Best Up-And-Coming Vacation Spots

Four under-the-radar (and no doubt under-your-budget) places to visit this year.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Best Up-And-Coming Vacation Spots©Intrepid TravelVictoria Falls, Zimbabwe

If you’re hoping to sight-see on a shoestring—or just want to beat the crowds and enjoy a place in all its authenticity—head to one of these emerging travel destinations, as chosen recently by The New York Times.

Labrador Opened for public use last summer, the final stretch of the Trans-Labrador Highway—which covers 655 miles from Labrador City in western Labrador through remote, sub-Arctic wilderness—lets you glimpse icebergs, whales (from mid-June to July), fishing villages and the last true frontier in North America. Fuel up before you go and expect spotty cell-phone coverage. When we say remote, we mean it. For more on traveling The Trans-Labrador Highway, visit http://www.tlhwy.com/travel/index.html.

Diqing, China Diqing is part of a protected Unesco World Heritage Site, an unspoiled area of dramatic scenery where the Yangtze, Mekong and Salween Rivers run nearly parallel through steep gorges. It’s also home to Tibetan villages not often glimpsed by outsiders. This spring Songstam, a boutique hotel group , plans to open a handful of lodges that will serve as comfortable bases for treks through the region.  Book soon. The widening of the road that services Diqing promises more visitors in the future.

Zimbabwe It’s where you’ll find the magnificent Victoria Falls, but political turmoil and economic upheaval have kept most visitors away from Zimbabwe. Still, a new government and a more stable currency give reason to hope for change. Berkeley, Calif. tour operator Wilderness Travel suspended operations in Zimbabwe in 2002, but is now launching a 13-day tour that includes a canoe safari. As for safety concerns, the Times advises that you use caution and work with a responsible tour operator (Intrepid Travel is another; ) when planning a trip here.

Mongolia Mongolia, while one of the most beautiful places on earth, saw just 557,414 visitors last year, according to the Mongolia Tourism Board website. But a number of hotel groups, including Hilton Hotels, the Rezidor Hotel Group and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, expect those numbers to change and have accordingly announced plans for new properties in the capital of Ulan Bator. While for the most part quite drab, the city boasts a palace and a handful of monasteries, temples and museums worth visiting, and is a good base from which to explore the country’s grasslands and national parks, as well as the Gobi Desert. See www.visitmongolia.com for more.

For more on each of these places, read Beat the Crowds to Up-and-Coming Destinations.

Source: The New York Times

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  • Your Comments

    • http://www.thirdeyetravel.com/travelGuide/5/travel-to-tibet Harper Cosper

      Instead of going to Diqing, China just to see Tibetan Villages, why not go all the way to Tibet to experience the out-of-this-world feel of the place? If you look at the pictures taken from the Tibetan mountains, you’ll see why those monks from the mountains have that much affinity with mother nature.