Discover new destinations, cultures and unravel interesting unexplored terrains around the globe.
Travelling to a new destination features on everyone’s annual resolution list. But as the year rolls by, we settle for easy-access popular destinations thrown at us by social media instead of tapping into the unexplored destinations of the world. With the technology today, you can visit remote, exotic locales from your web browser. Having said that, travelling allows you to grow you as a human; get a taste of a new cultures and people, who all will welcome you with open arms. Travelling, no doubt grows you as a human, so that you can get a feel of life in other parts of the world. To explore the unexplored, you only need a backpack and a pair of sturdy shoes, and lots and lots of research. Let’s get started…
BEHOLD THE WONDERS OF NATURE
Region: Argentina and Chile
The Marble Caves is one unique sight that can evoke the poet in any individual. The caves are an easy pit stop en route the Carretera Austral and Puerto Rio Tranquilo. Located in the Patagonian Andes, this unique geological formation sits in the waters of General Carrera Lake, shared by Argentina and Chile, and is only accessible by boat. Over more than 6,000 years, lake currents lapped at the marble, slowing carving out the smooth formations out of this single, large structure. The brilliant blue glacial lake is the perfect mirror for time worn splendour. Though the marble itself isn’t a brilliant blue, it dances with cerulean displays of colour when the water reflects its light. As a result, it changes colour throughout the year, depending on water levels and season. Along with a boat trip, trekking up the rock is also a popular adventure.
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STEP INTO A FAIRYTALE
Region: Republic of Crimea
The tiny, Neo-Gothic Swallow’s Nest Castle sits at the stretch of the turquoise waters along the Crimean peninsula.
The Swallow’s Nest, perched on the Aurora Cliff, above the sea between Yalta and Alupka, takes cues from fairytales. Sitting delicately on the edge of the Crimean Sea, Neo-Gothic castle stands as an iconic remnant of Imperial Russia. When one first looks at the Swallow’s Nest it is hard not to marvel at the simple aesthetics of the structure. It is built literally on the edge of the cliff with parts of the balconies and patios actually extending beyond the rock face, jutting into thin air. The whole building looks as though it could at a moment’s notice topple over into the Crimean Sea. Turrets, spires, balconies, windows of Gothic forms and embattled walls make up the castle. It is indeed one of the most romantic spots on the Crimean peninsula. No wonder it is pegged as the Castle of Love.
VISIT A CASTLE, TREK UP A VOLCANO SITE
The architecture of Gondar Castle reflects a number of influences, mainly Axumite, Portuguese and East Indian.
Ethiopia is a land of hidden treasures. Some of the most fascinating things about the country are its ancient culture and fabulous wildlife. While Ethiopia itself remains lesser known, here are two hidden attractions that may blow your mind:
The Erta Ale: Situated at a height of 613 m, the Erta Ale is a continuously active basaltic shield volcano in the Afar Region of northeastern Ethiopia. It is famed for its persistent lava lake which has been active during most of the past decades since it was first discovered in the 1960s. Erta Ale is one of the main attractions of the Danakil, and is one of the few volcanoes in the world that has an almost persistent lava lake. It is an isolated basaltic shield volcano, 50 km wide, rising more than 600 m from below sea level in the barren Danakil depression. It is recommended that you do immense research and book a guide. To reach the vantage point, you need to trek from the camp base in the middle of the night. A three-four hour trek through the stifling hot, rocky terrain takes you to the top. Once you reach the vantage point, all your hard work pays off; the glowing red smoke in the early hours of morning makes for a splendid sight.
Erta Ale as seen from top.
Gondar Castle: Founded by King Fasilides in 1636, the structure is dubbed as the Ethiopian Camelot. It is not a single castle, but instead is the name given to the entire complex of castles and palaces in the area. The oldest and most impressive of Gondar’s imperial structures is the twostorey palace of Emperor Fasilides, built of roughly hewn brown basalt stones held together with mortar. Said to have been the work of an Indian architect, the building-has a flat roof, a rectangular tower in the south-west corner — which affords a distant view of Lake Tana — four smaller domed towers, and a battlemented parapet.
SWIM WITH THE SHARKS
Leaping dolphins are a usual sight in the waters surrounding Phillipines.
The beaches of Philippines are a tourist draw. Home to over 7000 islands (7,107 to be exact), the Philippines is a dream destination for avid divers. Among the most popular beach and diving choices in the country includes Boracay, El Nido, Coron, Cebu, and Siargao. Other common beach places are in Cagayan, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Batangas, Iloilo, Negros, Samal, and Zamboanga. The Philippine Sea is also part of the Coral Triangle, which is more or less the centre of marine biodiversity. To prove its diversity, this area is home to 76 per cent of all known coral species in the world.
The critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle.
Where to go?
Tubbataha is arguably the best dive site in the Philippines as it is incredibly well-preserved due to its remoteness. Divers from all around the world flock to this 97,030 hectare Marine Protected Area in Palawan, which is made up of two enormous coral atolls, the North and South Atoll, as well as the Jessie Beazley Reef around 20 km away. When diving in Tubbataha, you can see 11 different species of sharks, over 479 species of fish, and large pelagics such as jacks, manta ray, tuna, and whale sharks.
The large whale shark is an absolutely gorgeous gentle giant that is sometimes curious enough to come check you out.