Sometimes travel is about having a sense of independence within a country you have little knowledge of. There’s something utterly appealing about finding your way around unfamiliar streets, needing to speak words in the local language in order to get to where you need to, and being what feels like a million miles from home.
Not all the destinations that provide this satisfaction need to be hard to reach though. Sometimes it just takes heading slightly off your own beaten path and exploring a new culture.
Surprisingly simple to reach with the international hub Kathmandu acting as the gateway to this magnificent country; Nepal ticks every intrepid box. Predominantly appealing to outdoor enthusiasts (think Everest Base Camp) or spiritual journey seekers (think the birthplace of Buddha), Nepal has beauty at every turn, and activities for all tastes. Spectacular landscape like Lakeside Pokhara, outdoor pursuits like hiking the Annapurna Conservation Area, mountaineering and kayaking, interesting monuments like Durbar Square, history, wildlife reserves, delicious cuisine and welcoming locals leave travellers returning time and again. Experiencing Nepal can be enjoyed in as little as two weeks or as long as 6 months and being a relatively small country in area, it’s entirely possible to explore vast spaces in short time frames. What might come as the largest surprise for Nepal travellers though is that Nepal noticeably feels safe to explore with little hassle or bustle experienced, and no need for guides or tours; this is a country whose people are born with a trusting quality and who enjoy bonding with other humans which makes it easy for travellers to enjoy navigating freely.
A perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts, solo or female intrepid travellers and those with a love for minimal civilisation within large scale nature. Nepal must visit places include Lumbini, Lakeside Pokhara, Chitwan National Park and Annapurna Conservation Area.
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Becoming a strong tourism contender since the end of a recent genocide through the Khmer Ruling, Cambodia is a must visit for the intrepid traveller. A certain amount of organisation will need to come into play with any Cambodia travel itinerary but the trip will be a relatively inexpensive one, and much of the countries highlights can be covered in less than two weeks. Diversity in spades, culture rich, and spectacular historical monuments will be the highlights for a Cambodia journey. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat through to hiking Bokor National Park, enjoying a boat ride down the Tonle Sap and chilling beachside in Sihanoukville; Cambodia’s humble attitude to an extensive variety of activities contributes to what makes this destination a special one. We recommend visiting Cambodia now before tourism truly takes over.
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An acquired taste, Morocco’s true appeal is in the diverse landscapes – think Sahara Desert one minute then Agadair’s surf beach the next and the Atlas Mountains somewhere in between. There’s plenty of hustle and bustle as the local moroccans move at a slow pace yet exude a certain level of intensity about their interactions; not for the traveller who likes peace and serenity but for those who enjoy getting caught up in energy. Morocco’s hive of activity is deliciously offset by the countries variety of regions and eclectic love affair with colours and patterns which drawn you in with fascinating curiosity. Morocco has a total alcohol ban and speaks three languages – French, Berber and Arabic — but if you are a traveller who enjoys trading in a peaceful journey for visual impact, and contrasting regions this is the intrepid destination for you.
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Of the South American Countries Peru is certainly one to admire. Magnificent landscape and mind blowing ancient sites combined with a gentle pace, make travelling to Peru a pleasure for South American novices. There’s a plethora of travel styles to choose from such as witnessing some of the most photographed historical places in the World through to enjoying an active holiday by hiking the Inca trail, climbing in the Andes or walking through The Amazon rainforest. Each and every Peru travel itinerary promises to be a holiday of immense magnitude on the grand scheme of bucket lists.
Set among valleys with glorious lakes each side, mountain ranges framing the country and surf beaches fringing cities, travellers of Peru will have no shortage of delight at every turn, including those regions which are considered transit areas only. The Peruvian culture is also one to enjoy with their penchant for wearing bright colour palettes and exuding an abundance of social energy at the hands of the local tipple, Pisco sour. Peru is a destination to enjoy in it’s own right – not just as a part of a wider South American excursion. Take 2.5 weeks minimum to truly enjoy a Peruvian travel experience.
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With the advantage of being a relatively small country, Sri Lanka can be comfortably explored in a very short time frame; an ideal destination for the traveller who likes to explore in an intrepid style, yet has time restraints. Expect to find total variety from remote hikes in enormous national parks, small hill villages, marine reserves and wildlife parks, small coastal villages with World class surf breaks and ancient historical monuments. What might surprise travellers the most about Sri Lanka is perhaps the variety crammed into the island which is home to a warm, inviting, and friendly local culture. Sri Lanka is poles apart from neighbouring countries and the chilled vibe can’t help but lure travellers in while exploring with a hassle free sense of adventure. Cheap to travel, accessible and culture rich; Sri Lanka is a must visit for all travellers who love to explore.
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