Month: January 2018

5 Asian Cities that are Off the Beaten Track

Asia is a popular tourist destination. There is a lot to see and do in this beautiful continent, which is why tourists flock it by the thousands.

However, there are only a few Asian cities that feature in virtually every travel magazine. This gives the mistaken belief that only these countable cities are ideal for tourists.

Those who look beyond a few popular cities discover that Asia has a lot more to offer. There are countless other cities across the country that are off the beaten track, but which can prove to be the ideal tourist destination.

Do not let the lack of fame deceive you into believing that these Asian cities, although small, have nothing to offer.

Here are 5 unique Asian cities that you should consider visiting:

5 Asian Cities That Are Off the Beaten Track

  1. Hpahan, Myanmar

Located south of the country, this city is one that doesn’t receive many tourists. Be that as it may, there are a lot of activities to engage in here and beautiful places to visit.

Take for instance the countless caves that dot the town. If you are adventurous, be sure to visit as many of them as you can. You never know what you may find or learn.

The city is also dotted by Buddha statutes and beautiful temples, which only goes to show how important Buddhism is to the locals here. You can use your time in the town to educate yourself on this religion.

If you are itching for more action, you can take a boat trip to the river in the city. The trip to the river can be agonizingly slow but once you get to your destination, you will realize that it was well worth the patience.

Perhaps the best bit about visiting this city is that it’s virtually unexplored. You don’t have to worry about finding throngs of people here, so you can enjoy your stay to the fullest.

  1. Sumba, Indonesia

Sumba has to be one of the most beautiful islands on earth, even though it can’t exactly be described as being touristy. The locals only add to the beauty of the island since they are warm and welcoming people.

If you are looking for a quiet Asian island with grainy sand, azure water, soft breezes and absolutely not crowded, then Sumba is the ideal destination for you. There is a lot to discover in this island: from rare fish species to beautiful corals.

  1. Mae Hong Son, Thailand

This small city north of the country is quite close to Myanmar. It is beautiful to say the least, but there is no better way to see its spectacular beauty than catching a bird’s view of the city from Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu. The view will most certainly steal your breath.

Besides its breathtaking beauty, the city is also home to the long neck Karen tribes. You can visit them and learn about their rich culture and history. The experience is bound to be more than interesting.

  1. Battambang, Cambodia

Battambang is a rare gem for those tourists who visit it. There is simply so much to see and do in it. Did you know that one of the two bamboo trains in the world is to be found in this city?

The city also has an intriguing but sad history. You can learn a lot about the inhumane deeds that were carried out during the Khmer Rouge era by visiting the killing caves located in Phnam Sampeau.

Alternatively, you can opt to take a long boat ride along a scenic river. It is bound to be both rejuvenating and relaxing.

  1. Nang Khiaw, Laos

The last of the unusual Asian cities that deserve a time slot on your vacation schedule is Nang Khiaw, which is found in Laos. What make this town unique are the countless limestone cliffs that surround. Their beauty is magnified several fold early in the morning when they are enveloped in thick mist.

You can trek up to the viewpoint in order to see the town in all its beauty. Granted, the trek might be physically draining, but the view is more than rewarding.

Just because these Asian cities are not hailed as famous tourist destinations does not detract anything from their raw beauty. Make a point of visiting them and you will not be disappointed.

7 European Countries to Visit that Are Off the Beaten Path

Europe tops the charts of continents with some of the most popular tourist destinations. Countries like Germany, France and Spain instantly pop to mind when you think of tourism in Europe. But do you know that there are lesser known European countries that are also great tourist destinations?

Most of these countries are small, or affected by adverse weather conditions, or have suffered terrible calamities in the past, but that doesn’t make them any less appealing as tourist destinations. Here are seven unique European countries you should seriously consider visiting:

Unique European Countries

  1. Estonia

Estonia, which once formed part of the Soviet Union, is now only beginning to attract the attention of tourists. Travelers are now appreciating the raw, unspoiled beauty that this country has to offer.

The country’s capital, Tallinn, is a must- visit whenever you are in the country. The Toompea Hills that surround it are some of the most scenic and climbing them can prove to be a great adventure.

The country is also blessed with many lush forests, particularly in Tartu, south of the country. Rocky beaches and beautiful lakes also form a vast part of the country’s water bodies. There are also lots of other attractions which make this country a great destination.

  1. Albania

Albania may be a small country, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. The long coastline and beautiful beaches are trademark attractions of the country.

Ottoman architecture also adds to the ancient beauty of the country. But what also sets Albania apart from other countries is its booming music culture. By visiting the country you will definitely enjoy yourself.

  1. Latvia

This little known country is also one you should aim at visiting. Each of its many towns has something unique to offer tourists.

Take for instance the somewhat small town of Kuldiga. It is acknowledged by visitors and locals alike as the country’s most romantic town.

You can also engage in various activities in this country, such as bob- sleighing. There are also various parks to visit such as the famous Gauja National Park.

  1. Armenia

Armenia boasts a rich history and a beautiful landscape. Its national symbol is Mt. Ararat, which is a much cherished natural feature in the country.

The country was the first to declare Christianity as it national religion. The mountain is particularly important as it is mentioned in the Bible. It is the mountain where Noah’s Ark landed.

The Yerevan City is a must- visit when you are in the country. Also, make a point of visiting the numerous beautiful monasteries that dot the country.

  1. Serbia

Serbia has something for everyone: whether you like having fun in cities or simply spending time in quiet rural areas. If your idea of a perfect destination is a city with a booming nightlife and a lot of music, then Belgrade, the country’s capital, is a must- visit for you.

Alternatively, you can also visit the lovely countryside for some peace and quiet. You should also explore the country’s various parks and fortresses: you will not be disappointed.

  1. Iceland

Given that it is almost always freezing in Iceland, you would be well advised to visit during summer. On the downside however, it is always extremely crowded during summer so you may not enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

There are a lot of attractions in Iceland. You can see the beautiful rugged landscape if you explore the interior of the country.

  1. Belarus

Belarus may not be on your bucket list of places to visit but it sure should be. This little known country is bursting with plenty of Mother Nature’s beauty.

The landlocked country has plenty of forests. In fact, they make up nearly 40% of the country. Visiting the various forests will give you a chance to see wildlife, even some rare animal species.

Minsk, the country’s capital, is also abounding with attractions. There are dancing lights and water fountains almost everywhere you go. You can also learn rich history lessons from the National Museum located in the capital.

Although these unusual European countries may not be riding a wave of popularity, they are still worth a visit. The next time you are looking for a European travel destination, pick any of them. You will not be disappointed because these countries offer an opportunity to discover the best of Europe.