It’s time to refresh your bucket list and brave a different kind of adventure beyond the classic destinations. Not sure where to start? Dive into our picks for up-and-coming 2018 destinations below and start booking your flights.
1. Almaty, Kazakhstan
[Image Credit: Littlegate Publishing]
A new dawn of Silk Road is upon us. Visa-free and direct flight negotiation between Singapore and Kazakhstan is on the pipeline. In fact, front-runners can already beat the crowd by flying to Almaty via Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.
Hugged by snow-capped mountains, Almaty is a good base to kick-start excursions to glacier-fed Big Almaty Lake, the Singing Dune of Altyn Emel, the colorful formations of Charyn Canyon and the sunken forest of Kaindy Lake.
2. Tbilisi, Georgia
[Image Credit: Robert Harding]
Fast-rising as Europe’s most charming capital, Tbilisi (or Budapest of the Caucasus, as I would coin it) is lined up with chic café, picturesque cobblestone alleys and quaint monasteries lying on the banks of the Kura River.
The city’s storied past is seen in its eclectic architectural mix of Medieval, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Stalinist and Modernist influences. Active travelers will find plenty of hiking opportunities, while those seeking for finer things can sip a glass of Saperavi at the world’s oldest wine-growing nation.
3. Dallol, Ethiopia
[Image Credit: Home Sweet World]
Is there a more surreal-looking place on Earth than the remote Dallol?
Over 163 earthquakes have shaped this region into a Martian landscape of salt pillar canyons, bright ferrous chloride pools known as Danakil Depression, and gargling lava pool of Erta Ale.
With Ethiopian Airlines’ foray into Southeast Asia, a hassle-free flight via Addis Ababa to Mek’ele (where your journey starts) is becoming a reality.
4. Broome, Australia
[Image Credit: Australia’s North West]
A direct SilkAir flight starting from June 2018 will soon connect you to this picturesque Kimberley coast in less than 4 hours.
If your idea of fun is tracing dinosaur footprints at the Gantheaume Point, exploring the Australian outback or steering your camel into the sunset on Cable Beach, Broome will not disappoint.
5. Kazan, Russia
[Image Credit: Russia Trek]
With the World Cup fever looming, it’s a good excuse to go beyond the usual suspects of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
This capital of Tatar culture is an attractive city in the heart of the Volga Region with an impressive kremlin which look like they come out straight from a Russian fairytale coloring book.
6. Padang, Indonesia
Home to CNN’s #1 best cuisine in the world, the mouth-watering rendang in Padang is unlike anything you’ve tried in a local kopitiam, but instead it’s still prepared the original way, cooked for 8 hours with a delicate mix of spices.
While you’re not busy stuffing your stomach, Padang is jam-packed with cultural and natural attractions: Green Canyon, verdant rice paddies, palaces with jagged spires, and the postcard-perfect Tabiang Takuruang.
You can now fly directly to Padang beginning February 9, 2018.
7. Warsaw, Poland
[Image Credit: Ben Sedin]
Often cast in the shadow of Germany next door, but Poland stands on its own and deserve an in-depth exploration.
Caught in the warfare between superpower for centuries, Warsaw offers a wealth of history and it has been rebuilt to its former glory with colorful churches, palaces and marketplaces dotting her skyline.
LOT Polish Airlines will soon fly Singapore-Warsaw direct from May 17th.
8. Harbin, China
[Image Credit: Fred Dufour]
As the world’s largest ice and snow festival, Harbin isn’t exactly off-the-radar.
But with the newly-launched flight route by Scoot which cuts the journey time to under 7 hours, getting to this annual festival which usually happens around December to February had never been easier.
Get ready for some ice lantern show, alpine skiing, dog sledding and Siberian tiger watching at this winter wonderland.