You say you’re an introvert? You say you really hate crowds? You hate them more than lutefisk, filing taxes, and paper cuts? Are you oh so wary of catching a pandemic virus, or even a three-week cold? But you also like to travel?
I’m glad you spoke up. Here are the most beautiful, least tourist-ridden spots in the world. My rankings:
This island paradise gets only 200 tourists a year. Granted that’s 199 visitors a year more than you’d like, but you have to remember that you’ll be one of the 200. People don’t go there because it’s tiny, covering 8 squares miles. Although, this means you don’t have to go far for anything. The beaches are incredibly beautiful and uncrowded. Go there. Go there!
This beautiful speck of land, hardly bigger than a burrito, manages to take in only 1,000 tourists a year. It would receive more visitors, but it’s so hard to get there; only a few sporadic flights connect it with Fiji. That’s great news for us. It keeps the riff raff away. Very few loud oafs infest the island oh so gorgeous beaches and the locals are so laid back that it’s quite easy and stress free to avoid them. Go there soon as global warning may drown this introverts’ paradise. Tuvalu would have easily gotten out number-one rankings if its annual mob of tourists hadn’t exceeded Nauru’s by 800.
Kiribati’s splendidly attractive. The life style is relaxed. The beaches are pristine and mostly uninfected by clamorous tourists. The gently swaying palm trees lull you into blissful tranquility. Unfortunately, the atoll-nation attracts 6,000 tourists per annum. That’s too many for us. We must regretfully assign a low ranking to Kiribato. Even so, you might want to go there once before rising water levels submerge the country forever. (The government actively considers relocation to other islands for its people.)
A huge volcanic eruption devastated this island in 1995. The southern half of the island was covered in ash and declared uninhabitable. The thriving musical culture got wiped out. So, fewer tourists came to once-island paradise. However, this will make a visit here more attractive. On the other hand, 7,000 clods visit the site every year. Fortunately, they tend to only clog up spots near the volcano. Apparently, people like to see towns and countrysides blanketed with ash. On the third hand, this strange behavior is a boon to us. We get the beautiful beach and wondrous scenery in the untouched north all to our selves.
This pretty little island is just the place for people-hating adventurers. It’s splendidly isolated from the world’s people-teeming nations. It’s beaches are few, small, and hard to get to. But how beach do you need when you’re by yourself, and at most, with one significant other? This little speck of lands is just the thing for divers. Nowhere else on Earth can you explore as many uncluttered underwater tunnels and caves. Supposedly, there’s internet connection all over the island. So if you must contact someone, you can do it at a blissful distance. However, 7,000 tourists manage to get there every year. So, Niue only manages to beat out Somalia and North Korea.
This African nation is just the spot for tourist-hating travelers. Just 500 people visit the land’s beaches and haunting landscapes. Since, Somalia is a fairly big nation, this means the probability of running into any of the perhaps dozens of tourists there at any one time. On the other hand, it’s not much of a nation. The authority of the central government remains quite limited. The downsides to visiting Somalia are: political instability, extremists running amok, and military coups. Still there are many forsaken, beautiful landscapes to behold if you’re willing to stock up and rent an all-terrain vehicle. Hey, it’s better than North Korea.
7. North Korea
You might be surprised that we included this country in our introverts’ must-see sites. This country steadfastly remains at the top-of-the-top list for its capricious, brutal dictatorship, rampant human rights violations, and annual food shortages. Paradoxically, these factors earn it a spot on our lists as these frankly horrible attributes keep the number of visitors down to 6,000. Oh and I forgot, you can’t go anywhere without a guide. If you talk to locals, the omnipresent police will kick you out of the country and possibly jail the local you spoke to. You should also assume your hotel room will be bugged. There are no palatable restaurants. It’s airline, Air Koryo, consistently wins the award for the world’s worst burger. It’s strange to say then that Air Koryo is North Korea’s primary attraction. There is simply no other airlines that give you a glimpse into what budget air travel was 70 years ago. Still, it’s hard to overcome the nation’s faults and the fact that you will be traveling in an airplane rife with tourists. We easily gave North Korea our worst rating. I mean, it’s like Somalia with 5,500 extra tourists. Brr!
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.