60 essential travel experiences

If you're wondering where to visit and when, or what to include on your ultimate travel to do list, then look no further we've got it covered. Here is our guide to 60 essential travel encounters around the world that you must experience.
Northern Lights at Kirkjufell, Iceland. Photo: Shutterstock
Northern Lights at Kirkjufell, Iceland. Photo: Shutterstock


1. Visit Borobudur Temple

Get spiritual on the island of Java, Indonesia, by exploring Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple. The site is made up of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, with a central dome on top. Starting from the bottom, ascend along the path that winds around the building, all the way to its highest point. Visit at sunrise or sunset for blue, purple, red or pink views across the surrounding mountainous landscape on Insight Guides’ Indonesia Island Hop trip.


2. Walk part of the Frankincense Trail, Oman

The Frankincense Trail follows the Incense Road, running from Saudi Arabia through Yemen to the coast of Oman. Soak up the culture on the ancient trade route, which begins in a forest of frankincense trees known as Wadi Dawkah. Dried sap from the trees is harvested and then transported to Ubar, an oasis and water station by the entrance to the Empty Quarter. Next stop on the route is Al Baleed, followed by Khor Rori where the incense is distributed to other countries. Add a tour of the Frankincense Trail to any of Insight Guides' Oman trips.


3. Taste coffee in Colombia

Journey to Armenia in the Colombian Andes on Insight Guides’ Discover Colombia trip to learn the art of production and taste the freshly roasted beans of the world’s best-known coffee. Armenia is the main centre of the Colombian coffee growing region, officially known as the Coffee Cultural Landscape and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A location between the latitudes of 25 degrees north and 30 degrees south of the equator, high altitude and rich soil (of which Armenia has all three) produce the best arabica beans, which can be transformed into mild coffee with a well-balanced taste. 


4. Be astonished by Gaudí's architecture

Gaudí's unusual architecture can be seen throughout Barcelona and the surrounding area. Tour the city stopping at the eccentric buildings designed and built by the world-famous architect in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The most famous is La Sagrada Familia. The Basilica rises from the city, towering 172 metres over the surrounding buildings. Gaudí started building La Sagrada Familia in 1892 and worked on it until his death in 1926. Construction continues to this day (it is expected to be finished in 2026). See Gaudí's Barcelona as part of Insight Guides’ Cultural Cities of Spain trip.


5. Let the Avenue of the Baobabs impress

In the Menabe region of western Madagascar, the unusual baobab tree can be seen in abundance lining the dirt road from Morondava to Belon’i Tsiribihina. Between 20–25 of these grand, sublime trees line the roadside, which tops the most visited sites in Madagascar. The baobab trees are all that is left of the tropical forest that once covered this area before it was cleared to make way for plantations. Visit this unique avenue on Insight Guides’ Wild Madagascar trip.


6. Watch the sunset at Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Watching Ayers Rock, an icon of Australia, glow a fiery red as the sun sets behind it is a must for your ultimate travel to do list. Make your base Alice Springs, the nearest town to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the south of Australia's Northern Territory, where the gigantic sandstone rock is located.  


7. Party on Rio’s Ipanema and Copacabana beaches

Sun, sea, sand, bronzed skin and bright bikinis – the beaches in Rio de Janeiro are known for socialising and partying. Tourists and locals play football and volleyball, go surfing and dance to tropical music lending to the beaches' energetic vibes. Watch the sunset on Ipanema behind Morro Dois Irmãos before partying on the beach until the early hours. 


8. Get active in Queenstown

Known as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown offers any activity you can imagine in dramatic surroundings. The town is centred around Lake Wakatipu with The Remarkables mountain range in the background. Winter brings skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and helicopter rides. Summer is a great time for hiking, mountain biking, wine tasting, boat rides, white water rafting and skydiving – not to mention attempting one of the highest bungy jumps in the world. Get the biggest adrenaline rush of your life on the Nevis Bungy with the 8.5-second, 134-metre fall between two mountains.


9. Marvel at Perito Moreno Glacier

Visiting Los Glacier National Park in Patagonia to see the 250-kilometre square Perito Moreno Glacier should be on every traveller's bucket list. The national park, located on the southern Patagonian ice field, is less than a two-hour drive from El Calafate (the nearest city) and is home to 47 large glaciers and 200 small glaciers. Unlike most ice caps, Perito Moreno Glacier is advancing, meaning precipitation is adding to the glacier faster than the glacier is melting. Marvel at the mighty Perito Moreno on Insight Guides’ Argentina: Tango and Glaciers trip.


