1 – Egypt
When most people start planning a trip to Egypt, they immediately picture themselves standing in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza; and rightfully so, they are a wonder of the world!
I certainly wasn’t familiar with many other destinations within Egypt before I took the leap to travel on a group tour. Admittedly, I didn’t do much research prior to my trip since I knew Intrepid would handle all the logistics, but once I started exploring all the interesting places around Egypt, I was hooked. This is a country with such a long and storied past that it would be hard not to fall in love with it!
With its dedication to historical preservation, Egypt is full of even more museums and ancient temples than you might think. (And, tip: most of the sites on the list below are also included on Intrepid Travel itineraries in Egypt if you feel more comfortable traveling this region of the world in a group like I did.)
2 – China
A comprehensive guide to the best of China is impossible. It’s a vast land, encompassing mountains, deserts, forest and enormous cities; it’s one of the world’s great civilisations, with 5,000 years of history; and, as the nation swaggers its way to the front of the world stage, the contemporary landscape is changing faster than anywhere else in the world.
China’s headlong plunge into modernity has made things better – the country is open as never before, new road and rail links make travel smooth and easy, English is more widely spoken and, as the populace embraces a consumer society, food and nightlife have vastly improved.
It would be easy to simply list China’s headline acts, but it’s the country’s smaller, quirkier destinations – with their haphazard charm and air of the unpredictable – that are often the more rewarding. It is more exciting to hike along a crumbling section of the Great Wall than to take the cable car to a reconstructed length; a cute little temple thronging with devotees lighting incense is more atmospheric than one full of snap-happy tourists.
3 – Jordan
From sensational ruins to incredible desertscapes, the famous ancient city of Petra and some Red Sea coastline, along with some of the most amazing hospitality I’ve ever experienced, there’s no question the small country of Jordan packs a big travel punch.
So, if you’re a budget wanderer thinking of ticking this country off your list soon, here’s my perfect Jordan itinerary that’ll get you all fired up and ready to hit up this awesome destination before you can even utter the words Middle East adventure!
4 – Hong Kong
Futuristic skyscrapers set against a shimmering harbor; the chimes from double decker trams zipping through traffic; the smell of roast geese hanging by shop windows: Hong Kong makes a first impression like no other place on Earth. The business and financial hub proudly flaunts—and deserves—the title of “Asia’s World City.” The former British Crown Colony is prime for an urban adventure; from the neon-lit streets of Mongkok to the humble fishing villages in Tai O, you will never run out of sights to discover, and T+L’s Hong Kong travel guide will take you to the best of them.
In Asia’s most cosmopolitan city, everyone seems to be in a rush—dashing off to work in some soaring high rise, hurrying to catch a tram or a subway, speed-shopping through the countless shopping malls, hastening to make a date at one of the myriad glassed-in restaurants and chic cocktail bars. Beyond the 21st-century cacophony and the accelerated tempo, however, the savvy visitor can find glimpses of old-world tranquillity: incense-wreathed Taoist temples; polished hotel lobbies serving afternoon tea in the English style; rustic remote walking trails; graceful tai-chi practitioners in tidy city parks. When you visit Hong Kong, you’ll notice that its relatively small size—the city “only” holds seven million people—superb public transportation system, cheap taxis, and bilingual signage make it a cinch to navigate. Just remember to slow down every now and then.
The city is called many things, not least of all a country in and of itself. As the world’s most vertical and arguably futuristic city with high-tech transportation, it’s a fascinating place to explore. Tap into the city’s frenetic energy when you use our guide to plan a Hong Kong trip.
5 – Thailand
With 16 million foreigners flying into the country each year, Thailand is Asia’s primary travel destination and offers a host of places to visit. Travel to Thailand and you’ll find that despite this vast influx of visitors, it’s cultural integrity remains largely undamaged. Thailand is a country that cleverly avoided colonisation has been able to absorb Western influences while maintaining its own rich heritage.