here, we will discuss 5 different cities where you will have a very good chance of enjoying your adventure peacefully and incident-free. Today we will focus on some of the safest cities that are NOT located in the United States. These locations, around the world, make for great holiday destinations.
Ah, Singapore… What a fantastic city to visit and gorgeous, just as the picture above demonstrates. Violent crimes including murder, assault, and theft are among the lowest in the world. Even police engagement is extremely low. Just as an example, Singapore touts a 135-day, completely crime-free streak, in 2017. There are over 100,000 surveillance cameras deployed throughout the island city and the bad guys know it. Cameras are a huge deterrent to crime, keeping citizens honest and less tempted to stray from the rule of law. Because of this safe environment, the citizens trust each other immensely. It is not uncommon for local businesses to not have windows, doors, or even locks. Singapore is positioning itself for a post-COVID world with massive investment in innovation to the tune of $14 Billion. Singapore is a captivating blend of influences from all over Asia. This city-state packs an unbelievable amount of creativity, culture, and commerce into just 240 square miles. While ultra-modern and business-focused, Singapore never loses sight of its history and heritage which makes it one of the most fascinating places in Asia. Singapore is served by Changi Airport, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world when it comes to airports. I mean it’s been best in the world 30 times it’s won 480 Awards since 1981. And that’s all great, but why is it so good? Just let me tell you… FREE movie theater check (two of them actually), arcade check, free hotel transit check, and a free tour of Singapore. When you have to layover, be sure to check out the nature trail. The best airport in the world, so you’ve arrived at Changi Airport how do you get into town? Let’s do the cheapest fastest best – The bus is less than two Singapore dollars to get you right into the middle of town. Bus terminals are located below terminals one two and three. A taxi is around 20 to 30 Singapore dollars for the 20-minute ride into town. Just follow the signs in the arrivals hall and go through customs. The MRT is the cheapest, at just over two Singapore dollars. It’s fast and only 30 minutes into the center of town and so easy. The MRT is the best way to get from the airport into town. The airport MRT station is between terminals 2 & 3. I was fortunate enough to assist another private investigator at one of the casinos in Singapore. It was a fun assignment and involved due diligence into a couple of businessmen that a Client was considering investing with. He wanted to know more about their backgrounds and daily habits. Understandable when you’re about to invest several million into a venture in a different country.
- Osaka, Japan
If you’ve never been to Japan, you’re definitely missing out on some fantastic food and scenery. One of our private investigators was fortunate to work a case in Osaka that lasted nearly a month and a half. She did not want to come back lol. There are 2.6 million people that live in Osaka, making it the second-largest Japanese city. It is also home to a very wealthy population and is considered the 2nd safest city, in terms of violent crime, just behind Singapore. Our agent was able to team up with a top-local investigator and get the job done for our Client with maximum results. The Client was so pleased with our results that he allowed our private investigator to stay an additional week, all expenses paid, to really see and enjoy the city. Just because Osaka is one of the safest cities, don’t think that it’s also boring. Osaka has stylish and interesting restaurants and a very happening nightlife. But, Japan’s legendary train Network is awesome. There’s a good chance you could be arriving in Osaka like the kids do on a train, a bullet train to be precise. The network and that will get you pretty much anywhere in the city once you’ve arrived in Osaka on your trusty mechanical steed of choice; you have plenty of options for getting around this incredible city. But pay attention because there are some intricacies that can trip you up, if you don’t know about them. Osaka is served by seven different subway and railway companies, which to the uninitiated sounds overwhelming and confusing, but fear not, this being Japan the whole thing works beautifully. The Osaka subway system is the second-largest system in Japan, so it’s the obvious choice for getting around the city. If you’ve been to Tokyo (another very safe city, BTW) and you’ve used the subway system there, you’ll have no problem with their system. They are almost identical, right down to the signage and ticketing systems. Fares are based on the distance you’re traveling and start around 200. As a complement to the subway lines, there’s the Jr Osaka loop line, which as the clever name suggests runs in a loop around Osaka. It’s not quite as handy is the indispensable Yamanote, a line in Tokyo, but it does the trick getting you around the city and connected to other rail and subway lines. Again, tickets are based on distance and can be purchased from the multilingual machines in every station or using your pay-as-you-go card, so the one thing to note about when you’re topping up your card is the machines are in English and the instructions are in English. You pop it in but they only take cash no type of credit cards. Coins are fine, bills are fine, but they only take cash because of the fractured nature of the ownership of the various subway and railway lines. In Osaka it is absolutely imperative that you grab an IC or stored value card, otherwise technically every time you change lines, you have to buy a new ticket. Now, the version in Osaka is called the Akaka which we just learned means adorable. You can pick one up from one of the vending machines in the railway stations or from one of the main kiosks. But if you’re coming from another Japanese city, there’s a very good chance that the stored value system, from that city, will work in Osaka as well.