10. Relax in the Maldives

Take a week or two to recoup on the idyllic beaches of one of the 26 natural atolls of the Maldives. The Maldives are known as a relaxation destination with blue lagoons to dive into, cooling off intermittently between tanning and lounging on comfy sun beds secured in the soft white sand. More active travellers can try scuba diving or snorkelling on shallow reefs offshore. Tick off two destinations in one on Insight Guides’ Luxury Sri Lanka and the Maldives trip  .


The monks in the ancient stone faces of Bayon temple, Angkor, Cambodia. Photo: ShutterstockThe monks in the ancient stone faces of Bayon temple, Angkor, Cambodia. Photo: Shutterstock


11. Visit the Great Wall of China

There's a reason this international landmark attracts more than 10 million visitors each year. The Great Wall of China, which snakes around 4,000 miles from Shanhaiguan to the Gobi Desert, is an architectural and cultural treasure. Its history dates back to the 5th century BC, but the most noteworthy sections were constructed between 1368 and 1644, during the Ming dynasty. To see it today, head to Badaling, just north-west of downtown Beijing as part of Insight Guides’ The Best of China trip and experience views to remember.


12. Take in the great Mayan ruins

Mexico is a dream destination for history lovers, especially those with an interest in the ancient Mayans. Relics of the ancient civilisation are peppered throughout the country, from imposing temples to brilliantly designed infrastructures and advanced agricultural systems. Nowhere else is this on display better than in Yucatán, home to the famous Chichén Itzá ruins. Here, the iconic Kukulkan Pyramid is the standout star. Absorb the ancient culture of Mexico and discover these sites for yourself on Insight Guides’ The Yucatán: Ruins and Haciendas trip.


13. Check out Stonehenge

Stonehenge is easily one of the most mesmerising places to visit in the UK. The UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts up to 1.5 million people each year. But the truth is that its purpose has actually long remained a mystery to archaeologists and historians. Stonehenge is known the world over for its epic summer solstice display. On the longest day of the year, the sun comes up behind Heel Stone and creates a dazzling sight.


14. Discover New York City

There really isn't any place in the world quite like New York. The city itself is a beating heart; alive and pumping with its signature blend of frenetic energy. Wonderfully gritty, the 'city that never sleeps' is buzzing with unmatched entertainment, top eats, high-end shopping, and some of the most vibrant locals on the planet. If you've yet to be entranced by the magic of Manhattan, do put Central Park on your list. This hidden oasis is a green escape amid the concrete madness.


15. Snap a photo at the Eiffel Tower

Making its debut at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889, the iconic Eiffel Tower was originally intended to stay put for just 20 years. Of course, we all know that the treasured landmark has endured much longer than that – surviving lightning strikes, 19 repainting jobs, and even a demolition order from Hitler himself. Today, it's one of the most celebrated travel destinations in the world. Eat dinner with a view of the Eiffel Tower on Insight Guides’ Luxury Paris trip.


16. Camp in a US national park

The US National Park Service has been in action for a century. From its humble beginnings, it now plays host to 59 breathtaking, wild escapes. From world-famous Yosemite and Yellowstone to little-known treasures like the tropical parks tucked away in South Florida, the NPS has no shortage of natural wonder. If you're a lover of the great outdoors, camping in a US national park should definitely be on your list.


17. Go shopping in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is heaven on earth for shopaholics. Its malls epitomise luxury, boasting one high-end retailer after another. It's also worth noting that this duty-free port has no sales tax. Designer shopping isn't Hong Kong's only claim to fame; it's also home to colourful street markets including Temple Street Night Market and Ladies' Market. Its densely packed streets serve as a paradise for the travelling shopper. Shop until you drop as part of Insight Guides’ Hong Kong Highlights trip.


18. Get a Thai massage

No country does spa treatments like Thailand. Visitors travel from far and wide for a famous Thai massage, and with good reason – when done right, it's the ultimate in relaxation. For the best in unwinding, our experts suggest hitting up Arima Onsen in Bangkok for a quintessentially Thai experience. In Chiang Mai, Loi Kroh Massage offers up hot herbal compresses and other spins on the traditional massage. Relax in luxury on Insight Guides’ Thailand’s Islands and Highlands trip.


