Just like every other traveler, I also have a travel bucket list from watching Northern Lights in an Igloo Hotel in Northern Finland to roaming the skies of Bagan with a hot-air balloon. So here is my list with some essential information and tips which may be useful for travelers while planning their trips.
Myanmar: Hot Air Ballooning in Bagan
What to see in Myanmar: Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake.
Time required: 10 days required if you are including domestic flights.
Visa: You need to apply for an e-visa here. It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi and Kawthoung.
When to visit: November to March is the high season.
Jordan: See Petra World Heritage Site at night
What to see: Enter through the Siq and get out from The Treasury – the most photographed part of the area due to its fame from Indiana Jones. Then you may hike up to a mountain to the monastery building. If you visit at night, you will feel the mystery of place by passing through hundreds of candles in Siq.
Time required: 1 day would be more than enough to see the historical site. However, if you’d like to go ahead and see Dead Sea and Amman itself, add one more day and make it a weekend trip.
When to visit: As it is generally hot in Petra, spring or autumn are the best times to visit Petra. If you’re there in summer, try to get out early morning before it gets hot and crowded.
How to get there: It is 4 hour drive from Amman Airport, however you can also take a taxi from airport to Amman bus station so that you can take a public bus to the historical site.
Where to stay: Wadi Musa area is just 10 minutes walking distance from Petra so you may want to stay there to be close.
Bhutan: See The Mysterious Land of the Thunder Dragon
What to see: It’s worth to see Bhutan’s landscapes and well-preserved Buddhist temples especially Takstang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. Tiger’s Nest is built around a cave where the Indian guru Rinpoche meditated in the eighth century. Today, visitors reach the monastery after a two-hour climb that is not for the faint of heart.
Visa: Tourists(except Bangladesh,India and Maldives passport holders) must use a licensed Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners to pre-arrange their visa and book their holiday. A daily fee is also charged for each day of your stay. For most foreign tourists, it costs $250 a day during the high season, and $200 a day for the low season. However, the good news is that the visa covers most of the things and there is nearly nothing to buy in Bhutan.
When to visit: October to December is the best time to visit as the air is clear and fresh during this season.
How to get there: Druk Air is the only airline that serves Bhutan. Flights enter from Delhi, Calcutta and Kathmandu.
Tanzania: Safari in Serengeti
When to visit: Wildlife viewing is good throughout the year but June and July are the best times as you may get a chance to see the great migration.
How to get there: Most safaris to the Serengeti start from the town of Arusha. The best option to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport which is 46km away from Arusha. Arusha to Serengeti takes 8 hours by car but safari tours include other parks on the way so tour companies make it a day or two.
5 days safari tours including Serengeti and Ngorongoro start from 900-1000 Euros per person.
Japan: See Cherry Blossoms
When to visit: March to May is the perfect season to see cherry blossoms.
Time required: Kyoto offers more temples, history and things to do for tourists, so spending more time there than Tokyo is suggested. One can easily spend 2 weeks in these two but if you want to limit it, 4 days in Tokyo and 6 days in Kyoto would be sufficient.
Where to go: The capital Tokyo and the cultural centre Kyoto are the priorities even though there are more to see and discover in Japan. Mt Fuji is also a must! For 4 days in Tokyo:
Day 1: See the modern west
Day 2: See the traditional east
Day 3: Take a day trip to Mt Fuji
Day 4: Tsukiji Fish Market, Imperial Palace and Shinjuku (also the best area to stay)
How to get there: Tokyo has two airports – Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND). Haneda is closer to the city so it would be the faster and cheaper option.
To go to Kyoto from Tokyo, take the shinkansen train from Tokyo Station. It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes (don’t take the slowest one called Kodama but the faster Nozomi or Hikari) to Kyoto and there are shinkansen every hour between Tokyo and Kyoto until 7:50pm.
Cambodia: Catch the breathtaking sunrise at Angkor Wat
Visa: You need to apply for an eVisa here.
Time required: 2 to 3 days would be enough to see Cambodia.
What to see: Visit archeological park and temples in the afternoon and enjoy sunset in Siem Reap. Enjoy the sunrise at Angkor Wat and take a tuk tuk (1 hour) to see Banteay Srei.
Chile: Visit one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands – Easter Island
What to see: It is one of the most remote places in the world. However, it is worth to go to see moai, colossal statues that were each carved from a single stone sometime between 1200 and the mid 17th century. Group tours are the most common way to explore the island.
When to visit: As it is on the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed. There is Tapati Festival end of January to the start of February each year so you may want to consider planning the trip around these days.
How to get there: Take a 5 hours domestic flight from Santiago, Chile to Hanga Roa.
See Northern Lights from an Igloo Hotel in Finnish Lapland
What to see: Of course the nature’s most spectacular light show, the Aurora Borealis in one of the world’s best locations to watch this beautiful show.
When to visit: From late August to April.
How to get there: You can get to Lapland from Helsinki or Tromso, Norway. The high speed train – Lapland Express which takes you to Rovaniemi leaves from Helsinki on Saturdays at 09:30 and arrives at 17:45 the same day. The train back to Helsinki leaves on Sunday around 15:00 and reaches the capital at around midnight. More info can be found here.
Where to stay: There is a selection of places that have made it very easy to keep cosy and sleep well under the Aurorae on Visit Finland’s website.
What is your travel bucket item? Feel free to share yours in the comments below.