Top Unique Travel Destinations in the East

By: Hyacinth Mascarenhas


1.     Casablanca, Morocco

Source: 8thingstodo

Think Marrakesh and Tangier is all Morocco has to offer? Think again. Casablanca is once again making its way to the top of many travel bucket lists. As the city made famous by the Humphrey Bogart classic, Casablanca is filled with grandiose 20th century architecture, bustling markets and white sandy beaches. This busy port city, whose name means “white house” in Spanish, also includes (albeit predictably) a piano bar named Rick’s Café for Bogart’s film and Morocco’s biggest port, the Corniche, featuring some of the finest views of the city. While you’re exploring the city, be sure to visit the Hassan II Mosque which claims the world’s largest minaret that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.


2.     Benguerra Island, Mozambique

Source: Azura Retreats

Located within a national marine park, Benguerra Island is home to pure white sandy beaches that stretch for miles, deep blue seas peppered with fishing dhows and 16 East-African themed thatched villas overlooking the Indian Ocean. Mozambique’s first carbon-neutral hotel, Azura, focuses on sustainability and community building through the hotel’s Rainbow Fund that has so far helped build the island’s school, a clinic, funded business training for local suppliers, and sponsors the local football team. This eco-chic hotel also features an infinity pool, Mozambican Butler-hosts, an African spa and freshly caught seafood. Perfect much?


3.     Koh Chang, Thailand

Source: Next trip tourism

Ever dreamed of swimming with elephants? It’s time to cross that must-try off of your list at the Island of Koh Chang, the second largest island in Thailand. Koh Chang, which means “Elephant Island,” offers multiple adventurous opportunities across the island including elephant trekking, elephant swimming, snorkeling and diving, renting motorbikes, jungle hiking and of course, fantastic spa treatments. Filled with luscious forests boasting more than 70 species of birds and a rich marine life, this mountainous getaway is full of natural treasures making the perfect summer adventure hotspot.


4.     Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Source: Lanka Luxury

Named the number one destination in the work to visit in the year 2013 by travel guidebook, Lonely Planet, Sri Lanka is certainly becoming a travel hotspot for global travelers. Known for its sweeping green tea plantations, numerous wildlife, and picturesque mountainous landscape, this island nation is one of the world’s most fascinating summer destinations. A must-see for many tourists is the monstrous Dambulla Rock Temple, a complex of five cave temples that date back to the 1st century BC and include a magnificent gallery of Buddha images and wall paintings.

If you’re in the mood to surf world-class waves, tour emerald green tea gardens or simply enjoy sun-kissed beaches, crystal-clear waters and world-class cuisine, this tear-dropped island in the Indian Ocean should be your next summer destination.


5.     Alexandria, Egypt

Source: Theodora

Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria highlights the richness of Greco-Roman Egypt, Mediterranean ambiance and breathtaking coastline.

Located 200 km north-west of Cairo, this city is also known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean.” From its quaint colonial hotels to modern cafes perfect for sipping coffee or mint tea on a lazy afternoon, this city has the perfect ambience for history-lovers. Although the original library of Alexandria, the largest library in antiquity, was destroyed in a fire in the third century A.D., the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a modern architectural gem in Alex’s crown. Shaped like sundial with a planetarium on its roof, this building is world-class learning center.

For the more adventurous at heart, be sure to explore the spooky Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa, considered one of the seven wonders of the middle ages.




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