The best travel stories don’t come from ticking off those bucket list items. It’s the surprises you encounter along the way – the things you don’t already know about a place - that show you the heart of a destination and leave you with a lasting memory. Here are some of the world’s must-sees, looked at from a new perspective.
Discover traditional Mughal architecture and the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is an architectural splendour and nothing can quite prepare you for the scale and grandeur of the sight. It is one of the most popular tourist spots in the world (and with good reason!) but you can uncover even more of Rajasthan’s imperial heritage by staying in the regal and tranquil palaces of Maharajas. Wander in the footsteps of India’s former rulers as you explore their opulent gardens and ornately furnished interiors with plenty of time to take everything in.
Wander above the canyon city of Petra
Walk through the many labyrinthine gorges of Petra and onto the canyon ledges above to discover the Monastery from the vantage point of the watchmen of this ancient metropolis. Many visitors will hike up to the front of the Treasury each day, but few will explore this incredible site and uncover the city as its residents would once have done.
Cycle through the jungle around Angkor Wat
While the Angkor temple complex is a must-see, cycling through the surrounding Cambodian jungle, towards the lesser-visited Banteay Srei Temple is nothing short of magical. The other-worldly calm of the temples is punctuated by the piercing cries of gibbons, and the laughter of local children scrambling over the ruins to high-five you. Approaching ancient Khmer temples as they are slowly unveiled by the lush canopy only adds to the mysticism.
Relax in the Maldives
When we think of the Maldives, we think of luxury retreats with accommodation on stilts over the water. But actually, there’s no better way to experience these picture-perfect atolls than by traditional dhoni boat. Make the azure Indian Ocean your home as you travel between the islands; eat freshly-cooked seafood prepared by the boat crew and visit idyllic corners of the Maldives, far from the tourist resorts.
See La Paz city through the eyes of a shoe shiner
As one of the world’s highest cities, La Paz’s altitude is not the only thing that will leave you breathless. The bustle of this city with its winding, cobbled alleys and intriguing colourful markets selling wares beyond your imagination (mummified llama foetus, anyone?) is best appreciated when discovered through the eyes of a local. Shoe shiners make their living hand-to-mouth and many haven’t ventured beyond the city, but what they don’t know about La Paz isn’t worth knowing. Setting out on foot, you’ll visit the colourful and reverent city cemetery, the markets where even the stall holders do their shopping and the jaw-dropping sights of a city that has spread into the mountains.
To see the sights you recognise from the guide books from an entirely new perspective take a look at our new trips around the globe.