What do a city in West Africa, a Malibu trailer park, and a town in the Arctic Circle have in common? If you didn't see the title, it would likely be a perplexing mystery. All of these places have a strangely huge cost of living.
When you think of the world's most expensive spots, most often London, New York or Tokyo come to mind. Yet, the places on this list are off the usual tourist track and have the same rent prices as those popular destinations.
Here's a look at five of the most oddly expensive places in the world.
Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park, Malibu, Florida
Paradise Cove is dubbed the most expensive trailer park in the world. In September, it was reported that one of the trailers here sold for $2 million ... in cash! The real shocker is that the person didn't actually own the land - which does have coastal waterfront views. The land is leased from the park for a monthly fee, which means there's a slight bonus in not paying property tax. Who pays $2 million for a trailer? The buyer apparently got this fine property for a steal; it was listed in the spring for $2,550,000. At the time, it was the most expensive double-wide for sale in America.
Huaxi Village, China
Towering above the countryside of Eastern China stands a lone 328m (1,076ft) skyscraper with a giant gold disco ball perched at the top. If that's not enough to tell the wealth of the community, inside the Golden Tower is a one-ton gold statue of an ox, reported to be worth approximately $47.2 million. Wu Renbao is behind the 40-year transition of this once poor village. The original 2,000 families - also those noted to be closest to Wu - enjoy a quality of life unmatched. These families enjoy universal health care, free education and luxurious homes. Most have at least $250,000 in the bank.
There is, however, a huge disparity between the original families and newcomers. Immigrants live in cramped apartments outside the city and typically work 12 hours a day, seven days a week at the city's factories. They do not enjoy the socialist spread of wealth residents receive as getting a residence permit here is an exclusive club.
It's hard to believe the highest cost of living in the world is in southwest Africa. In 2011, Luanga beat out Tokyo in becoming the most expensive city in the world. It's also the most unequal. The city's wealth comes from multinational companies drilling 1.9 million barrels of oil a day - but it's a wealth felt by few. Small shantytowns were moved from beaches and previously farmed land has turned into ritzy apartments for the elite. In Luanda, a fast food meal would cost around $20 and rent in an expat neighborhood costs more than $20,000 a month. Yet, at the same time, most of the citizens are living off less than $2 a day.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
Located in the middle of nowhere Canada, Yellowknife has an extremely high cost of living for a city that can only be reached from the South by plane in the summer. Average winter temperatures in this remote city are between -3 and 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Homes in Yellowknife are some of the most expensive in Canada, with the average home costing between $275,000 and $310,000. Houses just outside the city will typically cost 50% less.
Yellowknife first drew in populations to work at a gold mine in the mid 1930's. The current draw to the area is the diamond mines, located northeast of the city. The gems are shipped down to Yellowknife where they are sorted and polished.
To those who aren't familiar with the former Soviet country, it may come as a surprise that this city has a higher cost of living than Amsterdam or Los Angeles. Almaty is located in a rugged mountainous area boarding Kyrgyzstan. It's virtually unknown to mainstream tourists and, like many other oddly expensive cities, Almaty's leading economic sector is the production of oil.