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The best islands in Thailand

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The best islands in Thailand

Thailand has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world in recent years.

Every year millions of tourists from all over the world come here to relax in this vibrant eastern country, enjoy exotic Thai cuisine, see local nature and amazing sights, as well as visit mysterious ancient temples.

Such excitement from time to time has not the best impact on the preservation of the local nature and cultural heritage in its original form, therefore the islands of Thailand, which have preserved their idyllic beauty, are especially valuable.

We have compiled a list of 15 islands in Thailand, which can be safely called the most beautiful and picturesque. If you want to see the vibrant nature of this country in all its magnificent beauty, take these names on a note, and be sure to visit at least some of these islands during your trip to Thailand!

1. Diving: Koh Lipe Island

Located off the southwestern coast of Thailand, 70 kilometers from the Andaman Sea, Ko Lipe is a real paradise for fans of good diving and clean, cozy beaches. Despite the miniature size of Ko Lipe, it is quite possible to find a neat bungalow on its coast for a small fee.

2. Day Trips: Koh Tup Island

Ko Tup, or, as it is also called, Barana Island is one of the four islands in Krabi. Here you will have an excellent beach holiday and very good diving: white sandy beaches, clear turquoise water and high rocky cliffs near the coast create all the necessary conditions for this. The only nuance that should be taken into account is a rather large number of tourists during peak times.

3. Beaches and diving: Racha islands

Racha Islands, located 12 kilometers south of Phuket, will probably be the best choice in Thailand for fans of beach holidays and scuba diving. Guests of these islands will find clean white sand, rich water world and small but comfortable bungalows.

4. Alternative to Koh Samui: Koh Chang island

If you are looking for an alternative to Koh Samui, Koh Chang is the only option. Quieter and more peaceful, it delights travelers with picturesque waterfalls, deserted beaches, interesting diving and the possibility of exciting hiking trips in the jungle. If you are looking for good relaxation and natural wildlife – you should definitely visit Koh Chang Island!

5. Night parties: Koh Pha Ngan island

If you want to see the world’s best nightlife, come to the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan! Snow-white sandy beaches, tall palms with lush crowns and azure bays here are simply ideally combined with many bohemian restaurants, cafes and bars, where travelers will find a lot of music, delicious cocktails and just an unforgettable vacation under the moonlight.

6. Diving for beginners: Koh Tao island

Koh Tao Island in Thailand is practically isolated from the noisy Thai tourist world. Serene peace that reigns here, incredible beauty of nature and fantastic diving – what else do you need for those who want to indulge in relaxation during a well-deserved vacation? Scuba diving on Koh Tao offers a fairly large number of operators, and there are always good instructors here who will teach and back up beginners who make their first dives.

7. Exotic nature: Ko Nan Yuan island

If your soul asks for relaxation in the bosom of truly beautiful wildlife, take a vacation on Ko Nan Yuan Island. Here you will find great snorkelling, interesting scuba diving, relaxing walks under the shade of tropical trees and, of course, an incredibly relaxing holiday on magically quiet beaches. There is only one hotel on the island – Nang Yuan Diving Resort, and due to the limited number of rooms it is not always possible to stay here. Therefore, if you decide to visit Ko Nan Yuan, book your hotel rooms in advance.

8. Budget Holidays in Thailand: Koh Maak Island

The small, but very clean and calm island of Ko Maak is ideal for those who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of a large metropolis, while spending a very small amount of money on vacation.

Clean beaches, clear water, luscious tropical greenery and many options for interesting leisure activities will help make your vacation truly bright and enjoyable. There are coconut plantations on the island, along which it is very good to ride while cycling, there are several cook schools, where master classes of Thai cuisine are constantly held, there is a diving school and several types of excursions. In addition, small bungalows on the coast can be rented here at quite democratic prices.

9. Camping: Koh Tarutao Island

The island of Ko Tarutao has been assigned the status of a national park, thanks to which it is carefully protected from encroachments by developers. You can stay here in a campsite or in tents (they can be rented).

10. Most beautiful sunsets: Phi Phi island

Phi Phi Island is probably the best place in the world to watch the sunsets. An incredible view of them opens from the top of a rocky peak located on this island, so climbing it is a must-see for all travelers who come here. It is logical that a lot of tourists gather here in the evening, and sometimes their number reaches several hundred, so you shouldn’t even dream of any magical and romantic moments.

