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35 Most Exotic Destinations For Your Next Vacation

35 Most Exotic Destinations For Your Next Vacation

We live on a beautiful planet that offers many stunning landscapes, tropical paradises, mist shrouded volcanoes and unbelievable beaches. Raising a toast to the explorer within you, here are a few exotic getaways for you to consider for your next vacation.

1. Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Simply known as Boka, this winding bay will engulf you with its emerald waters and picturesque mountains. The shoreline houses beautiful medieval towns like Perast, where you can stop for a meal and interact with the locals.

BayOfKotorMontenegro

     2. Petra, Jordan

    Rising out of a cliff between the Red and Dead Sea, the lost city of Petra still has secrets to reveal. It has several tombs and carved structures spread across a sandy landscape. Many scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed here.

    PetraJordan

      3. Longsheng Rice Terrace, China

      These stunningly beautiful terraced rice fields received the name of Dragon’s Backbone because the rice terraces resemble a dragon’s scales while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon.

      DragonsBackboneChina

        4. Gozo, Malta

        The enchanting island of Gozo is an integral part of the Maltese archipelago. Besides being one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean, it boasts of mystical backwaters, historical forts and amazing panoramas.

        GozoMalta

          5. The Great Blue Hole, Belize

          This submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize is in every scuba diver’s bucket list. Even if you are not into enjoying a myriad of species underwater, it’s totally worth flying over the Blue Hole for a breathtaking view.

          GreatBlueHoleBelize

             6. Amer fort, India

            A majestic structure sprawling on a hilltop, Amer fort’s architecture is a magnificent blend of Mughal and Hindu influences. Made out of red sandstone and white marble, it consists of a series of courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens.

            AmberFortIndia1

              7. Forest of Knives, Madagascar

              It is truly intriguing that wildlife can happily exist amidst razor sharp vertical rocks in this mesmerizing forest. You can hike around the bizarre pinnacles of limestone and observe different kinds of birds and lemurs.

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              Les grands Tsingy, 250 km de long

                8. Namje, Nepal

                There are no roads to Namje. The only way to get to the Nepalese village is along a series of footpaths with views of Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth-tallest peak.

                NamjeNepal

                  9. Taha’a, French Polynesia

                  Most people head to Bora Bora or Tahiti, but why not explore the intimate and exquisite island of Taha’a instead? The landscape is dotted with several vanilla plantations and traditional pearl farm huts.

                  Tahaa

                    10. Porto Heli, Greece

                    From lush olive groves to perfect bays, every scene seems as if it was lifted from a postcard. The calm beaches are ideal for sunbathing and frolicking.

                    PortoHeliGreece

                      11. Pisco Elqui, Chile

                      Those who love to star gaze, look no further than the clearest skies in Pisco Elqui. Surrounded by magnificent Andean mountains, this Chilean village enjoys perfect weather year round.

                      PiscoElquiChile

                        12. Cappadocia, Turkey

                        Known as Turkey’s most visually striking region, Cappadocia offers caves, clefts, pinnacles and ‘fairy chimneys’ (pointed rock formations). Volcanic eruptions formed this surreal moonscape.

                        CappadociaTurkey1

                          13. Con Dao Island, Vietnam

                          In addition to hiking and exploring empty coastal roads and deserted beaches, there are some excellent wildlife-watching opportunities in the islands of Con Dao. Most of the land area is part of Con Dao National Park, which protects Vietnam’s most important sea turtle nesting grounds.

                          ConDaoVietnam

                            14. Timgad, Algeria

                            This Roman colonial town founded by Emperor Trajan in AD100 is a UNESCO world heritage site. Centuries later, it still represents the embodiment of Roman urban planning.

                            TimgadAlgeria

                              15. The Cook Islands

                              Many are of the opinion that Cook Islands are the best kept secret in the Pacific Ocean. The 15 islands are scattered over a vast expanse of seductive and sensuous ocean, boasting of idyllic climate and rare beauty.

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                              CookIslands

                                16. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

                                Built by the Khymer civilization, Angkor Wat is the most famed Cambodian temple, which even appears on its national flag. The architectural genius unfolds many enduring tales of Cambodian history.

                                AngkorWat

                                  17. Fiji

                                  No list of exotic destinations can be complete without mention of Fiji, an archipelago of over 300 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Besides pristine white sandy beaches and fish-packed coral reefs, there is ample opportunity to climb a mountain, soak in a hot spring or explore a village.

                                  Fiji

                                    18. Isle of Skye, Scotland

                                    The stunning scenery in the backdrop of the misty Cuillin hills offers beautiful hikes and spectacular photos.

                                    IsleOfSkye

                                      19. Yellowstone National Park, USA

                                      Home to the famous “Old faithful” geyser, Yellowstone still remains an unspoiled natural beauty. You are bound to see legendary wildlife wherever you go, be it grizzly bears, wolves or antelopes.

