Some people like to go on a luxurious vacation, others love visiting popular tourist destinations, but both of them are definitely fascinated by secrecy and hidden gems. If you are one of those travelers, don’t miss out these fun facts and information about the 7 most mysterious countries in the world with Inspitrip!
Located right to the south of the Atlantic Ocean, the north and northeast of Brazil and the east of Venezuela in South America, Guyana is most popularly known for its dense tropical rainforest. Despite its modest land size which is only similar to the UK, with unique geology and pristine ecosystems, Guyana is home to diverse natural habitats from coastal, marine, littoral, estuarine palustrine, mangrove, riverine, lacustrine, swamp, savanna, white sand forest, brown sand forest, montane, cloud forest, moist lowland to dry evergreen scrub forests.
George Town – Instagram: @gtmemoirs
Guyana is an English-speaking country that has a close-knit cultural connection with the Caribbean region through cricket and calypso music. Georgetown – the capital of this special country, is known for its visible British colonial architecture such as the Stabroek clock, Stabroek Market and St. George’s Cathedral, all of which still last till today.
A corner of George Town – Instagram: @veryhungrynomads
If you decide to go to Guyana, it would be a huge omission to miss a visit to Kaieteur Falls with a plunge level of 226m straight.
Kaieteur Fall – Instagram: @southamerica
Here, you should take a local tour guide to fully immerse yourself in the amazing wildlife. From feeling the clear flows of Essequibo River, trekking up the trails to Turtle Mountain, visiting the flat-topped Mount Roraima to watching the turtles nest on Shell beach, everything is possible when it comes to travelling in Guyana.
Shell Beach – Flickr: Rustom Seepaulgo
The second amazing destination that should be on your travel bucket list is Bhutan, a magnificent Buddhist kingdom on the eastern edge of the Himalayas. Known as the hidden land of happiness, Bhutan is defined by its huge monasteries, impressive dzongs, various trekking destinations and diverse geology from subtropical plains to steep valleys and high mountain ranges. Another tourist attractions are Paro Taktsang monastery (also called Tiger’s Nest) and Paro Valley.
Located on the High Himalayas, Jomolhari is one of the most popular trekking destinations at more than 7000 meters high. – Flickr: Richard Collier
The ideal period of time to visit Bhutan is from March to April as it is the rhododendrons season, a beautiful native flowers that only grow in Asia; and from October to November if you are more into mild weather, trekking activities and unclouded views. In addition, if you are a bird lover, you should not miss visiting the place during the period of October and February to see the black-necked cranes, which are rarely found in any other countries around the world. Make a trip to the exquisite Phobjikha Valley, that is where you can find them and enjoy a full day of bird watching in their natural habitat.
Black-necked cranes – Flickr: Chewang Bonpo
Thimphu – the capital of Bhutan – Flickr: Alex Tudorica
Bhutan’s capital is Thimphu, where you can find the bustling weekend market, the ornate Buddhist monastery and absolutely no traffic lights! However, since independent travel is not allowed in Bhutan, it is suggested that visitors can book tours through a travel agency or tour operator.
A fun fact is that more than 50% of the land size of this country is at an altitude of 3000 meters above sea level. – Flickr: susiefleckney
Located in Central Asia, Tajikistan is popular for its myriad hiking and climbing destinations. The Fann Mountains, one of the very huge mountain ranges located near Dushanbe – Tajikistan’s capital, can reach over 5000 meters high with snow-capped peaks. The surrounding area also consists of natural habitat for Iskanderkul birds, which is called Iskanderkulsky Nature Refuge, and a splendid frozen blue lake.
Dushanbe Flagpole Lake. – Flickr: damonlynch
With grand boulevards, Soviet-era buildings and a number of history museums, Tajikistan’s capital is definitely an interesting destination for all history buffs and culture lovers. The 13-meter-tall sleeping Buddha statue in the National Museum of Antiquities from the 1st century A.D is one of the best evidence to prove that.
If you are more into art and cultural shows, Ayni Opera and Ballet Theatre, which were built during World War II, offer a variety of dance and music performances for your romantic nights. However, due to its special location between Russia and Afghanistan as well as the low economic status, Tajikistan is one of the poorest and most dangerous countries in Central Asia where drug smuggling is the main way for people to make their livings.
The Tajikistanese – Flickr: Walker Travels
Since it spreads out on various altitudes and latitudes, Tajikistan’s climate varies significantly between different locations. For instance, while the weather is hot and dry in the summer in Dushanbe, it is pretty mild in Pamir National Park, the Fann Mountains and Iskanderkul Lake at the same period of time. Therefore, for hikers and climbers, June to September is the perfect timing for their visits rather than in the snowy, freezing winter.
Situated in East Africa, Comoros is known as a volcanic archipelago state with plenty of beautiful beaches on various small islands and islets. Among those scattered islands, Grande Comore is the national state’s largest one, which is surrounded by the long white sandy beaches and old lava from the active Mt. Karthala volcano.
