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Top Backpacker Destinations
Take the road less traveled. Go where your feet can carry you. Discover yourself on a budget. Grab your backpack and head out the door! These are the best backpacking destinations.
Bangkok, Thailand
The capital of Thailand, Bangkok offers all sorts of excitement for adventurous visitors. Gorgeous tropical scenery, rich Buddhist culture and unique folk customs make the city irresistibly attractive for countless tourists. Coupled with a perfect blend of Eastern and Western cultures, a merger of ancient and modern time and space, the city offers an exquisite experience of authentic Thai living. This is a land of long-lasting cultural structures, traditional waterside markets, a veritable paradise for shoppers and nature enthusiasts alike. Come take a stroll through the enticing streets and see why so many countless others have fallen in love with this city.
Backpacker
Bali, Indonesia
Bali is one of the most famous of Indonesia’s “thousand islands”, with its sandy beaches, world-class surf spots and spectacular underwater views. A wealth of entertainment venues, restaurants, cafés and spas of all grades await vacationers. It is dotted with rural farmhouses, forest grasslands and deep emerald valleys full of rapids. There are two active volcanoes in the north, adding an air of mystery and natural extravagance. There are a number of elegant and exquisite villas hidden within the island, while the luxury beach resorts are a top choice among honeymooners.
Backpacker
Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, has long held a mystique for travelers, and was once thought to be the fabled “Shangri-La”. Not quite Shangri-La, it is instead a jumble of rickshaw traffic, architectural wonder in Durbar Square, a old medieval town boasting ancient workshops and streets waiting to be discovered. Popular with independent travelers, Kathmandu is not always clear to immerse yourself in, but offers great rewards for those who do, from yoga centers and Buddhist temples for spiritual seekers to the Newari restaurants featuring traditional dancers for the gourmand adventurer. A favorite site on the outskirts of the city is the magnificent Swayambhunath Stupa, which is perched on a hill over the city.
Backpacker
Cancun, Mexico
As one of the first planned tourist cities in the world, Cancun is wholly dedicated to the pleasures of a sun and sand vacation. On the Caribbean coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, Cancun boasts fine white sand beaches and warm turquoise water. The Hotel Zone is just what it sounds - - hotels , dining and shopping, geared towards international tourists, cruise ship passengers and all-inclusive vacation resorts. To add a bit of adventure to your vacation, venture out into the city to go on a Jeep safari, visit Mayan ruins, swim with dolphins at an adventure park or explore offshore for a boat trip. While chain restaurants abound, Cancun's dining options have expanded upon the gourmet side featuring Yucatecan cuisine like poc chuc (shredded pork marinated in sour orange juice ) or succulent lobster. For night owls, Cancun has a vibrant nightlife, with a multitude of bars and clubs for all ages. These are especially packed during Cancun's busiest week with the under-25 set: spring break, which can run anywhere from mid-March to mid-April.
Backpacker
Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech's dominant marketplace -- the Djemaa el Fna -- has been the meeting place for food vendors, snake charmers, Berber storytellers and travelers for hundreds of years. From the marketplace, windy streets and alleyways -- all pedestrianized, save for the odd donkey cart or motor scooter -- curl around the median for miles, offering outdoor restaurants, hundreds of shops and Marrakech's answer to a hotel: the riad (a handful of beautifully tiled and painted rooms clustered around an interior courtyard, often with a pool). The call to prayer from the minaret of the statuesque Koutoubia Mosque adds to the allure of Marrakech's fascination. Visitors round out a day with a visit to a harem (Turkish bath), the sumptuous Majorelle gardens or a stroll through the Jewish quarter. Marrakech gets close enough to the fabled Atlas Mountains that adventurous souls often head into the mountains to explore stunning natural landscapes like the Ourika River Valley.
Backpacker
Manila, Philippines
Manila is the capital city of the Philippines. New and old are interwoven with each other in this city which integrates eastern and western culture. Because it was once ruled by Spain, this place has quite the southwestern European atmosphere. Manila has a forest of skyscrapers. Its many streets and churches hold a hundred years of history, as well as gardens, alleys and byways full of blooming flowers. Downtown Manila is an excellent place to appreciate the city’s Spanish style. The Manila Cathedral, or Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, San Augustin Church and the Casa Manila museum are all located in the city. You can take a horse-drawn carriage tour around to visit them. Manila Bay, especially the waterfront Roxas Boulevard, is a beautiful place from which to watch the sunset. You also visit some places in the suburban outskirts of Manila, such as Tagatai to hike up the volcano or Pagsanjan to take part in exciting activities like rafting.
Backpacker
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap is a scenic spot that attracts the interest of travelers from around the globe. The World Heritage Site Angkor Wat is located to the north of the city. Angkor Wat is the generalized name for all of the ruins and archaeological sites related to the Angkor temple cluster. This was the capital of the ancient Khmer kingdom from the 9th to 15th centuries. The ancient temple ruins have long been claimed by the dense tropical rainforests. Take the day to visit Angkor Wat and then you can spend your evening back in the city having a glass of beer and enjoying the famous Pub Street.
Backpacker
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nha Trang is a coastal city in central Vietnam. It is relatively secluded with tidy beaches, small islands and spectacular monuments. You are sure to find many interesting things to do on a visit to Nha Trang. You can join the Nha Trang Four Island Tour to swim and snorkel, surrounded by coral reefs and vibrant marine life. You can take in the sights at the magnificent Po Nagar Cham Towers, watch a beautiful sunset from Hon Chong Promontory with a loved one, or rejuvenate in a magical mud bath. The Vinpearl Nha Trang Resort is a great place to go if traveling with children. The cable car over the ocean is an especially exciting way to arrive. The Nha Trang night markets offer all kinds of snacks and Vietnamese street-side delicacies, a delicious opportunity not to be missed.
Backpacker
Antalya, Turkey
Antalya is a large city on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Set in what’s known as the Turkish Riviera, Antalya is a popular resort destination. Founded in the 2nd century BCE, Antalya and the surrounding areas contain a treasure trove of cultural artifacts. Numerous empires ruled Antalya at various points and the city maintains this rich heritage. While temperatures can rise sharply in the high summer months, Antalya’s climate is typical for Mediterranean cities, mostly dry and pleasant. Whether you’re looking for history or just beautiful scenery, Antalya is a great destination.
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