With the brand new year approaching, we are sure that all of you are fretting over which holiday destinations to head to in 2017. So here are 13 countries that we think deserve a spot on your travel bucket list. Guys and girls, pack your suitcases and get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime!
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Experience nature's beauty in Norway by viewing the northern lights, fjords and mountains. Witness the afternoon moon and midnight sunsets too! Remember to catch the aurora borealis before it dims for the next decade. Fret not for urban dwellers; the fast growing capital, Oslo, is the go-to place for exciting food, music and culture. Take your time to venture through Bergen, Tromsø and Trondheim too.
Credit: Mariusz Kluzniak on Flickr
P.S Here are other spots to catch the aurora borealis
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The Hassan II Mosque, third largest in the world[/caption]
Credit: Raul De Castro on Flickr
This North-African country is so rich in culture and history. Ride a camel at the Sahara Desert or visit the world’s third largest mosque in Casablanca; if you are looking for relaxation, visit their local bathhouse and experience the Moroccan hamam
for a good scrub. Book a private riad
with your family or group of friends for undisturbed fun. Drop by Marrakech to visit the huge maze of souks (open air marketplace) and ruins in the medina. If you are there for summer, Essaouira is the place to go to for gorgeous beaches!
: If you are looking for a unique honeymoon destination, Morocco is the place to go!
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Look at the amazing architecture in Ouarzazate –the gateway to the Sahara desert![/caption]
Credit: Mariusz Kulzniak on FlickrSource: GIPHY
3. Istanbul, Turkey
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The magnificence of the Blue Mosque[/caption]
Credit: Henrik Berger Jørgensen on Flickr
Bet you didn’t know that tulips were introduced into Netherlands from Istanbul? Visit the Sultanahmet Park and Gülhane Park in Sultanahmet for landscapes of varieties of Tulips. You should try the Turkish Hamam in the city of historical hamams (Sultanahmet) too! Immerse yourself in the ever rich history and culture of this city by going on walking tours for the Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and the Theodosian walls (Yes, walking on walls! Unique isn’t it?).
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Take a stroll along the beautiful street of the famous area of Fatih in Istanbul![/caption]
Credit: Moyan Brenn on Flickr
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Basilica Cistern: Be awed with the size of this underground cistern palace![/caption]
Credit: Marc Garrido Clotet on Flickr
P.S. For fans of Dan Brown, you will remember that the last part of the movie, Inferno, was filmed at the Basilica Cistern!
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The iconic leaning tower of Pisa[/caption]
Credit: Giuseppe Milo on Flickr
Commonly known as the birthplace for pizzas (at Naples!) and famous for its food and trendy fashion industry, Italy offers more than what meets the eye. Visit the alpine lakes and mountain ranges at the Italian Alps; or take a long ride on a gondola along the canal in Venice. Take part in the Milan Fashion Week that happens from 22 to 28 February 2017! Take a classic tourist shot at the Leaning tower of Pisa or immerse yourself in the history of the Roman Empire!
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The breathtaking scenery of Halong Bay[/caption]
Credit: Elena on Flickr
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Explore the beauty of the Phong Nha cave at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park![/caption]
Credit: Mr & Mrs Backpacker on Flickr
Constantly being one of the top holiday destinations, you must not give Vietnam a miss! Northern Vietnam is the home to some magnificent views i.e. Ha Long Bay! Drop by Cu Chi for a trip into the Cu Chi Tunnels. Experience how the Viet Cong soldiers move around during the war period by going into the tunnels (See if you can fit into all the “manhole”). For people looking to explore nature, you can go to Phong Nha-Ke Bang, known as the most beautiful, magnificent and magical cave in Southeast Asia. Animal lovers can also drop by the Vietnam Bear Sanctuary to see the moon bears that were freed from Bile farming; or the Cuc Phuong National Park!
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Witness the majestic horseshoe waterfall[/caption]
Credit: Joe deSousa on Flickr
This land of rich natural beauty is home to one of the famous waterfalls in the world – Niagara Falls. Visit British Columbia’s iconic ski slopes in Whistler for a winter adventure. It is a must to ride down the toboggan lanes in Quebec City during winter! Take part in their annual winter festival too! Nature lovers must drop by Alberta to visit the lakes and explore the trails!
