Adventure Travel

Category: Afghanistan 🇦🇫

Be sure to check out the Afghanistan Destination Profile.

The most populated countries in the world

On 15 November 2022, the world’s population surpassed 8 billion people.

Earth’s population continues to explode » from 1 billion in 1820 to 2 billion in 1930, to 3 billion in 1960, to 4 billion in 1974, to 5 billion in 1987, to 6 billion in 1999, to 7 billion in 2012, and 8 billion in 2022.

Following are the 50 most populated countries using the latest figures available »

  1. India » 1,425,000,000 (April 2023)
  2. China » 1,413,143,000
  3. United States » 339,665,000
  4. Indonesia » 279,476,000
  5. Pakistan » 247,654,000
  6. Nigeria » 230,843,000
  7. Brazil » 218,690,000
  8. Bangladesh » 167,184,000
  9. Russia » 141,699,000
  10. Mexico » 129,876,000
  11. Japan » 123,719,000
  12. Ethiopia » 116,463,000
  13. Philippines » 116,434,000
  14. Democratic Republic of the Congo » 111,860,000
  15. Egypt » 109,547,000
  16. Vietnam » 104,799,000
  17. Iran » 87,591,000
  18. Germany » 84,220,000
  19. Turkiye » 83,594,000
  20. Thailand » 69,795,000
  21. France » 68,522,000
  22. United Kingdom » 68,139,000
  23. Tanzania » 65,643,000
  24. Italy » 61,022,000
  25. South Africa » 58,048,000
  26. Myanmar » 57,970,000
  27. Kenya » 57,052,000
  28. South Korea » 51,967,000
  29. Colombia » 49,337,000
  30. Sudan » 49,18,000
  31. Uganda » 47,730,000
  32. Spain » 47,223,000
  33. Argentina » 46,622,000
  34. Algeria » 44,758,000
  35. Ukraine » 43,306,000
  36. Iraq » 41,266,000
  37. Afghanistan » 39,232,000
  38. Canada » 38,517,000
  39. Poland » 37,992,000
  40. Morocco » 37,067,000
  41. Angola » 35,981,000
  42. Saudi Arabia » 35,940,000
  43. Malaysia » 34,220,000
  44. Ghana » 33,846,000
  45. Mozambique » 32,514,000
  46. Peru » 32,440,000
  47. Yemen » 31,566,000
  48. Uzbekistan » 31,361,000
  49. Nepal » 30,899,000
  50. Venezuela » 30,518,000

Book » Van Living 1971 » London to India and back

Anyone who grew up in the 1970’s in North America or Europe will know that van life is nothing new.

Months after meeting, Gay and Jack Reineck outfitted a VW van in London and set out on an adventure. Living in the van for the next 12 months, and 25,000 miles, they travelled through Europe, Turkey­, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to India, and back.

Available from Rufus Guides, the couple have written about their adventure.

A travel diary, journey of discovery, and personal memoir, VAN LIVING 1971 is the story of two young designers beginning a life together.

Along the way they created an enduring love that would last for more than 50 years.

More »

World’s Most Powerful Passports as of Q3 2019

The Henley Passport Index has released its third quarter ranking of the world’s most powerful passports in 2019.

The index is compiled from data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and measures global mobility based on visa-free access to destinations. It also uses data from the index’s 14-year history, “to show how travel mobility has changed over the past decade, looking at which passports have gained in strength and which have fallen behind.”

Japan and Singapore hold the world’s strongest passports, with Visa-free access to 189 destinations. South Korea dropped to second place, joining Germany and Finland with Visa-free access to 187 destinations.

The United Arab Emirates entered the top 20 index for the first time in the list’s 14-year-history, moving up an astonishing 41 spots. Other countries that climbed standings include Taiwan, which climbed 24 places over the past ten years and ranks 30th.

The USA and the UK each dropped to the lowest position they’ve held since 2010, sharing the sixth spot with Canada, Greece, Norway, Belgium and Ireland.

Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Malta, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the USA or the UK.

Afghanistan is once again at the other end of the rankings, with its citizens needing a prior visa for all but 25 destinations worldwide.

Most Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
1. Japan, Singapore (189 Destinations)
2. South Korea, Germany, Finland (187)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (186)
4. France, Sweden, Spain (185)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (184)
6. Canada, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, UK, US (183)
7. Malta (182)
8. Czechia (181)
9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Lithuania (180)
10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (179)

The Least Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:

101. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea (39 Destinations)
102. Nepal (38)
103. Libya, Palestinian, Sudan (37)
104. Yemen (33)
105. Somalia (31)
106. Pakistan (30)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (27)
109. Afghanistan (25)

Source: Henley Passport Index

These passports offer the most travel freedom

The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without first obtaining a visa.

Henley & Partners released this press release today:

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month. Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. The countries have been neck and neck since they both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.

Germany has now fallen further to 3rd place, which it shares with South Korea and France. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries. France moved up a place last Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan. Iraq and Afghanistan continues to sit at the bottom (106th) of the Henley Passport Index — based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association(IATA).

The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot — from 4th to 5th place — with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers, it seems unlikely they will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015 any time soon.

In general, the UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide currently, and looking ahead, the most dramatic climb might come from Kosovo, which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council.

Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking. The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St. Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places, to 71st overall.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs all fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index. Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI program in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008. “The travel freedom that comes with a second passport is significant, while the economic and societal value that CBI programs generate for host countries can be transformative,” says Dr. Kälin.

The top countries are:

1. Japan (190 countries)

2. Singapore (189 countries)

3. Germany (188 countries)

4. (Tied) France, South Korea, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Spain (187 countries)

5. (Tied) Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, USA (186 countries)

6. (Tied) Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland (185 countries)

7. (Tied) Australia, Greece, Malta (183 countries)

8. (Tied) New Zealand, Czech Republic (182 countries)

9. Iceland (181 countries)

10. (Tied) Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia (180 countries)

Why You Must Travel the Silk Road in Your Lifetime

History is full of long and legendary highways but none – frankly – come close to the Silk Road. It’s not just the magnitude (at least 4,000 miles, in more than 40 countries) but the mythic potency of the project. The world was cleft into east and west in the Middle Ages.

But long before, the Silk Road – which has existed in one form or another since the fourth century BC – breached any such divide. While trade was its raison d’être – Chinese silk, of course, but also salt, sugar, spices, ivory, jade, fur and other luxury goods – the road forged deep social, cultural and religious links between disparate peoples.

And

The Silk Road was not a road, but a network. The central caravan tract followed the Great Wall, climbed the Pamir Mountains into Afghanistan, and crossed to the Levant. Along the way were spurs branching off to river ports, caravanserai, oases, markets and pilgrimage centres. Journeys demanded meticulous preparation: the Silk Road and its tributaries cut through some of the harshest, highest, wildest places on Earth.

Read More at The Telegraph (paywall)…