So you’re thinking of going backpacking? There are so many great places to visit across the globe, whether you want to travel totally off the beaten track or experience some famous towns in a whole new manner. While countries like Thailand and Cambodia in South East Asia have long attracted travelers from around the world, there are a few up-and-coming locations too that are well worth visiting to immerse yourself in various cultures and maybe discover some beautiful tropical beaches along the way…
1. Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is one of South East Asia's lesser-visited backpacking destinations, but will only become more and more popular as word travels about the pristine beaches, rich culture, and wonderful adventures on offer. Unawatuna is a favorite among many backpackers, due to the relaxed back attitude and variety of excellent beachfront hostels and resorts.
2. Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is a traveler’s dream, providing everything from cheap and convenient accommodation to thrilling nightlife and water sports on Lake Wakatipu. Thrill-seekers will enjoy skiing at neighboring Double Cone, taking a cable car to the summit of the mountain and luging with views over the city, or attempting the Nevis Bungy jump - the highest in New Zealand at 134m. If you're thinking of seeing more of the south island, it's a wonderful base to take a day excursion across to Milford Sound where you can cruise around the fiord and snap photos of fur seal populations and dolphins.
3. Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
With the Himalayas offering a jaw-dropping background, Nepal is a great destination for travelers. Head to the Kathmandu Valley, where you'll discover the greatest density of world heritage sites in the world, with around 130 monuments ready to be explored.
4. Bogota, Colombia
Colombia is regarded as one of the world's best backpacking destinations, and there's nowhere better to enjoy everything that the country has to offer than its capital city, Bogota. Much of the backpacker housing is concentrated on the La Candelaria area, where you'll discover hip pubs and restaurants, all within easy reach of the city's main attractions.
Explore the natural splendor of this Nordic nation, which is home to the magnificent Blue Lagoon and some breathtaking landscapes. If you come between October and April you may possibly be fortunate enough to get a sight of the Northern Lights, an experience you'll never forget.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Don't be misled into believing Scandinavia is too costly for travelers. Copenhagen has lots of things that will keep you occupied for days, from viewing the art in Christiania (Freetown) to climbing up the Round Tower for views over the city. And don't forget to sample some wonderful Danish pastries or Bertels Salon Kompagnistæde's renowned cheesecake!
7. Koh Lanta, Thailand
Thailand has long been a go-to for travelers, and for good reason. Not only is there wonderful weather, interesting culture, and bustling nightlife on offer, but it's also an inexpensive location to stay and move about for backpackers on a budget. Skip the busy beaches of Koh Phi and Maya Bay for a vacation to one of the calmer islands of Koh Lanta or Railay Bay, where you can immerse yourself in the Thai culture and enjoy the magnificent beaches.
8. Palawan, the Philippines
Fancy an adventure? You won't be disappointed with a vacation to Palawan in the Philippines, which has plenty to offer thrill-seeking travelers, from zip line to shark diving. You'll easily be able to check off several bucket list experiences here.
9. Ometepe, Nicaragua
This Central American nation was the site where Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank got engaged in January 2017, and although it is home to a number of premium eco-resorts, you won't be short of budget-friendly backpacking accommodation either. If it's an adventure you're seeking, go to the volcanic island of Ometepe, where you can climb a volcano and swim beneath waterfalls before resting on the beach.
It's simple to understand why Cambodia is a popular destination for travelers. Much like neighboring Thailand, Cambodia offers gorgeous beaches, forests, and culture to explore, along with ancient monuments like the ruins of Angkor Wat. Better yet, you'll discover housing, food, and travel budget-friendly too.