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Old 10-31-2012, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Miami sometimes Australia
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Default British Virgin Islands vs. US Virgin Islands

After reading the hellish stories of crime, rip-offs and racism of the USVI, I was wondering if the situation is similar in their British counterpart or is it significantly different.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:05 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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First I would take "the hellish stories of crime, rip-offs and racism of the USVI" with a block of salt. The BVI is way less developed than the USVI with a much smaller population and thus the crime rate generally is much, much lower than in the USVI. Hope that helps.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropical87 View Post
After reading the hellish stories of crime, rip-offs and racism of the USVI, I was wondering if the situation is similar in their British counterpart or is it significantly different.
Compared to St Thomas, all of the other islands are much quieter and safer, including the other US island of St John. That being said, If you are smart, even St Thomas is a nice place. It's just too busy to be a place that I would want to stay.

IMO the island to go to in the Virgins is Tortola (Virgin Gorda is too quiet and the resorts are too isolated). If you can find a place in the west end you will find a beach there called Smuggler's Cove, be forewarned, you may never want to leave this beach.

Day trips from Tortola that are a must are Jost Van Dyke, The Baths on Virgin Gorda (keep an eye on the cruise ship schedule for this one and go when there aren't any in Road Town) and Anegada.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:30 AM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
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IMO it seems the BVI crime rate is much lower than some of the other British Overseas Territories such as the Caymans or Bermuda ... now it's not practically non-existent like the Falklands and Gibraltar but it does not seem to occur on the same scale as say gun violence in Bermuda.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:57 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post
IMO it seems the BVI crime rate is much lower than some of the other British Overseas Territories such as the Caymans or Bermuda ... now it's not practically non-existent like the Falklands and Gibraltar but it does not seem to occur on the same scale as say gun violence in Bermuda.
You're probably correct. Again, the Caymans and Bermuda are more developed than the BVI.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:24 PM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
You're probably correct. Again, the Caymans and Bermuda are more developed than the BVI.
I thought the BVI was trying to get into offshore banking and finance copying Bermuda, the Caymans, and Gibraltar?

I know the British want to encourage a diversified economy beyond tourism and offshore banking as they are terrified of the prospect of having to bail out an Overseas Territory due to the economic crisis but I can't really see what else these small islands can do economy wise.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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BVI is amazing. I was there over a year ago and it blew me away. At one of the marinas, one of the locals told me the crime rate is so low people actually leave their keys in the ignition there while being away. These are not crap boats. These are catamarans costing in the millions. BY FAR the nicest people I've ever met and it's not even close. I remember the first night we stopped in Road Town for a drink. There were some guys there who in the US would be mistaken for gang bangers because of how they dressed (didn't see a lot of that on the island by the way). Yeah, not even close. Really nice guys. We were all joking around minutes later. After that, we drove to the West End where our villa was. Not many street signs, we took a wrong turn and this SUV comes from the opposite direction. Asks us if we're lost. He basically says "follow me" at 1am and goes 15 minutes out of his way to bring us to our place and vanishes. Doesn't accept anything from us as a thank you. Don't get me wrong, there are people there who might be shady, but overall it's by far the nicest, most easy going place I've ever been and it's not even close.

As far as being less developed? It's different there. First of all, they are far from poor. The per capita income there is about the same as the United States. They are one of the richest people in the Caribbean as a whole. If you go there, you notice everyone pretty much has a brand new Suzuki SUV. There are many, many multi million dollar houses there, and there are many financial operations there. The islands have been a destination for the rich, stars, and people in the know for years and they want to keep it that way. The waters there are some of the best in the world and they are top 10 in the world for diving. They have some amazing villas, resorts, etc there and it's basically going to stay that way.

I went with a friend originally from Trinidad and Tobago who has been almost everywhere in the Caribbean. She said BVI is about as good as it gets and likes it even more than her home country (and she's very proud of T&T). I have a coworker who travels all over the world..Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, you name it she's probably been there. BVI is still one of her favorite places in the world.

While there, I looked at how you'd go about moving there if you aren't from there (a "belonger"). You basically have to submit personal references and they do a complete background check on you. They basically won't accept you if you have any major crime on your record (i.e. rape, murder, most assaults, etc). If you want to actually buy a home there, you have to submit a written letter of intent with the government and put 10% down on your property right away. You go through background checks, you have to submit 3 financial references, bank statements, etc. Then you have to put another 10% down after some of that. In the end, they said the whole process can take up to one year to just clear you. Rent there is not cheap either. I have a place in downtown Chicago and the rent here would be around the same as a one bedroom overlooking a bay in Tortola.

Honestly, a lot of people have no idea what they're missing out on. USVI are nice, but BVI is on a whole different level. The government there really keeps things at bay because of how protected everything is. If you know anything about BVI, you'll know that they get plenty of $$ from tourists with money who want a getaway that's not touristy with ridiculously amazing waters. There's a reason Richard Branson bought an island there and built a place you can rent out ($20,000/night or something). The guy is one of the richest in the world. He can do that anywhere he wants. John Travolta and Paul Allen of Microsoft also sail their yachts directly into BVI quite a bit (we missed them by a week last time).

Last edited by marothisu; 12-04-2012 at 08:08 PM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Joshua View Post
IMO the island to go to in the Virgins is Tortola (Virgin Gorda is too quiet and the resorts are too isolated). If you can find a place in the west end you will find a beach there called Smuggler's Cove, be forewarned, you may never want to leave this beach.
We found out about Smuggler's Cove before coming to BVI, so at 8am on our first day (we came in at night) we went there (we were staying at Sebastian's). We were planning on staying for one hour. We were literally there for 6-7 hours instead. The water was ridiculously perfect. I remember walking from the little parking area onto the beach and having a "holy ****" moment. It was the first time I'd been in a "paradise" place that actually LOOKED like all the post cards and promo footage. I went out into the water and floated there looking up at the hills/mountains. It was the most serene moment of my life. I stayed out there floating for a solid hour before coming back. You are right on the money. It's insane. The guy making food there and serving drinks too, Nigel, was awesome. He made some great food and served some great drinks. Really chill guy.

The other places I loved were Josiah's Bay on the east side. We had it all to ourselves. Caine Garden Bay, Long Bay, Cappoon's Bay, Apple Bay etc were great too, but Smuggler's Cove was kind of...ridiculous? Yes..

Last edited by Annie of Oldsmar; 12-05-2012 at 04:07 AM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Hilo, not Key West, despite what lying stalkers post
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Governor Responds to Recent Crime Incidents
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:06 PM
 
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Never been to BVI but to USVI many many times. St Croix is the less I like just too noisy and congregated for my taste and not that many natural attractions like in ST Thomas or St Johns. St Thomas is IMO the best of the three, is like not as fast paced as St Croix not as quiet as St Johns so it has the right mix for my personal taste. I have been in St Thomas many times I have never ever felt that my safety was in jeopardy, now you got to have some street smarts and be aware of your surroundings but thats everywhere you go. St Johns is great, beautiful place tons of natural views and beaches are just drop dead amazing but nightlife is mostly non existent. You can easily stay in St Thomas and take advantage of the places there and then catch a ferry and go to St Johns whenever you like.
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