There are some people who are quite happy going on package holidays with tour groups to big cities, iconic places that you normally see in travel brochures, or visit photographic countries that you like on Instagram. But there are also the more adventurous explorers, who like the off-beaten path and less touristy places. Countries that are located in remote corners of the world, with limited wifi connectivity, basic infrastructure, and only thousands of travellers visit each year make them incredibly desirable. If you’d like to discover places that are still quite untouched; ranging from mountains of Europe to the deep seas of the South Pacific, here are some of our top suggestions.
With about 400,000 annual visitors, Madagascar is an island destination off the coast of East Africa that is an absolute paradise for nature and outdoor lovers. Made famous by the DreamWorks movie, astonishingly, 5% of the world’s animals and plants are found here and only here! You can find lemurs, frogs, turtles, sharks, humpback whales, and plants like orchids and desert forests. As to be expected, the roads here aren’t well connected and it can be expensive to get around. But, it’s guaranteed to awaken that adventure spirit in you. From off road driving and national park exploration to kite surfing and rock climbing, you are in for a lifetime experience on this island.
Brunel is a remnant of a naval empire that once ruled the entire island of Borneo and part of the Philippines. Filled with wild terrain, opulent places, water villages and scores of wildlife, you’ll be pleased to know that the rainforests in Ulu Temburong National park are teeming with proboscis monkeys, hornbills and crocodiles.
This Himalayan kingdom where traditional Buddhist culture thrives, is starting to attract tourists, but hasn’t quite become a tourist hot-spot yet. Sitting among the clouds, this small nation requires visitors to pay a minimum tariff of $250 per day, making it one of the world’s most expensive destinations. The reason being Bhutanese pride themselves on sustainable tourism, with a philosophy that Gross National Happiness matters more than Gross Domestic Product. The daily tariff includes an all expenses paid vacation, with accommodation, food, transportation and an official guide. This country doesn’t cater to low-income travellers. If you’re willing to fork the money, you’ll be blown away by the surrounding Himalayas, monasteries clinging to cliffsides, plunging gorges and impressive dzongs. Most importantly, you must be fit to do a lot of hiking.
Not many would have heard of Suriname. This tiny country is South America’s smallest nation, and is a perfect place for you to discover. It’s steeped in colonial Ditch history, filled with endless jungles, deep rivers and rich culture, travellers are bound to marvel at the country’s flora and fauna. Its capital, Paramaribo, is home to colonial buildings and busy markets, giving you a perfect combination of both buzz and tranquillity.
An amazing place to island-hop, French Polynesia is just the place to be to unwind and relax. You’ll leave all your stress behind in this paradise, as you soak in the beautiful blue lagoons. There’s Bora Bora, known for its luxury resorts for honeymooners, and Moorea with its picturesque beaches, dolphin watching and horseback riding. This is indeed heaven on earth, particularly for those who love beaches and the ocean. There’s also a whole host of activities for the water babies in you.
Keep in mind that you’re not going to the busiest places. While it’s great to leave all your worries behind, be sure that you check in with family and friends back home regularly and to connect and call when you can. Your dependable laptop or tablet, a watch, we think the Rolex Explorer would be fitting for the explorer in you, your phone, a guide book or map if you’re venturing to lesser-known paths and a sense of adventure are all you need for this holiday!