Have you ever seen photos a friend posted on Facebook or Instagram and wondered where those unknown places were? There are a number of places around the world that are off the radar as we are all busy sight-seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Westminister Abbey in London and the Vatican in Rome.
The best way to discover unknown places is through locals and exploring it on your own. Therefore, you first have to know they exist. So here’s a little helping hand in getting to know some of them!
Unknown Places #1: Bluer than blue – lake at Jiuzhaigou National Park (China)
Get a glimpse of this 1375-metre-long crystal turquoise lake in China. It’s hard to believe that this lake is in one of the most populated cities in the world and it has this lake tucked in among the Min Mountains near the Tibetan Plateau. This lake deserves attention that UNESCO turned the place into a World Heritage site in 1992.
Unknown Places #2: 3,922 steps – Haiku Stairs in Oahu, Hawaii
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Stairway to heaven”? Often than so you’d hear this over some mushy love songs. But this phrase fairly describes these stairs in Oahu, Hawaii. These majestic stairs have a top secret purpose when it was built in 1942. It was constructed by the Haiku Radio Station to be able to transmit radio signals to Navy ships across the Pacific. The stairs count to 3,922 steps. Do you think you got what it takes to climb these stairs?
Unknown Places #3: Enchanting River (Hinatuan River) in Surigao del Sur, Philippines
The Philippines is slowly showcasing its beauty one island after the other. Islands like Boracay, Palawan and Siargao. But the country offers you more that what Google can show. Tucked in behind the rocky mountains of a small province called Surigao Del Sur lies a fairy-tale like river that will surely make you think twice if its real or not.
Dubbed as the “Enchanted River”, invites people from all around the world to dive and explore its depth and caves.
Unknown Places #4: Crooked Forest in Szczecin, Poland
A bizarre wide array of crooked trees can be found near the town of Gryfino in Western Poland. Where trees are slightly tilted in the most weird structure. The Crooked Forest has around 400 pine trees that grow trees with a 90-degree bend from their root. Some say that the reason behind the 90-degree bend of the trees is a gravitational pull within the area.
Unknown Places #5: Hitachi Seaside Park (Ibaraki, Japan)
This beauty is located northeast of Tokyo within the Kanto Plain. A vast hectare with a variety of flowers in every palette. Definitely the place where flower enthusiast can call paradise. (Mind you, this is just less than two hours away from Tokyo).
Unknown Places #6: Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh, Himalayas
Considered as the most famous lake in India, this lake stretches out to about 160 kms. This saltwater lake is known to be containing the highest amount of salt water in the world. Pangong Tso Lake also extends from India to Tibet.
Unknown Places #7: Apostle Islands in Wisconsin, USA
This archipelago is located in the northern part of Wisconsin. These 60 foot high sandstone walls are just almost just too perfect to be naturally made.
Unknown Places #8: Salar de Uyuni (Salar de Tunupa) in Bolivia
This salt flat that ranges to 10,582 square kilometers is considered as the world’s largest salt flat in the world. This scenery is located in Potosi, southwest of Bolivia. It is known that the salt flat was formed as a result of a transformation or evolution of prehistoric lakes within its surroundings. This place indeed aged beautifully throughout time!
Unknown Places #9: Aquarium in Rangiroa, French Polynesia
This entire stretch of naturally made aquarium in Rangiroa is beyond breathtaking not only within a bird’s eye view. Are you a diver? Then be sure to include this on your diving list to experience the world’s most immense aquarium.
Unknown Places #10: Rotorua Hot springs in Rotura, New Zealand
Rotura, also known as the world’s most remarkable geothermal wonderlands. Rotura attracts travellers from all over the world to travel and enjoy its shooting geysers and bubbling mud pools. And while you indulge in relaxation, don’t forget to learn about the fascinating culture of Maori within your side trips.
Unknown Places #11: Svalbard, an archipelago between Norway and the North Pole
Are you ready for a cold adventure? Then hop on for a ride to the Arctic ocean to discover Svalbard, an archipelago between Norway and North Pole. Discover its untouched beauty. Svalbard which translates to “cold coasts”. This place consists of a number of nature reserves, and bird sanctuaries. And don’t forget its a place where you can find some polar bears too!
Unknown Places #12: “The Door to Hell” in Derweze, Turkmenistan
This natural gas field known as “The Door to Hell” or “The gateway to hell” is something out of the ordinary. This caverned collapsed in 1971, geologists then set it on fire to avoid the spread of methane gas and since then it just keeps burning continuously. Since then, this has been a popular tourist attraction for many tourists. Dare to get near this crater for a good selfie?
