Jan 18, 2023By: Srishti Magan
The New York Times released its list of “places to go in 2023”, and Kerala was one of the 52 places that made it to the list. NYT placed Kerala 13th on the list.
As per NYT, Kerala is one of the few places that does not leave its residents bereft of the benefits of community tourism. NYT stated that apart from celebrating backwater lagoons and beaches, places like Kumarakom and Maravanthuruthu promote sustainable tourism that supports local communities and popularises cultural traditions.
According to NYT, the rebound in travel reveals “the depth of our drive to explore”. In curating the year’s list, NYT looked at places that offer the usual elements of “food, culture, adventure, natural beauty”, and more. While London topped the list, here are the other noteworthy places:
A few hours North of Tokyo lies the oft-ignored city of Morioka, home to Japan’s Nagasawa Coffee. A walkable downtown, Western and Eastern architectural aesthetics, old ryokan (traditional inns), and winding rivers place it second on the list. Japan’s subtropical city Fukuoka, famous for its street food, also made it to the list.
Imagine the famous Stonehenge without the crowded tourists and you’ve got Kilmartin Glen — an ancient landscape of more than 800 archaeological monuments and one of Britain’s most significant prehistoric sites, as per NYT.
NYT pegs Ghana’s capital, Accra, as a hub of ‘innovative West African cuisine’ where you ‘feast first, dance later’. Named the UNESCO World Book Capital for 2023, Accra is home to bustling nightlife, rich libraries, and architecture that reflects its colonial history.
Bhutan reopened to tourists in September but visitors are no longer required to travel on packaged tours. However, its mandatory “sustainable development fee” increased to $200 from $65 per day, reports NYT. The 250-mile pilgrimage and communications route — Trans Bhutan Trail also reopened after a three-year restoration.
A favourite among eco-tourists, the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is the largest field of sand dunes in South America. Encompassing an area of 155,000 hectares, the park is home to 4 endangered species. According to NYT, this park, dominated by ‘otherworldly green and blue rainwater lagoons’ is ideal to make you forget about cell signals or ‘trappings of comfort’.
The overused term “fairy-tale getaway” best describes this unspoiled, Southeast Asian island, states NYT. Flores, home to the giant lizards aka the nine-foot Komodo dragons, active volcanoes, white-sand beaches, coral gardens, rushing waterfalls, and colour-shifting crater lakes, is less crowded than Bali and only an hour’s flight from it.
If there’s a year to visit this Mexican city, it’s 2023. Because the city, well-known for its live music scene, is co-hosting with Hong Kong the 11th annual Gay Games this fall. It’s also home to numerous landmarks, including the UNESCO World Heritage site Hospicio Cabañas, and Latin America’s largest indoor market, the San Juan de Dios Market.
It’s rare for a city in France to not be thronged by tourists but the sunny southern French city of Nîmes enjoys that honour. From fascinating architecture and museums to excellent dining options, including Michelin star restaurants, Nîmes is popularly known as the Rome of France — thanks to its collection of Roman monuments, states NYT.
The buildings in Sarajevo hold the city’s history in their walls pockmarked by shells. Its many historical empires display themselves through the city’s mosque, cathedral, and synagogue. No wonder the multiethnic capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is described as “a living museum of resilience” by NYT.