- Reykjavik, Iceland
Wherever you step in this city, nature beckons you… Over windswept waters, across the mountains, and into limitless horizons. Many of the country’s most popular sights are within easy reach of Reykjavík, often by public transport. There are literally no areas to avoid in Reykjavik and homelessness, drugs, and crime are essentially non-existent. I should know because I have personally worked an adultery investigation that took me to this wonderful place. I got to follow the lovers ALL over. Not only did I get to take in the sights, I was also able to get great surveillance video of the cheating couple acting as if they were married. Reykjavik is an easy city for new travelers to explore as there is very little chance of being scammed by dishonest locals or being pickpocketed. I also found the most beautiful building in all of Iceland. One could even argue the most stunning in all of Europe. The building is Harpa, a theater and conference center that has the most stunning architecture that I’ve ever seen. Its exterior is made almost entirely out of glass and the building is controversial for how expensive it was to build, in a time when Iceland’s economy didn’t need such a large building project, but it doesn’t matter the architectural marvel is there anyways I recommend it. For tourists to need a place to hang out before you check into your hotel as the evening settles in and the northern Sun still shines. The city becomes more alive, with a population of 220,000. For a relatively small city, I knew the people had to be somewhere. To finally see some crowds made me feel more comfortable and easier to hide from my targets in the city. I enjoyed walking around in the heart of it and walked around downtown a lot. I didn’t expect there to be so many restaurants, art and interesting details on the street. The central part of downtown alone has more than 100 restaurants, bars, galleries, and cafes. Really I came to this country for a private investigator job, but its natural beauty was good loved the urban style of its capital as well. With the help of a city sightseeing tour bus that picked the cheating spouses and I up in front of Harpa. I was able to discover some other places I wouldn’t find on my own, so we boarded the bus and put in the headphones to listen to what the English narration had to say and see what else was special in this small northern capital city. They decided to get off on about the sixth or seventh stop of the tour and visit the national museum of Iceland. It was a bit further from the city center, but still a must for a city tour. The entrance was welcoming and led right to the beginning of the exhibits. Admission wasn’t bad at all and the exhibits inside were very much worth it. They were filled with real Viking artifacts; basically, everywhere they (and I) went through the entire history of Iceland up to modern times. It’s a wonderful place to learn some history and maybe if you go out on a tour on the island you might see one of the historical places mentioned. After all, Iceland has one of the best and longest fully documented histories. We waited for the bus so we could get to the next stop which was the Perlan, a beautiful glass structure that sits on top of six of Reykjavik. Hot water storage tanks you inside there was a beautiful interior, a gift shop and artificial geyser, a restaurant and café… And the most beautiful view of the city on the observation deck. Up there the force of the wind was magnified. I’ve said earlier that Reykjavik is a small city, but viewing it from the Perlan gave a wonderful panorama that makes one change their mind. And believe it or not, there were still plenty more places left around to enjoy.
