The world is enormous, and our travel wish list grows longer every time we visit a new corner of it. So what must you see right now, before it changes forever? Where is now safe that once wasn’t, or where is just uncovered to the world?
Where should you be traveling in 2018? We have the inside scoop on the hottest new cultural institutions and the most exciting emerging destinations. From idyllic islands and remote mountainous regions to bustling metropolises, these are some of the destinations at the top of our list for 2018.
Below is our HOT LIST of places to visit sooner rather than later.
The North Island of New Zealand is abundant with active volcanoes, island sanctuaries and history. From the far north where New Zealand’s political history began, you can travel through landscapes that blend magnificent coast, sprawling farmlands and geothermal wonders. The South Island is a palette of dramatic scenes and hosts the purest natural landscapes you’ll ever experience. It showcases the best of nature’s assets where towering alps meet peaceful sounds and rugged coastlines merge with sweeping plains. New Zealand is a land of immense and diverse landscape; you will see things here that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. You will see spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords, rugged mountains, vast plains, rolling hills, subtropical forests, volcanic plateaus and miles of coastline. New Zealand is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most beautiful destinations.
See our North Island Wine Tour departing November 2018 – *Expressions of Interest
Cambodia is enigmatic, and is truly a history-laden kingdom full of surprises. Soak up the atmosphere of Phnom Penh, wonder at magnificent Angkor Wat – one of the seven wonders of the forgotten world – enjoy Colonial heritage in Battambang, laid back lifestyles in Kep. Explore thriving jungles, enjoy solitude on golden southern sands, dine at private countryside villas and sip sunset drinks on ancient Angkorian waterways. There is so much to this captivating country, and it offers some of my favourite unique travel experiences.
Despite its many allures (milky-blue terraced waterfalls, mountains blanketed with jungle, centuries-old golden stupas, and crumbling temples) landlocked Laos has always been overshadowed by its tourist-magnet neighbours. But that’s changing: the country was thrust into the international spotlight with a historic visit from Barack Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in the nation. Recent negotiations with Thailand opened up additional flights from Bangkok, and new upscale lodgings have made Laos’s two major cities—the temple-studded capital of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, a UNESCO-protected town prized for its natural sights and mix of traditional and French-colonial architecture—much more accessible.
See our Laos tour departing TBC
If you believe that travellers can be agents of change, then Iran should be your next destination. This Middle East republic is politically challenging but still incredibly culturally rewarding. All the architectural treasures and heritage sites of the ancient Persian world await — including the ruins of Persepolis, Isfahan’s cobalt-domed mosques, and imperial palace museums in Tehran. Mai Journeys can arrange a Tailored Tour to the great bazaar city of Tabriz, then on to the gardens of Shiraz and then the magical desert city of Yazd. Everywhere, Iranians are eager to practice their English and offer you tea.
See our Persian Delights Escorted Tour departing September 2018 – *Expressions of Interest
Jaipur is commonly known as the ‘Pink City’ due to its stunning buildings which were originally painted in pink with the intention of reflecting the beautiful Mughal cities’ typical red sandstone architecture. Jaipur is also the biggest city in the state of Rajasthan, and its capital. Together with Agra and Delhi, Jaipur is part of the famous Golden ‘Triangle’ which attracts thousands of Indian and international tourists every year. The most visited sites include the mesmerising City Palace, a couple of impressive Rajput forts and the many temples. The festival of Holi marks the advent of spring and people celebrate joyously all over India. It is the most boisterous of all Hindu festivals, symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and heralds the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Celebrated by young and old, crowds of people gather together to sing and dance and throw coloured powder (and often water) at each other. The occasion is enormous fun.
See our HOLI! India Hosted Tour tour departing February 2018.
Japan is a land of vast cultural diversity with ultra-modern cities, Buddhist mountain sanctuaries, hidden hot springs and cultural arts. It will mesmerise you with its culture, age-old traditions and elegant sophistication. Explores Japanese art, food, history and culture in its most iconic cities. In Tokyo, visit unforgettable sites such as the Meiji Shrine and the colorful shopping streets of Harajuku and travel on bullet trains. Take in Kanazawa, Takayama and Kyoto. Meet Geishas; visit the famous Tsukiji Fish Market; get involved in a Tea Ceremony and enjoy sake tasting; and of course, enjoy exquisite cuisine. Ancient townships, majestic temples, art galleries and royal gardens are all part of this fantastic journey through Japanese culture and heritage. Stay in a traditional ryokan (Japanese Inn) guesthouse, dine on world-renowned kaiseki cuisine and be mesemerised by Japans harmonious mix of ancient and hyper-modern.
See our Autumn in Japan tour departing November 2018.
Peru is an astonishingly varied country, where landscapes range from the towering icy Andean peaks to the steamy depths of the tropical Amazon and one of the most ancient and sophisticated cultures on the continent has given rise to some of the finest examples of art and craftsmanship we know. With African, Arab, European and Asian influences, Peru’s cuisine is as much an ethnic melting pot as its population. Great cultural diversity has bought a fusion of ingredients and techniques and the food here, from the bountiful food markets to the novoandina (Peruvian nouvelle cuisine), is exquisite. Visit the iconic Machu Picchu and the Incan sites of the Sacred Valley & Cusco, take in the stunning scenery and have the opportunity to climb Huayana Picchu.
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