Police bugging inquiry: Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn denies wrongdoing

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn also requests that if specific allegations are to be made against her that she be given “specific notice of what that conduct is alleged to be and what the allegations are”. Photo: Daniel MunozDeputy commissioner drops bid to keep submission secret 
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NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn has denied any wrongdoing in relation to a police bugging scandal and has raised concerns about the possible release of a secret report into the affair during a parliamentary inquiry starting next week.

In a submission to the inquiry, published on Friday, Ms Burn also requests that if specific allegations are to be made against her that she be given “specific notice of what that conduct is alleged to be and what the allegations are”.

The inquiry will examine NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour’s two-year investigation of the bugging scandal, which has at its heart a 2003 internal police inquiry codenamed Strike Force Emblems.

Strike Force Emblems probed allegations of illegal bugging by NSW Police Special Crime and Internal Affairs (SCIA) and the NSW Crime Commission in 1999-2001, known as Operation Mascot, but its report has never been made public.

More than 100 police officers and a journalist were placed under surveillance during Operation Mascot after warrants were approved by the NSW Supreme Court.

But some of the affidavits presented to Supreme Court judges contained no information that would justify the surveillance, and some of their contents were false.

The contents of the Emblems report are particularly sensitive because NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Ms Burn worked at SCIA and one of the detectives bugged was Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas.

Ms Burn had written to the committee asking that her submission to the inquiry remain secret, but suddenly dropped the request on Thursday.

In her submission Ms Burn says she has not read the Emblems report but refers to the recommendation of the Inspector of the Police Integrity Commission David Levine that it not be made public in a 2012 letter to then NSW police minister Mike Gallacher.

Ms Burn quotes Mr Levine’s view that the report was “severely wanting in sound reasoning and logical exposition of investigations said to have been undertaken”.

“In such circumstances, the credibility of the report must be low,” she argues.

Ms Burn also issues a series of denials. They include: Denying that as head of Operation Mascot she instructed Internal Affairs officers to falsify evidence to a Supreme Court judge to obtain warrants to secretly bug police and others not suspected of any wrongdoing that would justify the warrant;Denying she knew Internal Affairs police “intended to fraudulently misrepresent that innocent police were suspected of committing indictable offences” in affidavits to secure the bugging warrants;Denying she directed Internal Affairs police “to use illegal warrants to secretly record conversations of my rivals in the police force”, in particular Mr Kaldas, when she did not suspect him of wrongdoing; andDenying she directed use of illegal warrants to bug Mr Kaldas “as part of a personal vendetta” when she had no reason to suspect him of wrongdoing and that she was seeking to use secrecy laws to cover up her actions.

The parliamentary inquiry is due to begin hearings next Thursday.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Frequent flyer: Greg Mortimer

Greg Mortimer. Greg Mortimer.
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Greg Mortimer.

Greg Mortimer.

HOTEL

My favourite hotel is my sleeping bag and mat. It is particularly good when there is no roof over it or walls around it, like in Antarctica. In fact, when I feel a bit hemmed in at home, I take it out into the backyard for a really good night’s sleep. AIRLINE

I have my own little Cessna 182. If you want to really see Australia, get a Cessna. You can almost land where you like and when you want. The inflight service is excellent. The coffee is particularly good. RESORT

On the rare occasions that I have been to a resort, I’ve luxuriated in Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island. It is owned and run by our good friends Haylie and James Baillie. I can’t imagine a more beautiful place, perched as it is over the waves of the Southern Ocean. It is particularly marvellous in winter when the big ocean storms beat against the cliffs of Kangaroo Island, sending spray hundreds of metres into the air. See southernoceanlodge整形美容医院m.au. LUGGAGE

The centre piece of my sophisticated choice of luggage is a daggy old blue daypack that goes everywhere. Beyond that it is a rich combination of paper bags or a soft bag.  ACCESSORY

My must have travel accessory is my wife Margaret. Not as an appendage, but as a critical element for happy travels. NEXT ADVENTURE

As this goes to print I hope to be in South Georgia on a luxury super yacht. South Georgia to me is one of the best places in the world. In May, we are running a trip to Madagascar with television news presenter and conservationist Richard Morecroft; and in November I plan to be in Iran, which I think is possibly one of the most interesting and most misunderstood countries in the world.

In 2013, Greg Mortimer purchased Adventure Associates and adventure travel company, in partnership with family members and fellow explorers Sue Werner and Henrik Lovendahl. See adventureassociates整形美容医院m.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Drums sound defeat for Uzbekistan

The biggest drum carried into AAMI Park by the Uzbeks on Thursday evening was not quite as big as a bass drum nor as flat in tone. It was loud, persistent, urgent.
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There were several other drums, lighter ones, and during the match they had varied the beat like a dance band trying to cajole a winning tempo for their players. But now it was over and Uzbekistan had lost the quarter-final 2-0. The crowd had numbered 23,381. The Uzbeks numbered 300 and yet, for the whole of the game, they made it sound like there were two teams in the stadium, two proud nations competing.

The lead drummer was a big-chested man with a round face. With the final whistle, his head dropped and I saw tears in his eyes. Then he started again, finding a new beat through the emotion, a solemn tone to accompany a virtuous defeat.  The Uzbeks had been brave. They had kept coming all night. Khaidarov, who had finished the match wearing the captain’s armband, came down and applauded the gallant three hundred. Denisov, the stylish left-back, followed, taking off his shirt and throwing it to the supporters.

At the other end of the ground, throughout the match, a sea of South Koreans in red shirts waved inflatable clappers. Late in the match, after Son Hueng-min scored his second goal, the Koreans turned to song and a pleasant sound like a musical wind passed round the stadium. With the Uzbeks it was non-stop drums and chants although, after Son scored his first goal in extra time, the drumming ominously stopped for a period of perhaps a minute.

That goal came after panic beset the Uzbekistan defence. The ball buzzed around the Uzbekistan goal while Son twice tried to get more than one touch on it and thereby bring it under his control but, in so doing, was pounced on by Uzbek defenders. When it ricocheted back for a third time Son met the ball with his head and Nesterov, the stocky Uzbekistan goalkeeper, was beaten.

I’d met the Uzbeks before the game outside the stadium. Shahina Ahad, the Dandenong restaurant owner who had been responsible for drumming up a crew of Uzbekistan supporters, came with her mother, two-year-old daughter and husband. Uzbekistan needed every person it could get. There are only 70 Uzbeks in Melbourne but others had come from Sydney and Adelaide. One family flew in from Canada.

I’d only been sitting with them a couple of minutes when I was draped in the Uzbekistan flag. I saw a woman nearby clutching another Uzbekistan flag, asking, “Is this the right way to hold it up?” She, too, had been inducted into the Uzbek clan.

A charming young man called Abdurakhmon was the “boss”. He called the change of beats, started chants, incited whistling. He wore a clown’s wig that boasted four fluorescent colours. Pre-match and well into the game, Abdurakhmon was also engaged in running a ticket exchange.

No area had been set aside for the Uzbekistan cheer squad. They simply claimed one and then offered up their tickets as the true owners of the seats, many of them Koreans, arrived. The whole thing was fluid and half-legal, police and security staff hovered around, but no one seemed too bothered. What mattered was out there, on the pitch.

