Monday, December 26, 2016

Round Off 2016: Favorite Destinations This Year

My conclusion is that the longer I stay in a place, the harder I'll fall in love with the culture, people and places. Here are my Top 10 favorite destinations in 2016, including my 70 days Europe Trip.

1. Russia

Spanning 9 time zone and 2 continents, the overwhelming uncertainties imposed by this oversized unknown land may intimidate you, not to mention the complexity of visa applications and the seemingly impossible language barrier!
However, judging from the travel trend today, Russia travel is catching up, but it is not quite there yet. People generally need to know more about Russia as it is way too underrated.
If Russia is not on your wanderlust radar, click on the title and read some of my post about Russia! You might find yourself questioning why aren't you exploring this country.
Interesting Places: Moscow, Murmansk, Dombay, Elbrus, Saint Petersburg, Baikal, Kamchatka

Who wouldn't want to visit Iceland? It seems to me that Iceland is one of the biggest travel trend in 2016. To truly understand the Icelandic culture and the people, it is important to look further past the beautiful landscape and amazing sunsets (after photographing them, of course!). Instead, dig deep into the roots, soak up the Icelandic lifestyle, appreciate the evolution of its cuisine, learn about the geology, respect the nature and the invisible people of Iceland... and you will be greatly rewarded. 
Interesting activities: Horse Riding, Helicopter Tour, Biking, Puffin and Whale Watching, Camping

A photo posted by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

3. Switzerland

It should be clear by now, that I am a nature lover. The dramatic landscape in Switzerland is so out of this world. So here is a photo I took in Zermatt, after experiencing hail failing on us. No doubt, it was painful and as a result, I didn't have a good photo of the Matterhorn. Hence, a friendly advice: plan at least 2 days in each places because we can never predict nature. 
Interesting cities: Lucern, Zurich, Stein Am Rhein, Zermatt, Bern.

A photo posted by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

4. Italy

Don't ask me where is my favorite place in Italy. I'll most probably stare into the blank space and pause for 15 minutes before telling you "I can't decide". Italy is one of the most colorful European countries I've been. From Cinque Terre to Burano, all of those rainbow-splashed villages are unique with their own story to tell. 
Check out these albums: Cinque Terre, Burano, Venice, Gulf of Naples, Dolomite

A photo posted by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

5. France

"Paris is always a good idea". I've spent 4 days in Paris checking out all the famous landmarks and explore the backstreets looking for hidden gem, and I still don't think 4 days is enough. Be sure to eat your way through the city! Other than that, never overlook other beautiful places in France, especially cities in the South.
Interesting Cities: Avignon, Paris, Giverny, Versailles, Luberon, Aix-En Provence, Amboise, Chenonceau, Tours, Chamonix

A photo posted by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

6. Germany

To be honest with you, I didn't LOVE Germany at first. Compared to other destinations, Germany seemed a little underwhelming to me, but as I go deeper, I realized that some treasures are buried deeper into the ground and I went home with a huge interest in German culture. That was exactly why I decided to take up German as my 7th language.
Interesting cities: Berlin, Köln, Potsdam, Munich, Konstanz

A photo posted by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

7. Netherlands and Belgium

For the sake of waffles, chocolates and sweets, getting them into my "favorite" list is mandatory. 
Interesting cities: Amsterdam, Giethoorn, Zaanse Schans, Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bruges, Ghent.

8. Poland

I went without expectation, but Poland swept me off my feet with the complexity of it's architecture and it's mysterious forrest. Ever heard of the Crocked Forrest? It is a magical place where the roots of seemingly normal trees are bended upwards. Pretty weird and exciting.
Interesting Cities: Warsaw, Krakow, Sczecin.

A photo posted by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

9. Czech

Although I hated the train system here (It was never on time during my visit, I was reeaaallyy unlucky),not to mention my lousy hostel.... it was still difficult to "dislike" Czech. I mean who doesn't LOVE Prague? Food is cheap and delicious, people here are helpful and happy go lucky, I felt like I was teleported into the pages of a fairytales. I'll definitely experience it all over again in a heart beat. And I hope the rail system behaves next time.
Interesting place: Prague, Kutna Hora, Cesky Krumlov.

10. Austria

My mum always call me Vien instead of Vivian. When I finally set foot on this land, I am pleased to say that Wien did not disappoint Vien. Visitors to Austria, please do not miss Hallstatt, and if you do come, go beyond the postcard view and explore the waterfalls. They have some amazing hidden waterfalls, don't say I didn't tell you! ;)
Interesting places: Vienna, Salzburg, Hallstatt.

A photo posted by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

Let me know where do you think I should visit in 2017!

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