10 Extreme Destinations for the Most Adventurous Travellers

Extreme Destinations for the Most Adventurous Travellers

In the broadest definition, there are two types of traveller.

First, there is by far the most common kind, that being the type who wants to experience the world with some semblance of comfort and safety and without having to spend a fortune as well as months of preparation.

The second type concerns the world’s most adventurous type, that being the person who thrives on pushing themselves to the absolute limits to do something utterly crazy if only just to be one of the few on the planet who can make such a claim. This list is for the latter.

1. Oymyakon, Russia

Oymyakon, Russia

There’s bitter, frostbite-inducing cold, and then there’s cold that’s so intense that a cup of coffee turns to snow if it’s thrown off a balcony.

Welcome to Oymyakon, Russia, the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth, and a place where diesel spends half of the year frozen solid.

The remote Siberian town of 500 people is built entirely on permafrost and surrounded by a tundra where the mercury regularly plummets below -50 °C during the winter months.

Appropriately, the Soviet-Era entry sign to the town reads ‘Oymyakon, The Pole of Cold’.

2. Lut Desert, Iran

Lut Desert, Iran

If you feel the need to warm up a little after a visit to Pole of Cold, the Lut Desert shouldn’t disappoint.

The 20,000-square-mile salt desert in Iran is one of the driest and hottest places on the planet, with surface temperatures reaching a balmy 70 °C. In 2016, the Lut Desert was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List owing to its unique geography, climate and bizarre sand formations.

Beautifully post-apocalyptic in its appearance, the Lut Desert is characterised by countless towers of mud and sand, eroded over the eons by the wind.

3. Atacama Desert, Chile

Atacama Desert

The driest place in Earth, some parts of the Atacama Desert, which is mostly located in Chile, haven’t seen rain since records began.

Much of the region is almost entirely lifeless, looking more like the surface of Mars than anywhere else here on Earth.

In fact, that’s precisely the reason why it’s long been one of the world’s favourite places for filming movie scenes set on the Red Planet.

With nary a cloud in the sky, the Atacama Desert is also a paradise for skywatchers seeking the world’s best views of the heavens, completely devoid of any light pollution.

4. Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic

Tristan da Cunha Rockhopper Penguin a.k.a. Pinnamins

Some people just want to get away from it all, so what better option than the remote island of Tristan da Cunha, located in the middle of the South Atlantic.

The island is some 1,200 miles away from the nearest inhabited area, Saint Helena, which itself is one of the most remote settlements on the planet.

The population of 265 lives entirely in the village of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas relying largely on the local crawfish industry and the sale of postage stamps. There are more rockhopper penguins, known locally as pinnamins (image above), that are residents Tristan da Cunha than people.

The only way to get there is by fishing boat, a handful of times per year from South Africa.

5. La Rinconada, Peru

The highest permanent settlement in the world is, sadly, also a thoroughly dreary place of abject misery.

Its population of some 50,000 relies entirely on the local gold-mining industry where they work for free every day of the month except for one, when they’re allowed to take home anything they find.

In addition to what most of the civilised world would describe as corporate slave labour, the residents of the town have to make do without any plumbing or sanitation.

Making matters even worse is the fact that breathing at a height of 16,700 feet is hardly easy.

6. Coober Pedy, Australia

Coober Pedy Australia

Coober Pedy, a remote town of some 1,700 inhabitants, is the world’s biggest supplier of opals.

However, while daily temperatures regularly exceed 40 °C throughout the year to make this a rather inhospitable place, the ever-resourceful Australians have found a novel way to live with the harsh climate – to build underground.

Much of the population lives, shops and even worships under the Earth, and there’s a subterranean hotel, bookstore, church and more where temperatures consistently hover around a rather more pleasant 22 °C.

7. Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

With only 56,500 inhabitants, Greenland is by far the least densely population country in the world, so its remotest town, Ittoqqortoormiit, is quite literally in the middle of nowhere.

Far above the Arctic Circle, this small town of 500 people is a place where the sun never rises above the horizon in winter.

The mercury rarely goes above 6 °C, even in summer, and the place is not exactly easy to get to either.