Before the match, I had spoken with Roma, a 19-year-old Uzbek in Melbourne studying commerce. He said the Uzbekistan supporters had spoken with “our players”  the previous day. “They really want to win,” he said. “They have the energy to win.” His favourite player was Sardor Rashidov and, in the course of the game, I saw why. Rashidov has a measure of magic in his feet; he can make his way through and past defenders and was involved in most of Uzbekistan’s best attacks.

Nesterov, the Uzbekistan goalkeeper, had done his warm-up in front of the goal occupied by the Uzbeks. A trainer shot balls at him. He saved to the left, he saved to the right. One passed him; he plucked the ball from the back of his net with palpable regret. He produced a first-class save in the first half, flinging his body to deflect a ball headed for the top left-hand of his net.

But, by the end of the match, Son had beaten him twice, the last time four minutes from the end. Son, who plays for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bungesliga, is an interesting player; he runs around, perfectly poised, with a gait that makes him look like he’s permanently tipped forward. When he acts, it’s decisive.

I approached Shahina, who was wearing traditional dress, in the immediate aftermath of the defeat. Her husband, Alisher, looked shattered. She shrugged and said, “It’s only a game”, but I could see her sadness. It was only a game but it had been that and more than that for the Melbourne Uzbeks.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Why we shouldn’t let terrorism stop us from travelling

Some see it as a new age of terror, but we have always had to put our trust in strangers when we travel. Photo: iStock Some see it as a new age of terror, but we have always had to put our trust in strangers when we travel. Photo: iStock
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Some see it as a new age of terror, but we have always had to put our trust in strangers when we travel. Photo: iStock

Some see it as a new age of terror, but we have always had to put our trust in strangers when we travel. Photo: iStock

Many years ago, on my first overseas trip, I travelled within Italy on a domestic flight with Alitalia.

It was the era when hijacking was used by various militant groups and individuals as a desperate tool to amplify their political messages across the world. The most famous hijacking was of Air France 139 in 1976 by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which concluded in Entebbe, Uganda, when Israeli commandos stormed the plane and freed the hostages. (Cue Hollywood movie.)

Throughout the ’70s and ’80s there were dozens of hijackings, not only by organisations committed to the liberation of Palestine, but by groups as disparate as the Japanese Red Army, Sikh secessionists and the US-based Black Liberation Army.

It was not only various political “armies” who were emboldened by the publicity blitz hijackings earned – many individuals seized the chance to hijack planes for various reasons, from demanding ransoms to demanding that the Pope release the third secret of Fatima in one bizarre case.

Across two decades there were hijackings in Brazil, Prague, Fiji, Leningrad, Finland, California, Indonesia, Kuwait and other diverse international destinations, by no stretch related only to issues in the Middle East. One hijacking lasted 16 days but a good many did not result in loss of any passenger’s life.

Italy at the time was experiencing its own threat from the Red Brigades, so boarding my flight resembled a military operation. I recall walking across the tarmac at Milan airport, guarded by soldiers with machineguns, and then being asked to step in front of my luggage and identify it before it could be loaded on the plane. The flight itself was uneventful, but the boarding was frightening (more for what a nervous soldier might do with his gun than any threat of hijacking).

I am mentioning this for a little perspective on what is going on currently, a seeming increase in the number of horrifying and sporadic terror attacks throughout the world.

Many of these incidents are increasing the anxiety levels of travellers, who wonder which destinations are “safe” now that tourist favourite Paris (at the time of my writing this) is in lock-down. Each time there’s an incident, travellers also may fret a little bit more about the safety of destinations and their chosen mode of transport, whether it be train, bus or plane. Hijacking is less likely in these days of tightened airport security, but we read of other possible horrors such as “underwear bombs”.

This is all apparently evidence of a “new age of terror”, a description I’ve heard bandied around these past weeks. But is it really that new? In the late 1970s, on my first trip, it was pretty confronting to realise that the risk of our plane being hijacked was so great it necessitated the presence of the Italian army in force.

This is not to downplay the nature of the threat itself, but we in the comfortable West still do not live in a world where we realistically have to be looking over our shoulder every minute worrying about a terrorist strike. We are not yet in a “war” as some propose, including those who want to take our liberties away.

Yes, terrorist attacks do happen and maybe they will become more frequent, as the publicity these acts garner is proving an excellent tool of recruitment. But, to put it bluntly, there are myriad ways to die unexpectedly at home and on holiday, and one would be paralysed if each time we thought about travel we ran through all the possibilities in our minds.

Realistically, how can the traveller be vigilant about terrorism? If one puts one’s mind to it, there’s threat in everything. And travel involves a huge amount of trust, starting with the skill of the taxi driver who takes you to the airport. To travel well is to trust other human beings. Most of us who put ourselves in the hands of strangers know this.

In any case, all the above is what I tell myself each time I’m about to get on a plane, and I’ve lived in Paris when my local Metro station was bombed and in New York when American Airlines Flight 11 flew directly over my head and into the World Trade Centre.

Maybe Yemen isn’t on my travel list this year, but Paris and Istanbul, which has recently had an attack in a tourist district, are.

Keep calm and carry on.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Has France become a dangerous destination for travellers?

The world’s most visited country: France welcomed almost 85 million foreign travellers in 2013. The world’s most visited country: France welcomed almost 85 million foreign travellers in 2013.
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The world’s most visited country: France welcomed almost 85 million foreign travellers in 2013.

The world’s most visited country: France welcomed almost 85 million foreign travellers in 2013.

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris are no reason to avoid France.

To underwrite the safety of its own citizens and everyone else on its soil, the French government has deployed massive numbers of police and military forces on the streets of Paris, in other cities and in sensitive areas throughout the country. The deployment is part of a suite of security measures it is hoped will be sufficient to dampen the enthusiasm of any would-be terrorists who might be considering follow-up attacks.

For France, much is at stake besides public safety. France is the world’s most visited country, and welcomed almost 85 million foreign travellers in 2013. Tourism is worth $212 billion to its economy, which amounts to about 7 per cent of French GDP. In the Ile-de-France region, an area that includes Paris, the tourism industry employs 550,000 people. It is the country’s biggest industry.

For visitors, the enhanced security means additional screening at museums, galleries and places of worship, possibly causing delays and inconvenience. There is a possibility of being stopped, questioned and searched by police.

For travellers who might want to visit France but are concerned what the additional security might mean for their holiday, regional France and the smaller French cities might be preferable to Paris.

The Australian Government has not upgraded the advice for France on Smart Traveller, its travel website, as a result of recent events in Paris. It advises travellers visiting France should “exercise normal safety precautions”, the lowest rung on its travel advisory scale.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Traveller letters: Airline food? It’s delicious

Traveller letters, logo Traveller letters, logo
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Traveller letters, logo

PLANE DELICIOUS

Joseph Ting (Traveller Letters, January 10-11), may have a point regarding the inevitable amount of some food waste from aircraft, which is unavoidable to some extent. However, he and his many other airline passengers must have a severe problem with their tastebuds if they find the meals unpalatable and bland.

