Whether rubbing shoulders with the locals, admiring landscapes or packing in exciting excursions, vacations and the lasting memories they create are shaped by experiences. Here’s a look at some of the countries on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017 list where travelers can expect an authentic travel experience.
> Celebrate the Mongolian New Year with the locals
Travelers heading to Mongolia will no doubt be in search of authenticity. Try visiting around the time of the Mongolian New Year, or Tsagaan Sar, a three-day festival in January or February (depending on the lunar calendar). It’s the perfect time to experience life with a Mongolian family as they exchange gifts, enjoy culinary specialties such as meat-filled dumplings, and take part in traditional celebrations. On the morning of Tsagaan Sar, a cup of tea with milk is traditionally offered to the gods by throwing it out of the window.
> Marine life in the south of the Sultanate
The Middle East is a promising region for tourism in the future. For a memorable experience, head to the south of the Sultanate, to the Arabian Sea, which is home to whales. Boat trips are organized from the fishing villages of Sadah, Mirbat and Hasik. The luckiest visitors will be able to spot dolphins from the beach or see turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.
> Check out one-legged paddling on Inle Lake
In the east of the country, the Tibeto-Burman Intha people intrigue travelers when they head out fishing on Inle Lake. The fishermen paddle their boats in a surprising way, using one leg to control their oar. This gives them the freedom to seize their cone-shaped nets and gather fish from the depths of the lake’s waters.