Nonetheless, it offers a truly unique experience to visitors who can enjoy their time dog-sledding and kayaking in one of the world’s most unspoiled destinations.

8. Lloró, Colombia

Lloró, Colombia

Don’t forget to bring your umbrella if you decide to visit the village of Lloró in Columbia.

The British might be infamous for complaining about the weather, but they’ve got nothing on this place, which receives an average annual rainfall of almost 300 inches. That’s 40 feet of rain per year, compared to 2 feet in London.

In the wettest place in the world, temperatures average 25-30 °C throughout the year, and there’s almost never a day without rain.

However, the surrounding area is abundant with lush jungle, making it a haven for exotic plants and animals.

9. Krubera Cave, Abkhazia

Those seeking a caving adventure may find it worthwhile to pay a visit to Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

Though the troubled region is not easy to get to, it is home to the deepest cave in the world, located high in the mountains.

The limestone cave is around 7,200 feet deep and over eight miles long, and much of it still remains unexplored due to its very narrow passages.

Even more impressively, the unique environment has given rise to some equally unique animals, including several endemic species of spider, crustaceans and beetles.

10. Outer Space

There are some adventurers for whom Earthly delights simply don’t cut the mustard.

Fortunately, there’s an infinity to discover beyond and, slowly but surely, tourism to outer space is becoming a reality.

It will still cost you a fortune, with ticket prices for a brief Virgin Galactic trip, albeit one where you can experience a microgravity environment, costing $200,000.

However, now that many private companies are investing heavily in space tourism, it seems almost certain that, in the next couple of decades, it will no longer be a luxury exclusive to the world’s millionaires.

Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and Space X… time will tell when you and with who you can push the edge to the final frontier.

Wrapping Up: Extreme Destinations

The exciting world of adventure travel presents literally limitless exciting possibilities, and the above represent just a few of the most extreme.

None of them are particularly hospitable, but for the most daring, they certainly promise to be among the most memorable.

10 Amazing South Korean Travel Destinations Outside Seoul

Sout Korean Travel

Most visitors to South Korea spend their entire stay in the Korean capital city, Seoul.

Seoul is a one of the world’s largest cities and has an incredible selection of historic buildings, museums, galleries, restaurants and nightlife options to choose from.

However, tourists who spend their entire trip in Seoul will miss out on some even more incredible attractions offered by other cities in South Korea.

Here are 10 incredible destinations that any traveler in South Korea should consider visiting.

1. Gyeongju

Gyeongju South Korea

Tourists from within Korea and neighboring countries know Gyeongju as the home of some of South Korea’s most mind-blowing historical sites, but tourists from further afield have often never heard of it.

Located in the south-east corner of Korea, making it an easy day trip from the much larger coastal city of Busan, Gyeongju is the former capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla.

Until roughly 1000 years ago, Korea was divided into three separate kingdoms, with Silla being the most prosperous.

The most impressive traces of this kingdom that you can see in Gyeongju are fields filled with huge burial mounds and a museum displaying the contents of these mounds, with Gyeongju’s kings being buried with enough gold to make an Egyptian pharaoh jealous.

Gyeongju also hosts some incredible temples, including a cave high in the mountains with a huge statue of Buddha which was been there since the 8th Century.

2. Jeju Island

Jeju City Sout Korea Hiking

Jeju is a volcanic island off the southern coast of South Korea which boasts of Korea’s most beautiful natural scenery.

The dormant volcano Mount Hallasan dominates the island–and visitors can hike–don’t forget your hiking poles if you do, almost 2000 meters to its summits to enjoy incredible views across Jeju and the ocean around it.

Jeju island also has some of South Korea’s most beautiful beaches and a laid-back local culture that will refresh anyone feeling overwhelmed by the relentless pace of life in Seoul.

It’s also one of the best places to enjoy delicious fresh seafood in South Korea, as well as Jeju’s signature fruit, Jeju oranges.

3. Busan

Look down from mountain at Busan

Busan is South Korea’s second biggest city, and as mentioned above, its closely situated to the historical city of Gyeongju, making it easy to combine a visit to both cities.

