Three Offbeat Destinations That Will Surprise You by Their Beauty


A few weeks ago, we were toying with the idea of going for a vacation abroad. The three of us, the father, the son and I, came up with three different destinations that are poles apart considering their pivotal tourist attractions. However, one thing was common, all the three places we chose were beautiful in their own ways and were not-so-conventional ones.

While the situation is still like a hot potato, the blogger in me has gotten inspired to write a post pertaining the information we gathered from our weeklong research about those places.

So, let’s start our virtual journey.

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Vietnam: This was proposed by the man of the house as he has reared an interest about the iconic Communist leader, Ho Chí Minh, from his childhood. The history of Vietnam is of war and rebellion. The country has now embraced peace and is evolving rapidly securing its place as one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the world.

Myriad forms of geo-diversities, breathtaking natural beauty and an age-old culture have made Vietnam truly fabulous. Apart from the capital city of Hanoi, in and around the Ho Chi Minh city, tourists can enjoy the quintessence of Vietnamese culture. We have Ha Long Bay in our list, often referred as the eighth natural wonder of the world. Million years of environmental changes have given rise to karstification of the land. Travelling through thousands of monolithic limestone islands jutting out of the emerald green silent water, on a traditional junk, is an unforgettable experience. The Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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The bamboo boat tour at Trang An Grottoes, Ninh Binh is also a must. While these types of limestone caves are not so uncommon in other places of the world, we learnt, that meandering through the limestone caves on boats drawn by skilful Vietnamese women having a prowess is just thrilling.

Vietnam is now a throbbing and fast-developing nation, not a war. The very spirit of the nation, its heritage and culture, deserve a visit.
For interested readers, Air Asia (Kolkata only), Singapore Airlines, Malindo Air have direct flights to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi from other metro cities.

Namibia (Windhoek): A rather uncommon suggestion from the junior probably for the reason that he has watched exhilarating wilderness safaris of Namibia on the Nat-Geo. Our R&D revealed that Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is situated in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around 1,700 metres above sea level. It’s an evergreen city with different architectural marvels showing the effects of colonisation. Among the post-colonial architecture, the Tintenplast building attracts a lot of tourists and Namibia’s Parliament sits there. Christuskirche, a Lutheran church, is the most well-known landmark of the city. For culinary enthusiasts, enjoying zebra steaks or ostrich kebabs would be an adventure!

However, what attracted us most is the wildlife at Daan Viljoen Game Park in the Khomas Hochland, only 18 km to the west of the city. Apart from animals a-z, that is, from antelopes to zebra, this is a paradise for bird-watchers with over 200 kinds of birds. Of course, that attracted the bird-enthusiast in me.

The Etosha National Park, the greatest national park of Namibia, is a five-hour drive from Windhoek. One is likely to see lions, elephants, black rhinos, giraffes and many other animals here. Undoubtedly, the source of the excitement of the junior lies in these parks.
Qatar Airways, Jet Airways, Ethiopian Air, conduct flights to Windhoek from Kolkata and other Indian metros. Multiple carriers are there in a flight.

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Etosha National Park

Bahrain: Suggested by yours truly. The history of Bahrain traces back to 3rd millennium B.C. Bahrain, literally means, ‘two seas’, is an archipelago in the Persian Gulf. It is said to be the most socially liberated among the Arab countries of the region. It is a mecca of shopping and the souqs offer everything on earth.

However, the historical marvel of Bahrain evokes my interest more. For me, witnessing the age-old buildings, architectural grandeurs, creates a sensation of thrill and awe. So, the archaeological site of Qal’at al-Bahrain (UNESCO World Heritage Centre), Bahrain National Museum, Arad Fort, Barbar Temple, Beit Al Quran- are a must visit. The Al Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve is there to my son’s delight who has a penchant for wildlife. The pictures we have seen on the internet are really enchanting. The park has a diverse wildlife to offer.

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The Hawar Islands off the coast of Qatar is an archipelago of desert islands owned by Bahrain. It takes about 2 hours to reach Hawar Islands from Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Our interest in that island lies in the fact that it’s famous for birdwatching. Plush resorts are there so that tourists can enjoy their stay.
Air India, Etihad, Gulf Air and Qatar Airways conduct flights to Bahrain.

Travelling is a lesson in itself, an elixir to renew our minds and bodies.

It’s practically not possible to bring out the joy of visiting a beautiful place even with prolix sagas.

The happiness remains only with the traveller. It’s their very own feelings, treasured for life.

Image Credits: herehere and here

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65 responses to “Three Offbeat Destinations That Will Surprise You by Their Beauty

  1. Namibia, that is one that doesn’t get much of a mention, that sounds ideal. The other day I booked to go to the Philippines in April so looking forward to exchanging notes about our experiences.

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    • Yes, a few bloggers here also have pointed out that. Bahrain has some problems which are not favourable for the tourists. Glad to know you’ve visited it already! Maybe we can expect a post with pictures, even older ones will do… 😀

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  2. Such a varied choice of places to visit.. Each one has outstanding merits of why it would appeal.. I think if I had these 3 as choices my own would be Namibia, I have always wanted to go and see the Wild Life on an African Safari.. My Daughter went out to Africa for a short time on a working holiday.. In which she helped out at a Cheetah Sanctuary in which it was helping orphaned Cheetahs return to the wild.. She also got to walk with baby elephants who were also on the reserve who had been orphaned from poaching Ivory.

    I have beautiful photo’s I had enlarged of her sat with a female fully grown Cheetah stroking it.. Which was tame and not being allowed back into the wild.. And one with two elephants as she held onto the ear of one of them.. Both babies but both towering above her.. 🙂

    You are right when you say such Holidays hold many memories.. They do stay with us for Life..

    A wonderful descriptive post Mani.. which makes me look forward to my own Spring break in May as we tour Scotland again for a week..
    Love and Hugs Sue xxx ❤

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  3. Wonderful choices Maniparna! I’ve always wanted to visit Vietnam!
    Hope you have a great holiday!
    “It’s practically not possible to bring out the joy of visiting a beautiful place even with prolix sagas.” Love this line!

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  4. Wonderfully compiled and very informative post Maniparna. Of the three places, Namibia appears to be the most attractive for me. Though zebra steaks or ostrich kebabs are out of question for me, but I would love to explore the wilderness and see the post-colonial architecture of Namibia.

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  5. Vietnam and Namibia sound exciting for different reasons. If you haven’t been to Africa, then Namibia is a must see. Talking of the middle east, Israel, Jordan or Oman have much more to offer than Bahrain.
    Planning a vacation in itself is fun. Have fun!

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  6. Oh what a choice!! We have been to Vietnam and I loved it – Lyne (my wife) was not as keen, she found it a bit too hot and she found the poverty a little disturbing. I loved the food and the people. I have never been to your other two options, however Bahrain is on my list of places to go… I don’t think Lyne will enjoy the heat though 🙂 Have fun wherever you go – a family holiday is always just what you make of it. We are off to Tasmania this year for a short holiday, with snow 😀

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  7. Hopefully Vietnam will happen for me later in the year 🙂 Incidentally, the husband has been in Bahrain for the last 5 months and my visa has been rejected twice! As per his feedback, it’s very finicky. Also, compared to Muscat and Dubai – there is limited transport and tourist facilities (he has stayed there as well). Go for Namibia 🙂

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    • Oh, really! Thanks for letting me know that. I’ve to come over with the inclination for Bahrain anyway, I think. There are very few packages available and not a single one looks fully satisfying.

      Maybe we will bump into each other in Vietnam… 😀

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