It’s almost the end of 2016! What did you do with last year’s list? Were you able to visit all the recommendations from the bloggers? If not, keep it, still. There’s no rush. You can still visit those places whenever you please.
However, this year, we are going to be bolder and bigger — we are going to take you to off-the-beaten-paths (seriously an overused word but is appropriate to this post), places that you’ve never heard before, destinations you nerver thought existed and trips that will definitely change your perspective on travel. I gathered all my travel blogger friends to give you an inspiration on where to go on 2017.
Excited on what they’re about to say? Here’s the list of best trips 2017 according to these wonderful travel bloggers.
Vins and Yoshke of The Poor Traveler said, “Bagan, Myanmar!!!” with exclamation points!
We were able to set foot in Bagan and marvel at the sight of 2000+ temples and pagodas sprawling across the vast landscape, and it was one of our most memorable experiences so far. Unfortunately, the August 2016 quake damaged around 400 of these structures. Still, tourism continues to enjoy steady growth in the region. While renovations are ongoing, authorities have restricted access to some temples. By late 2017, they will be fully restored, which puts Bagan on top of the list of destinations we will surely return to next year. (That and its people and their infectious smiles and warm hospitality.)
Chris of Backpacker Banter gives you a sneak peak of Sri Lanka
Despite bouncing around Asia for the best part of 3 years I’ve only just ticked Sri Lanka off my bucket list – don’t make the same mistake I did, it’s an incredible country to explore! From the array of ancient temples to white sandy beaches, Sri Lanka has something for everyone and there’s so much to see and do.
Hot air ballooning at sunrise, surfing, tea plantations, elephant safaris and tuk tuk excursions are just some of the things that packed out my Sri Lanka travel plans!
My personal highlight though was dolphin and whale spotting in Mirissa – it was one of the most perfect days on the ocean I’ve ever had (a big statement coming from a travelling surfer!) and watching a huge pod of dolphins jump in our bow wave as we cruised across some of the bluest ocean I’ve seen anywhere on the planet was amazing!
And don’t forget to get stuck into the local cuisine too – I stuffed my face full of dhal curry, hoppers and coconut sambol!
Fun fact from Alice of Teacake Travels: Bangladesh has the largest mangrove forest in the world
It’s absolutely amazing down here in this part of the world, particularly because of the Royal Bengal Tigers that are lurking in the depths of the trees. It can be a dangerous game to find them: around 30 people are killed by them each year! If you’re obsessed with animal spotting, there are also over 300 different types of birds here, crocodiles, dolphins, monkeys, boars, deer and pigs. If you want to head to the Sundarbans, you’re going to need a very good guide for it. Make sure to book at least 3 weeks in advance otherwise you might turn up being disappointed: this area of Bangladesh is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. After the Sundarbans, I recommend heading up to the capital Dhaka, then going to the longest beach in the world if you have time. Yes, that’s in Bangladesh too!
Hannah of Getting Stamped suggests you put El Nido, Philippines on your bucket list for 2017!
Philippines….just go there! •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ? Photo Location ? El Nido, Palawan Philippines The Philippines was a country we fell in love with and have been talking about ever since we left. This photo was taken on a day trip from El Nido to some of the most amazing islands in the world. We can’t wait to go back to the Philippines later this year, so much more to explore. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #Philippines #Gettingstamped #the_ph #itsmorefuninthephilippines #VisitPhilippinesAGAIN2016 #ChoosePhilippines #palawan #philippines #elnido #elnidopalawan
I suggest everyone put the Philippines on their bucket list for 2017, and especially El Nido Palawan We spent a month exploring the Philippines, but El Nido was out of this world. El Nido maybe a little tricky to get to but it’s worth the trip.There are so many things to do in El Nido but some of the best things can be out on boat exploring the islands. Some lagoons and beaches you literally swim through the limestone cliffs to access them. Gorgeous turquoise water and white sandy beaches, what more could you want on a holiday? There are several organized tours every day that head off to islands, we highly recommend Tour A and Tour C if you only have time for two tours. You’ll literally be on a boat all day for less than $30. If you’re dive certified you’ll be in heaven, El Nido has some of the best diving in Asia and it’s super affordable. At the end of the day grab beer and watch the sunset in the distance. Just put El Nido on the calendar for 2017 and thank us later.