                                      YellowStoneUSA

                                        20. Bagan, Burma

                                        Bagan boast of the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples and stupas in the world. For an unparalleled view, you can take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise.

                                        BaganBurma

                                          21. Mount Roraima, Venezuela

                                          Inspiration to Conan Doyle’s Lost World and Avatar, this place is an extraordinary natural geologic formation. It serves as the natural border between Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana in South America.

                                          MountRoraimaVenezuela

                                            22. Cano Cristales, Colombia

                                            Known as the most beautiful river in the world and the “Liquid Rainbow”, this Colombian wonder is a must visit if you are heading to South America. The best time to travel is July – November when the river bed is full of gaudy colors like green, yellow, blue, black and red.

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                                            12184783195_1b3aab6012_k

                                              23. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

                                              The world largest salt flat is breathtaking, especially after rain when it creates a mirror effect. The salt is about 10 meters thick in the center.

                                              SalarDeUyuniBolivia

                                                24. Panjin Red Beach, China

                                                Red Beach is located in the highest wetland and reed marsh in the world. It is vividly red and not covered in sand at all. The color is from a type of sea weed called Sueda, which stays green during summer and turns red in autumn.

                                                PanjinRedBeachChina

                                                  25. Socotra,Yemen

                                                  Isolated Socotra looks like a sci-fi movie set. It is home to 800 rare species of flora and fauna, about a third of which is not found anywhere else in the world.

                                                  SocotraYemen

                                                    26. Whitehaven Beach, Australia

                                                    When you sink your feet into white silica sand that is amongst the purest in the world, you will know why people come here from all over the world.

                                                    WhitehavenBeachAustralia

                                                      27. Lake Baikal, Russia

                                                      The world’s oldest and deepest lake is an ice-lovers paradise. Adventuresome tourists have driven and walked over the frozen lake, but you can kayak, skate or bike.

                                                      LakeBaikal

                                                        28. Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

                                                        Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, Giant’s Causeway is an integral part of Ireland’s heritage. The most characteristic feature of the site is the exposure of large, regularly shaped polygonal columns of basalt in perfect horizontal sections.

                                                        GiantsCausewayIreland

                                                          29. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

                                                          There is something magical and mystical about castles, especially the Neuschwanstein, which is an inspiration to Disney’s Cinderella castle. It reflects the eccentric life of King Ludwik who withdrew into a world of myth upon losing his sovereignty.

                                                          NeuschwansteinCastleGermany

                                                            30. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Japan

                                                            There is a reason why camera-clutching tourists shuffle their way through soaring stalks of bamboo. But the pictures don’t do justice, so add this to your list of “places to see before you die”.

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                                                            ArashiyamaBambooJapan

                                                              31. Lake Retba, Senegal

                                                              Easily mistaken for a pool of strawberry milkshake, the bizarre color of lake Retba is actually a natural phenomenon. Thanks to its high salt concentration, it is a habitat for salt-loving microorganisms that bring out the pink colorization.

                                                              LakeRetbaSenegal

                                                                32. Badab-e Surt, Iran

                                                                The travertine (a sedimentary rock deposited by flowing water from two distinct mineral springs) terrace is a scenic natural wonder in the highlands of northern Iran.

                                                                BadabESurtIran

                                                                  33. Sossusvlei, Namibia

                                                                  Lifted from a dream, Sossusvlei is full of picturesque sand dunes surrounded by clay pans. The most surreal attraction is the Deadvlei, where the dead acacia trees contrast the white shiny salty floor of the pan.

                                                                  Deadvlei

                                                                    34. Derweze, Turkmenistan

                                                                    Wish to stand at “Hell’s door?” Head to Derweze, a giant illuminated hole rich in natural gas, in the middle of the Karakum dessert. The crater is made by geologists more than 40 years ago, and the flames within have been burning ever since.

                                                                    Derweze

                                                                      35. Fregate Island, Seychelles

                                                                      The private island of Fregate is an ultimate honeymooner’s delight. It is one of the world’s most exclusive resorts with seven pristine beaches to choose from. Simply close your eyes and think idyllic.

                                                                      FregateIslandSeychelles

                                                                        All pictures in this post are from Flickr Commons, license 2.0.

                                                                        Featured photo credit: Intercontinental Bora Bora – Sunrise via flickr.com

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                                                                        Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                                                                        5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                                                        5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                                                        Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                                                                        Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                                                                        Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                                                                        1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                                                                        Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                                                                        This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                                                                        In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                                                                        The result: no more mental stress.

                                                                        2. Unplug

                                                                        Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                                                                        How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                                                                        It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                                                                        Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                                                                        3. Easy on the Caffeine

                                                                        Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                                                                        Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                                                                        4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                                                                        That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                                                                        How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                                                                        • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                                                                        • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                                                                        • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                                                                        While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                                                                        5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                                                                        This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                                                                        The result: mental stress will be gone!

                                                                        So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                                                                        Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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