11. Traditional culture of Thailand: Koh Lanta island

Belonging to the province of Krabi, the island of Ko Lanta is quite famous among tourists from different countries for its incredibly picturesque, unspoiled nature, long white beaches and a rich underwater world. Here you will find beautiful hills covered with forests, mountainous landscapes, beaches and coral reefs.

Tourist infrastructure is present here, but within very reasonable limits, which does not violate the natural world of the island.

12. Wildlife of Thailand: Koh Ngai Island

The island of Ko Ngai, located between the provinces of Trang and Krabi, is almost entirely covered with dense tropical forests, while the northern and western parts of the island are practically uninhabited, so there are simply incredible opportunities for observing wildlife: wild crabs, monitor lizards and monkeys in their natural environment. habitat, as well as for seasonal migrations of birds. There are also good conditions for a beach holiday on the island.

13. Lack of tourists: Ko Phayam island

For those looking for a good but very secluded getaway, Ko Phayam, located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Renong province, is the best choice. Beautiful nature, clean desert beaches, wild tropical forests, impeccable sea water and large coral reefs, combined with the absence of huge crowds of tourists, will be a real gift for those travelers who seek a secluded getaway away from busy resorts and noisy tourists.

14. Relaxation: Koh Muk Island

The small but very interesting Thai island of Ko Muk is often called the Pearl Island for its serenity and incredible beauty. Vacationers can enjoy exciting kayaking, scuba diving, walks in tropical groves, day trips to other islands, great beach holidays and incredible sea sunsets. In addition, it is also home to one of the most famous natural attractions in Thailand – the Emerald Cave.

15. Uninhabited beaches: Koh Phra Tong island

Looking for a tropical paradise like the ad picture? The island of Ko Phra Tong, which is also part of the National Park, retains its original appearance, fascinating the inhabitant of modern cities at first sight. More than 15 kilometers of snow-white beaches – uninhabited, clean and incredibly deserted, beckon to relax under the quiet sound of the surf.

Near Koh Phra Thong Island is Surin Island, known for the largest variety of corals in Thailand, and Richelieu Rock, which is one of the top 10 best diving spots in the world.

Thailand has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world in recent years.

Every year millions of tourists from all over the world come here to relax in this vibrant eastern country, enjoy exotic Thai cuisine, see local nature and amazing sights, as well as visit mysterious ancient temples.

Such excitement from time to time has not the best impact on the preservation of the local nature and cultural heritage in its original form, therefore the islands of Thailand, which have preserved their idyllic beauty, are especially valuable.

We have compiled a list of 15 islands in Thailand, which can be safely called the most beautiful and picturesque. If you want to see the vibrant nature of this country in all its magnificent beauty, take these names on a note, and be sure to visit at least some of these islands during your trip to Thailand!

1. Diving: Koh Lipe Island

Located off the southwestern coast of Thailand, 70 kilometers from the Andaman Sea, Ko Lipe is a real paradise for fans of good diving and clean, cozy beaches. Despite the miniature size of Ko Lipe, it is quite possible to find a neat bungalow on its coast for a small fee.

2. Day Trips: Koh Tup Island

Ko Tup, or, as it is also called, Barana Island is one of the four islands in Krabi. Here you will have an excellent beach holiday and very good diving: white sandy beaches, clear turquoise water and high rocky cliffs near the coast create all the necessary conditions for this. The only nuance that should be taken into account is a rather large number of tourists during peak times.

3. Beaches and diving: Racha islands

Racha Islands, located 12 kilometers south of Phuket, will probably be the best choice in Thailand for fans of beach holidays and scuba diving. Guests of these islands will find clean white sand, rich water world and small but comfortable bungalows.

4. Alternative to Koh Samui: Koh Chang island

If you are looking for an alternative to Koh Samui, Koh Chang is the only option. Quieter and more peaceful, it delights travelers with picturesque waterfalls, deserted beaches, interesting diving and the possibility of exciting hiking trips in the jungle. If you are looking for good relaxation and natural wildlife – you should definitely visit Koh Chang Island!