Mozambique is a must-see according to Natasha and Cameron of The World Pursuit
A trip to Africa in 2017 should definitely be on everyone’s travel radar. We have been loving our time in Africa but no country stands out more than Mozambique. The South African country is absolutely beautiful and still pretty untouched by tourism. I loved the Mozambican coastline because of its emptiness. One can walk for miles on the beach and never see another soul. The people are very warm and hospitable and we found that they always were able to help if we needed it. Then of course, there is the food, which is some of the best in Africa. A healthy blend of fresh seafood and tropical fruits is sure to delight any visitors stomach.
Zigzag on Earth’s Claire Robinson considers Oman as one of the best trips
With a white capital city niched between mountains and sea, its own Grand Canyon, orange sand dunes as well as old and recent architectural masterpieces, Oman is a wonderful destination for 2017. Located on the Arabian Peninsula, The Sultanate of Oman has a long history of maritime trade. Along its coast, you could enjoy a cruise on a traditional dhow boat, observe the turtles lay their eggs in the sand or admire the traditional technics of the local fishermen.
If you love history and architecture, your trip can take you to the Islamic art at the Sultan Qaboos grand mosque, the 5000 year-old beehive tombs of Al-Ayn or the many many forts around the country.
But my favorite part of Oman, is admiring the wilderness of the land, especially the longitudinal sand dunes of Wahiba Sands, or the sharp summits and huge drop at Jebel Shams, Oman’s grand Canyon.
And if you want a little bit of adventure, you can go swimming deep in the valley of Wadi Shab or go off road to the giant caves of the Salmah plateau… Something for everyone in Oman!
Margherita and Nick of The Crowded Planet’s top recommendation is the infamous Iran
If you’re looking to experience true, heartfelt hospitality, a millenary culture and delicious food, Iran is the place for you. We spent two weeks travelling around the country – the maximum allowed by the visa on arrival at the time of our visit, but rules have since been relaxed and it’s possible to stay in the country for up to a month, which can also be extended. Iran is still relatively undiscovered by tourists, and you’re guaranteed to have wonderful experiences with locals, especially if you’re travelling around independently and couchsurfing.
Our two week trip included some days in Tehran, a city that we didn’t like it at first, as it’s really busy and crowded. However, after a few days we learnt to appreciate it – there are plenty of things to do in Tehran, including ski slopes just outside town! After Tehran we moves south to Isfahan and Shiraz, where we spent some time couchsurfing with two local families, and finally we headed to Yazd, where we also spent a day in the desert. Our trip to Iran just made us want to explore further, and we are already planning a second trip for next year, including off the beaten track destinations like Kurdistan, Qeshm Island and the Caspian sea.
Kenneth Surat highly encourages you to pay attention to Bratislava
What I love about this city is that, compared to its neighboring ex-communist cities, Bratislava is still not too crowded. It is a more humble version of Prague with the same rich history. Bratislava can be visited on a day trip if you don’t have time to spare during your backpacking trip (but I do recommend for you to stay overnight at least).
Like most of Eastern Europe, traveling around Bratislava is very cheap. You can book a hostel for as little as 9 euros per night and have a hearty meal under for 5 euros. The best way to explore the city is just by foot. Go to the Town Square and walk on cobbled stones, feast your eyes with historical buildings and look for quirky bronze statues. Visit as well the Bratislava Castle where you can see a bird’s eye view of the Old Town and the Danube River. Other places to visit are the Blue Church and a very interesting bridge called the UFO Bridge.
Nomadasaurus duo Alesha and Jarryd highly recommends Kyrgyzstan
With over 93% of the country covered in mountains, Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth, and somewhere that should be on every traveller’s radar in 2017. From trekking to horse riding, rafting to skiing and everything in between, Kyrgyzstan has developed the reputation of being an adventurer’s paradise.
But it’s not just the thrill of being out in nature that is attracting people. It’s the possibility to study Silk Road history and admire ancient architecture like the Burana Tower. It’s the chance to stay with local families in traditional yurts. It’s the fascinating food culture that has developed in a place so mountainous and remote. Ultimately it’s the ability to get off the beaten path and explore a place that few consider to travel.
Do yourself a favour – add Kyrgyzstan to your list of destinations to visit in 2017!
Jamaica is on Ryazan of Everything Zany‘s top list
Tucked in the heart of the Caribbean, Jamaica is a paradise that you shouldn’t miss this 2017. Jamaica has a rich cultural history and blessed with natural beauty. Jamaica is the home of Reggae music and the Legend Bob Marley. You will definitely hear and feel the chilled vibes around the island. Jamaica is also the birthplace of Rastafarianism. The locals are warm, cheerful and helpful. So you definitely have nothing to worry about! There is always something for everyone in Jamaica. If you want a lively nightlife, head to the famous Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios where you can party until dawn.