I have travelled extensively on Qantas, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Garuda, and  Alitalia and others  out of Australia over the last 38 years and have never had a meal which I didn’t enjoy and finish entirely (in economy class only).

Meals on flights to the US are also very palatable as they are all prepared in Australia, to Australian standards, and designed by world-renowned chefs.  However, meals [on flights] within the US cannot be described in the same way, with one meal from New York to Los Angeles consisting of one half of a warm Big Mac.

If Mr Ting has a poor opinion of airline food he could politely decline accepting it when it is offered, or maybe the airlines should give him the opportunity, when booking, to be able to decline the provision of a meal.

– Maxwell  HallLETTER OF THE WEEK

I’m approaching an ATM in Bellagio, Lake Como, but am beaten to it by four women  who have just alighted from a coach. They are standing in front of the cash machine talking loudly and looking frustrated. I settle in to wait my turn, the thought of a cool glass of the excellent local frizzanti secco on my mind.

One of the women is complaining vehemently. “I can’t use this machine,” she says. Thinking of the head start my companions have had at the bar I ask the woman if can I help. She replies: “This machine doesn’t do American!”

Perplexed, I look at the screen, which, as normal, asks the customer to choose a language. There are six languages indicated by a flag symbol. “What is the problem?” I ask. She responds that “there is no American flag! How can I get my money?” I suggest she use the British flag and instructions will appear in English.

The women look at me suspiciously. “Well, I guess maybe that will have to do!” one says, as I assure them it will be OK. Our transactions successfully completed, they thank me for my assistance and compliment me on my good English. I decide to leave well enough alone and take the steps of the narrow laneway to the bar two at a time.

– Norm SimonsMASS APPEAL

Having long ago lived in, and loved, Rome for a decade, I endorse Ute Junker’s choice of not-to-be-missed churches (Traveller, January 17-18). Among many others, one could add: Santa Sabina, crowning the Aventine; San Pietro in Vincoli, housing Michelangelo’s Moses; the Gesu, closely associated with St Ignatius and his Jesuits; Santa Maria in Cosmedin, with the popular Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth) in its porch; Sant’Andrea della Valle, reminding opera fans of Tosca; and Santa Maria in Vallicella (the “Chiesa Nuova”), the previous titular church of the Australian Cardinals Knox and Clancy.

– Michael CostiganWELL TRAINED

Thank you so much Andrew at Airtrain Brisbane, for your excellent service. Our son, on his first trip by himself, left his travel documents at the airport Airtrain counter.  The Airtrain staff found our email address on a document, sent us an email for the procedure to follow for him to retrieve his documents.  I texted this on to him and he collected his documents, the most precious being his Lion King ticket.

– Heather MilliganCLASS CONSCIOUS

We are considering flying either premium economy or business class for the first time on a trip to Europe. Any suggestions of the best airlines? Of course we will be happy to report back on our experiences based on your suggestions .

– Scott LawrieWORST OF BRITISH

Brickbats to British Airways after our recent return flight home to Australia from Paris. My husband and I booked our flights months ahead, but although our booking was obviously linked, we were not seated together for the longest haul, from London to Singapore. We tried to check in online 24 hours out, but the website wouldn’t let us.

Although we arrived at the airport three hours before the flight we were told “it’s too full, you’ll be seated in different rows”.  In Singapore we spent over an hour in the phone queue to BA to try and ensure that we would be seated together on the flight to Sydney, having encountered the same difficulty when trying to check in online.

When we finally spoke to a BA operative we learned they could not help us, and the advice was turn up early at the airport to check in. While we waited in the phone queue, I sent two urgent emails to what is laughingly referred to as BA Customer Support; a week later I have yet to hear from them.

As it turned out, our BA flight from Singapore to Sydney was delayed by half an  hour, so as we were liable to miss our connecting flight home they put us on a Qantas flight. Hooray!

– Deborah ClarkWE WELCOME YOUR TRAVEL-RELATED OPINIONS AND EXPERIENCES

The writer of the letter judged the best of the week will receive a LUXE travel guides box set, valued at $60, including savvy, pocket-sized guides for destinations including Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, London and New York. See luxecityguides整形美容医院m for more details. Letters may be edited for space, legal or other reasons. Preference will be given to letters of 50-100 words or less. Email us at [email protected]整形美容医院m.au and, importantly, include your name, address and phone number.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Things to do in Tallinn, Estonia: One day three ways

Penny Pinch
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Having long since emerged from behind the Iron Curtain to become one of the busier tourist hubs on the Baltic Sea, the Estonian capital is also much better value for money than the more familiar historic centres of Western Europe. Start with elk soup and meat pie at the superb little shop built into the Old Town Hall ($5, raekoda.tallinn.ee) before climbing the 12th-century spire of St Olav’s church ($3, oleviste.ee). Once the tallest building in the world, it has been repeatedly hit by lightning and burned down three times in the last 800 years but still stands to offer vertiginous views over the red-tiled rooftops. Visit the wonderfully evocative Russian market for quality old crockery and high-grade home-made jam ($10, jaamaturg.ee), and the striking Kumu Art Museum for a primer on more recent developments in local painting and sculpture ($8.50, ekm.ee/eng/kumu). Then spend the evening sampling strong, dark house beers and rustic Estonian cooking in the mediaeval candlelit tavern of the Olde Hansa Restaurant ($40, oldehansa.ee), and find a comfortable, affordable room nearby at the Old Town Alur hostel (private doubles from $50, hostel.alur.ee)

Total: $116.50 Easy Does It

Built into the upper walls of the Old Town watchtower, Kohvik Dannebrog Cafe is something of a tourist trap but the coffee and cake is almost good enough to justify the inflated prices, and the setting makes for Tallinn’s most atmospheric breakfast ($25, no website). Just beyond those walls is the Viru Hotel, a high-rise erected by the Soviet regime in 1972 for the dual purpose of accommodating Western tourists and spying on them. The former KBG surveillance centre on the upper floors is now a creepy but fascinating museum with a regular English-language tour ($15, viru.ee). Take the city tram a few stops to Kadriorg Park, where the gorgeous palace built by Peter the Great now houses the Estonian Art Museum ($5.50, ekm.ee) and the surrounding grounds are lined with oak trees and old wooden buildings. If it’s summer you can enjoy a dinner of inventively prepared local produce in the garden at Lieb Resto Ja Aed ($50 with wine, vabalaud.ee/et/restoran/leibrestojaaed), then a movie from an inflatable deckchair at the Katusekino rooftop cinema ($6, katusekino.ee), before taking to bed at The Three Sisters Hotel, a stylishly updated mediaeval merchant’s house (rooms from $150, threesistershotel整形美容医院m)

Total: $251.50 Splash Out

It’s not exactly classic local fare but the Bonaparte bistro does the best espresso and croissants in the Old Town ($20, bonaparte.ee), which should set you up for a morning of browsing the craftsmen’s workshops of St Catherine’s Passage and the boutiques of the burgeoning “Karja Quarter”. Squeezed into those narrow streets are many familiar premium brand-stores – Armani, Burberry etc – and specialist outlets such as Suda, a showcase for Estonian designers Ave Tamme and Julia Havanskaja, among others (budget at least $150, suda.ee). Around noon, head to the harbour for a yacht cruise around the Bay of Tallinn, where you can see the modern-mediaeval skyline from the water and sail past other highlights of the Baltic coast, including Patarei, the sea fortress built by Tsar Nicholas I (from $235 per person, estoniaexperience整形美容医院m). In the evening, you should catch whatever play, opera, or dance recital is being performed at the Von Krahl, a wonderful backstreet theatre now rightly renowned across Europe for bold and astonishing productions ($25 approx, vonkrahl.ee). A world-class six-course tasting menu of gourmet French-Russian cuisine will cost you a lot less at Tchaikovsky Restaurant than it would in Paris or Moscow ($115, telegraafhotel整形美容医院m/restaurant-tchaikovsky), and since it’s located inside The Telegraff, Tallin’s top 5-star hotel, you might as well stay the night there too (rooms from $215 approx).

