Ethiopia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka—what do they have in common with China, Japan, and South Korea? Aside from being major destinations for those who want to buy bamboo sheets, they’re also wonderful tourist destinations. These countries are rich in beautiful sights, food, and history, but remain underrated destinations.
Before you buy your ticket for your next vacation, consider these countries for an off-the-beaten-track experience.
Offering modernity and the great outdoors, Malaysia has everything a tourist would want. The 88-acre Sunway Lagoon theme park boasts over 90 rides, including the world’s biggest water slide—all 152 meters of it. The Petronas Twin Towers, once the tallest building in the world, remains as Kuala Lumpur’s sentinel and are home to various corporate offices.
UNESCO World Heritage spot Mount Kinabalu offers majestic views to hikers, while the Perhentian Islands provide clear waters and prime dive spots in northeastern Malaysia.
Malaysians are also fluent in English. The country has high proficiency in English, so you won’t have trouble communicating with the locals.
The Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia just tripled its size. The country is also counting on tourism to help reduce unemployment—the $1.4 billion that section grossed in revenue in the second half of 2018 gives that bet some credit.
So, why not head down the African country to see some great sights. Addis Ababa is the capital city of the country. Established in the 19th century, it offers a lot of history, art, and delicious coffee to adventurous foreigners. Animal lovers may find Harar interesting, thanks to its unique relationship with hyenas. Those on the lookout for world-renown beauties may head to the Semien Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site found to be significant for its role in biodiversity conservation.
Boasting an idyllic countryside, Sri Lanka is perfect for those who want to get away from city life. It’s also home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including its temples.
Even if you’re not the religious type, Sri Lanka’s ancient temples are still a marvel to behold. The Dambulla cave temple or Golden Temple of Dambulla is another UNESCO World Heritage site that serves as a pilgrimage touchstone for 22 countries. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa hosts the Hatadage and Atadage Sacred Tooth relic temples and other remains of the garden city.
Nature lovers may prefer Sri Pada or Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s holy mountain. The breathtaking views from the summit are matched by the biodiversity of the forests that surrounds it. You can see some of that biodiversity in action at the Yala National Park. Parts of the park reach the Indian Ocean and cross two provinces—that’s how massive this park is.
When going to another country, remember to study their etiquette and culture. There are many guides for travelers who want to spend their vacation in a foreign land, and they all say one thing: respect. Learning how things work in other countries will prevent embarrassing or dangerous situations when you’re away. Make sure you have a safe, enjoyable, and respectful journey.