There are those who will travel to the tried-and-tested locations on the map and then there are those who’ll insist on going off the beaten track. If you are the latter (and we do quite hope you are), this list is for you. As it turns out, the map of the world has a lot more countries that have been left (largely) unexplored by the throngs of tourists. And now might just be as good a time as any other to pack your bags and visit them. So, without much ado we bring you this list of ten countries that are off the beaten track and ones that you totally must visit.
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Laos is located between Vietnam and Thailand is the only landlocked country in southeast Asia. Though it’s one of the lesser explored destinations in the continent, Laos is a quaint country with beautiful vistas and scenery that will definitely satiate a traveler’s soul. From hills and valleys to rivers and monuments, Laos makes for an apt backpackers’ destination. Though the country has been gaining some popularity among budget travelers, there is a lot left for you to explore first hand!
Splendid monuments from castles and churches to monasteries and forts, Romania offers a mix of nature and architecture that you’ll find nowhere else in the world. The country shares with you heroic stories of various kings who ruled the region for centuries, giving Romania a rich collection of places to fall in love with. Transylvania and Bucharest are two cities that you must and absolutely must visit without a fail.
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Home to over 100 Asian ethnic groups, Burma, as it was previously called, has a collection of religious and cultural monuments that treasure tales and folklore that are worth listening to. With heavy Buddhist influence, the country is home to plenty of larger than life monasteries and pagodas that will leave you awestruck. Lined by the Bay of Bengal, Myanmar has a beautiful set of untouched beaches waiting for you to walk around the sandy shores.
Isn’t this picture enough for you to make up your mind that Croatia deserves a spot on your to do travel list? Surrounded by the Mediterranean, the country offers panoramic views of the sea and mountains that will most definitely leave you speechless. If and when you do make up your mind to visit the country, don’t miss out on the Plitvice Lake National Park, it’s just as green as the sea is blue!
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Among the several instabilities that one may hear about with respect to the Middle East, Jordan has been the least in news for intolerance and unstable atmospheres for travelers. The magnificent city of Petra along other destinations to explore have been overlooked for years now. Consider going back thousands of years to the remains of the Nabatean Empire or imagine sitting by the Dead Sea, or visiting the historic Crusader citadel at Kerak, Jordan is a country for history aficionados and for lovers of something new!
Considering that Mongolia is literally squeezed between China and Russia, it is one one of the least crowded places in Asia, in fact, it is also home to the legendary emperor, Ghengis Khan who went on to rule about half of the world. From skiing to trekking and camping, Mongolia is yet another stunning country that you would’ve read about only in history textbooks, none of which would’ve told you the tale of the only female eagle hunter in Mongolia. Yes, you read it right, Mongolians are known for hunting eagles!
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7. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Though the country suffered tremendously all the way till the ’90s because of the civil war, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a very alluring appeal to it that makes it difficult to give it a miss. The Kravice Waterfalls, and of course the world famous Stari Most (in the picture) are two sites you must visit.
Though it’s not quite easy to access Tonga internationally, it’s paradise for enthusiastic hikers and lovers of water sports. A collection of islands, Tonga is also known as the friendly Isles and can be reached internationally only through flights from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. The pristine waters of the island country are home to a vast flora and fauna, nature lovers, are you listening?
A tiny country located amidst the Himalayas, Bhutan can be reached internationally only through Nepal (apart from traveling via road from India). The Tiger’s Nest Monastery, atop a cliff near Paro, is one of the most iconic buildings in Bhutan. The welcoming people of the Buddhist country are quite a reason to pay a visit. After all, it’s only here that the growth of the country is based on the happiness quotient and not directly the economic growth. Surrounded by the Himalayas, Bhutan offers views of snow clad mountains, rivulets and enthusiastically decorate homes. They say that no two houses in Bhutan are decorated in the same manner. Interesting enough for you to find out for yourself, right?
Liechtenstein is one of the only two countries in the world that are doubly landlocked. It is surrounded by other countries that are themselves landlocked. It is a lesser explored paradise for adventure enthusiasts, snow and castles. The green fields of Balzers and the magnificent Gutenberg Castle will make you want to settle there forever!