Top unique travel destinations to visit
newsonjapan.com -- Dec 01
Here's a list of stylish travel destinations for those who seek them.

While most of the world has become commercialized to suit tourist and income needs, from travel websites to quickly drafted houses for temporary Airbnbs, there are still some beautiful places to visit and Explore forever; away from cameras and Instagram captions.

For those who seek experiences rich with history and art, from famous museum pieces to architectural feats, and those who want to dip their toes into nature and just unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Bhutan

Less than half the size of Ireland and landlocked, Bhutan is a place of deep history and Buddhist terrain situated between China and India with Himalayan peaks and jungle. Although seemingly desolated, the place also offers luxurious accommodations for tourists such as their Six Senses Hotel. Known for its architecture and classic design, the hotel is spread over five locations across Bhutan and demands a hefty price of $200 per day during peak times. However, for those who want to enjoy the local environment and beautiful mountain peaks, it’s a small price to pay.

Doha, Qatar

While many people often visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi, Qatar is also not a place to be missed. It is a coastal city offering a beautiful skyline, it has a vibrant arts scene and bears new stadiums for the upcoming 2022 World Cup. One of the cities’ key buildings is its Museum of Islamic Art, designed by the retired rockstar architect I.M. Pei, who also designed Louvre’s glass pyramid. For those who are interested, know that the angular museum looks absolutely divine at night and contains some of the regions most prominent pieces. Similar to Dubai, Doha is also immensely multicultural; so expect to taste a wide range of five-star cuisines. Visit in September and you might just be able to witness the World Athletics Championship and return with the experience of a lifetime.

Bacalar, Mexico

Want to visit the beach without swimming out into the ocean? Bacalar offers an unknown lagoon in Mexico that has been compared to the Maldives for its pristine beaches and clear waters. The location is 20km inland from the Caribbean and has everything you can ever dream of except the usual noisy tourist crowd. When in Bacalar, also do take a trip to Belize where the waters are a blend of pure turquoise and sublime deep blue. Take some time to enjoy a relaxing swim under the sun, surrounded by nothing but nature. The town nearby has also been dubbed ‘the real Mexico’, offering beautiful nights of earthy tones and generous tequila.

Seattle, USA

Forget the rainy pit-stops during long drives and big technology companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, Seattle has much more than you would think going for it. The city has been making big waves for tourists thanks to its young population. Featuring the Space Needle, an iconic tower that has undergone a new design lift, the entirety of the city’s waterfront has also been revamped. The city has recently been known to showcase not just innovative architecture but also holds a bustling art scene featuring urban art, lowbrow as well as performing arts. For those who are into grunge, Seattle has held the 30th anniversary of Soundgarden’s major label and Nirvana’s debut album. Don’t be shy to take a road trip down to Seattle and be ready to discover what the rejuvenated city has to offer.

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

For those who are interested in unique architecture and underrated history, Samarkand offers some of the world's oldest and most eye-catching historical structures dating back to around 800 BC. Although it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has seen little visitors among the years. It is a shame as Samarkand actually houses some of the most incredible monuments such as famous The Registan and Bibi-Khanym Mosque along the legendary Silk Road stopover. The place also presents the Gur-e-Amir mausoleum nearby, which little would know is the Mughal prototype for the Taj Mahal.

Matera, Italy

This 7,000-year-old cliff-top city used to house only families and their livestock in limestone caves facing the onset of diseases. However, in the present-day, Matera has been crowned the 2019 European Capital of Culture with its refurbished caves suited for luxury stays and stylish hotel nights. For those who are interested in sleeping like modern cavemen, Matera is the place to go for an authentic living experience and rich history.

Seoul, South Korea

One of the more well-known places, South Korea is a busy metropolis mixed with historical temples and palaces. The city has set new records with its innovative buildings such as the 555-meter tall Lotte World Tower featuring 117 floors and a glass-bottom deck for tourists to gape at. A hodgepodge of innovative and high-tech infrastructure, the country showcases spaces such as the Seoullo 7017 which is an elevated garden in a past inner-city highway. Head out to Ulleungdo, one of the most striking islands on Earth, for it bears jagged peaks and rocks rising out from the sea.