Total: $760 approx

The writer travelled at his own expense.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

The world’s best cities with the worst reputations

Stunning: The Azadi Tower, or King Memorial Tower, in Tehran, Iran.
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Stunning: The Azadi Tower, or King Memorial Tower, in Tehran, Iran.

Stunning: The Azadi Tower, or King Memorial Tower, in Tehran, Iran.

Marseille harbor with its famous Notre Dame church, France.

Marseille harbor with its famous Notre Dame church, France.

Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, Marseilles.

Grand: The Romanian Athaneum in Bucharest. Photo: 123整形美容医院m

the mosaic arc of Golestan palace in Tehran, Iran. Photo: iStock

Giraffe grazing with the skyline of Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: iStock

Houses in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Statues of Buddha in The Seema Malaka Temple, Gangaramaya in Colombo. Photo: 123整形美容医院m

Downtown Colombo at dusk, Sri Lanka. Photo: 123整形美容医院m

Beauty: The Latin Bridge in Sarajevo managed to survive the Balkans War. Photo: 123整形美容医院m

Bustling: A street market in reborn Naples. Photo: iStock

These walls can talk: A political mural in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo: 123整形美容医院m

Marseille harbor with its famous Notre Dame church, France.

Marseille harbor with its famous Notre Dame church, France.

They are the meanest streets in the world. Cities that feature in nightly news bulletins rather than double-page spreads. Places where dangers lurk on every corner. Bombs. Assassinations. Crime and poverty. Even for the intrepid traveller, these places are way off the itinerary.

Except … cities are living things. They grow, they change, and often, they improve. Sometimes, the world notices. More often, it doesn’t. Cleaner streets and falling crime rates don’t make headlines in the same way as assassinations and piles of garbage  in the streets do.

The cities on this list have had a bad rap for too long. Some are destinations that you may have tried once and written off. If, for instance, your most vivid memory of Delhi is the snarled, smelly, stagnant traffic, you will be thrilled by the clean, efficient metro which puts many global cities to shame.

Other cities, long considered no-go zones, have been doing some under-the-radar reinvention. Tehran’s streets are now filled with chic cafes and friendly people rather than chanting mobs. Medellin, no longer the murder capital of the world, is receiving recognition for its innovative urban initiatives and cutting-edge architecture.

So give one of these outside-the-square destinations a try: we promise it will be eye-opening. Derry, Northern Ireland

The reputation As the site of the “Bloody Sunday” massacre, many still associate Derry with its troubled past.

The reality With the introduction of the Peace Bridge, a pedestrian-only link between the traditionally unionist Waterside and nationalist Cityside of the Foyle River, Derry has taken a huge step towards lasting peace. This once-troubled city is now one of the friendliest and safest to visit.

Don’t miss Take a walk along Derry’s 17th century city walls (visitderry整形美容医院m). Have a pint of Guinness and listen to local musicians at Peadar O’Donnell’s. Visit the impressive Tower Museum to learn about Derry’s history (derrycity.gov.uk).

Do avoid There’s a slim chance of violence around August 12, when the Apprentice Boys of Derry parade through the city streets.

– Ben GroundwaterMexico City, Mexico

The reputation An intimidating megalopolis of drug runners and cartels.

The reality With a few safety precautions, Mexico City still has the power to charm. From its artistic brilliance – check out Diego Rivera’s murals at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, or Frida Kahlo’s works at her former home – to its thriving culinary scene, there’s much to love about “the DF”.

Don’t miss Sip cocktails on the rooftop of the fancy Condesa DF Hotel (condesadf整形美容医院m). See live “lucha libre” wrestling at Arena Mexico (viator整形美容医院m). Spend a day soaking up the atmosphere in the “Zocalo” (visitmexico整形美容医院m). See smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid Walking alone at night, and book your taxi rather than hail one on the street.

– BGMarseille, France

The reputation Mad, bad and dangerous, drug-and-mug capital of Europe.

The reality I’m kidding, right? Marseille?  What  right-minded individual would even think of visiting France’s second largest city and biggest port, one giant unlovely urban horror ringed by an industrial wasteland? Well hold it right there:   Marseille is undergoing a renaissance. In the ramp-up to Marseille’s year in the sun as European Capital of Culture in 2013, the French government chucked  €7bn in regeneration funds at the city, most of it invested along the waterfront in arts centres, apartment blocks, offices and shopping centres.  Signs of  renewal are everywhere, from the 17th-century Fort Saint Jean, formerly a barracks for the Foreign Legion and now remodelled to become part of the city’s Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, to the quayside, where Norman Foster has created Ombriere, a giant sunshade with a mirror-finish underside that offers an upside-down view of the world below.

The paradigm of ugly duckling to swan doesn’t quite work. Cinderella’s glass slipper would never fit Marseille’s horny foot. Yet this is also its saving. The facelift has not erased the wrinkles that make Marseille what it is – a gritty, passionate, ethnically diverse, blue-collar city populated by gregarious people who like to eat, drink and laugh.

The Vieux Port is where Marseille traces its roots, to the trading settlement founded 2600 years ago by Greek settlers. The café-lined quais overlooking see-sawing boats is an essential stop, and don’t miss the daily fish market on Quai des Belges.  It was in this city that  bouillabaisse was born.

Rising from the north side of the port, Le Panier is the city’s oldest neighbourhood, a  maze of streets and now home to  artists, architects and  designers. Take in the ochre-washed facades of place des Moulins then plunge into the labyrinth that leads to the Centre de la Vieille Charité, a 17th-century poorhouse and a cloistered delight, housing two of the city’s leading museums.

Don’t miss Lunch at Café Populaire, a chic rue Paradis bistro.  Take a ferry  to Chateau d’If, the 16th-century prison fortress and inspiration for Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo. See frioul-if-express整形美容医院m

Do avoid The Vieux Port area at night, frequently the scene of robberies, some violent. Dress down, and carry only whatever small amount of cash you might need. Solo women are sometimes targeted.

– Michael GebickiMedellin, Colombia

The reputation The former hometown of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar is ridden with violence.