5. Night parties: Koh Pha Ngan island

If you want to see the world’s best nightlife, come to the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan! Snow-white sandy beaches, tall palms with lush crowns and azure bays here are simply ideally combined with many bohemian restaurants, cafes and bars, where travelers will find a lot of music, delicious cocktails and just an unforgettable vacation under the moonlight.

6. Diving for beginners: Koh Tao island

Koh Tao Island in Thailand is practically isolated from the noisy Thai tourist world. Serene peace that reigns here, incredible beauty of nature and fantastic diving – what else do you need for those who want to indulge in relaxation during a well-deserved vacation? Scuba diving on Koh Tao offers a fairly large number of operators, and there are always good instructors here who will teach and back up beginners who make their first dives.

7. Exotic nature: Ko Nan Yuan island

If your soul asks for relaxation in the bosom of truly beautiful wildlife, take a vacation on Ko Nan Yuan Island. Here you will find great snorkelling, interesting scuba diving, relaxing walks under the shade of tropical trees and, of course, an incredibly relaxing holiday on magically quiet beaches. There is only one hotel on the island – Nang Yuan Diving Resort, and due to the limited number of rooms it is not always possible to stay here. Therefore, if you decide to visit Ko Nan Yuan, book your hotel rooms in advance.

8. Budget Holidays in Thailand: Koh Maak Island

The small, but very clean and calm island of Ko Maak is ideal for those who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of a large metropolis, while spending a very small amount of money on vacation.

Clean beaches, clear water, luscious tropical greenery and many options for interesting leisure activities will help make your vacation truly bright and enjoyable. There are coconut plantations on the island, along which it is very good to ride while cycling, there are several cook schools, where master classes of Thai cuisine are constantly held, there is a diving school and several types of excursions. In addition, small bungalows on the coast can be rented here at quite democratic prices.

9. Camping: Koh Tarutao Island

The island of Ko Tarutao has been assigned the status of a national park, thanks to which it is carefully protected from encroachments by developers. You can stay here in a campsite or in tents (they can be rented).

10. Most beautiful sunsets: Phi Phi island

Phi Phi Island is probably the best place in the world to watch the sunsets. An incredible view of them opens from the top of a rocky peak located on this island, so climbing it is a must-see for all travelers who come here. It is logical that a lot of tourists gather here in the evening, and sometimes their number reaches several hundred, so you shouldn’t even dream of any magical and romantic moments.

11. Traditional culture of Thailand: Koh Lanta island

Belonging to the province of Krabi, the island of Ko Lanta is quite famous among tourists from different countries for its incredibly picturesque, unspoiled nature, long white beaches and a rich underwater world. Here you will find beautiful hills covered with forests, mountainous landscapes, beaches and coral reefs.

Tourist infrastructure is present here, but within very reasonable limits, which does not violate the natural world of the island.

12. Wildlife of Thailand: Koh Ngai Island

The island of Ko Ngai, located between the provinces of Trang and Krabi, is almost entirely covered with dense tropical forests, while the northern and western parts of the island are practically uninhabited, so there are simply incredible opportunities for observing wildlife: wild crabs, monitor lizards and monkeys in their natural environment. habitat, as well as for seasonal migrations of birds. There are also good conditions for a beach holiday on the island.

13. Lack of tourists: Ko Phayam island

For those looking for a good but very secluded getaway, Ko Phayam, located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Renong province, is the best choice. Beautiful nature, clean desert beaches, wild tropical forests, impeccable sea water and large coral reefs, combined with the absence of huge crowds of tourists, will be a real gift for those travelers who seek a secluded getaway away from busy resorts and noisy tourists.

14. Relaxation: Koh Muk Island

The small but very interesting Thai island of Ko Muk is often called the Pearl Island for its serenity and incredible beauty. Vacationers can enjoy exciting kayaking, scuba diving, walks in tropical groves, day trips to other islands, great beach holidays and incredible sea sunsets. In addition, it is also home to one of the most famous natural attractions in Thailand – the Emerald Cave.

15. Uninhabited beaches: Koh Phra Tong island

Looking for a tropical paradise like the ad picture? The island of Ko Phra Tong, which is also part of the National Park, retains its original appearance, fascinating the inhabitant of modern cities at first sight. More than 15 kilometers of snow-white beaches – uninhabited, clean and incredibly deserted, beckon to relax under the quiet sound of the surf.

