7. Zamboanga City, Philippines
Zamboanga, a large urban center in the south of the Philippines, is affectionately hailed as “Asia’s Latin City”. Its culture is infused with Spanish influences and the official language, Chavacano, is a creole of traditional Spanish and Filipino. The area is ripe with waterfalls, forests, flower plantations, old forts, pioneer churches and geological formations that make it attractive to visitors. Up until recently, it was a regular stop on the local cruising circuit. However, this is one city you should seriously steer clear of for the time being. It has been the center of a battle between the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front. There have been rocket attacks, heavy mortar fire, houses burned and hostage takings. Even an organized kidnapping-for-ransom plot targeting foreigners has been identified in the region. Clearly, heading to a city plagued with these issues is not recommended.