The year 2017 is soon going to end and as we set ourselves to welcome the new year (2018), with fireworks, parties and celebrations, here I have picked the top 10 countries you should add to your travel diary in the new year!
Everyone wants their holidays to be within their budget yet memorable and fun, here I am going to write about a few amazing places that may be within your budget and yet, have all the excitement, fun and adventure and cultural experiences that frequent travelers crave for!
Chile is a narrow country stretching along South America’s western edge, full of dizzyingly beautiful landscapes from the wild Patagonia in the south to the Atacama Desert up north or the soaring Andes to the east and the vast Pacific Ocean to the west.
Basic fluency in Spanish would go a long way if you are planning to visit Chile. If you are completely unfamiliar with the language spoken there, I’d advise you to take a quick online course to learn Spanish. Santiago is the capital of Chile, and some must visit places are San Cristóbal Hill, Santiago Metropolitan Park, Fantasilandia.
Another great reason to visit Chile is its amazing food. One of the most popular dishes is Empanada, a pastry filled with meat, cheese or mussels. You can find Empanadas anywhere such as corner shops and simple restaurants.
2) South Korea
The moment we hear South Korea, we usually start thinking about Cherry blossoms season. Yes if you want to catch the cherry blossoms season, the ideal time to travel would be between the months of March to May. Which should give you enough time to learn Korean and brush-up on your language skills!
South Korea has a very temperate climate with all four seasons. Usually, the winters are long, cold and dry. While the summers are short but very hot and humid. Spring and autumn are pleasant but also short in duration. Seoul is the capital of Korea, and some must visit places are N Seoul Tower, Namiseom Island and the Cherry blossom festival of course. One of the most popular dishes of Korea is Bulgogi (Marinated Beef Barbecue), a juicy, savory dish of grilled marinated beef; bulgogi is one of the most popular Korean meat dishes throughout the world.
Portugal is a country of captivating cities, golden beaches, and cobblestone villages. The climate is warm temperate moist forest climate, with wet winters, dry summers and the warmest month above 22 Degree Celsius on average. Its common to meet locals that don’t speak anything other than Portuguese and it would add to your experience if you learn a few basic phrases in Portuguese before your travel.
Portuguese cuisine is famous for its seafood dishes. Cataplana de Marisco is a Portuguese seafood dish with a combination of different delicious seafoods like prawns, littleneck clams, and chourico sausage. The most typical desserts are arroz doce (rice pudding decorated with cinnamon) and caramel custard. The Pena Palace is the finest tourist’s attractions in Portugal and it exemplifies the 19th century Romanticism style of architecture. The Douro Valley is the next best place to visit in Portugal.
It is a mostly French and Arabic speaking country with an intoxicating culture, beckoning beaches and incredible whale shark diving. It would be the great idea if you’d learn French or Arabic before visiting the country. If you already know it you’re at an advantage!
Djibouti is known as an arid country with very hot and humid summers and dry winters. Some of the best places to visit in Djibouti are Lake Assal, Ali Sabieh and Day Forest national park. The traditional foods in Djibouti consist of dairy, meat and grain dishes. Djiboutian cuisine is a mixture of European and African cuisine.
5) New Zealand
This green, peaceful and breathtaking country is the ultimate escape. New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. If you are fluent in speaking English, it would be great because you wouldn’t have to learn anything before visiting New Zealand, since the language spoken there is English. Some of the best places to visit are Auckland, with it’s the thriving multi-cultural hub of cuisine, music, art, and culture, also it’s the largest city in New Zealand.
Milford Sound is the “eighth wonder of the world” when you visit you will experience why it’s called the eighth wonder. The Bay of Islands is also one of the best places to visit, as its particularly famous spot for fishing, sailing, and other watersports.
The language spoken in Malta is English and Maltese and the currency used is Euro. Malta has a Mediterranean climate with very mild winter and warm to hot summer. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the seasons. Look out for Lampuki Pie (fish pie), Rabbit Stew, and Bragioli (beef olives). Favorite dessert delicacies are kannoli (tube of crispy, fried pastry filled with ricotta).
One of the best places to visit in Malta is the Idyllic Island of Gozo; this little island is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing vacation while still discovering the cultural attractions. Another great tourist attraction is the Tarxien Temples. It is the largest and best preserved prehistoric site in Malta.
The language spoken in Georgia is Georgian. The currency used here is Georgian lari. Georgian food is one of the best cuisines to try. Acharuli khachapuri is shaped like a boat and filled with melted cheese, a raw egg, and a slab or two of butter. This is usually eaten for breakfasts. Jonjoli is an interesting appetizer traditional to Georgia. Jonjoli is pickled sprouts. Another popular appetizer is badrijai nigvzit. This is thin, long slices of eggplant cooked until brown and soft, and then a paste of walnuts, vinegar, and spices is spread on the eggplant slices, which are then rolled.
Apart from the cuisine, few must-visit places in Georgia are Jvari, Uplistsikhe, and Gergeti Trinity Church.
It’s an island famous for its dazzling sapphire seas and luxurious beach resorts, where the watery fun includes coral reef dives, kite surfing, and sea kayaking. Mauritius has mild tropical climate throughout the year, with warm summers and dry winters. The currency used in Mauritius is Mauritian rupee and the language spoken is mostly English. The cuisine of Mauritius is a blend of Chinese, European and Indian influences in the history of Mauritius.
Some places to visit are Charmarel and Black River Gorges National Park.
It’s a big, beautiful country, with full of mystery, adventure and lots of fun. The language spoken is Mandarin Chinese. The currency used is Renminbi. The capital of China is Beijing. When you visit China, of course without even mentioning you have to see the Great Wall of China. Next, best place would be the Forbidden City in Beijing.
In east China, close to Shanghai and Hangzhou, the Yellow Mountain Scenic Area has its five wonders: the sun rises, seas of clouds, oddly-shaped rocks, twisted pine trees, and hot springs. Apart from places to visit, there are more things for you to try! Yes, you’ve guessed it right; some foods to try in China are Jianbing (Chinese Crepes), Jiaozi (Chinese Dumplings). These are the most popular street food you should try at least once.
10) Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the national capital of Malaysia as well as the largest city. It’s well known for its iconic skyscrapers such as Petronas Twin Tower. The currency used Malaysian ringgit. Kuala Lumpur weather stays hot and humid most months. As this is a tropical climate, KL does experience occasional rainfall, the intensity of which varies throughout the year.
Visiting KL and not trying a plate of Nasi Lamek, consider that you’ve wasted your trip. Some must visit places in KL are KL Bird Park, Petronas Twin Tower, and Sunway Lagoon Theme Park.