Unknown Places #13: A small oasis surrounded by dunes in Huacachina, Peru
In Southwestern Peru lies a small town surrounded by a small lake and surrounded by enormous sand dunes in the most infertile places on earth. This oasis only has 96 residents. This place offers you a good spot to catch the sunset and also explore the town’s rustic shops and be adventurous and try out sandboarding!
Unknown Places #14: Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola in Tropea, Italy
Are you up for a secret getaway? Like literally, a secret getaway. Then pack your bags and head to Tropea, Italy. Get a good view of this 12th century Norman cathedral Franciscan monastery. This place is a best kept secret of Italians where they all go to for vacations. (Apologies to the Italians for sharing it with the world!) Not a lot of travellers know about this place yet. Not only do you get the scenic view of the castle but you can also enjoy an afternoon dip in its warm, turquoise clear water. How can you resist a dramatic coastal cliff view while you’re sunbathing?
Unknown Places #15: Psychedelic Salt Mines in Yekaterinburg, Russia
Don’t be fooled upon entering these salt mines. You are not in any way drugged into seeing things in a different form. These psychedelic mind boggling patterns on it walls will surely leave you mind boggled how it was ever formed. These caves with pattern are completely natural. This natural beauty is caused by carnallite, known as a mineral that creates colorful swirls. Time to create a house made out of rock and mix it up with carnallite!
Unknown Places #16: Lake Natron, Tanzania
It seems like the description just came out of a story book, but the photographs and stories around it is real. This lake turns animals into stone. With a perfect explanation behind it of course. The lake is composed of alkaline that a has a PH value as high as 10.5. Having said with this high PH value, it automatically burns the skin of an animal that touches this body of water. The said amount of alkaline comes from the sodium carbonate that flow into the lake within its surroundings. TIP: Don’t get too close to this lake.
Unknown Places #17: Montreal Botanical Garden, Canada
This 75 -hectare of fine greenery is known to be one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens. Visitors often visit this botanical garden with some thirty thematic gardens and 10 exhibition greenhouses. This place is surely for all the nature lovers who enjoys a day to be one with nature.
Unknown Places #18: The inverted tower in Quinta de Regaleira, Portugal
This 27- deep well is a majestic site that people dubbed to be an inverted tower. Located in an estate in Sintra, Portugal. The estate is without a doubt a beautiful outside and as well as inside. This mysterious spot lives explorers wondering if it’s really a well or an inverted tower. What do you think?
Unknown Places #19: Two continents in Pingvallavatn Lake, Iceland
Every wondered how it feels like to be in one place at the same time? Then head on to Pingvallavatn Lake, Iceland to get a good feel of how it is. Submerged into the Atlantic ocean. Swim between the crack to get a the feeling of being between Europe and America. The water at its purest form is one of the most sough after diving spots of divers around the world.
Unknown Places #20: Las Lajas Sanctuary in Ipiales, Colombia
Located within the borders of Colombia and Ecuador, this sanctuary famous spot is its enormous neo-gothic church. The said church was built by a family in the 1700s that claimed that they seen the Virgin Mary in the sky. Though this destination is out of the way if you’re only travelling around Columbia. Do try to include this on your list to see to get a glimpse of this majestic church.
Unknown Places #21: Seegrotte in Hinterbrühl, Austria
Located in Hinterbruhl Austria, this lake is considered as Europe’s largest subterranean lake. This is known to be 60 meters below ground level. Little by little, tourists has been visiting this underground subterranean wonder through boat tours.
Unknown Places #22: The Gassho-zukuri farmhouses in Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama, Japan
Discover more of traditional places in Japan. First stop is a good view of the Gassho-zukuri farmhouses in Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, Japan. get historic with these traditional guest houses are flocked by tourists and it seems get a hard grasp to avail reservations here.
Unknown Places #23: Kampong Thom, Cambodia
A great alternative to Angkor Wat, situated to half way from Phohm Penh and Siem Reap. Explore within the grasslands and rice fields around the area. Within Kampong Thom you can choose within climbing 807 steps of Phnom Suntuk , a pagoda on top of the mountains, visit a listed World Heritage site, Sambor Prei Kuk and explore the boat trip on the Stung Sen River. Remember these sites stand out from the typical sites to see in Cambodia. These options are definitely the road less-travelled.
Unknown Places #24: Mount Sanqing, Jiujiang in Mount Sanqing, China
This place is known to be the place for practicing Taoist in the ancient times. This terrain of mountains has three peaks, Yujing, Yuhua and Yuxu Peak dubbed as the “Three Qing” in Taoism. This epic view offers you magnificent landscapes, peculiar rocks, and “endless-like” waterfalls. Don’t forget about the clouds that may seem reachable within the mountains!
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to travel the road less travelled!