- Vienna, Austria
The Austrian capital sits by a river. It has palaces, art galleries, museums, but has a very modern culture. Vienna appeals to travelers from all over the world. Mozart and Beethoven, both, lived here. Violent crimes and muggings are rare here. Just take the normal precautions against pickpockets and be logical when it comes to bargaining with locals and you’ll easily avoid getting robbed or scammed. One of our Greensboro private investigators spent 4 days in this glorious city. The unsuspecting couple had no idea they were being surveilled. Cheating wife and a cheating husband called us to this city and we were able to get all the evidence the Client needed to assert her case and get alimony for years to come. She was also able to prove alienation of affection and got a hefty settlement from the adulterous woman. The Schonbrunn Palace… You have to come see this palace because it’s gorgeous! Built in the 1600s 1700s, they kept remodeling and adding to it. It was essentially a wedding gift for Maria Teresa. It’s built an Anil classical architectural style. The palace itself is very pretty, very beautiful, but the gardens that they built around it I feel are more impressive. Then you have this kind of facade thingy appear on the top of the hill. It’s worth it to climb the hill to get a view of the palace. All of the inner and the Cathedral are seen out here on the horizon. It’s not a very difficult climb. Also, you should walk around the gardens because they’re really pretty and when they put up these gardens, they added pheasants and fowls and wild boars and stuff like that, so they could do some hunting on the grounds. To make it a summer retreat, they’d come here and hang out and have tea. The hops burst by the way and they would talk about which region of Europe they should conquer next. I mean there is a beautiful house here, but have you seen the leaves?? It truly is a photographer’s dream. But if you want to do more than just walk around and see the gardens then there’s also a zoo you can visit and a labyrinth. I did the labyrinth in 2019 and it was a lot of fun. The thing I like about this place is that it’s so large, that regardless of how many people are here, you can always find something that’s a little secluded, like the garden. And it’s so cool because you have it all to yourself. Then there are statues and of course the birds and the blue skies. St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the heart of the center of Vienna and the inner old city built in the eleven hundreds and rebuilt over the old churches finished. In this form you see it now in the 1300s it is a gorgeous Cathedral and if you go on TripAdvisor one of the first reviews when you login the first thing they say is “oh my God”, because it’s so pretty inside.
- Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Interestingly, over half of this middle-eastern city’s population is made up of ex-patriots. Many foreigners come to Abu Dhabi for business opportunities, but end up staying because of its extremely safe and easy-going atmosphere. Abu Dhabi is one of the safest cities in the Middle East, as well as in the world. Travelers have a very low risk of being mugged, pickpocketed, or scammed. Women that were asked how safe they felt in UAE, said that they felt as safe as they do in their home cities, just as long as you follow the rules. Two of our Greensboro private investigators once accompanied a businessman and a large sum of jewelry to this beautiful country. We provided an advance security analysis and mapped out the entire itinerary, before the important trip, to facilitate a business deal. Private detectives in Abu Dhabi were of great help and provided much-needed intel on a couple of people that were to meet with our Client. There’s something unusual about Abu Dhabi, the largest region of the United Arab Emirates. They’re thirsty for development I might describe it as over-the-top, but I don’t think they’ve decided where the top is yet. In 60 years the region has transformed from desert to cosmopolitan city and it keeps on growing, with luxurious malls and soaring high-rises. Surely they would have sufficient sidewalks of tourists right? Perhaps not. Oh well, I press on to see the sights, starting with Grand Mosque in the al Mokhtar district. But come prepared…. A strict dress code applies. The grand mosque can hold up to 41,000 worshippers it features over 1000 columns, gold-plated walls and chandeliers made with seemingly millions of crystals. It looks like something from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Like I could just eat those crystals. They’re kind of like best applied they’ll say something about it being very grounding about going barefoot on the carpet you can feel the texture of the place. Also, that everyone here is barefoot. Together everybody has the solidarity of the soul… And now we’re off to the Emirates Palace, the city’s iconic luxury hotel. I walked through the central quadrant of the Emirates Palace and it is my favorite word “opulent”. Just don’t tell the staff that I snuck in there wearing sandals or else I might get kicked out next visit. Nevertheless, I continued through the hotel to find other gems. The real point of coming to Abu Dhabi is to “feel rich.” (At least that’s what I heard one Client’s wife say to her lover, while spying on them during dinner.) Here, we have the world’s first gold vending machine and you can pick a currency, and then down here you can choose a design of something that you want or you can just get a gold coin. Then on to the hotel’s cultural museum and from what I understand, David Audio Islands is a new cultural concept that the government and Tourism Board of Abu Dhabi have come up with to educate the public about the history of Abu Dhabi and the Emirates, prior to the development in the region, which has made it such a modern metropolis that it is today.
I say all of this to say, that traveling abroad can be safe and rewarding as long as you chose the right places and plan accordingly. And if you ever find yourself needing international private investigation services, feel free to give us a call. Our private investigators have contacts all over the world and we’ve been to many cities and countries that lovers flock to for a romantic getaway. We’ve investigated other types of domestic cases that have taken us abroad as well. Once we traveled to Mexico to locate a child and assist authorities in getting the child back to his father here in the states. The mother had abducted their young daughter, during one of her scheduled visitations and never returned her. This is just one of many types of cases our professional private investigators conduct on a daily basis.
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