The reality Like much of Colombia, Medellin is drastically misunderstood. Yes, this was once the homicide capital of South America, but the city has cleaned itself up, becoming a vibrant, welcoming place for travellers. Medellin’s Metrocable – a gondola system running above the suburbs – provides a great way to see the city.

Don’t miss The Fernando Botero sculptures at the Museo de Antioquia (museodeantioquia整形美容医院). Ride the city’s two cablecar routes for an aerial view of the “real” Medellin (medellin.travel). Spend a night eating, drinking and dancing with locals in Parque Lleras (medellin.travel). See smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid Some of the poorer neighbourhoods of Medellin are still unsafe for visitors – listen to locals’ advice.

– BGNaples, Italy

The reputation A dirty, unpleasant seat of Mafia power that’s a pickpocket’s paradise.

The reality Naples is fun.  It might be ramshackle and dirty, but therein lies its attraction – this is a friendly place with no pretension. The Campagnian capital also houses one of Italy’s best museums, the National Archeological Museum, and is the birthplace of pizza.

Don’t miss Order the margherita from one of Naples’ finest pizzerias, Da Michele (damichele整形美容医院). Wander the cobbled streets of the Centro Storico (comune.napoli.it). Sample sfogliatella, the Neapolitan pastry filled with sweet ricotta.

Do avoid While the historic centre  is safe, some of  outer suburbs are best avoided at night.

– BGTehran, Iran

The reputation Frequently listed among the world’s most unlivable cities, Tehran is cramped and polluted, with terrible traffic problems, and boasts the small issue, for visitors, of being one of the seats of the Axis of Evil.

The reality Tehran is not evil. It’s  cramped, it really is polluted, the traffic is hair-raising and you will see the odd piece of anti-US propaganda slapped across a wall – but evil it is not. In fact it’s very much the opposite.

From the moment I arrived in Tehran unsure what to expect, unable to separate reputation from reality, I felt safe and welcome. The taxi driver from the airport offered me those exact sentiments. The hotel manager offered me tea.

It’s intimidating when you take your first steps on the Tehrani streets, realising you’ll have to take mad dashes through that traffic to cross the road, realising you know nothing of what to expect from this possibly dangerous place.

Tehranis, to begin with, don’t seem as friendly as their neighbours in Esfahan. But don’t let the government propaganda fool you: there’s nothing to fear here.

This is a city that’s surprisingly cosmopolitan, where hip young couples smoke  and sip coffee in arty little cafes like Jeanne d’Arc, and stylish women with headscarves  shop up a storm in upmarket northern suburbs. It’s also an ancient city, with a labyrinthine bazaar, and the beautifully decorated Golestan Palace, as well as an extensive network of museums and art galleries.

English is widely spoken. The locals are open, generous. Given half a chance, most Tehranis will invite you to share tea with them, or even come home to share a meal. One taste of Persian food and you’ll realise that’s not an offer you should turn down.

Yes, the traffic in Tehran is bad – but you can put up with it to experience a vibrant city such as this.

Don’t miss  The breathtaking Mirror Hall in Golestan Palace is almost worth the trip to Tehran alone (golestanpalace.ir). The Treasury of the National Jewels houses some of the most impressive rocks around, including the world’s largest uncut ruby, and the Darya-e-Noor diamond (cbi.ir). Check out the anti-US murals on the walls of the former US Embassy – they’ll seem laughable after the warm welcome you’ll receive from locals (itto整形美容医院). See smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid The most dangerous situation in which you’re likely to find yourself in Tehran is crossing the road – follow the locals’ lead and cross where they do.

– BGNairobi, Kenya

The reputation The name “Nairobbery” says it all – this is known as a city rife with crime.

The reality Nairobi is dangerous. Crime remains a major issue in the city; however, with a few precautions Nairobi can and should be enjoyed by tourists, not least because of its varied restaurants, world-class museums, and Nairobi National Park –  a very accessibly place to view game.

Don’t miss  Sample ostrich and crocodile meat at the Carnivore Steakhouse (tamarind整形美容医院.ke). See cultural and natural exhibits at the National Museum (museums.or.ke). Spot wild lion, cheetah, hippo and rhino in Nairobi National Park (kws整形美容医院). See smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid Don’t walk around town alone, particularly at night, and don’t use local “matatus”, or share taxis.

– BGDelhi, India

The reputation Beset with beggars and nightmarish traffic, and between them, the city’s scam artists and lurking infections will empty your pockets and possibly your bowels.

The reality It’s mysterious and magical with a tincture of risk. Step off Chandi Chowk into the knotted back lanes of Old Delhi and you’re in a medieval swirl of tiny open-fronted shops, dodging the fiery cauldrons of samosa sellers and jalebi makers and assaulted by intoxicating smells with the towering minarets of Shah Jahan’s  Red Mosque as a backdrop.

Don’t miss Swaminarayan Akshardham (akshardham整形美容医院m), a Hindu temple set in lush gardens, at its best in the evening for the Water Show. Lodi Gardens, a green oasis surrounding the domed tombs of the Lodhi dynasty close to the diplomatic quarter.

Dinner at Karim’s, legendary Mughal food with atmosphere you could carve, packed into a tiny courtyard in Old Delhi. karimhoteldelhi整形美容医院m. See smartraveller.gov.au; delhitourism.gov.in

Do avoid Watch out for pickpockets and scams in popular tourist areas such as Chandi Chowk, Connaught Circus and Janpath. Female travellers, especially those travelling alone, should pay particular care to their safety.

– MGGlasgow, Scotland

The reputation Rough, tough and dour, the world capital of glassing.

The reality This city’s got soul. Energetic and edgy, Glasgow hosts an incendiary music scene, hipster bars and a cityscape that juggles the glorious Arts and Crafts works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh with sharp-edged modernism. It’s the people who make it, friendly to a fault, with a wicked sense of humour.

Don’t miss Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (glasgowlife整形美容医院.uk), a Spanish-baroque stately pile and home to works of Dali and Rembrandt as well as ethnographic curios. The Willow Tearooms (willowtearooms整形美容医院.uk), a Glaswegian institution, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Necropolis (glasgownecropolis整形美容医院), final resting place of the worthy and well-to-do, brilliantly moody and stuffed with Victorian statuary and mausoleums.  See peoplemakeglasgow整形美容医院m

Do avoid Fringe areas of the city are a potential danger zone but at its heart Glasgow is mostly safe and sane. Stick to the city centre, avoid quiet streets by night and don’t talk to crazy people.

– MGSarajevo

The reputation Siege city, all but destroyed during a three-year siege in the Balkans War.

The reality So much beauty, so much horror. On a sunny summer day, Sarajevo’s location is utterly gorgeous, the snow-capped mountains ringing the verdant valley providing the town with a spectacular backdrop. For those old enough to remember the 1990s Balkan war, however, the mountains carry more ominous connotations. It was from these peaks that the Serbs relentlessly shelled the city in a siege lasting three years, almost starving its citizens into submission.

The siege of Sarajevo resonated throughout the world not just because it played out on our TV screens, but because this city, swept up in ethnic hatreds, had for centuries been a harmonious crossroads between East and West.  Even today, after the massive population shifts that followed the war, its multicultural legacy endures. The largely-restored skyline is punctuated by church spires as well as minarets, and the local cafes offer both hookah pipes and short blacks.