19. Visit Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Singapore may have a reputation for endless shopping, but really it’s Gardens by the Bay that should be on your radar. Its signature 'tree-like vertical gardens' buzz to life at night, providing a bit of sparkle in the evening hours. This botanical gem touts more than 500,000 plants, as well as a Flower Dome that features nine gardens from six different continents, and its own Cloud Forest. Be enchanted at Gardens by the Bay on Insight Guides’ Uniquely Singapore trip.


20. Get lost in ancient Angkor

To wander throughout marvellous Angkor is to experience Cambodia at its very best. This ancient temple city has roots that go back nearly 900 years to the Khmer civilisation. Its most awe-inspiring attraction is Angkor Wat with its landmark towers and equally mesmerising outer temples. The ruins here are epic and magical; something that grabs visitors and pulls them back to another time. Spend a day exploring and getting lost in an ancient world on Insight Guides’ Siem Reap to Angkor trip.



Narrow Irish coastal road just above the steep and dangerous cliffs. Photo: ShutterstockNarrow Irish coastal road just above the steep and dangerous cliffs. Photo: Shutterstock


21. Treat your senses in Tokyo

Glitzy, glamorous and wonderfully eccentric, Tokyo is a feast for the senses. For a dose of culture, top-notch shopping and dining, Ginza should scratch the itch. If it's a night out on the town you're after, Roppongi, Shibuya and Shinjuku are our top picks. By day, the Tsukiji Market is where it's at for the freshest seafood around. 


22. Go on a safari

Safari is pretty much synonymous with Africa. Let's just say that South Africa lives up to the hype, with adventure travellers coming in droves to steal glimpses of exotic wildlife. Expect bush-style accommodation with spectacular views and service to match. Limpopo Province, the Cape, and Zululand have some of the best private game reserves in all of South Africa, putting a luxurious twist on the whole experience. Kapama Private Game Reserve, Aquila Game Reserve, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, and Addo Elephant National Park are among our top choices. Try and spot the big five as part of Insight Guides’ South Africa: Cape Peninsula to Victoria Fall trip.


23. Hit the zip-line in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a tropical wonderland that was made for travellers seeking thrills and adventure. Zip-lining is a must – what better place to take in the views at high speed than the rainforest? For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Arenal Volcano National Park on Insight Guides’ Beaches and Volcano trip. The national park boasts 12 cables and 16 platforms (many of which start out in a tree canopy 90 feet above the ground). Be prepared for fantastic views and a heart-racing adventure.


24. Go cage diving with sharks

For those seeking truly out-there experiences, diving with sharks has to be one of the most daring. Mossel Bay, on the Southern Cape of South Africa, is your best bet for catching sight of a great white in its natural environment. Here, you can float above the surface in a protected metal cage. Isla Guadalupe in Mexico also has spectacular opportunities for diving with white sharks.


25. Be dazzled by the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of those landmarks that really does live up to all the hype. The monument, which is actually dedicated to Shah Jahan's late wife, is an exquisite marble masterpiece. For an unforgettable experience, visit during the evening of a full moon, or alternatively, watching the day break at the Taj Mahal during sunrise is equally magical.


26. Walk the Inca trail to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the most celebrated destinations on the planet. To make the experience even more exhilarating, take to the Inca Trail on Insight Guides’ Peru: Into the Incan Empire. It'll take you three to five days to complete, but the astounding views at the end are well worth the journey. It's brimming with sacred Inca ruins, breathtaking local flowers, and archaeological treasures just waiting to be discovered.


27. Catch a live show on stage

Few can argue that New York City's Theater District isn't the best place on earth for delighting in live entertainment. The Great White Way, as it's  aptly nicknamed, certainly won't disappoint. Today's hottest, most popular shows include Hamilton (of course), Dear Evan Hanson and Hello, Dolly!


28. Fall under the spell of Rome

Rome... Artists, poets and creatives of all stripes have been flocking to the Eternal City for centuries. The result is a romantic destination that's steeped in history. The Colosseum, countless basilicas, the Trevi Fountain; each destination is more dazzling than the next. But Rome's real draw is its slow pace. This is where you go to take it all in on your own time while enjoying some incredible food (hello, gelato!) along the way. Experience all Rome has to offer and more on Insight Guides’ Wonders of Rome and the Amalfi Coast trip. 


