They say it’s a small world
1. Bosque de la Primavera Guadalajara, Mexico – The Largest City Park
74,132 acres of forest west of Mexico’s second largest city provides locals and visitors alike with needed respite from the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle. But there’s more to this ‘green lung’ of Guadalajara. Its natural history beckons the hearts of geologists from around the world to study its Giant Pumice Horizon.
- The park has 1,000 different plant species, 137 species of birds, and 107 animal species
- Obsidian is abundant in the area
2. Wellington, New Zealand – The Windiest City
Situated on the Cook Straight, also known as the “river of wind,” Wellington experiences an average wind speed of 18 miles per hour. With 173 days above 36 mph and 22 days over 46 mph, locals will be the first to tell you that “when it rains with wind, forget your umbrella—it won’t be of any use.”
New Zealand’s capital has also made a name for itself as another type of capital: one of coffee and craft beer. If you consider yourself a “hophead,” then you’ll definitely want to follow the Craft Beer Capital Trail, with its list of 20 bars in the city. For coffee snobs, Wellington’s caffeine scene may well become your java heaven. The city’s celebrated baristas take coffee roasting and brewing to another level, and some enterprises have even set up farms with the ultimate goal to cultivate the perfect bean.
- October is the windiest month (the average speed is above 17 mph, 27 out of 31 days)
- Wellington is the southern most capital in the world.
- The Wellington region is known by the Māori as Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui (i.e. the Head of Maui’s Fish)
2. Yakutsk, Russia – The Coldest City
If you’ve ever wanted to know what a Siberian winter feels like, then journey to the city of Yakutsk, 280 miles south of the Arctic Circle. To make the most of your frigid experience, why not relish all that January has to offer? The average day has a mere three hours of daylight and an average high of -40°F. Yet, locals don’t despair because summer temperatures are at a blissful 86°F.
How could this place have ever evolved in such extreme winter conditions? The answer rests under its citizens’ feet. Yakutsk is rolling in mineral wealth! It’s responsible for one fifth of the world’s diamond production, as well as mining 50% of Russia’s gold.
- Apart from wearing fur, Russian tea (i.e. vodka) also helps beat the cold
- Don’t turn your car off in winter (it’ll never start again)
- Leave your eyeglasses in the hotel room (otherwise, they’ll stick to your face in frigid temperatures)
3. Yuma, Arizona, USA – The Sunniest City
Located at the confluence of the Colorado and Gila Rivers, Yuma basks in 4,015 hours of sunlight during the year, and its residents wake up to an average 242 sunny days. It’s no wonder that 80,000 snowbirds from chilly regions in the US and Canada flock there every winter. And with an average high of 68° F, who can blame them? If you happen to be visiting in summer and need to beat the heat, you can cool off by tubing down the Colorado River—don’t forget your sunblock, hat, and shades.
A trip to Yuma wouldn’t be complete without visiting the notorious Yuma Territorial Prison, which opened in 1875. Nicknamed the “Hell Hole” and deemed “impossible to endure, more impossible to escape,” the compound held a slew of western outlaws, including Pearl Heart, who served a five-year sentence for robbing a stagecoach. Ultimately, a lack of space forced the prison to close in 1909, at which time the inmates were transferred to a new prison in Florence, Arizona.
- The average high in summer is 106°F (but it’s a “dry heat”)
- Hernando de Alarcón was the first European to visit the area in 1540 and met with the local Yuma tribe (the next recorded visit by a European was in 1774)
- César Chávez, Civil Rights leader and founder of the National Farm Workers Association, was born in Yuma (he lived there until his death in 1993)
4. Tokyo, Japan – The Largest Metropolitan City
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be one of among 38 million fellow human beings, then there’s no better place to experience that sensation than in Japan’s capital. Once a fishing village called Edo, it was renamed Tokyo, or Eastern Capital, when Emperor Meji moved the imperial capital to there from Kyoto in 1868. Since then, the city has risen from fires, earthquakes, and war to become a megalopolis that 25% of the country’s population call home.
To take in the vastness of 23 wards and three prefectures that make up Tokyo, a visit to the 2,080-foot-high Tokyo Sky Tree will probably do the trick. From the highest observation deck 1,479 feet above the maze of bustling streets, visitors can gaze in awe upon the urban sprawl. Be sure to time your visit right to watch the show of city lights flickering on after sunset.