A walk through Sarajevo reveals beauty at every turn. Along the cobblestoned streets, art nouveau buildings and neoclassical houses alternate with 500-year-old caravanserais built to provide shelter for journeying merchants. Magnificent buildings such as the grandly furnished Svrzo House and the gorgeously Moorish Vijećnica, at various times the city’s town hall and its library, are further reminders of the centuries when this city was proud and prosperous.  The old town’s bazaar still ebbs and flows to ancient rhythms, while artisans working in small studios offer everything from handmade shoes to silver filigree jewellery.

Yet sadness, like bullet holes, is ubiquitous in this city. The icily pretty Alpine river tumbles its way beneath  low bridges, each of which has its own sad tale. The Latin Bridge is where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, precipitating World War I; on the Romeo and Juliet bridge, two young lovers, the Serbian Bosko and the Bosniak Admira, were shot by a sniper during the siege. Hikers who head out to explore the scenic foothills pass endless ranks of white marble posts, traditional Muslim burial markers. A visit to the Sarajevo Tunnel, the city’s lifeline during the siege, is a must-do, and a welcome reminder of the resilience of the local people. In a country where the unemployment rate remains at 45 per cent, the need for resilience has not yet passed.

Don’t miss Old Sarajevo with its lively bazaar; a stroll along the riverfront; a visit to the Tunnel Museum. See sarajevo.ba/en, smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid Bikers and hikers love exploring the landscapes outside Sarajevo, but be aware that plenty of unexploded landmines lie in the open countryside. Stick to well-marked paths, and avoid abandoned buildings.

– Ute JunkerPalermo, Italy

The reputation Battered, traffic-choked, crime-ridden Mafia stronghold.

The reality Unchecked Mafia crime is long gone in Sicily’s capital. Behind the grime, Palermo boasts grand baroque palazzi, gorgeous churches and fine street markets – plus the world’s best gelato.

Don’t miss Sicily’s 11th-century Arab-Norman fusion created the exquisite Palatine Chapel (federicosecondo整形美容医院) and treasures of La Zisa palace-museum. Embalmed corpses of 18th-century Palermo notables stand in the macabre Capuchin Monastery. See provincia.palermo.it

Do avoid Bag-snatching from motor scooters is common, so abandon long-strapped bags and keep an eye out. Avoid the Kalsa and Cassaro districts at night.

– Brian JohnstonBelfast, Northern Ireland

The reputation Bomb-ridden Northern Irish capital, divided by sectarian violence and no-go zones.

The reality The end of “The Troubles” brought a startling transformation to the elegant Victorian-era city centre, which features historic pubs, fine-dining restaurants and reinvigorated shopping districts.

Don’t miss Wander the city centre, Donegall Place shops and the historic University Quarter. Titanic Belfast (titanicbelfast整形美容医院m) charts the story of the famous ship, built in the adjacent dockyards (titanicsdock整形美容医院m). The murals of the once notorious Falls and Shankill roads are interesting. See visit-belfast整形美容医院m

Do avoid Tensions escalate on certain anniversaries such as July 4, so stay informed.

– BJKolkata (Calcutta), India

The reputation Bestselling 1985 novel The City of Joy and the fame of Mother Teresa reinforce perceptions of Kolkata as a chaotic, poverty-ridden city mired in slums and on the verge of collapse.

The reality Calcutta became the capital of an emerging British India in 1757 and grew steadily grander. It has magnificent public buildings and elegant squares dotted with vice-regal statues. In the past two decades, things have been steadily improving, with a program of public works and the renovation of its flamboyant historic buildings.

Modern Kolkata is worth seeing too, with its hip shopping malls and fashion boutiques – you’ll find many of the latter under one roof at 85 Landsdowne Road. The city is also one of India’s cultural and intellectual capitals. Visit the museum dedicated to Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore (rbu.ac.in/museum/), the  Oxford Bookstore (oxfordbookstore整形美容医院m), and art exhibitions at Birla Academy of Art and Culture (birlaart整形美容医院m) or the Centre for International Modern Art (cimaartindia整形美容医院m). Watching a Bollywood movie with an excitable local audience is quite the cultural experience.

Overall, Kolkata is for soaking up the atmosphere rather than seeing the sights. One of the world’s biggest cities, Kolkata is designed for one-fifth of its current 14 million inhabitants. True, it teeters on the edge of anarchy: streets run like rivers during the monsoon, buses seem held together by wire and string, slums erupt beneath office blocks, colonial monuments crumble away. Yet somehow the city holds together, and its human energy, constant motion and irrepressible friendliness give it a magnificent sense of street theatre.

Don’t miss The 1767 Park Street Cemetery (christianburialboardkolkata整形美容医院m) and the memorial plaques in St Paul’s Cathedral, sad testament to the hardships of life for the colonial British in India. The Asiatic Society (asiaticsocietycal整形美容医院m) has a fine reading room and collection of imperial coins and European paintings. The vast marble Victoria Memorial (victoriamemorial-cal整形美容医院), commemorating a dumpy Englishwoman who never set foot in India, curiously remains the pride of the city.

The rambling Indian Museum (indianmuseumkolkata整形美容医院) is jammed with coins, Tibetan art, bronzes, moth-eaten stuffed animals and sculptures. The 1835 Marble Palace, stuffed with Asian and European antiques and paintings, presents the lush life of a wealthy local landowner.

It’s worth travelling into the suburbs at Shibpur to see the bird-haunted Botanical Gardens (bgci整形美容医院), notable for their banyan trees and orchid and palm houses. Kalighat is the city’s pre-eminent temple, always an eye-popping frenzy of activity (avoid mornings, when goats are slaughtered). Surrounding lanes are bright with flower markets. See westbengaltourism.gov.in, smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid The drug dealers of backpacker haunt Sudder Street, and the red-light district of Sonagachi, where police disapprove of the presence of foreigners. Begging and petty scams are rife but seldom physically threatening. Avoid the monsoon season, when flooding is common.

– BJUrumqi, China

The reputation Riven with ethnic unrest and one of the most dangerous places in China.

The reality Riven with ethnic unrest and possibly one of the most dangerous places in China, Urumqi, home to the Uyghur race, is also the furthest major inland city from an ocean and start of the Silk Road in earnest before it heads from China and into the Stans.

Don’t miss The seething Islamic Grand Bazaar area, an exotic Uyghur marketplace, is a must, even though its feature is a Han Chinese rip-off of the World Heritage-listed Kalyan minaret in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. See smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid Most visitors tend to travel to and/or through Urumqi as part of organised group tours but if you head off alone conceal your valuables or leave them at the hotel and do eschew protests or any large gatherings that could turn volatile.

– Anthony DennisColombo, Sri Lanka

The reputation Tour operators have traditionally bypassed Colombo (save for its international airport) on their itineraries, believing it to be of little interest.

The reality Funds from a multibillion-dollar World Bank loan have been poured into a massive urban revitalisation project designed to transform Colombo into a major south Asia destination, including a new state-of-the-art port area. Several major colonial buildings have been sensitively restored including the 17th-century Dutch Hospital (uda.lk/dutchhospital/), which has been turned into a restaurant and retail complex in the lively Fort area.