It’s also South Korea’s closest major city to Japan, making it an ideal spot to take a cheap flight to Osaka or Tokyo if you’re visiting South Korea as part of a larger trip around Asia.

Busan is more than just a travel hub, however. In summer, it earns the nickname ‘Seoul on sea’ as residents of the South Korean capital flock to Busan’s beautiful beaches and booming nightlife.

Whether you want to relax by the ocean during the day or party long into the night, or both, Busan is an energetic city with plenty to offer everyone.

4. Jeonju

Jeongju hanok village

Jeonju is home to one of South Korea’s biggest traditional housing areas, known as a hanok village.

It also boasts some stunning Buddhist temples and is one of the best areas to experience traditional Korean culture.

Beyond the beauty of the old hanok village, Jeonju is home to some of South Korea’s most delicious food.

Jeonju is situated in Jeolla-do, a south-western province known as ‘the breadbasket of Korea.’

Jeonju is the birthplace of bibimbap, a dish of mixed rice, egg, vegetables, beef and hot sauce that has become somewhat popular in western countries in recent years.

It also has an area dedicated to restaurants serving the Korean rice wine makgeolli, along with a plethora of delicious side dishes.

5. Chuncheon

Chuncheon bridge and water statue in foreground

Chuncheon is conveniently located close enough to Seoul that it can reached on the South Korean capital’s subway network.

A stunning area of natural beauty, Chuncheon encompasses rivers, mountains, forests and islands, and enthralls visitors with some of the most beautifully situated Buddhist temples in South Korea.

It is also the spiritual home of the spicy chicken dish, dakgalbi, with many restaurants offering the popular local variety of one of Korean cuisine’s tastiest offerings.

6. Suncheon

Suncheon Folk Village South Korea

Another area of natural beauty, Suncheon is in the far south of Korea.

Its protected wetlands offer a chance to see some of the rarest birds in South Korea, along with stunning views across Suncheon bay to the ocean.

An eco-museum explains the area’s environment to visitors, and boat trips and wooden platforms offer a chance to get close to Suncheon’s unique wildlife.

7. Panmunjom

Panmunjom DMZ South Korean Border with North Korea

Panmunjom is considered a must-see on any visit to South Korea.

Although it lies a few hours north of Seoul, there are a ton of tour companies offering day trips from South Korea’s capital.

Panmunjom is the area that incorporates the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which separates North and South Korea.

Visitors can learn about the tragic history which divided the South Korean peninsula, as well as experiencing the strange sensation of peering into the mysterious country of North Korea.

There are even meeting rooms set up across the border where visitors can technically cross over onto North Korean soil.

8. Tongyeong

Tongyeong Coastline South Korea

Tongyeong is a southern coastal city which is often referred to as ‘the Naples of South Korea.’

It’s a beautiful city of winding hill paths and gorgeous ocean views, but what really makes Tongyeong a unique travel destination is its history.

You may have heard of Lee Sun Shin, the Korean admiral who invented an armored vessel commonly known as a turtle ship due to its hard outer shell.

These ships were used to defeat the much larger Japanese navy in a famous battle in the 16th century.

Visitors to Tongyeong can visit the many small islands which Lee Sun Shin used as cover during this battle.

9. Gwangju

Gwangju

Gwangju is a south-western city which, like the Jeonju, is located in Jeolla province, commonly regarded as offering the best food in the country.

Gwangju also has a tragic history, as it was the site where a student uprising against the authoritarian government in 1980 was brutally crushed by the Korean army.

This tragic event was an incredibly important point on the path to South Korea becoming a democracy, and elements of a rebellious counter-culture spirit are still present in Gwangju to this day.

10. Yangpyeong

Map Yangpyeong ski resort South Korea

Yangpyeong is another city which can be easily reached on the Seoul subway network.

Located to the south of the capital, Yangpyeong is one of South Korea’s best ski resorts.

Seoul residents flock to its slopes in the winter, which offer much cheaper skiing than similar resorts in Europe and North America.

While Seoul is by far Korea’s largest cities and home to a wider array of attractions than anywhere else, South Korea has a lot of amazing destinations to discover outside its capital.