Near Koh Phra Thong Island is Surin Island, known for the largest variety of corals in Thailand, and Richelieu Rock, which is one of the top 10 best diving spots in the world.

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Adventure Tours

Check out these 4 Villas with Perks – Mauritius, Barbados, St Lucia

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Many will be eying the world for sun and sand this winter. If that’s you and you are ready for long-haul travel, check out these four villas for complete privacy while benefiting from the services and facilities of a luxury resort.

From a clifftop villa in St Lucia to a golfer’s paradise in Barbados and a villa spacious enough for an extended family in Mauritius, here are our top picks.  

Heritage The Villas, Mauritius

Mauritius is opening up from October 2021 for travel without the need to quarantine on arrival.

So, for a winter sun holiday that offers guaranteed warm weather (30°C), privacy, space to have fun as well as five-star hotel services, Heritage the Villas offers the best of both worlds for a large family or group of friends. 

Located on Domaine de Bel Ombre in southern Mauritius, Heritage The Villas offers two-, three- and four-bedroom villas and have mountain, golf course or sea views and each has a private garden with an expansive terrace and pool, that are perfect for alfresco dining and BBQs.

You can relax on the white sand beaches, swim in the ocean, play a leisurely round of golf at the Heritage Golf Club, chill out at the C Beach Club, enjoy water sports, have a relaxing spa treatment in the adjacent hotel’s spa, go for a hike in the Heritage nature reserve, or immerse in the hotel’s daily activity programme of classes and activities. There’s a kid’s club too.

A private chef can be arranged or dine at the Domaine’s 12 restaurants at sister properties, Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali where guests receive a 20 per cent discount in select restaurants. From local Mauritian dishes in a fine dining 19th-century chateau to ‘toes in the sand dining’ at a beachside restaurant, there is a variety of culinary experiences.

A seven-night stay starts from £2,117 in a 2 bedroom villa with private pool and goes up to £4,816 for a 4 bedroom villa with pool. For more information visit: www.heritageresorts.mu

Whitehaven villa, Barbados

With pristine powdery white beaches, year-round sunshine and a welcoming community, Barbados’ reputation as an idyllic tropical escape is second to none.

Whitehaven is a newly built three-bedroom villa set within the gated community of Westmoreland Hills on the west coast of Barbados. Positioned on a ridge with stunning panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, the villa enjoys a tranquil setting, yet is only a five-minute drive to the closest beach in Holetown where there is plenty of shopping, banks and eateries.

Nearby at Westmoreland Hill is a high-tech gym and swimming pool.

The villa has an open plan living space and floor to ceiling sliding doors that lead out to a covered dining and lounging terrace with a swimming pool.

Seven-night stay starts from £2,219, which includes housekeeping. For more information visit www.onecaribbeanestates.com

Cap Maison, St Lucia

Set atop a private ocean-front bluff on the northernmost tip of St Lucia and spread across one acre of private landscaped grounds, Saman House at Cap Maison resort offers unparalleled privacy, personalised concierge service, and a private pool in an idyllic location.

The four-bedroom villa sleeps up to eight people and boasts unobstructed views that overlook Pigeon Island National Park and the neighbouring island of Martinique.

Saman House gives the flexibility of a holiday utilizing all the services of a luxury boutique resort whilst enjoying the privacy of a complete residence for a family.

You can spend your days on the beach, taking part in water-based activities like scuba diving and sailing, going on scenic hikes, cooking lessons, or taking a boat trip along the beautiful coastline.

Each bedroom can be furnished with twin or double beds and feature an en-suite bathroom. The villa comes with a fully equipped kitchen, with private chef options available, as well a dining and living room, private pool and decking area with BBQ.

A seven-night stay starts from £5,582, which includes daily housekeeping, laundry service and a welcome fridge pack. For more information visit www.capmaison.com

Bajan Heights, Barbados

For the ultimate luxury getaway, Bajan Heights at Royal Westmoreland offers the perfect base. The spacious four-bedroom villa is set atop a ridge overlooking the West Coast of the island with tropical views from every vantage point.

The villa features high ceilings and coral stone interiors and a private swimming pool, beautifully landscaped grounds and several dining options including a formal dining area, outdoor veranda, and relaxed sit-up breakfast bar.

