Off-the-beaten-track

5 travel destinations for your bucket list

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to put our travel plans on hold, and for the most part, stay home. Even if we can’t travel, it’s a good time to plot some future adventures.

With concerns growing about the sustainability of tourism in some of the globe’s more popular destinations, unusual and off-the-beaten-track destinations are being touted as the coming travel trend for when life finally returns to some kind of normality.

So if you’re looking for an unusual destination to add to your bucket list, where should you consider? Here are 5 destinations that you might not have considered, but offer the adventurous traveller a truly unforgettable experience.

Bhutan

Ever feel frazzled by our fast-paced, technology-soaked way of life? Do you ever dream of running away from it all? If you do, then Bhutan may be the answer to your prayers. This stunningly beautiful and isolated Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas has made slow living the centre of its ways of life. A land of monasteries, isolated mountain villages, and sustainable tourism, its government prioritises national happiness over economic development. As a result, tourism numbers are limited and those that do visit find its friendly mixture of the ancient and the modern truly enchanting.


Kazakhstan

Vast, mostly undeveloped and sandwiched in the middle of a cultural crossroads, Kazakhstan can be beautiful one minute and head-spinningly strange the next. The incredible, green mountains of the Tian Shan, (literally translated as the ‘Mountains of Heaven’), the lake dotted steppe and vast desert, make this one of the most diverse landscapes on the planet. Almaty is a leafy city, with a mountainous backdrop that combines the ancient and the modern. Now being promoted as a city break destination, it’s a good time to visit before everybody else does.

Ecuador

Perched between Peru and Colombia by the Pacific Ocean is the dramatically beautiful land of Ecuador. Once part of the mighty Inca Empire, it’s a heady mix of Spanish and indigenous South American culture. The incredible capital city of Quito is arguably the most photogenic in Latin America. Surrounded by mountains, its entire Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage. World-class restaurants, laid-back nightlife and fascinating architecture make Quito an almost perfect destination.

Laos

The fast-paced development that has overrun much of Asia over the past few decades has mostly passed Laos by. Visitors will find a land that still moves to a slower pace, filled with stilt-houses, paddy-fields and saffronrobed monks. Adventure seekers love the underground river caves, wildlife enthusiasts can spot gibbons and elephants, and culture lovers come for the ancient temples. Many of the remote areas are protected, and homestays allow you to experience Laos village life yourself. Whether you’re here to explore or de-stress on a yoga retreat, Laos is a hidden corner of old Asia that is definitely worth a visit.

Samoa

A small nation at the heart of Polynesia, Samoa is a mini-paradise of beautiful beaches, iridescent waters, and dense green jungles filled with crystal clear waterfalls. Barely developed, you won’t find any large scale resorts here. Instead, its ten volcanic islands offer a combination of laid back beach lifestyle, and intensely beautiful natural interior regions to explore.

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