Top Ten Travel Destinations in 2015

Who knows where they are travelling to in 2015?

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Well thanks to Lonely Planet we know where is HOT in 2015……

First is Singapore……..well if you are Australian, it’s one of the most popular stopover cities on route to Europe and it has plenty going for it in 2015. Namely that it celebrates 50 years of Independence. So Singapore is putting on a party, its going to have fun festivities dotted throughout the year and it starts on New Years Eve 2014 with spectacular fireworks and light shows….I’m talking big and bold peoples. Singapore has loads going on all year, every year like…….a great noodle market, some high end shopping areas, Iconic Hotels and a pretty diverse range of tourist attractions.

The other countries are as follows some sound appealing and others I have never really considered before but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be seen…….

Namibia – Touted as having the most stunning landscapes in Africa and the place to see  huge sand dunes,  wild animals and African Culture in all it’s glory. Why not?

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photo by bestravel.com

Lithuania – For a mythical Baltic theme and as much ancient christianity history you can handle!

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Nicaragua – Spunky Latin vibes with a great coastal theme. Perfect for those that have been most places and are looking to shake it up next year!

 

 

 

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Photo by visitnicaragua.us

 

Ireland – Pretty, musical Ireland, Blarney Stone kissing, urban spots with loads of atmosphere, haunting history with stunning landscapes plus the whole pub scene – what else does one need?

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photo by cellar tours.com

 

Republic of Congo – Africa is becoming big on peoples travel lists, although this country seems an unusual choice as the north is a little troubled with lots of warnings to stay away. It does have amazing treks though and if you’ve always wanted to Gorilla in the Mist it, then this place is probably right up your alley. 

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Photo by beautyof-theworld.com

 

Serbia – Simply stunning architecture combined with gorgeous countryside and a good dose of Eastern European style plus that Mediterranean climate.

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 Phillippines – Few know the hidden paradise that awaits in this part of the world. Offers all the beauty, beachy, over water lagoony stuff that The Maldives, Tahiti claim for far less moola $$$. 

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St Lucia – Well the Caribbean is always on the list and St Lucia is one of the better islands to partake of some Reggae and jerk chicken! Plus, amazing landscape!!

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photo by socialphy.com

Morocco – sigh*  #mustdo. This place has a lot going for it and I’m talking great medieval history to food to shopping to hotels!! And then you have the landscape…..If you’ve ever considered a Small Group Tour I would recommend it for this destination as you will get a lot more out of the experience. A local tour guide will really open your eyes and hearts to Morocco.

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Turkey – always been popular but it is becoming THE place to go island hopping on a sail boat trip. Much more affordable and breathtakingly pretty…..plus Turkish Delight in much abundance!

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I have no idea how they come up with these lists, I guess it’s someones job to figure it out!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…..

Claire

 

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Travel Tip Tuesday

Here’s what’s great about travel in my book.

Discovery…

Often today’s western traveller has expectations that when we roam the world our destination will live to an expectation that we saw plastered on the glossy brochure at the local travel agent. Sometimes when we get to that destination it doesn’t quite have the same glossy finish. The turquoise sparkling water and white sandy beaches might exist but don’t look quite as picturesque with rubbish, crumbling buildings and stray dogs interrupting your vista!

These are the times when instead of being critical, annoyed and disappointed we should look for the beauty elsewhere. Embrace ‘discovery’ and all it can offer. When all you’ve seen of a place is from behind the lens of a camera it can often turn out to be quite different.

To me it is the experiences we have from exploring a little of the beaten track, getting to know the locals, eating where they eat, shopping where they shop that can often uncover experiences that stay with you well after you return home.

So today’s tip is to always pack a good dose of your adventurous self and be at all times open to….

Discovery!

Enjoy the world my little explorers xx

China, a perspective..

Below is a guest contribution from my dear brother Tony Miller, who in the past years has found himself involved with working in far flung places such as China, Philipines and Borneo. Tony has kindly sent me some of his experiences of his first trip to China to the Guangxi Province helping to establish and built an eco-friendly camp site for adventure/eco programs for school groups to use. Hope you enjoy…

 

COMMUNISM, REPRESSION, FEAR???  These were the thoughts going through my mind as I was making my decision whether or not to visit/work in China for an undetermined period of time……. I was so WRONG!

I had decided to take up an offer to participate in a project in Yangshuo, Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. It was with great trepidation that I set off on the almost 32 hour flight (includes waiting in airports at Bangkok and Guangzhou, China). Sadly I did have this thing about flying, where I was unable to sleep, (I have since overcome that). So that first flight was pretty tough and I was exhausted by the time I touch down at Guilin airport. It was 9pm, late December, winter in China and I had just left 38 degrees of Aussie summer, you can imagine it was cold! Luckily for me there was a local representative with my name on a card at the arrivals gate,he whisked me off to the ‘speedy’ van in the car park and away we go for the 1 hour 30 minute drive from the airport to my final destination Yangshuo,as it was dark  I had no idea what the surrounding geography was like,  but hiding in the dark all around me was this….

 

Stunning scenery, I caught glimpses of the towering Karst in the darkness. I later learnt that the Karst Region in Southern China are a natural phenomenon distinctive to the region. The Karst are dramatic and often huge stone forests that dot the landscape and create  spectacular scenery. During that first ride through the night in the van I couldn’t concentrate properly –  probably a mixture of the 32 hours of not sleeping, trying to understand the drivers very limited English and the feelings of excitement coursing through my body. I had not seen another westerner since getting off the plane at Bangkok so I was feeling quite ??? different ??? the Chinese will stare openly at a lone westerner in their country and I was in rural China by now so you could say I was something of an oddity..

 

This area of China is for people who like adventure holidays, there are no amusement parks,  beaches, cinemas or fancy resorts – it’s totally rural. If you are  into floating down a river on a bamboo raft, camping, rock climbing or caving……

The Li River at Langshuo. 

Or just a cultural experience along with beautiful scenery…

And of course sharing food and drink with locals

Then Yangshuo is the place to visit.

This is how I got there,

I went budget to get the cheapest flight to Hong Kong … but hang on … make sure you get a Chinese visa before leaving Australia it only takes about 3-4 days … so you’ve landed in Hong Kong airport, get the train from the airport to Shenzen which is the border of Hong Kong and Mainland China,  go through customs (again) once you come out of the train station you are in China; Hong Kong is not China truly, when you come out of the train station there are shopping arcades you can’t miss them they sell suss looking things on sticks but in amongst them are bus agencies and they will sell you a ticket on an overnighter to Yangshuo … the overnighter is something to experience it is a very large modern coach with no seats at all just three rows running up the length of the bus of two tier bunk beds complete with seat belts, a ticket to Yangshuo should cost about 300 Yuan.

Yangshuo is worth the effort, the rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, canyoning are awesome with lots of options to choose from. It is the true rural CHina and is an experience that will stay with me always.

Happy Travels

Tony Miller