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4 Breathtaking Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel Destinations

How do you decide where to travel? If you only get to enjoy a couple of trips per year (more if you plan your annual leave right!), you might have to be extra selective with your travel planning.

For many, their choice of travel destination may be swayed by Instagram photos, airline promos in their inbox, or envy-inducing travel stories from friend groups.

But there is so much of this world to explore; beyond the popular countries on everyone’s lips exists a realm of hidden gems just waiting to be explored. If you’re tired of the common and ordinary, it’s time to embrace the allure of off-the-beaten-path destinations that promise unparalleled experiences and untold stories.

In this unique travel guide, we introduce to you 4 extraordinary “alternative” countries to visit, each offering a tapestry of culture, nature and adventure that will captivate the explorer in you. And just for fun, they all start with the letter ‘B’!

Travel Tip!

When planning any of these trips, don’t forget to check for any travel advisory using the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) website under “Where Are You Travelling To”. Find out visa requirements, travel health information, or specific local laws to pay attention to.

Before travelling, you should also register with the MFA eRegister system so that the MFA can contact you in the event of any emergencies, such as natural disasters or civil unrest. (Note, this service requires a SingPass.)

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Stari Most Bridge

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Where is Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Bosnia and Herzegovina (two regions, but one country!) can be found in Southeast Europe, below Croatia and Hungary, and just above Montenegro and Albania. It has a small coastline across from Italy.

What is Bosnia and Herzegovina most known for?

Bosnia and Herzegovina is most known for its complex history, stunning landscapes, and a harmonious blend of cultures. The country bears the scars of the 90’s Bosnian War but has emerged as a symbol of resilience and unity.

Why visit Bosnia and Herzegovina?

For history buffs, Bosnia and Herzegovina will captivate you with its rich historical and cultural architecture, with influences from the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. 

In Mostar sits the iconic 16th-century ‘Stari Most’ (Old Bridge) that long ago acted as a physical separation between the Bosniaks and Croats. Today, daring locals and tourists leap from the bridge into the (sometimes freezing) river below in a tradition known as "Mostar diving".

Meanwhile, nature lovers will fall in love with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rocky mountains, turquoise rivers, spectacular waterfalls, and ancient trees. The Peračica Forest Reserve is one of Europe’s last remaining rainforests. This UNESCO-listed rainforest is apparently more than 20,000 years old, and is known for its 300-year-old trees and the beautiful Skakavac Waterfall.

What’s one absolute must-do activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Bosnia and Herzegovina offers heart-stopping adventure thrills from rock climbing and canyoning to paragliding. Whitewater rafting down the gorgeous Neretva River is an absolute must!

When is the best time to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Spring (April to June) and Fall (September to October) are best.

How to get from Singapore to Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Turkish, Swiss and Singapore airlines all fly from Singapore to Sarajevo International Airport. You can also fly to Croatia and travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina via ground transport.

Important things to note before visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina:


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Tiger Nest Monastery


Where is Bhutan?

Bhutan is a tiny landlocked country perched high in the Himalayas, surrounded by Tibet, China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

What is Bhutan known for?

Bhutan has been one of the most mysterious countries in Asia, because independent travel has pretty much been impossible. For decades, there was no such thing as backpacking into Bhutan; you had to go through a government-approved tour agency, and slots were limited. It’s only as recently as September 2022 that Bhutan has opened its doors (but with certain conditions to visit).

It’s well known that Bhutan deliberately keeps most of its doors shut to protect old traditions. In fact, the King of Bhutan only gave in and allowed television as recently as 1999!

Why visit Bhutan?

Wouldn’t you want to see for yourself what lies hidden within this “Land of the Thunder Dragon”? The mystery quotient entices many to crave a glimpse under the hood.

Nature lovers will love that 70% of Bhutan is forests. It is the only country in the world that is carbon negative; it literally absorbs more nasty greenhouse gases than it emits. 

Home to the Himalayas, it’s the perfect destination for hiking enthusiasts looking to conquer some of the world’s most challenging trekking routes. Of course, there are easier treks where you can also enjoy the stunning mountainous landscapes, dense pine forests, and gorgeous lakes, without having to train months for it.

For many Buddhists, Bhutan is somewhat of a pilgrimage. The precariously perched cliffside Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, is considered a sacred site. Bhutan is also one of the exclusive countries allowed to host Buddhist prayer wheels.

What’s one absolute must-do activity in Bhutan?

Treat yourself to Bhutan’s national dish, ema datchi (chilli cheese), a spicy stew made of hot chilli peppers and locally produced yak cheese. Wash it down with the famous Tibetan/Bhutanese butter tea, made with yak butter and a dash of Himalayan salt.

When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

For flourishing Himalayan flora, Spring (March to May) is when the valleys come alive with blossoming blooms. For snow-capped peaks, then Winter (December to February) in the north drops to sub-zero. It’s best to avoid the monsoon flooding from June to September.

How to get from Singapore to Bhutan:

Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airlines, flies directly from Singapore.

