Travel

The trip of a lifetime

January 26, 2018 10:27 AM The Week Bureau


Five destinations that we rarely consider when planning a vacation 
Today, travelling has become the norm and travelers are aware and updated about all that the world has to offer. There is so much possibility that it’s exciting to plan a trip but the task is no less daunting too. How do you decide where to go and how do you know which place is right for you given your current mindset? The Week narrows it down for you. We have curated a list of the best places to travel in the months ahead. Whether you are after adventure, a cultural tour, or the perfect meal, these are some of the best destinations you can discover in 2018.

Mexico
There’s a lot more to Mexico than beach resorts. The county’s capital, Mexico City, has been named the world design capital for 2018, meaning that the city will host plenty of exhibitions and events, as well as designers and architects from across the globe. Mexico City’s history, which spans multiple civilizations, is another big draw. Top-class museums and galleries document the country’s fascinating history and its endless creative verve. Popular culture is just as vibrant, from the underground dance clubs and street art of Mexico City to the wonderful handicrafts of the indigenous population. The city also boasts an amazing array of food that’s as diverse as the country’s people and topography. Dining out is an endless adventure, whether you are sampling regional dishes, or trying the complex, artsy concoctions of world-class chefs in Mexico City.

Egypt
This place hasn’t made it to our travel lists because of political strife and economic woes it has been facing in the recent times. While it’s true these have taken a toll on Egypt’s tourism industry in recent years, travelers will soon have a new reason to visit. On the arid plains of Giza not far from the Great Pyramids, a modern monument is under construction that’s more than two decades and nearly one billion dollars in the making. The Grand Egyptian Museum will showcase the finest treasures of the pharaohs, including the body and golden funeral mask of Tutankhamen, in a structure spanning nearly 650,000 square feet.

In addition to more than 100,000 artifacts, including pieces currently stored in the vaults of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the new museum will sport a modernist design. Chosen from more than 1,550 design proposals from architects in 82 countries, the final building will echo both the geography of the plateau on which it rests as well as the pyramids themselves. When the museum partially opens in 2018, visitors in the immense atrium can soak in the majestic sight of both the Pyramid of Menkaure and the Great Pyramid of Khufu from a floor-to-ceiling glass wall.

Hong Kong
We are not going to sugar coat it: Hong Kong is expensive. You probably knew that already. It’s one of the reasons why people often don’t make plans to go to Hong Kong in the first place. But armed with the right information you can have a really good trip on a budget. One of the best things to do in a new city is to go on a food tour. You will find that there are quite a few cheap but really good places to eat in Hong Kong. There are many food tours you can choose from that can show you some of the best things to eat as well as where to eat for cheap in Hong Kong. Some of the best and cheapest places to eat in Hong Kong are the little local places and though Dim Sum is the specialty here, you can also explore all the other culinary treats it has to offer. The only thing to keep in mind is that the weather in Hong Kong is unpredictable. Keep an umbrella handy at all times. But Hong Kong’s enchanting neighborhoods and islands offer a sensory feast and weather can’t spoil that. You may find yourself swaying along on a historic double-decker tram, cheering with the crowd at the city center horse races, or simply gazing out at the glorious harbor.

Abu Dhabi
For those of you who don’t want to suffer long flights, Abu Dhabi is the go-to destination. For proof of Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning status as the cultural capital of the Middle East, look no further than Saadiyat Cultural District, which is quickly becoming a treasure trove of world-class art and groundbreaking architecture. The multibillion-dollar initiative has already resulted in one major project, the Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in November last year. Though its construction was controversial, the museum has quickly become the premier creative beacon in the Emirates. Work is under way nearby on the Zayed National Museum, by Norman Foster; the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center, by Zaha Hadid Architects; and the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which when completed will be the largest Guggenheim museum in the world. The city’s hotel-building campaign is also in full swing: this year Marriott debuted a 400-room hotel in the Al Forsan sports center, and next year will see the opening of the Abu Dhabi Edition and Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas.

Ireland
Yes it’s true: Ireland is a stunner. The Irish often need little prodding to proclaim theirs the most beautiful land in the world, and will support their claim with examples, from the brooding loneliness of Connemara to the dramatic wildness of Donegal and the world-famous scenery of counties Kerry and Cork. Northern Ireland might be in a different country, but it’s very much the same land and you will find beauty throughout the region, from the mountains of Mourne to the lake lands of Roscommon and its own scenic star turn along the Antrim Coast. Also, history is everywhere, from the breathtaking monuments of prehistoric Ireland at Brú na Bóinne, Slea Head in Kerry and Carrowmore in Sligo, to the fabulous ruins of Ireland’s rich monastic past at Glendalough, Clonmacnoise and Cashel.

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