29.  Be mesmerised by the pyramids of Giza

The city of Giza is an ancient wonderland of old-world relics and jaw-dropping innovation. Its pyramids are among the world's oldest historical gems, dating back to around 2600 BC. Explore them on foot, before heading to the Sphinx: another must-see landmark that'll leave you spellbound.


30. Go off-roading in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates boasts two different types of off-roading adventures; dune-bashing (in the desert) and wadi-bashing (in the mountains). Either way, you're in for a wild, bumpy ride. Our experts compare it to flying through extreme turbulence, only with much better views. It's perhaps the best way to observe the raw beauty the UAE has to offer. Go dune-bashing in Dubai on Insight Guides’ Magnificent Emirates trip or add a wadi-bashing excursion to any of Insight Guides’ trips to the UAE.



Horseshoe Fall, Niagara Falls in Canada. Photo: ShutterstockHorseshoe Fall, Niagara Falls in Canada. Photo: Shutterstock


31. Drive along the Irish Coast

Ireland is the place to be for gorgeous scenic drives. Voted one of the top five road trips in the world, the Causeway Coastal Route is a standout in this department. The trek is dotted with Irish villages and dramatic cliff faces, snaking all the way from Belfast to Derry. Along the way, visitors can stop over at ancient castles, the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and even the Old Bushmills Distillery.


32. Check out one of Europe's top Christmas markets

Lovers of Christmas can create a special holiday that goes beyond skiing and winter sports. There are more than a few charming European towns that put on cracking Christmas markets. Germany takes the cake here. In Nuremberg, streets of stalls boast handmade decorations and world-famous gingerbread. Meanwhile, Berlin plays host to impressive Christmas-themed artwork, music, and live shows. For something a bit different, the Trento Christmas market in Italy specialises in local cuisine and incredible food stalls.


33. Take a jaunt in the rainforest

There's more to experience within a rainforest than adventure sports. Simply wandering around on foot is an adventure in itself. Whether you're in Costa Rica, Malaysia, or somewhere in between, the jungle is nature at its most exotic. Guided tours are recommended, as traversing solo can be dangerous. Once you're there, spot tropical birds and absorb the extraordinary sights and sounds all around. For something more immersive, opt for an eco-lodge. Wander through the rainforest on Insight guides’ Dazzling Kuching: Malaysia’s Hidden Gem trip.


34. Climb through the caves of Pak Ou

Luang Prabang is one of the best-kept secrets in Laos. Amidst ancient temples and lush forest trails are the jaw-dropping Pak Ou caves. To get there, hop on a traditional riverboat upstream on the Mekong River. The caves themselves are truly awe-inspiring, featuring thousands of statues of Buddha hidden in the network's dark crevices. Visit this impressive site on Insight Guides’ Laos: Land of a Million Elephants trip.


35. Explore Delhi by rickshaw

Travel back in time to Old Delhi. A private rickshaw tour will do the trick, providing in-depth looks at local monuments, bustling spice markets, vibrant eateries, colourful bazaars, and everything in between. It's a treat for the senses that serves as a fun adventure while travelling through India. Let Insight Guides take you to Dehli on its India: From the Ganges to the Golden Triangle trip.


36. Tour Sri Lanka's tea plantations

Sri Lanka is world famous for its tea, and rightly so. Touring the country's tea plantations is an experience like no other, as you hike through verdant, wild landscapes to reach them. Once there, you'll explore estates, learn about picking and production processes and, of course, taste plenty of the good stuff. Experience all this and more on Insight Guides’ Sri Lanka Family Adventure.


37. Take a balloon ride over Myanmar

The signature golden temples and pagodas of Bagan have made travellers around the world fall for the beauty of Myanmar. Floating above the ancient city in a hot-air balloon is an iconic image, and one that's not easily forgotten. Drifting above the ruins is an unparalleled way to take it all in on Insight Guides’ Myanmar Dreams trip.


38. Discover the highlights of Quito

Snow-covered volcanoes set the backdrop for Quito, Ecuador's capital city and one of the highest capital cities in the world. Spanish colonial architecture mixes with modern design aesthetics to create a romantic cityscape. For the best views of the city and its surrounding landscapes head upt to Cero Panecillo. More breathtaking sights can be caught from the Teleférico, which transports visitors to the top of Cruz Loma – some 14,000 feet high – via cable car.


