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Following up my article about 5 of the most obscure places I’ve ever visited, I thought I’d follow up it up 5 crazy places I’ll be heading this year. I’m off on my Tibet to Ireland by land trip in less than 3 weeks, and although my plans only involve a map + a red line through it with Microsoft paint, I’m gonna be hitting up these 5 hidden gems:

 

Mongolia:

One of the first stops on my epic journey, this will be part of my journey on the Trans Siberian railway through Russia. Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s Capital, is the coldest capital in the world so I’ll be delighted with the -30 temperatures they’re currently posting!

Reindeer herding, horseback riding and hunting with eagles are high up my list on stuff to do here. It’s an open country, with little infrastructure and a sparse population – I can’t wait to get back into the depths of nature. Oh, and give me some of that fermented  yaks milk, that sounds right up my street.

eagle hunting mongolia
eagle hunting in Mongolia

Kazakhstan:

Surprisingly one of the biggest countries in the world, and certainly owners of one of the coolest flags in the world. I’ll be heading to its Capital, Astana, initially at least and they have some awesome new architecture kicking around thanks to all that oil money they have, check this out:

Astana sights

After that I plan to venture deeper into the country, but my Microsoft paint red line didn’t stretch that far yet so I’ll have to make it up as I go along!

Belarus:

Ever hear about anyone going to Belarus? Me neither, so I’ve got my visa and I’m ready to go! They have 2 UNESCO world heritage sites – a castle complex, and a cool national park so although it may be poverty stricken, and underdeveloped, it looks like it might really be an undiscovered beauty. Really excited about this one.

Mir Castle Belarus
UNESCO world heritage site Mir Castle, Belarus

Transnistria:

A self-declared independent state from Moldovo, that sounds pretty cool to me! The UN refuse to acknowledge its independence, but it’s been autonomous for more than 20 years (gotta love the UN eh). It’s a very left-leaning state which always promises to be ‘interesting’ at the very least, I can’t seem to get enough of socialist propaganda! Transnistria is also home to apparently amazing wine and cognac, this sounds like the sort of place you plan to spend 3 days in, and you leave 3 weeks later. Fine by me!  

Transnistria flag
Transnistria flag

Kosovo:

Another “de-facto” independent country in Eastern Europe having broken away from Serbia a few years ago.

Both the Decani and Gračanica monasteries  are UNESCO world heritage sites, which alone is reason to visit, but Kosovo is famously beautiful so if you can put aside its political difficulties and venture in, it seems to offer a lot to travelers.

Gracanica Monastery kosovo
Gracanica Monastery kosovo

This little round up has just got me a lot more excited, I’ll be in eastern Europe in less than 2 months so if anyone wants to cross paths, let me know. Happy travels!

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0 thoughts on “5 Crazy Destinations I’ll Visit in 2012

  1. NEST hostel is kinda trashy, but good ppl there and it’s really good for chillin’. And there is on on the Freedom Square, just ask around or google!

    If in Croatia lemme know! You’ve got my mail so type your way through 🙂

  2. To be honest, it is my first time to hear about Belarus and Transnistria 0_0. Looking forward to that trip of yours! 😀

  3. My dad works in the oil business in Kazakhstan. And I keep saying I want to visit him but he keeps discouraging me, calling it “boring”. But I think it looks fascinating. Especially Almaty that has a huge Korean population due to a massive emigration during the Korean war to the former USSR. You can get Korean food there and check out all the cool little neighbourhoods. And I have to agree with Shay — haven’t been to Georgia yet but it’s one of my must-visit places! 2012 looks like a cool year for you!

  4. Gotta admit, I have never heard of Transnistria. I once dated a Moldovian though. Curious to see what Transnistria is like, especially the cognac and wine.

    I dare you, I double dare you, to walk around Kaz in one of the Borat style swimsuits. And speaking of Kaz, you are challenging my rule that there is nothing good when visiting a country that ends in -stan, lol. From the picture you post though, it looks like it might be a cool place. I heard that they like to send people to follow tourists who travel there.

    Definitely excited to read your Mongolian adventures! Happy travels mate!

  5. I spent a couple of months in Georgia and you should definitely add that to the list if you’re looking for crazy destinations.. breathtakingly beautiful and amazing fun!

      1. Indescribably amazing – Borjomi and Signaghi are musts, and super cheap to get to – like anywhere in the country, really.

        1. hey ani, wow – cheap eh? how cheap? im thinking about stopping somewhere for a couple of weeks to rejuvenate before i hit the rest of europe, any tips?

          1. reallyn cheap considering rest of Europe! Lemme know what u want to know, but descent meal is like 1-2 euros, hostel. is 8-10euros, but if u stay longer u can negotiate price, smokes and beer lessnthen a euro! ski ticket 10 euros , so basicly perfect place for me 😉 ppl are really nice, it super safe abd lot’s to see around. oh, and transport is also cheap, 120km for 2-3 euros with marshutkas.

            thats about it

          2. awesome! which would be a better place to chill for a couple of weeks? any awesome hostels to recommend?

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