Flickr: little Geoff
Comoros may not be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but it definitely has some of the most pristine beaches. Bouni, Chomoni, Nioumachoua, Chindini and Miringoni Beach are ranked as 5 best beaches in Comoros according to Tripadvisor. Just imagine touching the warm sunshine drenching white sand by your feet and immersing yourself in the clear cool blue water all day. And if you are lucky, you may even encounter nesting turtles, dugongs or even whales. However, if you are longing for more adventurous explorations, head to Mayotte archipelago in the southeast to join a snorkeling and diving tour into the most famous coral lagoon in the area.
Flickr: John Rog
Comoros architecture is heavily influenced by Arab culture with imprints in the carved doors and Ancienne Mosquée du Vendredi – a white colonnaded mosque in Morini – the capital island.
The best time to visit Comoros is during the dry season from May to October as it can be very hot and humid during the wet monsoon season from November to April or from January to May.
Ramadan festival and Turtle Day (May 28th) are two big national events, where the locals celebrate different feature animals, including local hawksbill, leatherback, and green sea turtles.
5. Ras al Khaimah
Flickr: Yousef Bohamed
Located in the north of the United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah is more prominent among other emirates with the famous Arabian Gulf beaches and world-class resort services. The Riz-Carlton, Waldorf Astoria, Rixos Bab al Bahr Marjan and DoubleTree by Hilton Resorts & Spa Marjan Beach are ranked the best among those fancy resorts in this area by The Telegraph.
Dhayah Fort – Flickr: richholt.photo
However, not only is it famous with a variety of luxurious services, Ras al Khaimah is also known for its notable landmarks, including the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah – former palace of the ruling Al Qasimi family, Dhayah Fort – highest hilltop fort in the UAE, Sheba’s Palace – ruins of a medieval palace, Al Jazirah Al Hamra – an abandoned ghost town with coral stone buildings and Bu Shaqq tower.
Especially, to the south of the city, here located Jebel Jais, the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates with a height of 1934 meters. This place is home to the world’s longest zip line with spectacular views over the magnificent valley below and is the ideal destination for those who are interested in rock climbing, hiking and biking. From Jebel Jais for over an hour driving, Al Wadi Equestrian Adventure Centre is easily accessible for a horse riding tour in the nature preserve.
Tourists often come to visit this country between December and January when the weather is milder. This is also the time when the camel races, a traditional heritage activity in Ras Al Khaimah, is held. However, since it has a desert climate all year round, days are still hot most days throughout the year and can reach the highest temperature almost 50°C over the period between June and September.
6. Tristan da Cunha
Known as the world’s most remote volcanic archipelagoes, Tristan da Cunha locates in the South of Atlantic Ocean and is the main island of the group. Discovered by the Portuguese in 1506, it became a dependency of the Cape Colony in South Africa controlled by the British in the 19th century. Until today, Tristan da Cunha is a part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha where the inhabitants carry British Overseas Territory citizenship.
Identified as the summit of the island, this peak of the massive shield volcano was called Queen Mary’s Peak, named after the Queen consort of King George V. Thus, it is truly an ideal place for the most avid adventurers to have a challenging hike or climb but is only allowed with a local tour guide. Nearby, there is also beautiful heart-shaped Queen Mary’s Lake created by the volcanic summit crater. In addition, Gough and Inaccessible Islands are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha. Most people living in this island work as farmers but are supervised and restricted to create private wealth by the government.
7. North Korea (DPRK)
Last but not least, one of the most mysterious and controversial countries in the world that everyone is curious about – North Korea. Located in East Asia and best known for its history occupied by the Soviet Union and the Korean war, North Korea is definitely not the typical ideal tourist destination as you could imagine since tourism here is tightly controlled by the government. In fact, you are only allowed to travel in North Korea under the organization of state-owned tourist agencies, such as Korea International Travel Company (KITC), Korean International Sports Travel Company (KISTC), Korean International Taekwondo Tourism Company (KITTC) and Korean International Youth Travel Company (KIYTC).
However, this first impression does not mean that the country in itself is not a vacation spot worth visiting. North Korea is in fact very beautiful in term of aesthetics.
Paektu Mountain – Instagram: @adventurerich
Mount Kumgang – Instagram: @idining_sluman
Top attractions in North Korea are DMZ, Mansudae monument, Pyeongyang metro, Paektu Mountain, Mount Kumgang and a lot of more. Inspitrip has also prepared an insightful guide for your best experience in North Korea from A to Z!
Pyeongyang monuments – Instagram: @nchmelsg
Pyeongyang metro – Instagram: @here.far.away
North Korea flag from DMZ’s observatory – Instagram: @cast_anna98
If you are not ready to visit this country yet, you can still get a glimpse of it from South Korea on a day trip to the DMZ, including the JSA (Joint Security Area) at Panmunjom. A must-go for anyone travelling to Korea to set foot on North Korean soil and listen to the untold stories of wartime!
Ribbons of hope – Instagram: @banshee2099
Needless to say, each of the 7 destinations in this article is truly outstanding and worth a visit. Put them on your travel bucket list from today and bring on your great adventure ahead!
Keyword: Sneak in the 7 most mysterious countries in the world