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Old 03-09-2015, 12:21 PM
 
56 posts, read 249,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Just first hand experience from last year.

I walked around a lot during the daytime, and generally felt safe, BY AFRICA STANDARDS. But, I wouldn't say its safe by Asian standards by any means. By Asia standards, I'd say it has a similar feel to the Philippines or Cambodia in safety feel.

The problem with Addis Ababa is that there are very few streetlights at night. In addition to that, there are many spread out streets that have a very empty feeling everywhere. So, you have to be careful just wandering around at night, as that scarcity of lights and people, can be an issue.

There were also places that a tourist SHOULD avoid. The central bus station which is a bit chaotic, and the cheap market that is a good place to get pickpocketed.

BUT, in general, I didn't feel any sinister feel. People were nice, and I think crime would be more opportunistic. There are some pickpocket types about. They won't violently rob you in Addis, but you might get in a situation where someone might try to get that camera or wallet or cellphone out of your pocket without you knowing it.

That being said, nothing happened to me, but another traveler I met had his cellphone lifted from his pocket in daylight. For me, I went out with a few other foreigners, and was barhopping in a bit of dark spot of a busy place. Had a young teen come up to me, shout something in my face, I immediately made strong eye contact with him, and another traveler type I was with yelled at him, as as he was doing the eye contact thing, he had his arms reaching towards my front pockets - I had little of value on me however. But, still. That was after dark.

In short, its not BAD by any means. I heard often that its much better than most other African capitals. That being said, it's not Japan/Korea/Taiwan/Hong Kong by any means which always feel super safe no matter what time of day or night.
Did you go to gondor and lallibela
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Minsk, Belarus
670 posts, read 730,483 times
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Did it look really poor like a typical third world country?
Is it true that Ethiopians of all ages are constantly begging for money, especially kids always yelling: you! you! you! Give me one bir?))
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateLegacy View Post
Did you go to gondor and lallibela
I wish. No, I only had time for Addis Ababa, unfortunately.

It was one of those situations where I was using Ethiopian Airlines, and extended that layover to four nights and five days. That being said, I loved 'ETHIOPIA', and the photos and images of Gondor and especially Lallibela REALLY appealed to me. I wish I could have seen them.

Addis was interesting, but not as fascinating or as interesting as 'Ethiopia' would have been if I had made it to a special place like Lallibela.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmel View Post
Did it look really poor like a typical third world country?
Is it true that Ethiopians of all ages are constantly begging for money, especially kids always yelling: you! you! you! Give me one bir?))
No, and no.

When I think of 'poor typical third world', I think of images of kids without running water, without electricity, with tattered old clothes on their back, and unpaved roads everywhere. It was NOTHING like that.

Basically, most of Addis has plenty of wide streets and traffic to match. The roads are well-used by cars and vehicles, and plenty of locals are driving around in big cars and parking everywhere. It's not crazy crowded with traffic like say Bangkok or anything. Addis is kind of SPREAD OUT, meaning tons of really wide roads that are a challenge to cross - because the drivers are going fast, and many of the main streets are wide to try to run across. There are also plenty of side streets everywhere too, but they wind a bit, and you can get yourself turned around quickly.

Beggars. Yeah, they are there, but they usually target BOLE, which is the part of Addis where all the locals with money spend their time eating and drinking. They aren't everywhere, but you will see them 'doing the rounds' through there. [As an side, WAY LESS BEGGARS than you'll see if you are walking around downtown San Francisco's Market Street, and way less aggressive]. For the most part, I wasn't bothered much at all by beggars, but they are around a bit.

Kids. I read tons of stories of kids yelling for pens or gifts or whatever else. I had ZERO interactions like that with any kid. Maybe it was like that 10-15 years ago, or maybe its like that outside of Addis. But in Addis itself, I had NO experience like that anywhere.

All this being said, I also hired a taxi driver to just take me all around Addis for 2-3 hours, so I could see all the more important sites with the same driver. As I did this, I got to see quite a few different areas of Addis. There were definitely side streets with poor houses and poorer everything. It was certainly there. But I didn't find it to be much different than what you might see in Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta, etc. [Basically, you have wealth in areas, and poverty in areas, and its easy to not be aware of the other so much, depending on where you spend your time, etc.]
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:45 AM
 
Location: Minsk, Belarus
670 posts, read 730,483 times
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Thanks Tiger Beer, that's really interesting.
Did you go there for your job, or just for fun?
And what about English proficiency of local people?

