A short time from now, in a land far, far away
August 27, 2012 10:35 PM   Subscribe

You guys have been great to me so far. So I want to try again: Anywhere in the world, 3-5 days, flight time doesn't matter, all that's needed is beauty, seclusion (or close to it), and a feeling that all I am comfortable with has melted away. Where should I go?

I won't write much here, but I will say this: My previous posts about this have resulted in some amazing experiences. I still have suggestions from those posts, so this is just an inquiry to see what else might have popped up on your radar.

Places I've been recently (that fit this mold): Ecuador, Austria, Nepal
Places I'm considering: Argentina (Ushuaia), Mongolia (Gobi), Laos

Where else should I consider, and where should I stay? I have simple needs, so don't need fancy hotels or resort experiences. Just a simple trip that forces me to reset my expectations about why I'm here. And not to belabor the point, but I don't care how far I have to travel to get there. Feel free to suggest Yosemite - 3 hours away - though I probably won't do that for this trip. Feel free to suggest South Africa, Sri Lanka, or Khazakstan, and I'll be intrigued.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? I'm open to them all.
posted by xorowo to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Nuku Hiva.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:42 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Could you explain which places you did visit that were suggested in the previous thread not fit the mold and why? That would help immensely.
posted by spec80 at 10:58 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Instead of Kazakhstan what about Kyrgyzstan, specifically Song Köl Lake. It looks like you can rent a yurt from NoviNomad, but only through the middle of September.

According to wikitravel.org Kyrgyzstan now lets you visit visa-free for 60 days.

Also the airport code for Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan) is FRU after its former name Frunze.
posted by zinon at 12:00 AM on August 28, 2012

Sakhalin Island
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:01 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

East Timor.
posted by mdonley at 12:04 AM on August 28, 2012

Pohnpei, FSM. And depending on the flight you get, you can stop for a night or two in either Guam or Honolulu.

It's beautiful, if often rainy (but only for an hour or two a day). Warm year-round, amazing scuba and snorkeling.

The other Micronesian islands can also be good, but Pohnpei is the best developed.
posted by that girl at 12:14 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Costa Rica. Gorgeous and the people are the best.
posted by pearlybob at 2:03 AM on August 28, 2012

Socotra. It's a Middle Eastern Galapagos and UNESCO World Heritage site.

Reviews. Note, it will be quite warm at this time of year. And while not mainland Yemen it does carry security risks. But it will be peaceful and unique.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:05 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ilusissat/Jakobshavn, Greenland, meaning the Disko Bay, really.

Walk the Kungsleden (northern Sweden). Alone.
posted by Namlit at 5:07 AM on August 28, 2012

Bazaars and ancient walled cities and palaces of Khiva or Bukhara, Uzbekistan

You mention Mongolia- when are you planning to go? This is a nice time of year, though winter is approaching and it gets colder there much sooner (and obviously, much more severely) than in the bay area. message me if you have specific questions.

Hike or ski in the Tien Shan near Almaty in Kazakhstan, visit unusual attractions in the new capital city of Astana. Depending on your visa type you might be able to take an overnight trip into neighboring Kyrgyzstan to visit soviet-era resorts on Isyk Kul lake.

I've always dreamed of Kamchatka in the Russian Far East - volcanoes, geysers, bears, wild rivers
posted by scrambles at 7:03 AM on August 28, 2012

The Therme Vals in Switzerland. Stay for three days. Make sure you're there for a Sunday, Wednesday or Thursday for night bathing. I don't know anywhere else where you can commune with architecture in such a direct way.

Closer to home, Breitenbush Hot Springs & Resort.
posted by amanda at 9:38 AM on August 28, 2012

If you want a Swiss challenge before you relax, do a hut-to-hut hike in the Alps. Beautiful. Daunting. Remote.
posted by amanda at 9:43 AM on August 28, 2012

Ningxia, China. I went through there on a train many years ago and I felt like I was looking at a painting. It was unbelievable and magical. It would be similar to going to Mongolia of course, which is also a great idea.
posted by Dansaman at 9:43 AM on August 28, 2012

Prehistoric Orkney.
They do have an airport but you would have to go something like USA > London > Edinburgh > Orkney
Once you get there, there are quite a few islands to explore and on some of them you could have the island to yourself.
posted by Lanark at 11:23 AM on August 28, 2012

I'm pretty partial to Kaua'i. It's the most beautiful, spiritual place I've ever been.
posted by kamikazegopher at 11:48 AM on August 28, 2012

Fly to Kansai International Airport. Take the train from Osaka to Koyasan for monastic seclusion, or to Yoshino-yama, or even Totsukawa for picturesque countryside, hot springs, etc. This will be literally like something out of a Miyazaki movie.

Seconding Orkney.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:32 PM on August 28, 2012

Argentina (Ushuaia)
Feel free to suggest Yosemite

Perhaps the Torre del Paine national park in Chile instead? It is a hike - 3 days for the loop, 5 for the "W" if I recall correctly - with refugios/camps to stop at at the end of each day.

Also, I suggest looking at the Salar de Uyuni - typically a 3 day ride through Bolivia's salt flats that starts or ends in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 2:35 PM on August 28, 2012

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