12 exotic travel destinations to check off your bucket list

If there’s 1 thing that Singaporeans love more than food, it’s travelling. Exotic travel destinations have been gaining popularity, especially amongst younger Singaporeans.

exotic travel destination - natas travel fair
Credit – TODAY

The reasons: a rising middle-class with growing affluence, more convenient online booking platforms such as Klook and Expedia, and a strong desire for unique experiences.

Check out these 12 exotic travel destinations if you want to stray off the beaten path.

Unless otherwise stated, you’ll have to travel to the country itself for the tour experience.

1. Katla ice cave (under volcano), Vik

Most travellers visit Iceland for its iconic Northern lights. But have you wanted to explore the breathtaking beauty of Iceland’s natural landscapes? Now you have the chance to.

exotic travel destination - Katla Ice Cave Tour
Credit – Klook

The Katla Ice Cave 3-hour tour by Klook is led by a seasoned, English-speaking guide.

As part of the tour, hop into a Super Jeep, put on your crampons and enter the awe-inspiring Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Learn how the Katla Volcano and Mýrdalsjökull glacier formed a breathtaking ice cave and see the multiple ice layers forming on the glacier.

Tour prices in June start from US$217/adult (excluding the cost of a flight ticket to Vik).

2. Reindeer adventure, Mongolia

The cold never bothered you anyway? Embark on a 10 day, 9 night expedition to an isolated Mongolian reindeer town, reachable only through walking or horseback.

exotic travel destination - 10D9N Mongolian Reindeer Adventure
Credit – Klook

Here, you’ll experience the lifestyle of the reindeer nomads. Try out reindeer herding, learn how to ride and milk reindeer, and even make yoghurt or cheese from their milk!

You’ll also get to experience the local culture and interact with friendly Mongolians. This is because you’ll be staying in gers (traditional Mongolian dwellings) with a nomadic family.

Ticket prices begin from US$2222/person (for a group of 2), with discounts for every additional person. While the package does not include flight tickets, accommodation and transport are covered. You’ll also have a driver to accompany you.

3. Desert stargazing adventure, Sharm El Sheikh

If you prefer warm climates, check out Sharm El Sheikh: Desert Stargazing Adventure with BBQ Dinner. Live like a local with a scrumptious traditional tea session and a camel ride in Bedouin Village. Then, tuck into a BBQ feast while revelling in the moves of dancers.

You’ll also get to explore the arid sand dunes of the Sinai desert on an all-terrain vehicle.

exotic travel destination - Sharm El Sheikh: Desert Stargazing Adventure with BBQ Dinner
Credit – Klook

As the trip ends, take advantage of clear desert skies and marvel at the beauty of the stars through a digital telescope. An adult ticket costs US$19.80 for the month of June whereas a child ticket costs US$17.35. Be picked up and dropped off directly at your hotel.

4. Hot air balloon flight at sunrise, Marrakech

An early bird? Hop onto the Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise with Breakfast from Marrakech to kickstart your morning, where you will take to the skies above Morocco.

exotic travel destination - Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise with Breakfast from Marrakech
Credit – Klook

Take flight gracefully with the magnificent High Atlas Mountains behind you. If you have a fear of heights, you can watch the hot air balloons inflating from below. Bask in the soft hues of the sunrise, while sipping on piquant coffee and tea (breakfast is included).

A ticket is priced at US$217.10/person. While anyone can participate, it is recommended for participants to be at least five years old (they must be included in the headcount).

5. Jebel Jais – world’s longest zipline, Dubai

Like living life on the edge but still want to experience the feeling of being in the skies? Check out Jebel Jais Zipline, the world’s longest zipline from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah.

exotic travel destination - Jebel Jais zipline World's Longest zipline Experience from Dubai
Credit – Klook

Leap from a falcon-shaped platform and bask in the scenic views of Ras Al Khaimah’s magnificent mountains. Fly alongside a friend on dual cables for a sense of camaraderie.

Look forward to an all-encompassing experience with safety equipment, optional transfers, a flight certificate, and photos included, at a price of US$181.60/adult. This excludes the price of a flight ticket to Dubai and costs incurred for private transfer (e.g. transportation).

6. Oslob whale shark watching, Cebu

A risk-taker but prefer an oceanic experience to an aerial one? Check this exotic travel destination off your bucket list: snorkel with whale sharks in Cebu, the Philippines!

exotic travel destination - Oslob Whale Shark Watching Experience in Cebu
Credit – Klook

Firstly, enjoy a pleasant 3-hour drive along the Southern Cebu coastline with a seasoned local driver. Then, participate in shark feeding and interact with the white sharks at close proximity. You’ll also get to explore surrounding coral reefs in the ocean depths.

