Every country has had a turbulent history of some degree. And unfortunately, it ended only recently for some, creating poor tourism prospects. Other reasons like scanty flights and meager travel infrastructure are not helping either. You can’t blame a traveler really because a safe and comfortable visit are a big priority. But things have changed for the better for these 10 countries. Things have settled down. More and more people are becoming aware of the beauty they offer and you should too. So here we go with some of the attractive but overlooked countries of this world.
It is the only country in Central America whose official language is English. Though spanish is also commonly spoken. Belize is known for its September Celebrations, its extensive coral reefs, and punta music. Sun seekers will love the sandy cayes that run along the Belize Barrier Reef in the Caribbean Sea (a delight for divers, as well). Hikers will find mountains; tubers will coast along rivers that run through caverns. And those adventure buffs can simply traverse the jungle to Mayan ruins. The problem why people don’t go there too often, is it’s larger neighbor Mexico.
Myanmar (formerly Burma), is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the country’s largest city, is home to bustling markets, numerous parks and lakes, and the towering, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which contains Buddhist relics and dates to the 6th century. Tourism opened only in 2012 because of the fifty years of authoritarian military regime. The flights can be tricky too but things are improving fast.
The capital, Vienna, is one of the most elegantly understated European capitals. Often called the “Paris of the East,” the city has stunning architecture, history, a thriving wine culture, and a booming arts scene. The Alpine skiing is world-class. Music lovers and history buffs can walk in the footsteps of Austria’s great composers: Mozart, Schubert, and Haydn. The only issue being neighboring Switzerland and Germany tend to get top billing.
4. Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is part of the U.K., known for its Norman castles, glacial valleys and mountains, Celtic and Christian monuments, and renowned coastal links golf courses. Capital Belfast is home to the political murals of the 20th-century ‘Troubles’ conflict, and the Titanic Quarter, showcasing the redeveloped dockyards where the famous ship was built. A lingering bad rap from the period known as The Troubles still hovers around Northern Ireland. There was a time in the ‘90s when tensions still turned to violence between loyalists to the crown and the IRA (Irish Republican Army). Since 1998 hostilities have more than cooled, and the country is a safe destination for travelers.
Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. In the Andean foothills at an elevation of 2,850m, Quito, the capital, is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial center. Ecuador often loses out to Peru or Patagonia when it comes to adventure travel. But hikers, campers, and extreme-sports enthusiasts are missing out on a treasure trove of trails, rivers, canyons, and volcanoes.
On the Mediterranean Sea, Tunisia is a North African country whose culture dates to antiquity. It’s had a bad rep by association since late 2010, when the Arab Spring started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. But Tunisia is the only democracy in the Arab World and it has a high human development index. Visit the Amphitheatre of El Jem. With a capacity of 35,000, it’s the largest Roman colosseum in North Africa, and more intact than Rome’s.
Cambodia is a small country with a big history. This was once the seat of one of Asia’s most magnificent early civilizations, the mighty Khmer empire of Angkor. Away from the temples, much of the country remains refreshingly untouristed and, in many places, largely unexplored.
Cambodia’s sleepy towns and cities are a delight, with their faded colonial architecture and old-fashioned charm, while the countryside has the mighty Mekong River and great Tonle Sap. Down south, in complete contrast, the coast serves up cocktail of party-lifestyle, idyllic beaches and magical islands. It’s perhaps the warmth and hospitality which most impresses many visitors to Cambodia. Cambodia’s neighbors, Thailand and Vietnam, tend to be more popular with mass tourism. And many still associate Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge and bombings during the Vietnam War.
Honduras is slowly beginning to shed its negative violent reputation and is becoming a hotspot for backpackers who are looking to get off the beaten path in Central America. Tremendous wildlife, Mayan Ruins, and vast national parks attract people to Honduras. Moreover, the country has made a name for itself with its dive spots Utila and Roatan. It’s one of the cheaper destinations in Central America and, though often skipped by most travelers, offers the best value in the region.
Montenegro’s cuisine, architecture, and mountains spilling down into the Adriatic coastline are every bit as gorgeous like neighboring Croatia, without the crowds. They definitely need some marketing and better flight connections. Carpeted with flowers for much of the year, the country’s muscular peaks are dappled with the dark greens of pine, beech and birch from which turquoise streams rush down to a tantalizingly azure blue sea. The numerous beach towns are really appealing.
Visitors can enjoy many aspects of the landscape: a safari on the Limpopo River valley, surfing and reef diving off the coast of Tofo, or swimming with whale sharks and manta rays near the Bazaruto Archipelago. The country’s history can be appreciated in Mozambique’s colonial architecture or in medieval trading towns, such as Sofala, which were frequented by Swahili, Arab and Persian traders.
Unspoiled, undeveloped, and untamed, Mozambique is fast-emerging on the international tourism circuit with its wild beauty and exotic influences. The country’s flagship reserve, Gorongosa National Park, once attracted more visitors than South Africa and Zimbabwe combined. But the harshness of war left resources depleted. Animals are being restocked in a major restoration program that’s helping Mozambique regain its reputation