Top 5 backpacking destinations
Backpackers Mecca! Every year thousands of Brits head off to Thailand which has recently become the ultimate ‘travellers’ paradise. The flight isn’t cheap but that is outweighed by the ridiculously cheap prices when you get there. It’s beautiful, dirty, hot, wet, tranquil, busy, relaxing and wild all at the same time! Depending where you go you will experience many different sides to Thailand and Thai people, and you’d be pushed not to love every bit of it! It’s cheap and whatever you want, you can have…for a price…..Thai price! Be prepared to haggle, be respectful of their culture, be open minded, make sure you can handle a bit of spice if not -‘ped nid noy’ (little bit of spice). Be mindful; don’t forget to pack some common sense along with some backpacker or longstay travel insurance.
Long, long flight but worth it when you get there, hugely popular with British backpackers with no language barrier and amazing places to visit. Sydney, Melbourne, Bondi Beach, Ayres Rock, Darwin and Perth, the list is endless. Why not hire a VW Campervan and have yourself a road trip! Sort out a ‘road trip soundtrack’ and drive freely in the sun on their huge roads stretching for miles and miles. There is a feel of home in Australia and despite their possible bitterness towards us winning the Ashes they love a bit of banter with us poms!!!!
3. Amsterdam, Holland
Amsterdam is very famous for its ‘liberal’ views and laws on certain products which may be a contributing factor as to why so many people visit the ‘Jamaica of Europe’ so very well depicted in the film Deuce Bigalo! However aside from its enlightening cafes, the capital of the Netherlands is one of the coolest cities you’ll get to visit. With amazing architecture, museums and generally cosmopolitan feel, this is a place well worth a visit. The city is in the shape of a horseshoe so careful what and how much you consume as you may end up walking around in circles all day! The red light district is worth a visit, but for the less prudish of travellers it’s a fun, busy, bustling place at night with some great bars and beautiful night time canal trips to be had, of course the Euro makes it a little pricey but if you are travelling around Europe and can afford to go, then go!
Since the recent Sex and the City film Morocco has become trendy (again) with night markets, fire eaters, beautiful palaces, lakes, beaches and busy lively cities. Definitely learn how to haggle if you’re planning on buying something, although many people return with all sorts of paraphernalia they would never had intended to buy, but have. Remember, it will be very difficult to carry a carpet in a backpack! Another country associated with hashish connoisseurs, for those old enough to remember think of the film Midnight Express (those not old enough-rent it out) and that should discourage any wild thoughts about running off with a total stranger to “experience the culture” in the Rif Mountains. Oozing with culture and Aladdin style streets if you fancy some Arabian Nights drinking mint tea in the sunset over the mountains do it. As trendy and cosmopolitan as Morocco can be, you are in a foreign country with very different cultural differences so be aware of behaviour that could cause offence and of course take care of your possessions. Make sure you buy travel insurance – just in case, and be vigilant; Marrakesh does have a bit of a reputation for pick pockets, the same as any large, busy city.
5. South America
Not for the faint hearted! Brazil, Argentina, Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands is definitely backpacking for the adventurous. Start in Brazil and enjoy a few nights reveling in Rio de Janeiro, party against the city’s skyline toward Corcovado Mountain and the iconic, looming concrete statue of ‘Christ the Redeemer’. Laze all day on the beach with some of the most attractive people on the face of the Earth, and hardest partiers south of the equator. Just try and keep up with them after the sun drops out of sight. It’s no easy task, there is an endless number of bars and clubs that come to life every evening in nearly every town. If you can make there is one event that always seems to eclipse all else: Carnival.
As you head south through the continent, your next must-stop destination is Buenos Aires –this is a vegetarian free zone as we all know know there’s only one place to get sirloin: Argentina. With an abundance of bars and restaurants you can eat the best steak in the world for next to nothing before you head out to Samba bars and get your groove on. As morbid as it sounds why not visit some of the eternal residents of Recoleta Cemetery. Recoleta isn’t your average spooky cemetery, here you will find that shrines, sarcophagi and structures that are truly works of art, housing some of the most influential and famous Argentineans in history including Eva Peron, Argentina’s famed former first lady – more famously known as ‘Evita’.
Machu Picchu, Galapagos
After mad partying and roaming around in the craziest towns in the world you can head north for some well-deserved relaxation and a chance to witness a few of the world’s most awe-inspiring sights. Here you can explore the mystical Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, the Galapagos Islands and its stunning array of wildlife, flora and fauna off the coast of Ecuador, depending how much time you have there is 7 million square miles of the Amazon rainforest to explore! Make sure you have had all the relevant injections, vaccinations well before your travel date and an absolute must is to buy travel insurance.
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