Any visitor to South Korea should therefore make the effort to get out of the capital city and experience the other great destinations that Korea offers.

Bangkok Airports (there are two) Don’t miss your flight in Bangkok!

The Difference Between Bangkok's Two International Airports

Bangkok Airports

Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Mueang International Airport (sometimes Don Muang) are two separate airfields serving Bangkok.

The site of harried tourists leaving their hotels and arriving at the wrong airport has become more common as flight traffic increases in Bangkok.

Tourists should be prepared and know which airport they will be using, how to get there, the differences between the two and the services available at both.

Bangkok Airports Good to Know

Bangkok Airports Tourist Waiting Arrival of Bags

In September, 2006, a Qantas flight bound for Sydney departed Don Mueang Airport at 3:12 a.m.

It was to be the final commercial flight from the field that had served Bangkok since 1914. Operations ceased and were transferred to Bangkok’s new airfield, Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

The closure was short-lived, however: Operating costs at Suvarnabhumi Airport were high, and safety concerns over cracked runways and taxiways created a crisis of confidence.

Low-cost carriers saw Don Mueang Airport as a viable transit hub, and authorities began to see it as a reasonable alternative to expanding operations at Suvarnabhumi International.

By March 2007, Don Mueang International Airport again reopened for domestic flights.

Today, legacy carriers and long-haul international flights operate from Suvarnabhumi International, while low-cost carriers operate from Don Mueang International.

Here are some things to know about Bangkok’s Two Airports:

Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)

Suvarnabhumi Airport Thailand Travel

Suvarnabhumi International Airport, 25 km east of the city, is the sixth-busiest airport in Asia and handles 53 million passengers yearly. It also has the world’s tallest free-standing control tower. It serves as the main hub for Bangkok Airways, Orient Thai, and Thai Airways. It was built in an area formerly known as Nong Nguhao, or Cobra Swamp.

The terminal is massive and as beautiful as it is functional.

TIPTourists should be warned that the arrivals hall can be populated by con-men and illegal taxi drivers, and should use care.

Getting to and from Suvarnabhumi is easy

In addition to taxis and express buses, the Airport Rail Link, which operates from 6 a.m. to midnight, connects Suvarnabhumi to downtown Bangkok.Airport Rail Link Bangkok

Connections to Bangkok’s MRT subway system can be made at the Makkasan City interchange, while the BTS Skytrain connects at the end of the line, at Phayathai Station.

Transit is cheap and the connections are easily made, but parties of three or more may find it cheaper to take a taxi.

Travel Time from Suvarnbhumi Airport to Bangkok

Approximate time into Bangkok is 30 minutes.

BKK Official Info Page & Flight Status

>>> Check your flight status for flights arriving and departing Suvarnbhumiy Airport here.

>>> Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok Official Info Page.

Video Guide to Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)

Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)

Don Mueang International Airport

Don Mueang International Airport, 25 km north of the city, has seen yearly double-digit growth in passenger travel and handled over 35 million passengers in 2016.

Don Mueang International Airport began handling commercial traffic in 1924 and served as a major US base of operations during the Vietnam war.

Today, it is a hub for Asia’s low-cost carriers, including Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, and Thai AirAsia.

Don Mueang’s Two Terminals

  1. Terminal 1: handles international travel
  2. Terminal 2: for domestic flights

Most people traveling between Bangkok and Don Mueang Airport opt for a taxi, as there are no fast transit options in and out of the city.

A few bus routes travel to Don Mueang.

Some travelers attempt to take the Skytrain to Mo Chit station, and taxi from there, but savings are slim and reports of difficulties finding cabs at Mo Chit abound.

Travel Time from Don Mueang Airport to Bangkok CBD

Approximate time into Bangkok is 45 minutes or more.

DMK Official Info Page & Flight Status

>>> Check your flight status for flights arriving and departing Don Mueang International Airport here.

>>> Don Mueng Airport Bangkok Official Info Page.

Video Guide to Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)

Airport confusion can be prevented in Bangkok.

First, tourists must note well which airport serves their airline.

