You probably haven't been - but it's about time you do
One of the newest countries in the world, tourism hasn't hit Timor-Leste hard yet. Possibly because it's not the easiest to get to - it's only accessibly through flights from 3 countries. The good news? Singapore's one of them. Although hard to reach, it's not hard to love - the landscapes here are ruggedly majestic and the ambience serene and private. This tiny island paradise can be covered in a 15-minute walk, and there isn't much to do either. Wi-fi is limited. And so is electricity. But we say all of this in a good way – if you need a getaway from, well, everything, this is it. Expect to indulge in plenty of meditation and soul-searching, with the seascape all yours to savour. The appeal of this atmospheric town lies in how everyday life and heritage melds perfectly with tourist-friendly life. Sure, the old town is popular with tourists, as well as souvenir and traditional handicraft shops, museums, and bars with English menus. But it's also where the locals hang out, and being a tourist here means taking in the charm of the city as the locals do. This French-themed holiday village sits on natural forestland some 1,000 metres above sea level. With the caress of the cooling breeze as you stroll through the cobblestoned resort, it's not hard to imagine yourself as holidaying in a European town. Great for a quick weekend getaway! Green hills fringe this city sprawling with street markets, cultural sites, food finds and more. The Northern part of Bandung is where you'll find more upmarket, trendier restaurants and cafes. Civet Coffee - made from part-digested coffee cherries eaten then defaecated by civet cats - anyone? 2 hours away from Yangon in Myanmar lies Bago. Steeped in history, the city is so old that even scholars can't figure out the exact meaning or origin of its name. Imposing, ornate temples and religious sites dot the city, where elsewhere, architecture and buildings are scrappier and more raw - an ode to the city's deep respect for tradition and religion. Chiang Rai is vibrant, diverse and intriguing. Pictures do the Wat Rong Khun, the most revered temple in Thailand, no justice. And that's just the start - temples pepper the province, some perched on hills, some sat on fields, other smaller ones hidden and waiting to be discovered; each with a unique charm of their own. ALSO READ: I LEARNT THESE VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS AFTER 8 DAYS AT A THAI DETOX RETREAT That's not Paris' Arc de Triomphe, and neither is this Valencia (It's Vientiane!), but this capital city of Laos is equally beautiful as the two. The Patuxai Victory monument (pictured) features intricate designs of Hindu Gods in traditional Laotian style, where atop, you'll be treated to a stunning view of the cityscape. Once you've hit all the cultural sites, happening bars invite you in to party it up come nightfall. This article was first published on The Finder.
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