Don’t miss One of Asia’s great colonial-era hotels, the Galle Face Hotel (gallefacehotel整形美容医院m), is nearing completion of the way overdue restoration of its North Wing, dating to 1864, while its South Wing remains open to receive house guests. Adjacent to the hotel is Galle Face Green, a five-hectare seaside public park which comes alive at dusk – perfect for a promenading stroll. See smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid Colombo is a significantly safer city since the end of the civil war but it’s wise to keep valuables out of sight  and beware of all belongings.

– ADLeeds, England

The reputation A grimy, decrepit northern England city best avoided in favour of somewhat more attractive destinations such as York, Manchester and Liverpool.

The reality Leeds, which is only 20 minutes by train from the admittedly lovely York, is overlooked by travellers. But its self-styled epithet as the “Knightsbridge of the North” is not hyperbolic. The original home of Marks & Spencer, Leeds’ is blessed with a delightful, compact shopping precinct, the Victoria Quarter, which includes the beautifully preserved Grand Arcade and the Corn Exchange.

Don’t miss Trinity Leeds (trinityleeds整形美容医院m) is a stylish, exceptionally well-designed new contemporary shopping centre with some of the best shops and restaurants in northern England. Leeds is also home to a Marks & Spencer heritage trail tour which begins at  Kirkgate Market, where the company started well over a century year ago. See visitbritain整形美容医院m; visitleeds整形美容医院.uk

Do avoid Leeds is as safe as any other major city in England though locals do tend to recommend that visitors avoid areas such as Chapeltown and Halton Moor.

– ADBucharest, Romania

The reputation Dreary communist capital of strongman Nicolae Ceaușescu, with more than its fair share of sad orphanages, plagues of pickpockets and gypsy scammers.

The reality True, Bucharest is dotted with hideous communist monstrosities (most notably its infamous parliament, one of the world’s largest buildings), but its wide boulevards were inspired by Paris, and the elegant avenue Calea Victoriei is a Belle Epoque gem. Bucharest also has lovely churches and monasteries, and 18th- and 19th-century civic buildings that add history and elegance. Many  old buildings are being restored. The Romanian capital also has fine museums, pleasant parks and good cafés.

Romania has a  young population, and it shows in Bucharest. The city buzzes with youthful energy and the optimism of an economic resurgence brought about by the country’s entry into the European Union. It has a rather funky outlook, a busy restaurant and bar scene and a new can-do attitude. It’s also bargain-priced compared with western European cities. What’s more, a Roman-based alphabet and Latin-based language make getting about, and navigating menus, somewhat easier than in the rest of Eastern Europe.

Don’t miss The Parliamentary Palace (cdep.ro), Ceaușescu’s 1000-room monument to communist excess. The interior is a riot of marble, silk and oak, and tour guides provide great insight into their dictator’s paranoia and megalomania.

Today, a democratically elected president inhabits Cotroceni Palace (muzeulcotroceni.ro), former residence of Romanian kings. You can visit the royal audience and bedrooms, with their odd mix of simple Art Nouveau, oriental and ornate German New Renaissance styles.

The Byzantine-style 1724 Biserica Stavropoleos church (stavropoleos.ro) is full of carvings and painted icons and often features singing by nuns and monks. On the river beyond the city centre, Prince Radu Monastery has an early 17th-century church set in tranquil gardens.

Bucharest has good museums, including  the Museum of the Romanian Peasant (muzeultaranuluiroman.ro), with its huge collection of colourful icons, national dresses, ceramics and rural furnishings. The overlooked Muzeul National George Enescu (georgeenescu.ro) celebrates the Romanian composer and is worth visiting for its location in a superb Secessionist mansion.

A top place for a stroll is the  Open-Air Museum (muzeul-satului.ro), featuring historic buildings relocated from rural regions. Visit  the Botanical Garden (gradina-botanica.ro) or Cismigiu Gardens (cismigiuparc.ro) for lake boating or challenges on giant outdoor chess sets.

Have an evening out at the Romanian Athenaeum (fge整形美容医院.ro) for classical concerts – it has outstanding acoustics – or the opulent Opera Româna (operanb.ro) for opera or ballet.

See seebucharest.ro

Do avoid Petty thievery and pickpocketing are common. Be alert, especially on public transport, and be wary in particular of children. Avoid the neighbourhoods of Ferentari, Rahova and Pantelimon.

– BJJohannesburg, South Africa

The reputation A weird, gun-crazy, lawless murder capital of the world

The reality The New York of Africa, Johannesburg’s crime rate is still giddily high but efforts are being made to revitalise and humanise parts of the city such as Newtown (gauteng整形美容医院), the city’s emerging creative and culture hub.

Don’t miss For a taste of how far – and how little – South Africa has come, a tour of vibrant post-apartheid Soweto (soweto整形美容医院.za), now safe for tourists of all races to visit and preferably with a guide, is essential. You can even stay  at a range hotels and bed and breakfasts. See southafrica整形美容医院, smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid Fancy an evening stroll? Forget it. Johburg is no walking city.  Leave your flashy jewellery at home and be aware of yourself and your surroundings at all times.

– ADBelgrade, Serbia

The reputation A bleak wasteland, scarred by decades of communism and NATO bombings.

The reality True, some of the ruins resulting from the 1999 NATO bombings are still standing, as jarring as a row of decaying teeth. However, the picturesque city centre has a cosmopolitan vibe, filled with buzzing bars, clubs and restaurants.

Don’t miss Beautiful architecture  around the pedestrian Knez Mihailova; the boho vibe in the cobblestoned streets of Skadarska; two millennia of history in the Belgrade Underground tour (belgradeundergroundtour整形美容医院m). See tob.rs, smartraveller.gov.au

Do avoid Traffic is terrible and taxi scams are common, so ask your hotel to order you a taxi.

– UJ

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Six of the best: Australian glamping camps

Architect-inspired safari tents at Nightfall Wilderness Camp, 45 minutes from the Gold Coast, is the epitome of sustainable chic luxury camping. Architect-inspired safari tents at Nightfall Wilderness Camp, 45 minutes from the Gold Coast, is the epitome of sustainable chic luxury camping.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Architect-inspired safari tents at Nightfall Wilderness Camp, 45 minutes from the Gold Coast, is the epitome of sustainable chic luxury camping.