Second, you must be specific with cab drivers when traveling from hotels to the airport. It is prudent to have the name and the address written along with the terminal number to avoid confusion.

Bangkok’s two airports each serve different but equally important purposes.

Knowledge of the two and prior planning can save a mad dash between Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Mueang International Airport as minutes tick down to departure.

Happy trails… now catch your flight!

Bangkok Airports FAQs

How far are Bangkok Airports from each other? 

The two airports DMK and BKK are 29.5 miles apart. That is 47.5 kilometers (KM).

How far is DMK from BKK?

The two airports DMK and BKK are 29.5 miles apart. That is 47.5 kilometers (KM).

Which Bangkok Airport is closest to the city center, CBD?

Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) is closest to Bangkok city center.

BUT, Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) is better connected to the city center transport-wise via the Airport Rail Link. Your only options of transport at DMK is via a vehicle, either a bus, taxi or other potentially traffic jammed transport.

How many airports does Bangkok have?

Two, Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)  and Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK).


Get Out and Travel More


Trekking Pole Dog Icon at Bangkok Airports travel

Outdoor Adventures: 3 Ways to Get in Hiking Shape

How to Get in Hiking Shape

For experienced outdoorsmen, there’s nothing quite like taking a relaxing hike on your favorite nature trail.

Depending on the time of year, hiking has many advantages. From beautiful natural scenery to physical exercise to socializing with other hikers, outdoor hiking offers a perfect escape from the stresses of the weekly work grind.

However, hiking is not necessarily the easiest of fitness hobbies.

To get into hiking shape, there are some particular steps you should take in addition to your weekly fitness workout.

Cardio for Hiking Shape

First, it is very important to include cardio conditioning in your training regime.

Specifically, make sure to fit in three to four sessions of 30-80 minutes of cardio into your weekly routine.

These sessions should be relatively low-impact cardio, such as taking a light jog or, even better, setting the treadmill at a sharp incline and walking at approximately four miles per hour. You can also begin taking shorter hikes in your area.

The purpose of low-impact cardio conditioning is to build endurance, rather than speed.

Most hiking sessions can take anywhere from two to eight hours; more advanced hikers will even enjoy day-long hikes. To ensure that you make it to the top of your chosen trail, begin conditioning your body for cardio endurance in advance.

Second, be sure to focus on building lower-body strength.

lower body strength for hiking

One mistake that beginning hikers make is to assume that because they can run for long-distances, or are cardio-fit, they are sufficiently prepared for a hike.

However, there is a significant difference between a flat running surface and a steeply inclined hiking trail, which may also include periods of walking up steps or rock climbing.

For this reason, it is necessary to include lower-body training sessions, focusing on the muscles that will propel you towards your hiking goal.

You may also like: Best Trekking & Hiking Poles: Ultimate Guide with Detailed Reviews

Include 30-40 minute weight-training sessions at least two times per week that emphasize your leg muscles, with a focus on quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

If you prefer to avoid using machines, there are a number of functional body weight movements you can use, including weighted squats and weighted lunges.

Your calves are both typically underdeveloped and extremely important to your hiking success.

To improve them, you can try standing on the edge of a stair or other raised surface so that your heels are hanging off the edge and you are supporting yourself only with the ball of your foot and toes. Raise and lower your body 15 times for three sets to complete the exercise and feel those calves burn.

Third and finally, hikers sometimes have problems with mild injuries, such as rolled ankles or pulled muscles.

How to Flexibility Training for Hikers

These can be due to the unstable terrain of a hiking trail, or even just due to over-working the muscles.

One way to avoid these injuries is to add flexibility training to your workout. It is important to stretch in general after working out to reduce soreness and prevent injuries from stiff muscles.

To improve your hiking flexibility, focus on leg muscle and core stretches, such as a wide leg, sitting stretch or a toe-touch stretch. For ankle flexibility, lie flat on your back, extend one leg, and use your foot to “write” the letters of the alphabet in the air. Repeat the stretch with your other leg.

Wrapping Up

By working on your cardio endurance, lower body strength, and flexibility, you can ensure that your hiking experience is both fun and relaxing.