- Shinjuku Station is the busiest rail station in the world (3.64 million people go through it daily)
- The Tsukiji Fish Market is a whopping 57-square acres (fishmongers sell five million pounds of seafood every day)
- The city paints the Tokyo Tower every five years (it takes one year to complete the task)
La Rinconada, Peru – The Highest City
La Rinconada is an old gold-mining camp in a far-flung area in the Peruvian Andes. 50,000 people live at an altitude of 16,732 feet, and they refer to the rising mountain peak of Mt. Ananea above their city as “la Bella Durmiente,” or “Sleeping Beauty. ( Photo credit-emaze.com, sometimes-interesting.com)
Aswan, Egypt – The Driest City
Aswan receives an average rainfall of 0.861 mm annually, with a mere 1 or 2 mm of rain every five years. Located along the banks of the Nile, a visit to here will take you back thousands of years. Famous for its quarries of granite for the creation of obelisks and statues, Aswan was also a hub of trade and commerce even in these remote fringes of southern Egypt. Many travelers who arrived on Sehel Island left inscriptions in stones to record historical events in ancient times. The Famine Stela tells of a seven-year drought and famine. (Photo Credit-Wikipedia)
Jericho, West Bank – The Lowest City
Jericho, located near the Jordan River 1300 feet below sea level, was the first town in the West Bank that Israel handed over to Palestinian control as part of the Oslo Accords in 1994. Known as and known as “The City of Palms,” Jericho is one of the oldest in the world, with estimates dating its first existence of settlements to 9000 BCE.
Linfen, China – The Dirtiest City
Located in Shanxi Province, the city of Linfen, with a population of 3 million, is the most polluted in the world. According to China’s Environmental Protection Agency, the air is filled with so much coal particles and automobile exhaust particles that no one can’t leave clothing to dry outside, otherwise they’ll turn black. They say that air is so polluted that it feesl as if you’ve smoked 40 cigarettes in a day.
(Photo credit- Huffingtonpost.com, placesbrands.com)
Japan’s bustling capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and anime shops to cherry trees and temples. Tokyo tops the list and remains the world’s largest and most populated city with 38 million people. Though the UN has predicted a decline in the city’s population, it will still remain the world’s most populous city in 2030 with 37 million inhabitants.
Iquitos, Peru – The Least Accessible City
Iquitos is so remote that very few vehicles have been transported, so the city relies on busses, and smaller, motorized rickshaws for transportation. Its the home to 150,000 people becoming the largest Metropolis of the Peruvian Amazon and only way to get to the city of Iquitos is by air or by boat. ( photo credit-moesneverhome, Theguardian.com)
Iquitos is widely regarded as the largest inland city that is inaccessible by road. Since the air and river transport are the main methods for entry or exit of people and goods, Iquitos is considered the 2nd most expensive city to live after Cusco since the cost of living in this city is higher than the normal Peruvian standard.
Kuwait City, Kuwait – The Hottest City
With a population of 2.1 million habitants who can somehow stand the blistering heat and constant sandstorms specially in the summer that plague the capital city each year. The city has an annual mean temperature of 113ºF, with the months of June, July and August averaging highs between 113 – 117ºF.
In 2012, nearby city Sulaibya recorded for the highest temperature ever recorded in Asia at 128.8º F. The city has banned the outdoor work for workers during those months. Most people beat the heat by going to the beach, to the water parks and malls. The city (Photo credit- best-offer4u.com, 2.wayn.com)
Buenaventura, Colombia – The Wettest City
Buenaventura is a coastal seaport city which is wet. Buenaventura means “the good fortune” does that mean rain is good fortune? Maybe because the city accumulates more than 20 ft of rain falls annually. Most of the neighborhoods on the waterfront of Golfo Tortugas are primarily comprised of shacks built on stilts. Buildings located away from the bay, around the city’s undulating hills, are an array of weather worn concrete, corrugated steel roofs and awnings, and the occasional crumbling wooden façade, rotted through due to non-stop rain and consistent moisture in the air. ( photo credit EC/ECHO/ I. Coello, Wikipedia)
The cit’s population is about 300,000 inhabitants and most of them are from African decent (85%). Its mostly rural with some scattered villages throughout.
wikipedia, yomadic, weather channel, CNN,world atlas ( photos)