After that, you may choose to scale the Tumalog Falls for an unforgettable experience!

You’ll have to pay US$62.45 for the vehicle ride and an add-on of US$8.59/person for the whale snorkelling experience. Of course, this does not include the cost of a flight ticket.

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7. Luxury boat cruise, Boracay

For a cheap getaway, Singaporeans usually flock to nearby islands such as Bali or Batam.

exotic travel destination - borocay luxury boat cruise
Credit – Klook

Why not give neighbouring Boracay a go instead? Situated in Malay, Aklan, the Philippines, the scenic island is perfect for a luxury cruise experience. The cruise boat, Badabling, is fully equipped with an opulent U-shaped cockpit seating area, a capacious deck and a slide.

Invite your loved ones for a 3-hour trip. June tickets cost US$341.90 for a group of 10. 

8. Island hopping, Kinmen

Not a fan of the tropics? But still set on island-hopping, especially to ancient relic sites?

exotic travel destination - xinmen island
Credit – Klook

Also known as Quemoy, Kinmen is located only 10 km east of the city of Xiamen in Fujian, on the southeastern coast of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The group of islands governed as a county by the Republic of China bears the painful scars of an old warsite.

These remnants include a tank that can still be seen half-buried in the sand at low tide. These serve as a reminder of the tussle between Communist China and democratic Taiwan.

The 2-hour night cruise offers an unparalleled view of the battlefield’s oceanic landscape. Unravel the mystery of the islands on both sides of the strait. If the tide allows, you’ll also get to view Nanshantou Basalt, Lieyu Mazu Park and Jiugong Tunnel at no additional cost.

June tickets start from US$20.15 per adult and US$24.80 for one adult with a child.

9. Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Seoul

If warsites are your thing, there’s no better exotic travel destination than to visit the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).

The DMZ is a militarized strip of land stretching across the Korean Peninsula and serves as a buffer zone between the countries of North and South Korea, both of which are technically still at war.

exotic travel destination - Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour from Seoul
Credit – Klook

On this educational tour, you’ll get the chance to learn more about the history of the Korean War and the Cold War. Places such as Imjingak Park, the Freedom Bridge, the Third Infiltration Tunnel, and the DMZ Exhibition Hall will be visited. You’ll also get a bird’s eye view of North Korea through the binoculars located on top of the observatory towers.

June tour tickets start from US$54.20 for an adult and US$38.40 for a child aged 2 – 9.

10. Takayama and Shirakawa-go day tour from Nagoya

Keen on exploring the lesser-known side of another popular East Asian country? Go on a day trip to Takayama and the Historic Village of Shirakawa-go from Nagoya, Japan.

exotic travel destination - Takayama and Shirakawa-go Day Tour from Nagoya
Credit – Klook

The tour will take you around Takayama’s old town. You’ll be able to revel in its picturesque architecture and historical sites. Following that, explore the charming traditional village of Shirakawa-go, which is well-known for its houses’ thatched roofs.

Tour tickets start from US$48.75/adult. All accompanying children get free admission.

11. Horseback riding, Cappadocia 

Pining for another quaint experience? Go for the Horseback Riding in Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey. You’ll have to pay US$48.85 per adult above 15 years old.

exotic travel destination - Horseback Riding in Cappadocia
Credit – Klook

Experience riding on horseback through Cappadocia’s gorgeous valleys with its distinctive fairy chimneys. Trot through the “land of beautiful horses”, which has all the necessary prerequisites for an unforgettable ride.

The 2-hour tour also includes a visit to the rock-cut Hallacdere Monastery, which is an essential stop on any Cappadocian itinerary.

12. 7-day happiness tour, Bhutan

There’s no better exotic travel destination to cap off this list than the hermit kingdom of Bhutan if you’re searching for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of life in Singapore.

exotic travel destination - bhutan
Credit – Klook

For the culturally curious, the South Asian country’s rich history and nuances await your exploration. Visit old monasteries, join dynamic festivals, and talk to friendly locals who will share their way of life. This is the chance to delve deep into the heart of Bhutan’s heritage.

Most importantly, the itinerary is flexible, enabling travellers to customise their Bhutanese adventure to suit their needs, be it seeking relaxation or adrenaline-pumping experiences.

The 7-day Cultural and Natural Odyssey tour costs US$2300/person. But sign-ups require at least 2 persons, so bring a friend along!

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