What places do you think of when planning a vacation – France, Switzerland, Caribbean Islands, Malaysia, Singapore? Why not broaden your horizons a bit and look at some tourist gems that have remained a well kept secret for so long? Leave the usual behind and look at the unusual – chances are you going to be highly intrigued and possibly excited. Besides you come back with a hoard of stories and adventures like no other to regale your audience for several get-togethers, barbecues, and tea parties.
Halfway between Australia and Hawaii, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, lies a string of tiny coral reefs and atolls. That’s Marshall Islands. “In the middle of nowhere” couldn’t get any more literal than this! Used as a spot to test US nuclear weapons in the 50’s these atolls are great places for WWII wreck diving. Should you find something, you can take it home and display it proudly on your mantelpiece, guaranteeing undivided attention and compliments from your friends.
Often referred to as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon,” Bhutan is a small country tucked away in the mountains of Himalayas. The scenery is breathtaking and the remoteness has led many a people to regard it as one of the last Shangri-Las. Bhutan remains an undiscovered gem travel-wise simply because of the several restrictions imposed. Until the 1960s, Bhutan was only accessible on foot from India or Tibet and even today, independent travel is prohibited. The only way you can get into this country is through package tours.
The “Land of a Thousand Hills,” that’s what Rwanda is known as. It such a beautiful and evocative description! However, it is also true that Rwanda’s reputation has been marred by incidents of mass genocide in the early 90’s. But, if you can look beyond that, there are mountains, dense jungles, and grassy uplands to be discovered. In addition, wildlife lovers are sure to be excited by sightings of the mountain gorilla in the forests of Rwanda. In fact, Dian Fossey, the celebrated zoologist, conducted her extensive study on gorillas for 18 years in these very forests.
If you still have images of Nicaragua as a war ravaged country torn by strife and struggles of the Civil War, you are way behind in your facts. The war ended 15 years ago and today it is one of safest countries in the world. The tourism industry of Nicaragua is on an upward climb and cities like Leon and Granada and much to offer its visitors.
Looks like the world just opened up its secrets for you, didn’t it? I know where I am headed on my next vacation. What about you?