Arles, France

Situated in the South of France, Arles features some of the most spectacular architecture, from towers to theatres. Showcasing Luma, the 20-acre arts center designed by Frank Gehry, it is a stunning mountainous and twisting tower. In addition, Arles also bears a rich history of art, having some of the most prominent artists such as Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin to inhabit its lands in the late 1800s. Not to forget the massive Roman amphitheater within the city, it surprises locals and tourists alike.

Conclusion

While most of the world seems to be featured in travel magazines and posted on social media, there still remains a significant amount of unexplored gems waiting to be discovered. For those of you who don’t mind a touch of adventure and traveling to unique places, one of these places might just end up on your flight ticket. Just be sure to plan out your itinerary to ensure that you include all the amazing places and sights that all these places have to offer!

News source: newsonjapan.com
Jan 14
The Japanese government is stepping up coronavirus countermeasures for people entering the country. (NHK)
Jan 13
The Japanese government plans to suspend the entry of all foreigners as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world. (NHK)
Jan 11
Little change was seen in the flow of commuters at major train stations in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures Friday morning as a fresh state of emergency came into effect in the metropolitan area to stop the spread of COVID-19. (Japan Times)
Jan 09
Japan will further tighten its border controls from Saturday by requiring all people arriving to submit negative results from virus tests taken within 72 hours of their departure for Japan during the period of the latest state of emergency. (Kyodo)
Jan 09
Airlines in Japan canceled 247 domestic flights on Friday due to heavy snow and strong winds in areas along the Sea of Japan and Hokkaido. (NHK)
Jan 09
Japan's public transport providers are considering limiting operations to reduce mobility under the country's new coronavirus state of emergency, which is largely voluntary with no effective punishments for those who do not comply with curfews. (Nikkei)
Jan 09
This April and May, Malta will host the tenth anniversary edition of the InClassica International Music Festival, a three-week long celebration of classical music featuring world-renowned soloists, leading international orchestras and celebrated conductors. (newsonjapan.com)
Jan 08
A pagoda at Yakushiji, a Buddhist temple listed as a World Heritage site in Japan's ancient capital of Nara, will be partially opened to the public from March after undergoing its first major renovation in more than a century. (Japan Times)
Jan 07
The number of people using shinkansen and conventional train services operated by Japan Railway companies plunged 68% during the year-end and New Year’s period compared to a year earlier, to 4,879,000, marking the lowest level since comparable data was made available in 1991, six JR companies said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Jan 05
The Japanese government has begun considering suspending new entries of foreign nationals under business travel agreements with 11 countries and regions, including China and South Korea, in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. (Nikkei)
Jan 05
The number of traffic accident fatalities in Japan fell to 2,839 in 2020, marking the lowest level since comparable data became available in 1948, a police survey showed Monday. (Japan Times)
Jan 05
The number of domestic flight passengers in Japan during the New Year holiday period fell by more than half from a year earlier. (NHK)
Jan 03
Dozens of amateur photographers gathered over the New Year holiday in a village in Hokkaido that is known for its red-crowned cranes. The bird is designated as a special natural monument of Japan. (NHK)
Jan 02
Weather officials in Japan are calling for increased caution against more heavy snows predicted for parts of the Sea of Japan coast. (NHK)
Jan 01
Crowds of people were visiting Meiji Jingu, a major Shinto shrine in central Tokyo, early Friday after the coronavirus outbreak put the brakes on the tradition of visiting the shrine overnight on New Year's Eve. (NHK)
Dec 31
Railway operators in the Tokyo metropolitan area say they will not run trains all night on New Year's Eve into New Year's Day due to the coronavirus outbreak. (NHK)
Dec 30
In this video, we explore three side-trip options from the city of Nagoya, each with something unique to offer travelers willing to venture a little off the beaten track. (japan-guide.com)
Dec 30
Tourist spots in Japan were rocked by the nationwide suspension of the government's Go To Travel discount program from Monday amid the novel coronavirus resurgence. (Japan Times)
Dec 30
Kinkaku-ji, a renowned golden temple in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, has a brand new roof as re-thatching work was done for the first time in 18 years. (NHK)
Dec 30
The terminal for Japan's Shinkansen bullet trains in Tokyo is much quieter than usual during the year-end holidays due to the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)