With access to Royal Westmoreland’s facilities, families can fill their days with endless activities including golf on the award-winning golf course, tennis and even beach sports. The resort also has a children’s pool, gym, children’s areas and spa facilities.

For those that want to venture out Holetown is a five-minute drive away with an array of restaurants, bars and chic boutiques.

A seven-night stay starts from £7,420, which includes a butler service and housekeeper. For booking details visit www.onecaribbeanestates.com

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Which of these travel motivators rings true for you?

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Which of these travel motivators rings true for you?

Why do people leave their homes and voyage all over the globe? The reasons why people love to travel are varied, and very personal.

One of the reasons why people love to travel: challenging themselves with new places, people, and experiences.

Challenging yourself.

You might feel like you’re stuck in a rut in your daily life. Or you’re yearning for something exciting and different. You’re craving new experiences and new challenges. Travel is the ideal place to test yourself. It pushes people to their limits and gets them outside their comfort zone. You’ll discover how resourceful you are when you’re exposed to new places, people and experiences. Maybe it’s finding your way around a busy city. Or ordering a meal when you don’t speak the language. Or zip-lining. You’ll feel pride when you finish your trip successfully. Overcoming challenges will bring you joy and energy for future tests. You’ll realize how capable you are and build your confidence.

Learning.

Learning is a strong reason why people love to travel.  They want to experience something unfamiliar and leave with new skills or knowledge. Seeing the world is more educational than a high school or college class. This condensed crash course in discovering how the rest of the world lives actually will cover subjects like history, geography and sociology. Every destination has something unique to teach visitors, and immersing themselves in a completely different world is the best learning experience.

People may travel to learn something specific: a new language, a new cuisine, aspects of a different culture, or a deeper appreciation of faith or spirituality. As a bonus, they’ll take away more than their specific goal. They’ll discover totally different ways of doing things. They’ll also gain awareness of new customs, cultures, people and places. And because you’re actually experiencing this learning in real life, not reading it in a textbook, it will stay with you for a long time. You’ll gain a deep sense of satisfaction with the new skills you’ve learned – and new insights you’ve gained.

By being exposed to new places, people and cultures, you’ll develop a wider world view.

Expanding your perspective.

Another reason why people love to travel: it helps open your mind. You realize that there’s no one way to live life. Meeting people from other places will show you that your world view isn’t the same as everyone else’s.

You can’t imagine how different life is in another place until you see for yourself. Everything from work to family to beliefs to interests is not what you might expect from your own experience. The different setting will also help you discover and consider fresh ideas you hadn’t thought of before. You’ll come home with different notions and possibilities. By being exposed to new places, people and cultures, you’ll develop a wider world view. And that will make you a better-rounded global citizen. It’s a great reward and big reason why people love to travel.

Getting in touch with yourself.

Getting away from home gives you the opportunity to reflect on your life. You have the needed time and space to let your mind wander and take stock. Traveling is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself. Every day traveling brings a new set of issues and opportunities. The way you handle those also gives you insight into who you are. You’ll come home knowing yourself better, and with a fresh perspective on what you want out of life. The experience will .

Appreciating your life.

When you’re mired in your daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of what you have. Your eyes aren’t open to what’s really special about your home. Exploring another place will give you a fresh appreciation for your hometown, country and “real life.” Once you’re back, you’ll feel lucky to live where you do. You’ll see that there really is no place like home.

Travel is an ideal opportunity for families to connect with each other.

Building and strengthening relationships.

The shared experience of travel brings people together. A family getaway, a romantic trip, or long weekend with the girls or guys can strengthen important bonds. The latest Virtuoso Luxe Report names multigenerational travel as the top trend of the year. Travel with immediate family also made the top 10 trend list. With the demands of today’s lifestyle, and relatives spread across the country and world, families don’t have much time together.

That travel could be grandparents, parents and children together on a Caribbean cruise. Or it could be parents and children going across the country to visit Grandma and Grandpa at their home. Or just the immediate family renting a Mediterranean villa. Whatever it looks like, travel is an opportunity to connect with each other. It may even smooth over any family grudges and build happier relationships. Couples, too, need to bond with each other away from home and work demands. Sharing travel experiences can ignite fresh sparks that last long after the couple returns home.

