Explorers without Borders

The reasons on going on holiday vary from person to person, whether its for a honeymoon, a family trip, a group of friends looking for an adventure or just a means to get away from the daily routine, the aim is the same: a complete rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul.

Travelling across the globe to a completely different place, culture and lifestyle is no longer just for holiday purposes. It can prove to be very educational and even spiritual for some.

It is, however, a necessity to make sure the destination country set in mind issues visas, otherwise the holiday plans end up remaining just that, plans. Thanks to new laws issued, Filipinos can now travel to 62 countries without having applied for a visa prior to their journey.

From Africa to South America, the doors have opened for Filipinos to explore the world – or well, most of it. Here are the top 8 places to visit now that the borders have opened up:

MOROCCO

Explorers11Situated in the Maghreb region of North Africa, Morocco is a country of true wonders. Famous for its luxurious Argin Oil, traditional markets, rich culture and delicious food, Morocco brings together French, Arabic and European elements for everyone to revel in. Large cities such as Fes and Marrakesh have a multitude of souqs ready to be explored by nationals and tourists alike and one of the most integral parts of a visit to Morocco. Perhaps the most memorable part of any souq experience is a visit to the rug merchants and having a few cups of sweet mint tea while one haggles over the prices.

Morocco is also home to the famous city of Casablanca, designed by the French architect Henri Prost. Meaning “White Houses” in Spanish, the city boasts Hispano-Mauresque and Art Deco styled structures as well as Hassan II Mosque (designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau).

Perfect for beach lovers and explorers, Morocco is home to Atlas Mountains and Rif Mountains, as well as comprising five enclaves on the Mediterranean coast.

SINGAPORE

Explorers10An amalgam of modernity mixed with traditional Asian touches of China, Malaysia and India, Singapore is the ideal travel destination for anyone looking to unwind and relax. Home to some famous festivals such as the Singapore Food Festival, Singapore Grand Prix, and the Singapore Arts Festival, there is always a reason to celebrate in Singapore and become part of the local scene.

For those looking to explore the performing arts in Singapore, the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is the best place to visit. The performing arts centre opened in October 2002 and is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

The food enthusiasts are also in for a big treat as there is great emphasis placed on food. The abundance of different ethnicities that live there show represent the multiculturalism through the variety of food that is available in every nook and corner.

MALAYSIA

Explorers9Malaysia, truly Asia really is a sight to see. Connected to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei, the country truly encompasses the Asian culture making it the 9th most visited place in the world. Home to the World’s Tallest twin towers, The Petronas Towers and the Golden Triangle (Kuala Lampur’s busiest commercial district which contains five-star hotels, restaurants and high-end shopping malls) Malaysia is the ideal spot for sight-seeing and making sure there isn’t a halt in shopping.

Getting to know the locals also helps discover hidden gems such as the traditional food places, good bargains and really getting a feel of the country. Places such as Miri are the official tourism-city and the city of Sarawak and Sibu (in Sarawak( are popular for its landscape and parks.

The greenery, sites and overall experience in Malaysia will ensure everyone leaves refreshed, energised and planning to come back again.

THAILAND

Explorers8One of the most famous tourist capitals in the world, Thailand has been playing host to thousands of visitors yearly. Whether its Bangkok or Phuket, the Kingdom of Thailand does not disappoint to all those who wander through its bustling streets, Temples, markets and so on. Thailand is the perfect spot for honeymooners as well as friends or even family looking for a break from the normal hustle of life. From diving sites, sandy beaches, hundreds of tropical islands to the more touristy attractions like museums, archaeological sites, Buddhist temples and World Heritage sites, the lush country caters to everyone’s needs without even having to change.

Thats not all, Thai food is renowned for being scrumptious worldwide, so to get it from the local source is a real treat in itself.

Thailand offers its visitors the ever popular Elephant trekking adventure which involves riding an actual elephant (with a guide of course) amongst the forests.

MACAU

Being managed by Portugal in 1631, Macau was returned to China and since then attracted the masses. Though Macau is a small place, there are popular tourist sires such as Senado Square, A-Ma Temple, and Ruins of St. Paul’s. The rich heritage of the country attracts foreigners from all over the world. Being close to the mainland, the Chinese government has made great efforts to build a new Macau, even building up the tourism industry and leisure activities to further enhance the country and its Value.

