Monthly Archives: July 2018

Adventure Travel Destinations

Our world is a place that needs to be discovered, and thankfully, there are a few people who seek to have adventures while exploring the earth. The world has many adventure travel destinations which are located in every corner of the world. What is so interesting about adventure travel destinations is that in most cases, they have a unique, ancient history, yet, not many people have had the guts to go to explore them. Being amongst the few people who dare to visit such places in earth is courageous!

Most adventure travel destinations are located in Africa and Asia. Nevertheless, these continents differ in so many aspects. On the one hand, Africa has unpopulated areas where only ancient tribes may have lived, while in Asia we are talking about cities and villages which have a particular history. Africa’s adventure spots are mostly located in Ethiopia, Kenya and the central Africa, while in Asia they are found mostly in Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

European adventure travel destinations are common mostly in Eastern Europe, including here Russian cities and especially villages. Siberia is another fantastic adventurous place, but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted! The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and so on also offer adventurous trips in various small and large cities. Balkans is also a perfect place to have adventures in Europe! South America is also a perfect place to have adventure traveling! I am not talking about the Amazon jungles, because that takes some bravery, but I’m mostly thinking of small South American villages, which are one of a kind!

Top Europe Adventure Travel

Europe is widely recognized as the continent of culture, humanism and modernism. Nevertheless, on the last few years, it has become the home to many adventure travel destinations, which are being visited by more and more tourists each day. On the other hand, adventure travelling is becoming highly important to many people who like to have new, unforgettable experiences for the rest of their lives.

European adventure travel destinations are mostly located in East Europe, including here Russia, the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), Ukraine, Belarus and the Balkans as well. Russia, for instance, is the perfect place to visit for the people who want to visit small villages where it gets too cold in the winter. Many of these villages resemble much to the villages of the Soviet Union era, and actually, it’s quite interesting to visit such places. In Russia, there is also Siberia which can be considered as one of the best place in earth to have an adventure on!

On the other hand, the Baltic countries, which are full of historic cities, can be considered as adventure travel destinations because they are a mixture of western and eastern culture, and there are many monuments that need to be seen! The Balkans tourism is incredibly on the rise, and this might be due to the large number of adventure travel destinations that not many people have thought of visiting. And of course, backpacking in West Europe’s best destinations of adventure will create you remarkable, fantastic memories of your time there, and so, you should definitely visit them as well!

The US Top 10 Travel Destinations

With a country as large as the United States, many that live there have not seen much of their own country. So, how do they or people from other countries decide where to visit? If a list of the top travel destinations in the U.S. will help you decide, then look no further. The top 10 travel destinations in the U.S. according to Forbes magazine are listed below. These were calculated based on number of people visiting.

1. New York City. The largest city in the United States is, no surprise here, the most visited. Times Square in the heart of the city is busy at nearly all times and offers everything from huge advertisements to Broadway shows. There is a reason they call New York, “the city that never sleeps.”

2. Las Vegas, Nevada. The Las Vegas Strip offers gambling, amazing shows, fine dining and all kinds of shopping. It is no wonder that this city in the desert is so very popular.

3. Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital offers visitors an opportunity to visit the Washington and Lincoln Memorials as well as the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial.

4. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, Massachusetts. This huge outdoor market has more than 100 stores and restaurants. Its historic cobblestone walkway and outdoor entertainment are big hits with visitors.

5. The Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida. This attraction has been a family favorite since it was first opened in 1971. For children and adults, this is really a place were dreams come true.

6. Disneyland in California. Again, Walt Disney knew how to attract a tourist. This original park is visited by millions each year and offers a great time to any age group.

7. Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, California. This area that includes the Golden Gate Bridge and areas around the San Francisco Bay draws multitudes of visitors loving architecture, artistic culture, and fishing.

8. Niagara Falls, New York. This wonder of nature is visited by people from all over the world who wish to stand in awe of such a large expanse of moving water. The lights on the water at night are stunning.

9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina. The gorgeous leaves changing in the fall bring in a large amount of travelers to this area. Hiking, cabins, and small town charm abound in this area of the southeastern U.S.

10. Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois. This pier on Lake Michigan offers amusement rides, shopping and restaurants. Its history as a military training site makes it even more interesting.

Millions of travelers each year in the U.S. can’t be wrong. Go ahead and add these locations to your list and plan your next vacation to visit at least one of the top ten travel destinations in the U.S.

The World’s Most Underrated Travel Destinations

How popular a country is as a travel destination, has as much to do with image as it has to do with how interesting a place is to visit or how accessible or affordable it is. Some simply want to go somewhere because it looks nice while others are drawn to specific locations – whether it’s Tuscany, India or Mauritius – as the image presented by these destinations fits their own personal aspirations. While popular tourist magnets, such as Australia or New Zealand, excel at self promotion, other equally deserving destinations fare less well in the image stakes; they may be a little of the beaten track, have suffered from poor leadership, or simply have failed to sufficiently promote their own attractions. Nevertheless, some of these less appreciated destinations have far more to offer curious independent travellers, than their more adeptly promoted rivals.