Travel is a special way to deepen friendships as well. Whether it’s a quick ski break with co-workers or a week-long sun-and-sand getaway with your high school gang, travel will remind you why you became friends with them in the first place, and how good it is to spend focused time together.

Travel is also a great opportunity to make new friends – either fellow travelers or locals. Meeting and befriending new people is a valuable travel benefit. And once you’ve bonded, new possibilities for future travel unfold – either to visit them or journey with them.

Conquering fresh territory is part of the exhilaration of travel.

Having an adventure.

Conquering fresh territory is exhilarating – and one more reason why people love to travel. Humans crave new experiences and travel lets us tap into that craving. A trip is the perfect time to do something different and exciting, especially something you can’t do at home. The thrill starts the minute you land in a new place. Conquering that territory could be trying spicy Thai street food or conversing in Madrid with your rusty college Spanish. Or it could be a physical experience, like scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef or hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You’ll have lots of fun. You’ll revel in the rush you get from your exploits. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. And you’ll return home with the best souvenir of all: a memory of your incredible adventure.

Escaping.

A demanding job. A bad breakup. The loss of a loved one. Just like the heroine in Eat, Pray, Love, travel can be a great relief from the stress and unhappiness that come along with those. People seek from their travels what they don’t have back home: better weather, nicer scenery, the freedom to do what they want, experiences they can’t normally have, a slower relaxing pace. Admiring masterpieces in the Louvre or lying on a Hawaiian beach are wonderful breaks from the regular grind.

Travel is particularly helpful for workaholics who have trouble leaving their job behind. Stepping away from the workplace is good for you both mentally and physically. When you return to the job, you’ll have had the space to look at issues with fresh eyes. Travel has the power to let you not only escape but also heal. A new place with lots of fun distractions can work wonders. You’ll return home more at peace with yourself and your challenging situations.

Relaxing and rejuvenating.

Maybe you’re not looking to escape your problems. But everyone can benefit from a break from our usual diets of all work and no play. You may not realize how much you need to disconnect from the ever-present pressure of being available by phone, email or social media. A restful vacation is just what you need to renew yourself. In this year’s Virtuoso Luxe Report, 44 percent of respondents named this as a reason why people love to travel. A relaxing natural setting and good weather are common ingredients for the R&R-focused trip. But everyone’s idea of the perfect rejuvenating vacation is different. One person might want to trek through a rainforest. Another may want to lie poolside at a Mexican resort. Yet another might opt for a  in the mountains.

What should you do when you’re there? Nothing, really. Relax and be present in the moment. Let sensations like the lapping water and the warmth of the sun, along with the sound of waves, recharge your batteries. Live day to day: focus on where you want to go sightseeing (if you decide to leave the beach), what activities you want to pursue (if any), what you’re going to eat, what souvenirs you want to buy. Travel helps your mind and body reboot in a way you can’t achieve at home. In fact, 86 percent of people believe it 

Celebrating.

There’s always a happy reason to take a trip. It could be a landmark birthday or anniversary. A graduation. A wedding – or pre-wedding festivities. Even a babymoon before a little one arrives. A special occasion is made even more special by celebrating away from the hectic pace of life at home. It’s also a good way to gather family and friends from distant corners to mark the milestone. Celebration vacations provide a lasting benefit as well: shared memories for a lifetime.

Want more reasons why people love to travel?

If you’re searching for reasons to travel, now’s the time to partner with an expert. Head to our interactive catalog to find a Virtuoso travel advisor. Any advisor you select will be happy to talk about the benefits of travel with you, help you discover your personal why, and design a trip that achieves everything you want. Which of these reasons why people love to travel resonates most with you? Or do you have another motivator? Please share your thoughts!

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Adventure Tours

6 Perfect Reasons You MUST Travel to Pakistan

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6 Perfect Reasons You MUST Travel to Pakistan

Traveling in Pakistan… When I first told my Mum that I planned to travel to Pakistan as part of my hitchhiking adventure across The Middle East, she was somewhat skeptical. She was probably wondering “for what reason would you travel to Pakistan?”

Pakistan is a country which is often portrayed in the media as a war-torn hellhole and tourism in Pakistan is almost non-existent. Every year, only a very small number of adventure backpackers and die-hard climbers travel to Pakistan, I was determined to be one of them…

Traveling in Pakistan is a truly unique experience, it can be frustrating, enlightening, life-changing and, more often than not, surprising. Pakistan is the ultimate backpacking destination and if you are a fan of real adventure, it’s time for you to travel to Pakistan!