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Try kayaking across a lake in Alberta![/caption]
Credit: Victor on Flickr
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Explore the trails along Lake Moraine, Alberta[/caption]
Credit: davebloggs007 on Flickr
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Give yourself over to Mother Nature at the Upper Kananaskis lake![/caption]
Credit: davebloggs007 on Flickr
7. Rawa Island, Malaysia
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White shores and clear blue waters waiting for you to explore![/caption]
Credit: Phalinn Ooi on Flickr
This is a dainty little island located 16km off the east coast of Malaysia. With its white shores and crystal blue waters, snorkelling and diving are the recommended activities to do here. For daring friends out there, you definitely must try pier jumping!
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Spot Sea urchins when you snorkel around the waters[/caption]
Credit: Hock Wee Tan on Flickr
P.S. the Johor Sultanate owns this Island!
8. South Africa
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The steep cliifs of Cape of Good Hope[/caption]
Credit: Pe_wu on Flickr
Where else is a better place to catch a glimpse of the big 5 animals? Visit the Kruger National Park to get your fill of the big furries (or rhinos) living in the wild. Swing by Cape Town for the famous landmarks such as the Table Mountain and Cape of Good Hope! This is also one of the best places to experience Glamping
(Glamorous Camping) at the private Game Reserves.
Credit: flowcomm on Flickr
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Every shot you take here at Santorini is so colourful and pretty!!![/caption]
Credit: Del T on Flickr
For couples going on a romantic getaway, Greece is the place to go! Spend a romantic weekend at Santorini! You can explore the volcanic beaches or take a tour around the towns together. Hop over to Athens to see the Acropolis; or drop by Olympia, to visit the ancient site where the first Olympic games were held.
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The ancient temple of Olympian Zeus~[/caption]
Credit: csath07 on Flickr
10. Paris, FranceCredit: GIPHY
Bonjour! Welcome to the city of Love and home to the world’s most luxurious fashion designers and cosmetics~ Leave your footprints over at Arc de Triomph, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum and of course the iconic Eiffel Tower. You can also cross off Disneyland Paris from your Disneyland-hopping list!
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Take an artistic shot over at the Louvre Museum[/caption]
: nebojsa mladjenovic on Flickr
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Climb Mount Batur and watch the sunrise over Mt Agung![/caption]
Also known as a paradise on Earth, Bali definitely deserves a place on your bucket list! Besides than the amazing beaches along the whole coastal line, it is also a must to try the local food i.e. fruit rojak, their version of nasi campur and of course, BBQ seafood! If you want an escape to somewhere serene, hire a driver to bring you up to the northern part of the island – Singaraja or Buleleng. The air is so much fresher and you can get to do dolphin watching off the shore of Lovina beach and hike up Mount Batur for an amazing sunrise view!Cool down yourself after a hot day at the waterfalls (They have sooooo many waterfalls there, you might want to google for a few to visit).
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Catch the sunrise while on a jukung out in the sea for the dolphin watching tour![/caption]
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Stars are also readily visible at dark areas in Iceland[/caption]
Credit: Claudia Regina on Flickr
This is another place where you can get a good view of the Northern lights. This stunning place is definitely for you if you are a nature lover! Visit Gulfoss – the golden falls; Blue lagoon – famous outdoor pool; and Geysir – Geothermal hotspot. Stay up late into the night and get a chance to see the Milky Way in the sky with thousands of stars!
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Enjoy the magnificent view of the Fjords~[/caption]
Credit: Sergii on Flickr
You can also do glacier hiking, ice climbing and whale watching here! Whale watching is available all year from Reykjavik and in summer from Husavik.
13. Hawai’iCredit: GIPHY
Aloha~ this is definitely the place for surfers and beach dwellers! You can thoroughly enjoy the big waves here and get a good golden tan. The Big Island (Hawaii) is home to one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. You can take a helicopter tour to see the incredible volcano and even feel the heat from it. At the Big Island, you also get the rare opportunity to swim with WILD dolphins! Other unique activities are humpback whale watching (December to April) and snorkelling at the partially submerged Molokini Crater at Maui; Pearl Habor tours and Shark snorkel dives in cages in Oahu.
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The forbidden attraction – Hai’ku Stairs in Oahu[/caption]
Credit: Shawn Clover on FlickrCredit: GIPHY
That is all for today folks~ A brand new year, a brand new adventure! Hope this information helps one of these 13 countries to make it onto your travel bucket list for 2017!