NEPAL

In possession of 8 out of the 10 highest mountain in the world, Nepal is the best place to visit for thrill seekers, mountaineers, and rock climbers. The mix of Hindu and Buddhist heritage of Nepal adds richness to its culture. The abundance of local attractions in Nepal makes tourism one of its biggest industries. From bungee jumping to hiking, and even hot air ballooning over the Himalayan mountains, visitors are never far away from an adventure.

Nepal offers its visitors a quick but enriching history lesson about two of the dominant religions in the country, Hinduism and Buddhism. Home to the world’s largest temple of Shiva, the Pashupatinath Temple, this major attraction is located in Kathmandu and attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims alike. The World Heritage Site Lumbini is another major attraction as it is considered to be the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, and is an important pilgrimage site.

FIJI

Consisting an archipelago of 332 islands, of which 110 are inhibted, Fiji is the ideal getaway location for those wanting a complete revitalisation. Resulting from volcanic mountains and tropical waters, the Fiji Islands has turned into a quintessential holiday-spot for romancers and explorers. Consisting varied coral reefs, tropical rainforests, coconut plantations, and beaches, the Fiji Islands offers a clean and carefree environment.

The resorts in Fiji offer something for the adults and the children. The smaller resorts are on isolated areas to give the holidayers a romantic vibe, whereas the family-friends resorts include many facilities for children such as a kids club, and some even offering nanny services. The parents can unwind knowing their children are being looked after.

For visitors on a budget, the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands host many low-budget resorts and are also part of the popular places to visit in Fiji along with Nadi region, Coral Coast and Denarau Island. Fiji has plenty to offer all holiday goers whether they come in twos or more.

COSTA RICA

Included in both the 2011 and 2012 list of The Developing World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations, Costa Rica is perhaps the most popular holiday destinations and has been since the late 1980s. Getting its competitive advantage from the well-established national parks and protected areas, which cover around 24% of the country’s land area, Costa Rica is host to a diversity of flora and fauna. Both the Pacific and Caribbean Sea are within short travel distances as well as several volcanoes.

Costa Rica offers its visitors fun on sun, sea and the sand such as canopy tours, surfing, snorkelling and the more traditional cultural activities such as visiting museums, galleries and theatres.

Having its own Seven Wonders, Costa Rica has its seven natural wonders: Cocos Island, Arenal Volcano, Chirripo Mountain, Celeste River, Tortuguero Canals, Poás Volcano, Monteverde Reserve. Holidayers are treated to the sight of greenery every where they look.

BRAZIL

Explorers3Whether its to see the largest statue of Jesus, Christ the Redeemer, in Rio Di Janeiro or to enjoy the beaches there, or to explore the Amazon Rainforest and dunes in the Northeast Region, Brazil has ample to offer for domestic and international tourists. For those looking to explore the metropolitan side of Brazil, Sao Paolo is perfect melting pot city, home to the largest Italian, Arab and Japanese population.

The exotic culture of Brazil makes for a relaxing destination with plenty to explore. The varied cuisine represents the mix of native and immigrant populations serving up eclectic eats all over the country. Whats even more unique is food that food varies greatly between each region. Northeast Brazilian cuisine is influenced by African cuisine from the coastal areas, whereas the Southern region has red meat as its basis.

For the sport enthusiasts, Brazil’s football scene offers great entertainment. Whether its on the beaches or on the streets, Football is a major part of the Brazilian culture and is sure to get everyone playing.

PERU

Explorers2Whether its cultural tourism, ecotourism or adventure tourism, Peru has activities for everyone to take part in and enjoy. For the adventure lovers, the Cusco to Machu Picchu trekking proves to a be a popular activity, as well as trails in other parts of the country as mountain climbing is a favoured sport amongst the sierra region.

For the food lovers, there is a plenty to explore as well. The main three main staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes and beans but are cooked in Spanish-inspired style with ingredients such as rice, wheat and meat.

Going to the beaches is also a popular activity in Peru amongst the locals and visitors and two of the most popular beaches being Máncora and Punta Sal.

Peru exciting and proactive activities prove to be one of the most leisurely holiday destinations around the world.

 

Disclaimer:

Visitors are advised to make their own travel inquiries before travelling to the countries mentioned in this article.

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