The Taj Mahal in India at sunset

Where will be popular in 2018? Our predictions

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There’s something about a new year that brings about the plan-making in us. Maybe it’s purchasing a new diary with fresh pages, or maybe now that the festive season is over our minds turn to what’s ahead.

If you use January as an excuse to map out your year, you’ve probably already thought about what countries you would like to visit. You’re not the only one as January is one of the most popular times of year to book, with airlines and hotels offering an array of early bird discounts. If you’re short on inspiration, however, here are our predictions on what destinations will be must-visits over the next 12 months. 

1. Japan

Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto during sunset

Japan is an island full of wonders. Whether you’re looking for sky-high cities, fascinating culture, or stunning natural landscapes, you’ll find it in this two-island destination. The country also boasts an impressive bullet train service, making it an excellent choice for a touring holiday if you can’t choose between the popular cities of Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto.

2. Vietnam

Tourists on a guided river boat tour in Vietnam

Vietnam is the perfect mix between old-school oriental charm and modern-day buzz. Its capital, Hanoi, is a mixing bowl of French and Asian culture and boasts a European feel with a lively old quarter. Down in the south though you’ll find tranquil beaches in the resorts of Hue, Nha Trang and Hoi An (but if you begin to crave the city, the bustling Ho Chi Minh City can also be found in the south).

3. Argentina

The Iguazu Falls from above.

South America is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, and Argentina is currently its hotbed. Get lost in the infectious spirit of Buenos Aires where you can tango until seven in the morning. Then take a trip to the breath-taking Iguaza Falls on the Argentinian and Brazilian border. And remember to pop by the Andes.

4. Italy

Colourful buildings along the coast in Genoa Italy

Thanks to its generous offering of tourist hotspots, Italy makes this list every year. Whether it’s the canals of Venice, iconic buildings of Rome, the shopping in Milan, the scenic views of Lake Garda, or the rich architectural heritage of Genoa – Italy offers something for every traveller.

5. China

Gold pavilion in Chinese garden

China is a fascinating country, whether you’re looking for city lights or iconic world wonders. Celebrate modern China in the city of Shanghai, with its high rise buildings, the charming People’s Square and first-class Grand Theatre. Then explore the oriental temples of Beijing, before moving onto the ancient sites of Xi’an – including the Terracotta Warriors.

6. Croatia

Old Istrian town in Rovinj Croatia during the day with lots of boats in the harbour.

Croatia has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years, largely thanks to Game of Thrones. But this beautiful country is more than just the real-life location of the Red Keep and the House of the Undying. It is home to eight national parks, that are overflowing in fauna and flora, and the striking Postojna Caves.

7. Cuba

Buildings in Havana Cuba with a blue car outside them.

In 2017, the Cuban travel industry opened up and we’re predicting a rise in holidaymakers (especially from cruisers). A little bit different from the other islands in the Caribbean, Cuba boasts a unique, Latin-shaped history with an energetic atmosphere, as well as sunny beaches.

8. Thailand

A traditional boat in a secluded part of Thailand while the sun sets.

Thailand is always popular, and for good reason. Whether it’s the exotic aroma of lively Bangkok or the relaxed beaches of Koh Samui, Thailand offers something for beach-bums and city-lovers.

9. South Africa

Cape Town South Africa from above with the football stadium in full view.

If you’ve never been to Africa before, South Africa is the perfect place to start off. The city of Cape Town has plenty to offer such as Table Mountain, Robben Island and a modern waterfront with shops and restaurants. After you’ve explored the city, get back into nature with a safari in Kruger National Park or a shark diving expedition in Gansbaai.

10. India

The taj mahal in India from the front.

There are many sides to the country of India, but all of them are equally amazing. Feel the buzz in the bustling city of New Delhi, admire the Taj Mahal in Agra, or relax on the beaches of Goa. Whatever India you choose in 2018, we guarantee you’ll love it.

Where are you escaping to in 2018?

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7 must-visits on a touring holiday of China

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Whether you measure it by population, landmass, or tourist sights – China definitely believes in the saying ‘go big or go home’. This is a country that has a lot to offer and you’ll want to make the most of any trip you take there.

This is why touring holidays are very popular, whether it’s escorted or self-guided. We’ve rounded up seven amazing cities and villages that are must-visits while in China – and we even have an exclusive Escorted Tour with Wendy Wu that covers them all!

1.Beijing

Forbidden City Beijing China.jpg

Start off in the capital of Beijing; a cultural and historical treasure trove are just a few of the guises of this magnificent mega city. A progressive and modern place that is growing at an explosive rate, you may have to peel back to the layers of modernity to find the three millennia of a tumultuous but glorious past beneath.

Beijing has been a political centre for 800 years, the last of the 4 Great Ancient Capitals of China. Huge sights such as the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace perfectly illustrated the great wealth of China’s old imperial families, whilst the stark austerity of Tiananmen Square and the executive buildings surrounding it are a monument to more recent history

2.The Great Wall

Great wall.jpg

No journey to China is complete without a visit to the Great Wall. Found two hours from Beijing, the most convenient place to stay is the compact-sized city of Juyongguan. The wall itself is over 700 years old and clocks in at 5,500 miles – but don’t worry, most tours won’t make you walk the full way (you’re free to just admire it).

3. Xian

xian.jpg

If it’s history you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Xian. It is home to some of China’s most fascinating sights, diverse architecture and delicious fares, thanks to its[TC3]  important role in China’s history. The Museum of the Terracotta Warriors is considered the primary historical attraction that all travellers must pay a visit to. Here you’ll be able to admire one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.

4. Yangtze River

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If you’ve got four days to spare, we recommend a cruise along the Yangtze River. While cruising down this 6,300km waterway, you’ll pass the Three Gorges Dam (the largest hydroelectric dam in the world), the Wu and Qutang gorges, and the Goddess Stream.

5. Guilin

Karst Mountains of Guilin.jpg

Surrounded by picturesque mountains, the stunning city of Guilin even has a pretty name that translates into Forest of Sweet Osmanthus (a fragrant tree planted in large numbers throughout the city). While in the city we recommend trying some of the local food, which is a mix of Cantonese and Zhuang cuisine. Keep an eye out for dishes that contain what is known by the locals as the Three Treasures – Guilin chili sauce, Guilin pickled tofu and Guilin Sanhua Jiu (rice baijiu).

6. Yangshuo

Yangshuo Guilin China.jpg

Leave the city behind and explore the scenic village of Yangshou[TC4] . A river cruise is a popular option, where you’ll slowly glide round river bends as staggering peaks rise over the horizon while grazing buffalos and local fishermen go about their day on the river banks.

7. Shanghai

Shanghai China.jpg

While China is full of intriguing history and oriental architecture, don’t pass up the opportunity to explore the modern metropolitan hub of Shanghai. You can spend hours exploring shopping malls, watching a sports game, dipping in and out of museums or wandering the streets admiring the modernistic skyline.

What city or area of China is your favourite must-visit?

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A beginner’s guide to Macao

Read our beginner’s guide to Macao and you’ll be ready to visit a destination that seems to be popping up in conversation a little bit more than it used to. In 2013 it featured predominantly in the Bond Film Skyfall and (the city was also a plot-device in The Man with the Golden Gun) and […]

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