39. Go diving in the great big blue

You don't have to be an expert diver to experience below-the-surface adventures. While most minds jump to famous sites in Thailand and the Galápagos Islands, which are indeed noteworthy, the world is full of other lesser-known spots for exploring the big blue. Iceland, for instance, offers deep-sea views of the Silfra Ravine – the exact point where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates come together. You can even go fresh water diving in Missouri. In other words, think outside the box.


40. Get spritzed at Niagara Falls

The 567,000 litres of water that rush and crash down per second at Niagara Falls creates a force to be reckoned with. For the best views (and a quick splash), hop on the Maid of the Mist for an unforgettable boat ride. Afterwards, venture over to the famous 'upside down house' for a spot of something odd. At the very least, it'll make for some great photos.


Aerial view of Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro. Photo: ShutterstockAerial view of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Shutterstock


41. Get lost in South America's wine country

France, California and Italy aren't the world's only vineyards worth visiting. In Argentina, the low humidity and warm climate create the perfect winemaking conditions. La Rioja, Salta, Mendoza and San Juan are among the top provinces for a winery tour. Some even make wine the old-fashioned way, pressing the grapes by foot. Visit Salentein and the Trapiche Winery (both in Mendoza) on Insight Guides’ Argentina and Chile: Wine Country Explored trip and make the most of the opportunity to sample some exquisite wines.


42. Go trekking in Nepal

If tackling Everest is on your list of experiences to have, crossing it off your list may prove to be a tough one. But who says you still can't find wonder at Everest? There are plenty of easier – but no less amazing – trekking trails across Nepal. The Annapurna range has less challenging alternatives that pass through rice fields, along stony paths, and with stops in village communities. Climb part of Everest or trek through tamer trails in the Himalayas on one of Insight Guide’s Nepal trips.


43. Step foot on the Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands pack a big punch for such a tiny locale hiding a few hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador. Nature lovers will be in their element here. Whether you wish to see exotic wildlife (think rare birds, giant tortoises, sea lions and more) or find the famous 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', Insight Guides can take you on a journey through the heavenly islands on one of their Galápagos trips.


44. Kick back on the shores of Mexico

As far as divine beaches are concerned, Mexico is hard to beat. This beautiful country touts thousands of miles of seemingly untouched coastlines. From easy-going favourites like Paradise Beach in Tulum and bustling hot spots like Playa del Carmen to hidden gems in the Campeche region (known for its jungle views and limestone cliffs), you really can't go wrong. Relax on some of the finest beaches in Mexico on Insight Guides’ Baja: Pacific Coast Paradise trip


45. Walk the White Rajah Trail

Kuching, tucked away in Malaysia, is best known for its buzzing markets and lovely locals, with its dazzling waterfront doubling as its claim to fame. It's an absolutely delightful city to explore on foot. Walk in the footsteps of the Rajahs who reigned the land for 100 years. Kuching's trademark colonial buildings and old temples will guide you along the trail on Insight Guides’ Uniquely Rustic Malaysia trip.


46. Wander through Beijing's Forbidden City

Beijing's Forbidden City is an architectural beauty, comprised of ornate roofs and glimmering, intricate details. Originally an imperial palace, the collection of old-world buildings is now home to the Palace Museum. The UNESCO World Heritage site lures visitors with its mystery and once-off-limit interior. On Insight Guides’ The Best of China trip, you'll stumble upon galleries, gardens and more.


47. Get up close with volcanoes in Hawaii

Hawaii goes beyond stunning beaches and warm locals. The teeny US state has so many volcanoes, there's even a national park named after them. Two deserve a special shout-out: Kilauea, which is said to be the world's most active, and Mauna Loa, the biggest one on earth. You can sneak a peek at both on a trip to the island's Volcanoes National Park.


48. Take an authentic (and we mean authentic) cooking class

Foodies rejoice! You can create an entire vacation around your love for cooking. Taking a speciality class is about as authentic as you can get. Give it a whirl in Vietnam, Bangkok, Japan and more. Browse Insight Guides' culinary trips to help satisfy your taste buds.  


49. Visit Christ the Redeemer in Brazil

Setting eyes on Cristo Redentor (aka Christ the Redeemer) is a quintessentially Brazilian excursion. This New Wonder of the World serves up the most unbelievable panoramic views of Rio and beyond. Getting there will require you to make the trek up Mount Corcovado, something that two million visitors do each year. Experience it for yourself, with Insight Guides' Breathtaking Brazil: Rio, Beaches and Waterfalls trip.