Looking for festivals in 2017? Sid The Wanderer said you should attend the Holi Festival in India!
Also known as the festival of colors, Holi is a spring festival in India which actually signifies the victory of good over evil. Though the final day is often the one celebrated with most cuz, the festivities actually start months in advance.
The biggest Holi celebration takes place at twin towns of Mathura-Vrindavan, the birthplace of Hindu god, Lord Rama. However in the weeks leading up the final days many towns and villages around celebrate Holi in their own unique ways. Some play with flowers, while just with dry colors. However, the most interesting Holi celebration is the one where the women chase, strip and beat up their men while the entire village cheers on. It’s absolute craziness and madness on the streets, and no matter who you are and where you are from, it’s impossible to be a bystander at the festival. Everyone plays, everyone gets soaked in water and colors, and everyone comes back with at least a bucketful of colourful memories.
Scott and Megan aka Bobo and Chichi will give you infinite reasons to cruise the Indonesian Borneo
One place we highly recommend for travel in 2017 would be Kalimantan, the Indonesian side of Borneo. Here you can board onto your own private wooden boat complete with a guide, captain, and a cook. Spend your days floating down the river through Tanjung Puting National Park while trying to spot wild orangutans, proboscis monkeys, macaques, gibbons, crocodiles, and hornbills to name a few.
Spend your nights under the stars and a mosquito net sleeping right on the boat. During the cruise you will also make stops at different feeding stations where you can be just a few feet away from semi wild orangutans. The feeding stations act as a rehabilitation center for formerly captive or orphaned orangutans.
The most famous feeding station you will get to visit is Camp Leakey where Dr. Birute Galdikas performed some of the most important studies done to date on orangutans. Its not often you get to see and endangered animal in the wild let alone witness them for four days straight while riding your own private boat.
Drew Binksy is back again this year, recommending Fiji!
Fiji is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Believe it or not, the country is actually made up of 330 islands in the South Pacific, and it home to an abundance of perfect beaches, coastlines and very friendly people. My first piece of advice is to get off the main island, and check out the smaller (less touristy) ones. Specifically, in the Yasawas region, there are plenty of untouched places to explore and if you enjoy scuba diving, then you’re in for a real treat! I dived with white tip sharks that were almost as big as me!
Fijian people are very kind and hospitable, always greeting you with a big smile and saying “BULA” which means “Hello.” It’s very safe to visit, although slightly expensive so make sure to bring a little extra spending money. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need further advice on Fiji!
Jessie on a Journey will take you on a novel experience to Bhutan
The National Memorial Chorten was one of my favorite spots in Thimphu, #Bhutan. As soon as you walk in you’ll see myriad pigeons flying in unison; a sight that would normally make me vomit in my mouth in NYC but seemed otherworldly as this spiritual spot. Something unusual about this Tibetan-style stupa is there’s a temple inside where you can make offerings to the deities and can learn about the three poisons we are all born with — ignorance, greed and hatred — which we should attempt to rid ourselves of to reach enlightenment.
Travel is all about having novel experiences, and there aren’t many better places to do this than Bhutan. The country is unlike any other place in the world, from the fact they measure their economic success on happiness to them only getting television in 1999. The culture feels truly preserved, not to mention you can have unique experiences like visiting the Temple of the Divine Madman and seeing the surrounding homes adorned with painted phalluses for protection, or hiking up to the Tiger’s Nest Temple carved into the mountainside. Definitely do a homestay, and keep an open mind as you’re introduced to new traditions and ways of thinking!
Toccara of Forget Someday recommends North Coast 500 — a scenic drive in Scotland!
Though the North Coast 500 is a fairly new route in Scotland, it is quickly gaining in popularity, and it’s easy to see why! We drove the route in early April of this year in a campervan and it was one of our most memorable adventures to date! This 500-mile circular drive starts and ends in Inverness taking you past some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery in the north Highlands. You’ll drive along stunning coastlines, navigate through winding mountain passes, and pass countless lochs. The coastal views really blew us away, because it’s typically not the first image you picture when you think of Scotland. There are plenty of beaches to explore along this award-winning route. If you’re into history, there is no shortage of castles, historic ruins, and heritage centers to stop at along the way. When you need a break from driving, take a hike or stop into one of several breweries or (whisky) distilleries on the route and sample some of the Highland’s local delicacies. One of our favorites aspects of road-tripping in Scotland is the ability to wild camp. Needless to say, we parked overnight in some incredibly scenic locations, and even caught a glimpse of the Northern Lights!