Here are some of the world’s most underrated destinations:

Uzbekistan

The three great Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are architecturally outstanding, incredibly atmospheric and great value for money. Majestic mosques and medressas, and huge, ornately tiled minarets seem to reach for the bright blue sky from every other winding alley way. Apart from the members of up-market ‘cultural’ tours from France and Germany, hardly anybody seems to visit them. This situation has hardly been helped by the notoriously corrupt Karimov regime, which insists that visitors pay for a pointlessly expensive ‘letter of introduction’ before even being allowed to apply for an equally overpriced tourist visa. The government’s tendency to massacre protestors and boil alive political opponents, can’t have helped either. Despite the country’s fearsome reputation, the people themselves are incredibly warm, friendly and welcoming. Even the once notoriously corrupt militsia are far more friendly and helpful than you might expect.

For a long time, Uzbekistan may have been well off the beaten track but it is now possible to fly into Tashkent, the capital, on Latvia’s Air Baltic budget airline, from most major cities in Europe. It is also now relatively easy to obtain your letter of introduction and tourist visa through specialist travel agencies such as Stan Tours.

Taiwan

It doesn’t occur to many people to visit Taiwan. It’s a little bit off the Far Eastern backpacking trail, and it’s certainly more expensive than Thailand or Indonesia, but it still has plenty to offer the independent traveller. The Portuguese sailors, who were the first Westerners to visit, named it Ilha Formosa (meaning ‘beautiful island’). After visiting the spectacular Toroko Gorge National Park, you’ll soon understand why. The gorgeous gorge is known for its towering marble cliffs, its rock hewn tunnels and the spectacularly snaking Liwu River. It can easily be visited on a day trip from Taipei but many prefer to base themselves outside of the relatively expensive capital city. Taipei, itself, is bright, lively and fun. As well as Taipei 101 (formerly the world’s tallest building), it also known for its museums, markets and temple complexes. The atmospheric Lunshan Temple is particularly popular and still plays host to ancient Buddhist rituals. Taipei is also renowned for its varied and delicious street food; the Shilin Night Market is always busy and bustling and overflowing with strange new street food to sample such as pig’s blood cake, deep fried stinky tofu and rubbery grilled quails eggs.

It used to be relatively costly to get to Taiwan but with the new generation of budget Asian airlines such as Air Asia and Cebu Pacific, and cheaper flights on Taiwan’s own EVA Air, it is now more affordable than ever. It’s also incredibly safe and easy to visit and Westerners don’t even need a visa.

Tunisia

Tunisia has been a well established package tour destination for Europeans, for some time, but still receives relatively few independent travellers. This may partly be because Morocco and Egypt are cheaper, but Tunisia is still far better value than Western Europe and there’s a lot to see in such a small country. The vast majority of tourists stick to the busy coastal resorts such as Hammamet, Sousse or Jerba, with only the occasional day trip inland, but Tunisia has far more to offer than simply sun and sand. As well as magnificent desert and mountain scenery, there are also ancient Roman ruins, rock hewn troglodyte villages, and lush oases and palmeraies set between desolate Saharan sand dunes.

The recent troubles have badly damaged the tourist industry but most (non government) reports seem to suggest that Tunisia is still a very safe country to travel in. It’s possible to get great value flights through BA.com – especially if you’re willing to book ahead and fly mid week – and once you are there, it’s easy to make your own way around. Perhaps Tunisia’s greatest strengths, however, are its close proximity to Europe, and the huge variety of experiences to be had with so little travelling time between its many attractions.

Georgia and Armenia

Few travellers ever think about visiting the Caucasus, and yet both Georgia and Armenia are crammed full of magnificent mountain scenery and the architectural remnants of millennia of civilisation. Both countries have somehow managed to retain their unique characters over thousands of years of history despite having been conquered at various times by Romans, Mongols, Persians and Ottoman Turks. The people of both Georgia and Armenia are renowned for their warmth and hospitality, and despite the many historical and political tensions that remain across the region, foreigners are almost always made to feel welcome. There still remains a strong Soviet feel within the region, and many within the more rural areas are still very poor, but the larger cities are rapidly modernizing as they struggle to catch up with the more affluent former Soviet nations on the edge of Western Europe.

Georgia and Armenia may be at the very edge of European civilisation but they are now more accessible than ever, and offer a taste of something genuinely different. Flights from the Latvian budget airline, Air Baltic, fly into Tbilisi and Yerevan from all over Europe (via Riga) and there is only a modest visa fee for Armenia (which is straight forward to buy on entry) and there’s no visa fee at all for Western nationals in Georgia.

The Philippines

Like Taiwan, the Philippines are a little off the well worn backpacking trails around the rest of South-East Asia. It’s a bit more expensive, and a little less safe, and it used to take a lot more effort and patience to make your around even a fraction of its 7000 islands. Many visitors are less than impressed with the bigger cities but what really makes the Philippines worth visiting, are its many natural wonder. As well as the stunningly beautiful rice terraces of Banaue, there are also numerous world class beaches, 37 volcanoes, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, and the Underground River National Park in Palawan. If its wildlife you’re into, then there’s always swimming with whale sharks off of Donsol, the peculiar Tarsiers of Bohol, and some of the best diving in the world.