50. Swim with dolphins

Not many places can brag about regular dolphin sightings, but Florida is definitely one of them. In fact, the beloved Dolphin Tale films were shot in the Sunshine State. According to Visit Florida, the Florida Keys are the place to have a dolphin encounter of your own, but opportunities abound throughout the entire state. From swimming to feeding, there are plenty of chances to get up close with these endearing sea creatures.


Tiger's nest monastery in Bhutan. Photo: ShutterstockThe Tiger's Nest monastery in Bhutan is a must-see. Photo: Shutterstock


51. Get caught up in the buzz of Bangkok

If seeing Bangkok isn't on your bucket list of travel experiences, it ought to be. This evocative city is a mishmash of old and new, glitzy and traditional. The best time to explore is during the cool season, from November to February. Once there, expect a strong dose of Thai culture, accompanied by a flavour of local fare, fantastic markets and lively nightlife. Experience the buzz of the city on Insight Guides’ Bangkok Sustainable Trails trip.


52. Dial up the adventure in Jordan

Stunning Red Sea reefs, epic desert landscapes, and emotionally moving sites are the norm in Jordan. This ancient part of the world is home to the alluring Dead Sea, as well as the city of Petra, a real jewel of southern Jordan that houses the Royal Tombs. Jerash, in the northwest, is another ancient city to explore, and is included on Insight Guides' Discover Jordan trip


53. Go to Disney

You can't let life pass you by without experiencing the most magical place on earth. Luckily for you, there are now many magical places around the world. From Orlando to Los Angeles, Hong Kong to Shanghai, there seems to be a Disney park at every turn; not that we're complaining. Feel like a kid again on Insight Guides’ Hong Kong Highlights trip.


54. Marvel at the majesty of Victoria Falls

The awesome Victoria Falls forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Quite fittingly, it was renamed Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in 2013; the first part loosely translating to 'the smoke that thunders'. Upon arrival at Victoria Falls on Insight Guides’ South Africa: Cape Peninsula to Victoria Falls trip, prepare to be in awe. The rocky cliffs and rushing water will stop you in your tracks.


55. Soak up the splendour of the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder that's all at once humbling and inspiring. Nearly 6,000 feet deep, it's no surprise that it attracted more than six million visitors last year alone. Experts still don't really know how this geological treasure came to be. Regardless of its origin, what we do know is that it's downright astounding. The Grand Canyon's incredible cliffs and jagged red landscapes are a must-see.


56.  Uncover the Japanese Alps

The Japanese Alps are comprised of staggering peaks that reach 3,000 metres into the sky. Connected by supreme hiking trails, this impressive mountain range is located on Honshu, Japan's main island. Visit to explore and appreciate the lush green patches of land, bright flowers, and tranquil bodies of water that surround the peaks. 


57. Cruise the waters of Halong Bay

In northern Vietnam, among limestone islands and thousands of rocky outcrops, you'll find Halong Bay. This wondrous destination is jam-packed with hidden-away grottoes to explore on Insight Guides' Quintessential Vietnam trip. Peaceful and serene, it looks more like something out of a fairy-tale. In reality, it's located a little more than three hours from Hanoi. Halong Bay is both wonderfully isolated and oh-so-enchanting.


58. Hit up the Vegas strip

As the old saying goes: 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.' This literal hot spot in Nevada rises up out of the desert in a whirl of madness, sights and sounds. Gambling, live shows, and partying are all on the menu, making it a top pick for non-stop fun.


59. Witness the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, also referred to as the aurora borealis, is a natural phenomenon that's on many bucket lists, and with good reason. The natural light show, which occurs when electrically charged particles from the sun interact with the earth's magnetic field, is simply spectacular. Areas around the Arctic Circle offer up the best views. To make the most of it, check out Sweden's chilly accommodation options in the IceHotel.


60. Visit Bhutan's Tiger's Nest

Tiger's Nest (formally known as Taktsang Dzong) is a cliff-hugging holy site in the Himalayan country of Bhutan. Hiking to the top is no easy feat, but the natural beauty that surrounds it is reward enough. Pilgrims of all kinds flock to this sacred location, known for inducing introspection and wonder. Visit the Tiger's Nest on Insight Guides’ Bhutan’s Mountains and Monasteries trip.


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