Will of The Broke Backpacker asks you to explore the north of Pakistan
Deosai National Park, home to the second highest plateau in the world, in Northern Pakistan is hand’s down one of the most amazing places I have been this year. Armies of blue flowers march into the distance, scaling snow-capped peaks and disappearing into the clouds. A healthy population of brown bears keeps you on your toes but this is an incredible place to trek and to camp… The plain has no light pollution and is at such a high altitude that, at night, the stars begin upon the horizon… it’s a bit like being in a snow globe, a truly special place. Pakistan is packed to bursting with amazing places like this and it’s hands down my favourite country to go adventuring…
Coffee with a Slice of Life’s Sarah Richard says, “It’s 2017! Try the world’s most dangerous hike in China!”
The 2154m tall Mount Huashan is considered to be one of five sacred mountains in China, and the most dangerous hike in the world. Hikers hang off the side of the mountain attached just by one carabiner and an old rope while they walk over an eroded plank of wood. If you can handle the height, the fear, and the hike up you will be rewarded by one of the most beautiful sights in China and your body will be pumping full of adrenaline. Of course you are not going to travel to China just for the hike.Xian is also the start of the silk road and holds years of history and culture. Eat yourself silly with dim sum and even visit the Terracotta Warriors.
Meg Jerrard of Mapping Megan loves the cold fleet. This year, she is recommending a cruise to Antarctica!
I’ve been bursting to share this news!! Around 30,000 travelers visit Antarctica each year, and next year we will be too!!! We’re heading on a 12 day cruise in February with @chimuadventures – it’ll be our 7th continent – can’t WAIT!!! I’ve posted our detailed itinerary on the blog – click link in bio to check it out. #liveintrepid #livetravelchannel #gadv #beautifuldestinations #beautifulworld #theoutbound #Destinavo #infinitetravel #natgeotravel #guardiantravelsnaps #worldnomads #wonderful_places #traveldudes #viewbugfeature #amazingview #travel #traveling #Antarctica #Chimu #Livefortoday #ice #iceberg #cruise
Antarctica should be at the top of your bucket list for 2017. One of the last untouched destinations on earth, the continent is absolutely pristine!! While the experience is up there in expense, expeditions are available to the average person seeking an exceptional adventure, and travel here is something that only a select few can say they have achieved.
100 years ago no more than a handful of people had journeyed to Antarctica, however today around 30,000 travelers visit Antarctica every year. Cruises leave from Punta Arenas in Chile or Ushuaia in Argentina and set off for the South Shetland Islands, stopping at several research stations while sailing along the Antarctic Peninsular. You will experience spectacular glacial lagoons, dramatic icebergs, and incredible wildlife like breaching whales, penguin colonies, and deep-diving seals.
Justin of True Nomads is one of the many divers who’s in love with Dauin, Philippines
I spent the last 10 days in Daiun, just outside of Dumaguete, on the island of Negros Oriental, and can say that for scuba travelers, this is the holy mecca for underwater photographer, macro-critter lovers, or even just rare marine animal enthusiasts. Every few seconds I ran into rare or even endangered species that you will probably not see many other places, like flamboyant cuttlefish, bluering octopus, wunderpus, colorful nudibranch, macro shrimps and crabs, and much much more. Even after 600+ dives all over the world, and in many of the best dive sites in the world, many of the species I encountered in Dauin were first for me, and I was blown away! Another great thing is that these world class dive sites were just in front of my resort or nearby, so no need for long boat rides. For turtle lovers, the resorts all offer day trips to Apo Island, where in one day I ran into 15 turtles! Over all, Dauin was a great place to visit, and a must see in 2017! Check out the video I made in Dauin, and you might agree!
Lastly, my personal recommendation this year is the Wadi Rum in Jordan
Did you watch The Martian? Yep, it was filmed in the Wadi Rum. Not to mention Transformers also. Nope, not a green screen. It’s a real place and I’ve never seen anything like it. Translated to “The Valley of the Moon,” the Wadi Rum is all natural, inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures like the Nabateans who left their mark through rock paintings, graffiti and temples. Aside from the sunset camel ride where you will not find anyone in the deserted place but you, glamourous camping overlooking the stars is one of my favourites in this trip. Shut down from the world and take a trip to the Wadi Rum! I promise you will love it! And if you don’t, come find me in Tel Aviv and we’ll have a beer in Nachalat Binyamin.
Are you a travel blogger? What are the best trips 2017 you can add to the list? Leave your fantastic idea on the comment box below!
Do use Pinterest to plan your trips? Hover on the image below to add this to your list!