Here are photos I took of My Delightful Travel Surprises, one place in each of 15 different countries around the world in random order.
The links below are my videos, photos, and travel tips for each of the below delightful travel surprises.
Cartagena, Colombia, South America: This is a colonial-era city surrounded by castle walls. It is the most beautiful place in Colombia with balconies full of flowers overhanging cobblestone streets with people dancing in the streets on almost every corner, eating in open-air restaurants with water fountains in courtyards at every turn. Make sure to watch our video for Cartagena.
Sipidan, Semporna, Malaysia: These remote islands off the coast of Borneo are some of the most pristine white sand beaches I have seen anywhere in the world including the most colorful and diverse sea creatures sea turtles and some coral reefs. Click more information below for travel data on all of these.
Isabela Island, Galapagos, Ecuador: Blue Footed Bobbies, Giant Turtles, and seals that live in peace with humans and thousands of other species make the Galapagos an unforgettable experience but Isabel Island is one of the most remote and surprising of all. Videos of all there islands we visited for a month are here for your viewing pleasure.
Hue Vietnam: As the former capital of Vietnam, Hue has amazing architecture, foods, and the most beautiful Vietnamese woman who were brought to Hue for centuries to be concubines for the former kings. The memorials built for a series of kings that ruled before the capital moved to Hanoi are the most surprising. Make sure to see all our videos on Hue.
Siquijor Island, Philippines: Siquijor is a smaller gorgeous Island just a short ferry ride from the famous expat city called Dumaguete. What makes Siqiojor surprising is that it has all 4 tourist favorites within a short distance of each other (without getting on a ferry): white sand beaches, waterfalls, a marine sanctuary with great diving, all near a livable village called San Juan.
Little Corn Island, Nicaragua: Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. No cars, no roads, no airport; no worries. I got certified as an advanced diver here for peanuts. What surprised me was how there was so little to do here but enjoy rugged undeveloped nature but I wasn’t bored for a second.
Trujillo, Peru, S, America: Trujillo is one of the most fascinating undiscovered places in the world. People go to Peru for Machu Pichu, but Trujillo has several active archaeological sites one thousand years older than the Inca Empire and one of the most well preserved colonial-era city centers in all of S. America.
Semuc Champey, Guatemala, Central America: Everyone comes to Guatemala to see the quaint colonial-era city of Antigua, Flores (the Venice of Guatemala), and Tikal (500 BC discovered city) but make sure to see the remote undiscovered natural beauty of Semuc Champey. It is one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world.
Castles of Sintra, Portugal: Disneyland was fashioned with the castles of Sintra Portugal in Mind. Give yourself a treat and come watch the four Youtube videos we have of us touring the castles of Sintra. It is was of the great surprises of western Europe that were not bombed on any the World Wars.
Gdansk, Poland: People go to Poland to see Krakow and Warsaw (which are both amazing), but don’t leave until you see my favorite surprise city in Poland. Gdansk has taken historical preservation very seriously and the buildings are amazing to see both day and night. There is a great waterfront walk there and a lively music scene.
Riga, Latvia: is a former Soviet block country that regained its freedom during the Perestroika era. It has some of the most beautiful and well-preserved architecture in Eastern Europe. It is definitely one of the unsung heroes of Eastern Europe so its beauty was a delightful surprise to me when I visited in 2013.
Nara Japan: When Buddha preached his first sermon it was in a deer park in Sarnath near Varanasi India. When his word reached India, a deer park was built to honor his first sermon and enlightenment. This was my favorite place in Japan.
Sahara Desert, Morocco: I really loved staying in a tent in the Sahara desert of Morrocco. I had lived in the desert for a time in college in the USA, but living under the stars in a tent on the sand and singing around the campfire was a completely different experience.
Ranakpur Temple, India: The Ranakpur Temple is a Jain Temple built in the 14th century with one thousand pillars carved in marble. Each pillar is hand carved and unique from all other columns in the temple. The Taj Mahal is beautiful but doesn’t hold a candle to the Ranakpur Temple.
I will stop at 15 today, but let me know if you would like to see another 15 delightful travel surprises in each country. Please subscribe, comment, or like this if you would like to help us increase the audience that Google and Youtube show our videos too.
For a free copy of my eBook, How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 13 Years, just click the free ebook link at the top of VagabondBuddha.com.