Here are the 6 Reasons why you should pack your bags and travel to Pakistan…

1: People are simply amazing

he Pakistani people are, without a doubt, the most hospitable, kind and welcoming folk that I have ever encountered. From the bustling streets of Lahore to the quaint mountain towns of Hunza, every time a local person spotted me I would, without fail, be rewarded with a huge grin and often an invitation to dinner. I lost count of just how many cups of free chai I drank but it was a lot…

On one occasion, a kindly man named Rehman invited me to visit his family in a small village in the mountains, I stayed for almost a week – hiking on the nearby glaciers and playing cricket with Rehman’s kids. I’ve been lucky enough to make many friends on my travels but the friendships I forged in Pakistan were some of the most genuine I have ever made; the people simply cannot do enough for you.

I couchsurfed my way around the country, being welcomed into the homes of numerous strangers who always insisted on feeding me like a king and showing me around their local town. I cannot wait to return to see my many friends again.

2: Unbelievable Landscapes

OK, even the most illiterate of map readers should know that Pakistan is famous for its mountains, valleys, rivers, glaciers, and forests… This is a country with more than its fair share of truly wondrous sites and tourism in Pakistan is bound to take off eventually!

Five of the world’s fourteen highest peaks, including the famed and deadly K2, are found in Pakistan. If you are into your climbing, rafting or trekking, Pakistan is the country for you.

I have explored over seventy countries and I can safely say that Pakistan is the most diverse and beautiful country I have ever visited. There are plenty of unclimbed peaks just waiting to be conquered by a worthy adventurer…

3: Everything is possible in Pakistan… even raves.

Whilst in Lahore, word got out that a backpacker was visiting and, before I knew it, I had been invited to a very exclusive party set up in the middle of nowhere…

I passed a small army of private security, proved I was on the guest list and finally, I was into one of the craziest parties I have ever been to. An international DJ, plenty of young, rich and beautiful Pakistani people, trippy lights and plenty of energizers to keep me going… It was a mad night.

4: Pakistan is safe

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Pakistan, the main one is simply – the answer is relatively simple. Yes, as long as you steer clear of the Afghanistan border regions.

It’s true that Pakistan does sometimes get hit by terrorist attacks (there was two whilst I was there) but, right now, every country in the world seems to be fair game and you are no safer sitting at home. The media feeds on fear and prejudice, do not let yourself be influenced.

Pakistani people are extremely anti-Taliban (and the Pakistani armed forces are currently kicking Taliban asses in the border regions) and will do everything they can to keep you safe at all costs.

On occasion, you might be assigned a police escort. This does not necessarily mean you are in a dangerous area, it just means the local police branch wants to keep an eye on you.

I had a couple of bodyguards, one of whom was a sixty year old with the strength of a dozen twenty-year-olds. I quickly made friends with them even though they spoke no English – simply smile, be respectful and, just like in any other country, you will be fine.

5: It was a part of the British Raj

It wasn’t too long ago that Pakistan was a part of The British Empire. As such English is widely taught in school’s and is often the de facto language for all business and political dealings. For those on a tour of Pakistan, this means that you will be able to communicate very well with the locals.

It still pays to learn a little Urdu because Pakistani people will be very impressed to hear you speak it. Often they will shower you with compliments and huge smiles. The mountainous regions will be less able to speak English as well so Urdu actually pays when you’re visiting Gilgit-Baltistan.

6: The Historical Silk Road

To travel in Pakistan is to step back into the pages of history. Marco Polo was one of the first European explorers to tackle The Silk Road, an ancient trade route that spanned the Orient, linking the treasuries of the Roman Empire to the Imperial Dynasties of China.

At the trade route’s heart lies the Karakoram, a pivotal crossroad between The Indian Subcontinent, The Middle East, and Central Asia. It is the corridor through which advanced three great faiths – Islam to the east, Buddhism to the north, and curry to the West.

Today, the unendingly impressive Karakoram Highway runs the length of the country and offers stunning views, epic motorbike adventures and the chance to follow in the footsteps of history. My good friend Shah is now running motorcycling tours in Pakistan.

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