From The Straits Times    |


No matter what corner of the globe you’re at, there are plenty of overlooked destinations just waiting to be explored. Whether you want to escape to somewhere you’ve never heard of before, crash out on a secluded island, or journey to a land that time forgot, luxury tour operator Scott Dunn has just the off-the-beaten-track destination for you.


1. Swedish Lapland


For a holiday truly out of the ordinary, look no further than Swedish Lapland. Indulge your inner adventurer with safari-style camping and tree house living while you search for the elusive Northern Lights. Snow-blanketed landscapes wait to be explored on husky- or reindeer-drawn sleds.

Stay at Aurora Safari Camp and wake up to stunning views of unspoilt wilderness before journeying to Sörbyn Lodge, a family-run property where it’s all about indulging in mouth-watering Swedish delicacies.

Then, round off a once-in-a-lifetime trip with a stay under a canopy of pine trees at the mind-blowing Treehotel, one of the most unique design-led hotels you will ever stay in.

Six one-of-a-kind tree houses lie among snow-clad pine trees – The Blue Cone being a firm favourite for the ultimate room with a view.

See also: Southern Lights wedding shoot! 8 tips you should know


2. New Zealand


Soaring mountains, ancient glaciers, huge forests, unique wildlife and superb beaches – all served up with a delicious glass of wine from the New World – make New Zealand a favourite with outdoor lovers.

For those looking to get away from it all, Annandale (above) on Banks Peninsula is a favourite and is located only an hour from Christchurch. Designed as a place to stay where the world can’t find you, this hidden gem sits on a 4,000-acre farm at one of the world’s most spectacular coastal locations.

Each of Annandale’s four distinctive luxury villas has its own unique character; for the ultimate family hideaway, it’s got to be the Scrubby Bay beach house.

There, you can escape the world, spot dolphins in the bay, look out for native birds, mountain bike, paddleboard and hike to your heart’s content.


3. Myanmar


Step back in time with Myanmar, a unique, culture-rich country with spectacular monuments and ancient cities, as well as beautiful and varying landscapes.

Escape the flocks of tourists by visiting remote villages on foot, where you can meet the local tribes and experience the cultures that make Myanmar such a mesmerising destination for any visitor.

Encounter the Shan people around Inle Lake, cruise down the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay, and visit the majestic temple-strewn plains of Bagan before relaxing on the beaches of Ngapali. Stay in boutique hotels and lodges such as the elegant Belmond Governor’s Residence in the heart of Yangon and the picturesque Villa Inle Resort & Spa on the edge of Myanmar’s famous Inle Lake.

For the ultimate highlight of any true Burmese adventure, rise early and go on a hot-air-balloon ride that takes you over the stunning pagodas and temples in Bagan (above).

As Myanmar is only recently opening up to tourism, it should definitely be on your bucket list before the crowds get wind of this untouched, magical land.

See also: Escape the heat! 7 cold getaways that are actually in Southeast Asia


4. Sumba Island


Tucked away on Indonesia’s lost-world island of Sumba – a short flight from Bali – is Nihiwatu, a ruggedly luxurious resort perfect for those wanting an exclusive stay in one of the most stunning locations on earth.

Imagine being surrounded by miles of tropical forest, rice terraces and beautiful beaches. The resort’s 21 villas were born from a vision to protect and preserve the unique culture of Sumba, and empower the local communities to support themselves and their families.

Each villa is beautifully hand-built by local craftsmen and affords panoramic views. Should you ever tire of taking dips in the pool or indulging the body and soul at the spa, head down to the beach for some of the best surfing experiences in Indonesia and horse riding under the moonlight – truly barefoot luxury at its best.


5. Oman


Famous for its rolling sand dunes, rugged mountain ranges and beaches, Oman is an overlooked jewel in the Middle East’s crown. Meander through Muscat’s bustling souks, visit the Sultan’s beautiful palace, head into the Wahiba Sands for a stay in a traditional Bedouin camp, venture into the mountains to take leisurely walks through traditional Arabic villages, or just relax on the coast.

A new glamping option in Oman, Canvas Club offers a delightful way to get off the beaten track without having to compromise on comfort. While locations are generally flexible, the main areas where the camp can be set up include the rolling golden dunes of Wahiba Sands, the dramatic Hajar Mountains and the beautiful coves of Ras Al Hadd.

With a luxurious interior, the camp is the perfect retreat to come back to after a day exploring ancient castles and forts or lush green wadis with your private driver or guide. Combine a few nights’ glamping with a stay at The Chedi Muscat for the ultimate Oman itinerary.


See also: Scandinavian romance! 9 places in Sweden for fairy tale wedding photos

This article originally appeared on SilverKris.

Photos: Supplied