If you’re looking for a travel experience that’s a little different from the usual tourist hotspots, consider visiting some offbeat destinations. From hidden gems in remote corners of the world to quirky attractions in well-known cities, there are plenty of unique cultural experiences waiting to be discovered. Here are some ideas to inspire your next adventure.
Visit the remote villages of Bhutan
Bhutan is a small, landlocked country in the Himalayas that is known for its stunning natural beauty and unique culture. While many tourists flock to the capital city of Thimphu, there are also many remote villages throughout the country that offer a truly authentic cultural experience.
Visitors can stay in traditional homestays, participate in local festivals and ceremonies, and learn about Bhutanese traditions and beliefs. Some popular villages to visit include Gangtey, Bumthang, and Haa Valley.
What To Do
You can attend festivals, and hike up the famous Tiger’s Nest – It needs the commitment to reach Paro Taktsang on the hiking path. The walk is around 4 miles long from the closest road to the monastery. Flags decorate the route, making it colourful.
Japan’s strong heritage, sophisticated robot technology, and famed taboos make it a country of contrasts. A criminally underappreciated tropical sanctuary awaits anyone ready to fly from Tokyo for three hours. Okinawa is paradise.
Okinawa has 48 inhabited islands with crystal-clear seas, vibrant fish and coral. Its relaxed lifestyle resembles Hawaii more than Japan, which may explain why it has the largest number of centenarians in Japan, many of whom ride bicycles.
Spam sushi and taco rice are unique to Okinawa because of its 60-year history of American military posts. Shurijo Castle, a 14th-century fire engine red stronghold with island vistas, is quintessentially Japanese. You may find empty beaches to cool off on. That sea salt air may help you live to 100 too!
What To Do
The Okinawa Fun Pass is a budget-friendly way to see everything that Okinawa has to offer, including admission to top attractions like the Nago Pineapple Park and the world-famous Churaumi Aquarium.
Explore the ancient city of Petra in Jordan
This ancient city, carved into the rock, was once a thriving trade centre and is now a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the narrow canyons, tombs, and temples that make up this incredible site. Don’t miss the iconic Treasury building, which is carved into the rock face and is one of the most photographed spots in Petra.
But Petra is more than just a tourist attraction – it’s a window into the past. The city was inhabited by the Nabataeans, an ancient Arab tribe, and their influence can still be seen in the architecture and artwork throughout the site.
Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of the Nabataeans at the Petra Archaeological Museum. And for those looking for a more adventurous experience, there are hiking trails that lead to stunning viewpoints and hidden treasures within the site. A visit to Petra is truly a journey back in time and a must-see for any offbeat traveller.
What to do
The Treasury at Petra_ Petra’s most impressive ruin is the Treasury, carved from sandstone. As visitors emerge from the long, narrow gorge that marks the city’s entrance, it takes their breath away.
Monastery at Petra- The Monastery, the tallest structure in Petra, dates to the first century B.C. From the entrance, it’s a long trek to the Monastery, but seeing it in all its splendour is more than worth it.
Also Read: The Best Places for Solo Travellers
Experience the vibrant culture of Havana, Cuba
Havana, the capital city of Cuba, is a vibrant and colourful destination that offers a unique cultural experience. From the classic cars that line the streets to the lively music and dance scene, Havana is a city that is full of life. Visitors can explore the historic Old Havana district and see the beautiful colonial architecture. Don’t miss the chance to try some of the delicious local cuisines, like the famous Cuban sandwich or a refreshing mojito.
What to do
Old Havana – La Cabaña, a Spanish castle from the 18th century, and Castillo del Morro, a 1589 fortress that defends Havana Bay, are among the many historical structures here. The Catedral de San Cristóbal, one of Havana’s five major squares, is home to the 18th-century Roman Catholic cathedral’s asymmetrical baroque façade.
The Malecón, Havana’s sea wall, offers great views of the city’s principal streets and Havana Bay. Tourists love it. With its bars, restaurants, musicians, and street bustle, the Prado is a terrific area to unwind and enjoy Havana in the evening. Visit the Havana Club Rum Factory for Cuba’s most renowned rum and the Partagas Cigar Factory to discover how the world’s most famous cigars are manufactured.
Discover the hidden gems of the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands, located between Iceland and Norway, is a group of 18 islands that offer a unique cultural experience for travellers. With a population of only 50,000 people, the islands are known for their stunning natural beauty, including rugged cliffs, waterfalls, and fjords.
Visitors can explore the charming villages and learn about the traditional Faroese way of life, which includes fishing and sheep farming. Don’t miss the chance to try some of the local delicacies, like fermented lamb and dried fish. The Faroe Islands are a hidden gem that is definitely worth a visit.
What to Do
Hike to the Lake of SØRVÁGSVATN, VÁGAR – Sørvágsvatn is the Faroe Islands’ biggest lake and is noted for its optical illusion. The famed viewpoint over the lake and cliffs is roughly an hour’s walk from Midvágur. Like the rest of the Faroes, the weather is unpredictable, so bring warm clothing and a rain jacket.
Traelanípa, a rock cliff 142m above the sea, is where Vikings allegedly threw their captives. Photographers now utilise it to capture the rough shoreline. Bøsdalafossur falls into the sea from Sørvágsvatn’s edge. The North Atlantic’s fiercest waves pummelled the cliffs and blast the cascade back into the lake, a breathtaking sight.
Immerse yourself in the traditional way of life in Mongolia
Mongolia offers a unique cultural experience for travellers looking to immerse themselves in the traditional way of life. Visitors can stay in a traditional ger (yurt) and learn about the nomadic lifestyle of the Mongolian people. Explore the vast landscapes of the Gobi Desert, ride horses through the grasslands, and witness the ancient art of eagle hunting. Don’t miss the chance to try some of the local cuisines, like buuz (steamed dumplings) and airag (fermented mare’s milk). Mongolia is a truly offbeat destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
What to do
Tsenkher Hot Springs – The therapeutic Tsenkher Hot Springs is located in the Khangai Mountains’ lush foothills. The springs in Arkhangai Province are surrounded by beautiful woodlands and hills.
They are heated by surrounding volcanoes and are Mongolia’s second-hottest. The Tsenkher Hot Springs now include resorts with outdoor pools, indoor baths, and spas where guests may rest.
Naadam Festival – Ulaanbaatar’s annual Naadam Festival celebrates Mongolia’s rich history, traditions, and culture. The centuries-old events include fierce archery, horse racing, wrestling competitions, traditional dances, and celebrations.