Dec 20, 2013
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Holidays are meant to be a relaxing experience where precious time spent with your friends or partner helps you to unwind and to remember who you really are. But some holidays end up horribly stressful with packed tourist destinations mimicking the worst of British culture, making you wish you stayed at home. You can get away from it all by taking an amazing cruise from somebody like Cruise1st or Thomson, long haul flight or just backpacking and winging it as you go!

These five beautiful holiday destinations are perfect for escaping the crowd and finding your own little piece of paradise:


Dubbed ‘the land of smiles’, Thailand offers plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten track and find your own empty beach or private cove. Many of its islands are uninhabited, allowing you to appreciate the incredible beauty of this country without interruption from coaches of snap-happy tourists. Visit the North and explore peaceful Buddhist culture or opt for the Khao Sok National Park, home to the oldest evergreen forest in the world with its ginormous lake circled by breath-taking limestone cliffs. Explore the park’s exciting caves, meet some of its incredible animals and soak up the stunning scenery away from the hustle and bustle of the madding crowd.


The temples of Angkor are well known to be buzzing with tourists and any thoughts of shooting mystical photos that resemble the scenes in Tomb Raider are frankly a pipe dream. However, there are better times to visit this popular area, and places you can go to escape the crowd too. Hiring a local guide gives you the best chance as they will know the best times and places well. Be ready to get up super early to travel to the more obscure temples such as the five at Preah Pithu, which offer a relatively tourist-free experience. Visiting Koh Ker further down the Khmer trail can also be a good way to experience the beauty of this area while dodging the crowds.


The Capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is a crowded tourist destination with routes on to Cambodia and Thailand. You can escape the bustle by travelling outside the city and exploring the stunning greenery of Malaysia’s rubber plantations; or instead choose one of its famed diving locations such as the island of Sipadan which sits just off the northeast coast of Borneo on the Celebes Sea. This site boasts hundreds of species of coral, more than 3,000 different species of fish, and an incredible array of rays, sharks and turtles, making it every scuba diver's dream.

Climbing in South Africa

For walkers and climbers who love a challenge but prefer soaking up the views in peace, Table Mountain in Cape Town can provide a great experience. The weather is volatile but don’t let that put you off – set in a national park, Table Mountain offers literally hundreds of hiking trails through an incredible 15,000 acres of rock formation, forests and shrubbery, making it easy to go off the beaten path. There are a good number of both steep and scenic routes up Table Mountain as well as a cable car for those that don’t fancy the climb. From the top, the views are incredible over Cape Town and its suburbs.

Trekking in Chile

Comprising of more than 600,000acres, it’s not difficult to find peace in the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine in Chile. The park is named after its impressive granite towers but there’s much more to look at. The alpine meadows are littered with trails that pass by glacial lakes with icebergs and rivers with impressive waterfalls. There’s days of exploring to be had, and the park provides everything the hiker needs with plenty of lodges, hot meals and showers for the exhausted traveller. November through March is the most popular time of year when most people visit, albeit also the windiest.

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