Important things to note before visiting Bhutan:

You need to fulfil a few conditions when travelling to Bhutan, including:

  • A travel visa and comprehensive travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation are mandatory.
  • All adults must pay a daily Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of USD$200 per person per night. Until 31 August 2027, Bhutan is offering a 50% discount as long as you pay in USD, making it USD$100 daily. Children aged between 6 years and who have not yet turned 12 are eligible to pay USD$50 per night.
  • Your accommodation must be approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. Visiting temples, monuments and local places of interest must be with a certified guide. All treks must be with an accredited tour operator.
  • It’s not possible to self-drive a rented car in Bhutan. You can hire a vehicle and driver or arrange transport with the hotel or tour operator.
  • Bhutan is the only country in the world where smoking is banned. Purchasing cigarettes is a legal offence. As a tourist, you can have some on you and smoke in designated smoke zones, but you’ll need a receipt to prove you purchased it pre-arrival outside of Bhutan.


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Botswana, Africa


Where is Botswana?

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa with Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola and South Africa as its neighbours.

What is Botswana most known for?

Botswana is most renowned for the Okavango Delta, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As ‘Africa’s Last Eden’, its pristine wilderness and wetlands have been untouched for 60,000 years.

Why visit Botswana?

Thanks to the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, Botswana is home to exceptional safari experiences. If it’s on your bucket list to witness the majestic ‘Big 5’ (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes) in their natural habitat, then Botswana is the perfect travel destination for you. 

Culture vultures can immerse themselves in the traditional lifestyles of the San people in Botswana.

What’s one absolute must-do activity in Botswana?

Glide through the tranquil waterways of the Okavango Delta in a traditional dugout canoe known as a mokoro. With a mokoro safari, you can get up close to the delta’s unique flora and fauna while appreciating the serenity of the breathtaking landscape.

When is the best time to visit Botswana?

The peak safari season is from June to October for the best wildlife sightings, although the Okavango wilderness offers natural attractions all year round.

How to get from Singapore to Botswana:

Emirates, Qatar and Singapore Airlines all fly to the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital.

Important things to note before visiting Botswana:

  • Children under 18 years of age travelling with only one parent must bring along certain documentation because of Botswana’s strict entry regulations to prevent child trafficking. Check with the Consulate of Botswana in Singapore at 6333 0652 for details.
  • Travel insurance is mandatory when visiting Botswana. Read more about travel health information here.
  • Malaria can occur in Botswana, especially from November to March. You can consult Tan Tock Seng’s Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) for vaccinations and medical advice before travelling.


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Uyuni Salt Flats


Where is Bolivia?

Bolivia is a landlocked country in the heart of South America and calls Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile and Paraguay its neighbours.

What is Bolivia most known for?

Bolivia hosts the bulk of the Altiplano in the Andes Mountains, the second largest and highest plateau in the world after Tibet. This iconic place in history has witnessed the Inca civilization, the birth of potatoes, and domestication of llamas. 

Why visit Bolivia?

Bolivia is renowned for the Altiplano and at its heart, Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world (big boats can sail here), as well as the mesmerising Uyuni Salt Flats (Salar de Uyuni), the largest in the world.

One of Bolivia’s capital cities (it has two!) La Paz has the honour of being the highest capital on Earth at 3,650 metres, and you can even take one of the longest cable-car rides to El Alto for a thrilling panoramic view of snow-capped mountains from above the clouds.


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Death Road, Bolivia

Thrill-seeking daredevils can attempt cycling the Death Road, La Carretera de los Yungas. We’re talking a 69 km narrow, steep cliffside slope with twists and turns, foggy visibility, no guardrails, and at 4,650m altitude, a deadly drop if you’re not careful. This is not for the faint of heart!

Fun fact: Bolivia has 37 official languages, and it’s one of only 8 countries in the world where McDonald’s is banned (North Korea’s on that list, of course).

What’s one absolute must-do activity in Bolivia?

Besides the Uyuni Salt Flats and Andes Mountains, nature lovers can visit Madidi National Park for its Amazon rainforest, as well as Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, a part of the Atacama Desert, the driest desert on this planet. This area is famous for its “lunar landscapes” of wind-carved rocks, and its dazzling colourful lagoons.

When is the best time to visit Bolivia?

The Uyuni Salt Flats are an absolute must visit. In the dry season (May to October), you’ll experience a magical, boundless expanse of white salt crust, while in the wet season (November to April), you’ll witness the surreal and mesmerising mirroring effect that the Uyuni Salt Flats are Instagram-famous for.

How to get from Singapore to Bolivia:

There are no direct flights from Singapore to Bolivia, but you can easily get a connecting flight from any of the bigger cities in South America such as Sao Paulo, Brazil, or Lima, Peru.

Important things to note before visiting Bolivia:

  • A travel visa and travel insurance are mandatory. You can purchase your visa upon arrival at the Bolivia border, so prepare some cash for that.
  • It’s best to get a vaccination against yellow fever, and stock up on altitude sickness medication, as acclimatisation to Bolivia’s giddying heights for us sea-level dwellers may be challenging. You can consult Tan Tock Seng’s Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC).

So if you’re tired of the usual travel suspects, then shine your spotlight on these travel destinations instead; the underrated, the overlooked, the undiscovered. From the mysterious landscapes of Bhutan to the dramatically diverse ecology of Bolivia, these destinations are a testament to the diversity and richness that lies beyond the mainstream. 

Make sure you’re well-prepared with the right travel insurance as you discover these offbeat wonders of the world, and don’t forget, your next unforgettable adventure always awaits, just off the beaten path.