Looking for the road less traveled? In this week’s world travel guide, we’re all about intrepid travel.
Suriname’s bustling capital of Paramaribo oozes with an intoxicating vibe of Amsterdam and the Caribbean. Tajikistan’s majestic Pamir Highway offers an epic road trip that would have Marco Polo himself hopping on a bike. Ever heard of Timor Leste? Its Atauro Island has the world’s highest number of reef fish species per site.
Now, would you finally consider swapping Switzerland and Sweden in your travel itineraries for these off the beaten path gems? YES.
South America’s smallest country is the embodiment of diversity. Europe, Africa and even Asia, have all had a massive part to play in Suriname’s growth. The result? A bustling colonial city in the form of Paramaribo. Here’s where the wild west of the Caribbean meets Amsterdam. The striking black and white Dutch colonial buildings form the heartbeat of the city, while the mosques, churches and Hindu temples are its soul.
Parimaribo’s diversity also kicks in once the sun sets, as there’s plenty of partying options. For those looking for a breather from the city life, you’re in luck, as Suriname’s dense forests holds fantastic ecotourism spots. Our world travel guide picks the Brownsberg Nature Park and Central Suriname Nature Reserve as the best places to explore.
For our travel guide, Sweden is the best Nordic getaway. For a country that has impeccable taste in design, Sweden is an open university for even the best of designers. And Stockholm is the pick of the bunch. Known to locals as ‘beauty on water’, this city homes some the world’s most stunning sights.
The Royal Palace and the Gamla Stan are must-visits. The latter homes colorful 17th century buildings along with a growing set of bistros and bars that ooze with sophistication.
On the other hand, head to Visby if you’re looking for an insight into the country’s past. Arguably Scandinavia’s best preserved town, this medieval city is rich in Gothic churches, tiny cottages and endless flower fields.
Switzerland is the great outdoors. During winter, central swiss is the best place to be for some skiing, and when the sun comes up, opt to try your hand at hiking and biking. For the former, Zermatt is the best spot to experience this, with the imposing Matterhorn also adding to what already is a stunning backdrop.
Meanwhile, our world travel guide recommends heading out to Geneva, when the temperature increases. The town’s beautiful lake is a fantastic place to spend spring and summer. Looking for fairytale dreams? The Chillon Castle promises to fulfill your dreams of finding prince charming. So remember to leave your glass shoe behind.
Tajikistan is one of the world’s best natural wonders for our travel guide. Dominated by mountains and adorned with tiny cottages, Tajikistan is the embodiment of the road less traveled. The Iskanderkul is one of the country’s must-see attractions. This mountainous lake offers majestic views, so come prepared with your cameras.
Additionally, no trip here is complete without checking out the Tajik Wakhan Corridor. Bending around the Panj River, either side of towering valleys and endless greenery, this is one spot that deserves your attention and time. Finally, don’t leave without checking out the Pamir Highway. This snake-like route is one of the world’s greatest road trips.
Thailand is a foodies delight. And one of the country’s premier culinary institutions, lies in the heart of Bangkok. While Thailand’s street food is legendary, its fine dining scene has slowly but surely climbed to the top.
For our world travel guide, Chef Gaggan Anand’s Gaggan is the best example of this. The star of Netflix’s incredible Chef’s Table series has constantly ranked in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and is the only Indian restaurant to be placed in this premier class. With doors set to close by 2020, the time is now to experience this culinary mecca.
For those in search of a spiritual getaway, head straight to Chiang Mai. The city is adorned with impressive temples at every turn. Finally, remember the islands. No trip to Thailand is complete without checking them out and taking a dip in its azure waters.
159. Timor Leste
Timor Leste is one of the most untouched parts in Asia. Ringed by stunning coral reefs and dotted with mountain villages, this is one of the best off the beaten paths to explore.
Situated in the north coast, Dili is the capital of this micronation. The city bears the scars of the country’s battle for independence, and the best place to experience this is the Timoreste Resistance Archive and Museum.
However, our World Travel Guide strongly recommends placing Atauro Island in your travel itinerary. Atauro’s rich biodiversity is highlighted in its numbers; the island has the most species of reef fish per site. Therefore, opt for any one of its snorkeling or diving day trips offered from the city center. You will not be disappointed.
Togo offers a great getaway for anyone looking to experience Africa’s diversity. From the open savannah to dense forests and mountains mists to sun-kissed beaches, Togo’s landscape offers a treat for every traveler; exactly what our world travel guides loves about this place. And Lake Togo is perhaps the best place to take in this diversity.
For a more authentic feel, head to Lome. The city is known for its palm – ringed coastline and rich cultural sites. The Akodessewa Fetish Market is the largest of its kind in the world, with plenty of fascinating voodoo crafts for sale. So arrive with an open mind, and you will be rewarded.
Next up on our world travel guide series, join us as we chase humpback whales in Tonga and discover Uganda’s rich flora and fauna. Also, remember Mark Weins? Would he approve of our food – inspired travels in Singapore’s humble hawkers to Sri Lanka’s spicy seafood delights?