The Friendliest Countries in the World 2013
We often hear friends coming back from far flung destinations and raving about how ‘the people’ were the friendliest people they’ve ever met. While this may be true, it’s a big world out there, and ‘the people’ shouldn’t always refer to the staff at an all-inclusive resort or the waiters at the local restaurant whose smile (as they handed you the bill) will live long in the memory.
Considering everyone from the people on the street and bus drivers to police officers and street vendors, here is this year’s list of the friendliest countries in the world.
Throughout the diverse islands of Indonesia, around 240 million people make up the world’s fourth most populous country, and they typically share a sense of intrigue and delight towards foreign visitors, with almost all willing to stop for general conversation and to offer their help with a bright smile.
From Sumatra to Bali, traveling through Indonesia is made all the more enjoyable by its fantastic people.
While Malawians have always described themselves as the friendliest people in Africa, their hospitality is slowly becoming common knowledge around the world. It may be amongst the world’s poorest nations, but Malawi makes up for this with a country of people eager to welcome visitors into their home and spoil them with everything they have to offer.
With a dreamy mountainous landscape running right through South America’s most prosperous and livable nation, Chile and its people are welcoming to many visitors who come looking to travel and explore. While their speedy Spanish may be overwhelming, Chileans will generally go right out of their way to help visitors with a smile, and those who stay long term can expect to find an easy ride integrating into local life.
Traveling or living in Chile is made special by its warm, generous people.
Turkish people have long had a reputation as being some of Europe’s friendliest hosts, which is why so many Europeans make Turkey their annual vacation, with fantastic food and hospitality that certainly takes some beating.
A weekend break in Istanbul or a holiday along the Mediterranean Coast will leave you with fond memories of the friendly Turkish people.
6. New Zealand
Considered one of the safest places to live, New Zealand may seem far from almost anywhere except Australia, but its charming people with their dry sense of humour are a pleasure to be around, and along with the weather and job prospects here, are among the main reasons many expats decide to make New Zealand home. Emigrating to New Zealand is made easier by the countries warm and welcoming people.
When the numerous research institutions release their annual 'World's Most Livable City', it's no wonder numerous Canadian cities retain their top ten place.
Expats and travelers in Canada regard the Canadian people as one of the many positives of the world’s second largest country, and it was recently identified as the best place in the world to raise children. From the big city of Toronto and bright lights of European-esque Montreal, to the laid back waterfronts of Vancouver and Victoria, Canadians are extremely approachable and fun.
This combined with their sociable and humorous personality forms just part of the reason many expats extend their stay in Canada.
Southeast Asians typically love to spoil their guests, whether they are close family or lost tourists, and visitors to Vietnam would certainly not miss the generosity shown by the local people. Everyone from the guy offering you a free ride on his scooter through the traffic of Ho Chi Minh City to the farmers looking for some friendly conversation near Hanoi tend leave their mark on travelers.
Traveling through Vietnam amongst the echoes of the Vietnamese laughter will remain with any visitor for the rest of their life.
Jammed between Europe and Asia, this contrasting South Caucasus nation is home to people who have been put through many tough times over the decades, something which has resulted in a witty sense of humour and politeness, combined with a keenness to spread the word about their little known country through good deeds and remarkable hospitality.
As the backpacker word begins to spread, travel to Georgia and experience its friendly people first hand before the resulting hoardes of tour buses arrive, and experience everything from the Caucasus mountains and the cosmopolitan capital Tbilisi, to the Black Sea beaches and holiday city of Batumi.
They say God gave them his smile, and some smile that is as the Fijian people welcome tourists and holiday makers to their country of 300 plus islands like long lost friends. Whether you’re on one of the tiny islands grabbing a Fiji Beer or asking for directions in the capital Suva, travelers to Fiji have nothing but positive things to say about the Fijian people, who will wish you ‘Bula’ – meaning hello, welcome, love, and health – at every opportunity.
Wish them a friendly Bula in return, and immerse yourself in one of the world’s most hospitable nations.
In these days, very, very few people visit Colombia and leave in hurry, and very few people omit one of the rapidly spreading facts about this remarkably beautiful country: Colombian people are the friendliest people on earth.
From the school kids on the bus to the speed loving taxi drivers, the vast majority of Colombians are brought up with manners unseen in many parts of the world.
You could be lost on the streets of sky high Bogotá, sipping some of the worlds best coffee in scenic Medellín or lazing around the Caribbean coast in colourful Cartagena, in any event Colombia’s people are constantly on hand to show off their country, ensure you know where you are going, and maybe even invite you to the family asado - with nothing expected in return.
However be warned: Colombia is a very difficult place to leave.