Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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U.K. Survey Reveals 2012′s Top 10 Emerging Destinations And Countries

Wanderlust, a UK-based company, conducts an annual survey asking its readers to rate their travels for the previous year. The results are compiled and the top destinations in each category are revealed as Wanderlust Travel Awards.

I just looked through the Wanderlust Travel Awards for 2012, and I have to say, the Brits are a well-traveled group!  More importantly, I am so, so, so excited to see that Greenland is number 2 under Emerging Destinations! If you remember, K and I have been trying to get more people to visit Greenland ever since we came back so now I know we’re not the only one recommending Greenland!

(Gebel Barkal Mountain in Sudan; photo credit)

Here’s the full list of Top 10 Emerging Destinations:

1. Sudan

2. Greenland

3. Mongolia

4. Tajikistan

5. Pakistan

6. Cook Islands

7. Taiwan

8. Lebanon

9. Fiji

10. Iran

(Tajikistan looks so peaceful; photo credit)

I love that the above list of countries is so exotic!  I almost planned a Mongolia trip a few years back (it didn’t pan out when I learned that you can’t even get a flight into Mongolia at certain times of the year), and I have heard that the Cook Islands are one of the most beautiful in all the world.  But Tajikistan — really?  And Iran?  I couldn’t even tell you the first thing to do in Sudan, but maybe I should be giving these countries a bit of love when I’m travel planning from now on!

(An old fortress in Bhutan with the looming Himalayas behind it; photo credit)

Here are the Top 10 Countries:

1. Japan

2. Bhutan

3. New Zealand

4. Burma

5. Namibia

6. Laos

7. Madagascar

8. Argentina

9. Cambodia

10. Rwanda

(A reclining Buddha in Laos; photo credit)

Ever since I found out that Bhutan shuns all Western influences (going there is like going back in time!) and measures its country on Gross National Happiness (instead of Gross Domestic Product), I’ve been wanting to visit this peaceful Buddhist kingdom!  I thought it was relatively hidden from the masses but it looks like the secret is out.  Mr. T has been dying to go back to Japan, too, and it looks like post-earthquake Japan is the place to be this year — maybe he’s onto something.  Of the other places on the list, I’m glad to see Namibia and Cambodia in the top 10.  Both those countries were extraordinary and should definitely be on more traveler’s radars!

What do you think of this list?  If you’ve been to any of these places, do you think it deserves a spot on the list?

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Hanna - March 2, 2012 - 11:25 am

Great and unexpected list of emerging destinations!
I would personally love to visit Taiwan, Lebanon and Fuji from this list.

But there are so many countries out there to visit.

Just Wanderlust - March 2, 2012 - 4:15 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Hanna. I think every country has something unique which is why I’m all about trying to go to as many as possible! :) I also think the unexpected ones are the most special since most travelers never make it out to them. Happy travels!

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