In addition to improving your hiking abilities, these training methods have the added benefit of improving general health, not to mention the mental benefits of hiking.

By getting started on these steps at the gym or at home, you will be able to reach the top of your favorite nature trail in no time at all.

Five Major Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad

Benefits of the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Remote working was virtually unheard of only a few decades ago. Having a full-time job usually meant working in the same place every day, with a fixed schedule and the same group of colleagues.

With the internet having become more widespread, it is now much easier for people to work remotely.

Over the past few years, a whole movement based on working remotely while traveling the globe has emerged. “Digital nomads,” as they are commonly known, typically have jobs which allow them to be fully remote, such as translation, computer programming or writing.

Here are five major benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle:

using technology to work from anywhere

1. You can live almost anywhere you like

You can base yourself anywhere that’s equipped with electricity and a reliable internet connection. There are even websites that rate top digital nomad destinations, for example Nomadlist, you can see it here.

Looking for something more fantastic, if you’ve always wanted to live by the ocean, or in the shadow of a mountain, now you can.

There’s no need to live in an overcrowded, polluted city just because that’s where all the jobs are.

Digital Nomad Working Mountainside

Also read: Top 5 Cities to Live as a Digital Nomad

2. You can make time differences work for you

Some digital nomads are lucky enough to be able to set their own schedules and work whenever it suits them.

Others need to work fixed hours, especially if they need to be available to take calls or participate in video conferences.

However, even if you fall into the second group, you can make the time difference work for you.

When you’re a night owl, try living somewhere which is 10-plus hours ahead or behind your home country, so that you can work until the early hours while still being able to take calls and contact your team.

When we asked Richard McGirr the founder of Visichain.io, a Hong Kong based Digital Transformation consultancy that specializes in supply chain and procurement digitization, his views on employing digital nomads, he said:

“Our company utilizes a few digital nomads some based in Eastern Europe, and a few in the Philippines, while we also tend to hire the best contractors for specific projects no matter where they are….the top reasons we hire both task based and full time digital nomads are to 1) leverage time shifts, so we can service our clients 24/7; 2) leverage lower cost countries with equivalent or better cost for value; and, 3) loyalty, our remote workers that have flexibility in their location tend to stay with us longer”

Hiking Watch

Also read: Travel + Work: Synching Across Multiple Time Zones (When on the Road)

3. You don’t have to put up with colleagues

One of the biggest problems you might have at work is dealing with annoying colleagues, whether they won’t stop talking when you’re trying to concentrate, or they have a taste for stinky egg sandwiches which they eat at their desk.

Working remotely usually means working alone, from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

If you do get lonely, you can always use a co-working space to meet other digital nomads; unlike traditional working environments, it’s totally up to you.

soloprenuer

Also read: Outsourced Ecommerce Fulfillment Allows for Location Independence, Run a Biz While YOU Travel

4. You can move around regularly

As the name implies, digital nomads are free to move around as much as they want to.

Many stay put in one place for several months, or even years, but others choose to relocate more often.

As soon as you feel the need for a change of scenery, you can book your next flight and go.

Lots of nomads even travel with carry-on luggage only, to make it even cheaper and easier to work while on the move.

Backpacking Season

Also read: Getting Ready For the Backpacking Season

5. You have much more free time

People with regular 9-to-5 jobs usually have to commute. That means a lot of wasted time, whether they’re waiting for delayed trains or crawling along the freeway in rush-hour traffic.

When you’re a digital nomad, going to work can be as easy as walking downstairs and setting up your laptop on the kitchen table, which can save many of you up to two or three hours per day.

You can use that extra time to catch up with friends, pick up some new skills–like hiking or Mandarin–or just wake up later in the morning.

Hiking Trip Essential Preparation

Also read: Essentials for a Safe, Enjoyable Hiking Trip

Remote Work Isn’t for Everyone

The digital nomad lifestyle is definitely not for everyone; it wouldn’t suit those who have time-management issues or need to be close to family and friends.

However, it can be an eye-opening experience for those who struggle to fit into traditional workplaces or who want to see more of the world without being limited to a few weeks of vacation time per year.

Why not give it a try?

Hiking Pole Reviews