As for stories about kids screaming you! you! and begging for money, I asked you because I read something like that but that indeed happened 10-15 years ago. Maybe things has changed now, in Addis in particular.

Oh yeah, and did you do the vaccine against yellow fever and take pills against malaria? So, did you somehow protect yourself from typical African diseases?
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmel View Post
Thanks Tiger Beer, that's really interesting.
Did you go there for your job, or just for fun?
And what about English proficiency of local people?

As for stories about kids screaming you! you! and begging for money, I asked you because I read something like that but that indeed happened 10-15 years ago. Maybe things has changed now, in Addis in particular.

Oh yeah, and did you do the vaccine against yellow fever and take pills against malaria? So, did you somehow protect yourself from typical African diseases?
I was only there for 4 days. I didn't take any precautionary measures for malaria. I think I read the elevation was high enough, and I had no intention of leaving the capital city.

I also read TONS of stories online with exactly what you mentioned - kids screaming for money, and I read pens and candies - as apparently that is what multitudes of 'white people' have brought and distributed before on trips into Ethiopia. But, I didn't encounter that in the capital. Maybe if I went to places where Development Agencies and NGO's spent a lot of time, maybe I would have heavily encountered that too? But, as someone just walking around Addis, I didn't experience that.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,773 posts, read 5,116,323 times
Reputation: 4560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Just first hand experience from last year.

I walked around a lot during the daytime, and generally felt safe, BY AFRICA STANDARDS. But, I wouldn't say its safe by Asian standards by any means. By Asia standards, I'd say it has a similar feel to the Philippines or Cambodia in safety feel.

The problem with Addis Ababa is that there are very few streetlights at night. In addition to that, there are many spread out streets that have a very empty feeling everywhere. So, you have to be careful just wandering around at night, as that scarcity of lights and people, can be an issue.

There were also places that a tourist SHOULD avoid. The central bus station which is a bit chaotic, and the cheap market that is a good place to get pickpocketed.

BUT, in general, I didn't feel any sinister feel. People were nice, and I think crime would be more opportunistic. There are some pickpocket types about. They won't violently rob you in Addis, but you might get in a situation where someone might try to get that camera or wallet or cellphone out of your pocket without you knowing it.

That being said, nothing happened to me, but another traveler I met had his cellphone lifted from his pocket in daylight. For me, I went out with a few other foreigners, and was barhopping in a bit of dark spot of a busy place. Had a young teen come up to me, shout something in my face, I immediately made strong eye contact with him, and another traveler type I was with yelled at him, as as he was doing the eye contact thing, he had his arms reaching towards my front pockets - I had little of value on me however. But, still. That was after dark.

In short, its not BAD by any means. I heard often that its much better than most other African capitals. That being said, it's not Japan/Korea/Taiwan/Hong Kong by any means which always feel super safe no matter what time of day or night.
Thanks for the reply. I forgot where and when but I once read an article(or a list?) about the safest countries and they put Ethiopia up there. I guess it's certainly not as safe as they said after all. I mean, judging from your experience it really isn't safe by my standard.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
Thanks for the reply. I forgot where and when but I once read an article(or a list?) about the safest countries and they put Ethiopia up there. I guess it's certainly not as safe as they said after all. I mean, judging from your experience it really isn't safe by my standard.
Well, maybe outside of Addis, it becomes 'Taiwan' safe, which might very well be the case. It's hard to say.

But, in general, from most things I've read, Addis Ababa is one of the safer ''capital cities" in Africa. I don't have any other African countries to compare it to except Cairo, and Addis was way safer in feel that Cairo.

Usually people compare it to its other neighbors like Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, and apparently Addis is significantly safer to them.

I think its all very relative. I also spent a lot of time in South America, and Addis felt safer than cities like Lima and Sao Paulo and Rio and such, but not as safe as say Santiago and Quito. By Japan/Korea standards though, everywhere outside of Japan/Korea, is a bit eye-opening.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:42 AM
 
3,117 posts, read 6,833,192 times
Reputation: 1543
Ultimatelegacy, I totally agree with you.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Sweden
1,446 posts, read 1,500,091 times
Reputation: 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
Thanks for the reply. I forgot where and when but I once read an article(or a list?) about the safest countries and they put Ethiopia up there. I guess it's certainly not as safe as they said after all. I mean, judging from your experience it really isn't safe by my standard.
It was in one of the threads on another forums, I remember this list too. I would say it's right for it to be there. I mean, the only thing I really found 'unsafe' in Addis was the potential pickpockets. Other than that, nothing really made it dangerous at all.
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