Flash Camp – Music festivals, NSW

This could be the future of glamping: mobile safari tents that go where you want to be, in this case multi-day music festivals up and down the east coast. With Flash Camp, your four-person tent will be set up and waiting for you when you arrive at, say, Hope Estate’s country music Campfire Festival in the Hunter Valley (March 13-15) or Byron Bay’s Bluesfest at Easter (to be confirmed). The Flash Camp experience includes private bar and cafe, toilets, showers, make-up room, massages and Bedouin communal tent – and that VIP feeling. Tents from $130 a night a person. See flashcamp整形美容医院m.auNightfall Wilderness Camp – Lamington National Park, Qld

Only six guests at a time can stay at this carbon-neutral rainforest retreat on the edge of World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, 45 minutes from the Gold Coast. Each of the three architect-inspired safari tents is the epitome of sustainable chic with king-sized bed, fireplace, rain shower, vintage-tin bath and organic toiletries. There’s also a camp-kitchen and seasonal, local and organic meals served in the Nightfall lounge or by candlelight beside Christmas Creek. Tents from $345 a night including organic breakfast (opening special until February 2015). See nightfall整形美容医院m.auThe Escape – Bawley Point, NSW

Glamps seem to be getting smaller, more intimate. There are just two off-grid luxury tents (with three more planned this year) on The Escape’s 32-hectare property fronting the Clyde River, two hours from Canberra and 3½ hours from Sydney. Activities include bushwalking, swimming and birdwatching, and Pigeon House mountain and Bawley Point’s surf beaches are right on your doorstep, but what sets this place apart is its all-inclusive rate. Turn up with just an overnight bag and leave the rest to your hosts: cooked breakfasts, freshly ground coffee, gourmet picnic lunches by the river and three-course dinners preceded by an oyster-shucking session by The Escape’s resident chef. Tents from $395 a night including all meals. See the-escape整形美容医院m.auPaperbark Camp – Jervis Bay, NSW

Australia’s glamping pioneer has a new king deluxe tent. Larger than its two-person siblings, the “King Parrot” (the new tent’s nickname) can sleep six and has all the eco-friendly touches you’d expect from Paperbark, including solar lighting, bamboo-cotton linen and an outdoor bush shower. Say goodnight to the stars before you turn in, wake to birdsong and dappled sunlight the next morning. Also new this summer are stand-up paddleboards for exploring Currambene Creek and a wood-fired oven for pizzas, roasts and fresh bread at Paperbark’s Gunyah treetop restaurant. King deluxe tent from $590 a night including breakfast. See paperbarkcamp整形美容医院m.auIkara Safari Camp – Flinders Ranges, SA

Anthology, which runs Wildman Wilderness Lodge in the Top End, recently opened 15 spacious new safari tents on a redgum-riddled bush property owned by Wilpena Pound Resort, 400 kilometres from Adelaide. Each airconditioned tent at Ikara (the Adnyamathanha name for Wilpena Pound) is designed to keep cool in summer and warm on chilly outback nights and has a king-sized bed, en suite, enormous zip-open windows to let in light and views of the Flinders Ranges, and a timber deck purpose-built for sunset drinks. Tents from $180 a night. See ikarasafaricamp整形美容医院m.auTanja Lagoon Camp – Tathra, NSW

You can hear the rumble of the surf from Tanja, situated on a former dairy farm next to Mimosa Rocks National Park and just behind the beach at Tathra, 5½ hours south of Sydney. Tanja’s three (soon to be four) tents are right on the edge of a lagoon, each with a handmade timber queen bed under canvas and an adjoining corrugated-iron en suite and kitchenette. The camp follows Leave No Trace principles and plans to offer nature tours soon (the owners are former outdoor education guides). Tents from $215 a night including breakfast from local produce. See tanjalagooncamp整形美容医院m.au

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

One small step for mankind, one giant leap for bell frogs

The Green and golden bell frog. Photo: Nick Moir There are only two thriving populations of this frog, in Homebush and Flemington. Photo: Nick Moir
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Decommissioning and demolition manager Peter Archibald with Conservation Project Manager Julie Seymour at the wetlands on the Clyde fuel refinery site. Photo: Geoff Jones

The Viva Energy conservation plan includes constructing a specialised breeding space. Photo: Nick Moir

The bell frogs were such common native species in the 1960s they were often used for high school science lab dissections. Photo: Nick Moir

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The Green and golden bell frog. Photo: Nick Moir

There are only two thriving populations of this frog, in Homebush and Flemington. Photo: Nick Moir

Decommissioning and demolition manager Peter Archibald with Conservation Project Manager Julie Seymour at the wetlands on the Clyde fuel refinery site. Photo: Geoff Jones

The Viva Energy conservation plan includes constructing a specialised breeding space. Photo: Nick Moir

The bell frogs were such common native species in the 1960s they were often used for high school science lab dissections. Photo: Nick Moir

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The Green and golden bell frog. Photo: Nick Moir

There are only two thriving populations of this frog, in Homebush and Flemington. Photo: Nick Moir

Decommissioning and demolition manager Peter Archibald with Conservation Project Manager Julie Seymour at the wetlands on the Clyde fuel refinery site. Photo: Geoff Jones

The Viva Energy conservation plan includes constructing a specialised breeding space. Photo: Nick Moir

The bell frogs were such common native species in the 1960s they were often used for high school science lab dissections. Photo: Nick Moir

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The Green and golden bell frog. Photo: Nick Moir

There are only two thriving populations of this frog, in Homebush and Flemington. Photo: Nick Moir

Decommissioning and demolition manager Peter Archibald with Conservation Project Manager Julie Seymour at the wetlands on the Clyde fuel refinery site. Photo: Geoff Jones

The Viva Energy conservation plan includes constructing a specialised breeding space. Photo: Nick Moir

The bell frogs were such common native species in the 1960s they were often used for high school science lab dissections. Photo: Nick Moir

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

The disused Shell Oil refinery at Clyde near Parramatta, home to a species of wetland frog – the green and golden bell frog. Photo: Sahlan Hayes/Fairfax Media

Gleaming green frogs barely larger than a child’s hand are set to be a major winner as energy company Shell packs up a decommissioned crude oil refinery at Clyde, in Sydney’s west.

Its subsidiary, Viva Energy, is removing some of the redundant equipment including 26,000 tonnes of steel pipes and towering storage tanks that have been in operation since 1928.

As part of a planning agreement with the NSW Government, the Shell subsidiary will be implementing a habitat cultivation plan for a rare frog breed that has settled along the Parramatta river site.

Green and golden bell frogs are endangered and there are only two thriving populations in Homebush and Flemington. Unusually, they tend to thrive in industrial settings as they have high tolerance for salt and heavy metals.

The local population in the wetlands next to the hulking oil processing centre is understood to be small, but the Australian Museum’s amphibian biologist Jodi Rowley told Fairfax Media  the right steps could see it explode.

“These guys are in trouble, but in the right conditions they become the weeds of the frog world. They lay thousands of eggs, grow fast and can move a kilometre a night,” Dr Rowley said.

The Viva Energy conservation plan includes constructing a specialised breeding space in the wetlands to the north-east of the refinery demolition site, as well as extensive weeding.

All staff and contractors will be trained to wash shoes, wheels and any tools they are taking into the wetlands. Specially trained team members will conduct daily checks throughout the active work sites to collect misplaced frogs and return them to the water.

Even the inevitable mess that comes with dismantling a major established site could work in the frog’s favour.

“Chemicals in the water can actually benefit this tough little frog, because it can kill off the fungus that would otherwise kill the frogs ,” Dr Rowley said.

Green and Golden bell frogs were such common native species in the 1960s they were often used for high school science lab dissections.

But the introduction of harmful kinds of fungus and also the tadpole-eating mosquito fish saw the population decline  90 per cent since then.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.