The Earth is shrinking. Not in the chicken little way ecologists are talking about, but places on earth that are unspoiled by man are becoming more and more rare with each passing year. The facts speak clear; with destination travel beginning to pick back up again internationally and with the ever looming threat of a true global economy of, those quiet little places and unique vacations are just not that easy to find anymore. In fact, vacationing is turning into nothing more than bikini farms on beaches around the world where “deadheads” gather every year to splash in some water and meet other “deadheads”. If you are up for some unique vacation spots with substance, here are some destinations not often thought of.
Kathmandu – Nepal
Yeah, there was that song about Kathmandu, but this is one of the most mysterious cities still being used by people to date. For history buffs and those seeking a “spiritual” vacation the two seem to walk hand in hand while in Nepal. With the backdrop of mighty Himalayas and historical sites such as the Royal Palace of Narayanhiti and Durbar Square (meaning literally “place of palaces”) make this a great vacation spot and a must see.
Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
Breathtaking, beautiful and not as expensive as you might think. Rio de Janeiro is everything you have heard about. The carnivals and samba dancing are unworldly, as are the beaches—which seem to grow hotels. Rio de Janeiro is also not a city to be trifled with. Stay in groups and close to populated areas for the most part. But is it worth the trip? ABSOLUTELY!
Moab, Utah – US
This is an outdoorsy type of “do before you die” type of vacation. Moab offers horseback riding, hiking, climbing, four wheeling and little bit of shopping and some of the most beautiful scenery in North America. 12,000 foot mountains plunge into thousand foot canyons in a dizzying array of color and form. This is some good Mother Nature here.
Thatch Caye Resort – Belize
This is a HUGE secret I’m going to let you in on. What’s better than a small island resort? How about a small island resort with only 20 other people on it? Thatch Caye is just such a place. With sparkling blue waters, a semi private beach and great prices ($200 a night US) this is a very rare find. There are other resorts like it around the world, all of which are hard to find, but worth it overall. So taking that tropical vacation before you die doesn’t have to be about fighting oiled bodies just to find your place in the sun.
The Forbidden City – China
What’s so forbidden about it? Not too long ago in history, no one was allowed in. Why? It was the home of Emperors. Here you will find the majesty and grace of ancient dynasties and marvel. There are tours, but book early and bring an extra memory card. The China tourism bureau is helpful about helping book tours, but they will not accommodate you in getting that perfect picture of you on the throne. You’ll have to sneak back in on your own time for that.
Manchu Picchu – Peru
This very important archeological find was left untouched by archeologists until about 100 years ago. Mountain trails built by the Incas criss-cross the vertical landscape and wind through ruins. Any walk feels more like a discovery is right around the bend than a casual stroll. It’s recommended that you see this site before you are too close to death’s door. It is truly a vacation for the athletic.
There is more to Egypt than Pyramids and mummies—however impressive those might be. How about a tour up and down the Nile? And shopping? If you are picturing a dusty bazaar filled with people yelling and holding up chickens, that doesn’t have to be an option. I mean, go for it if you are into that sort of thing, but really, Egypt has one of the most developed economies in the middle-east. So yes, the shopaholic your life will be sated as well.
Ocho Rios – Jamaica
I know what you’re thinking—but you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Ocho Rios is not your typical Caribbean destination for several reasons. Yes, they have a beach there with all the sun you can soak and the windsurfing. But there is some real history there as well as a chair lift tour and yes, a bobsled. I’m serious.
Milford Sound – New Zealand
If Mother Nature could charge admission, you’d pay double to go here. With its towering peaks plunging straight into pristine waters, it is the travelling destination of about half a million people a year. When you look at some of the other vacation spots on this list, Milford Sound offers an exclusion few others can’t compete with. There are tours, camping and overnight boat trips to be had so you can truly enjoy all the rugged beauty.
Again, more cliché, I apologize. But what’s better than the zoo? SAFARI! African safaris are still popular and for exploring a whole alien world—there’s nothing better. See animals most have us have only seen behind bars in their natural habitat. Local culture and cuisine vary, but it is all worth exploring before it is gone forever.
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