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Six of the Most Interesting Journeys Around the World

Discover some of earth’s most interesting journeys and get inspired to follow in the footsteps of explorers that shaped the world as we know it!

The world has some astonishing historical and cultural routes that have intrigued many over the years. Whether it be the ghost towns of Route 66 or rolling along the tracks from Russia to China via the Trans-Siberian Express, you’ll be certain to have goosebumps as you embark on these journeys.

1. Route 66

In the 1920s, entrepreneurs Cyrus Avery and John Woodruff envisioned a highway that would connect America from the east to the west socially and economically. The highway was to create a clean and safe path that would pave the way for many industries and businesses while connecting small and urban towns to major roads.

Route 66, which is also known as the Mother Road and the Main Street of America, was over 3940 Kilometers long connecting Chicago and Los Angeles, while passing through eight states and three different time zones. The route was immensely popular in the mid 50s as the automobile industry boomed, leaving Americans and many tourists in awe as they drove along seeking adventure.

The Interstate Highway Act was the beginning of Route 66’s decline as other more direct routes were built by planners. The mid 80s attested the disappearance of locally run outlets along the famous road, which meant the end for Route 66, but the legend persisted.

A portion of Route 66 in Arizona | © Vita Valka/Pixabay

Over the decades, American novels, films, songs and other popular culture have added to this historic highway’s legend. Giving the audience a glimpse of the famed route that once scintillated its travelers.

Today, you can drive through most of the original route and learn about what happened to it. Discover the tiny towns, motels and attractions scattered along the way, many of them frozen in time, as though they were waiting for someone to wake them again.

2. The Modern Hippie Trail

Long ago before the conflict between the Middle East and parts of South Asia were at belligerence the voyagers who mainly consisted of tourists travelled across the west to the east tend to enlighten themselves, immerse in cultures, score some marijuana and have a good time!

The iconic Hippie Trail is a famous overland adventure from the 1950s to 1970s, which many tourists embarked on to reach Asia through Europe. Hitchhikers from Amsterdam or London would hop on local busses and head off for destinations like Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India.

A monument to the hippie era in Tamil Nadu, India | © John Hill/WikiCommons

During its peak between the 50s and 70s the trail would offer hostels, restaurants, which usually attracted many foreigners and local pubs. The trail was an initial phase of tourism, which the travelers would engage in as opposed to just sightseeing.

In the 1970s, political tension and security issues led to a decline of the route. It may not be possible to travel the entire 5500-kilometre (3420-mile) Hippie Trail today, but there’s been somewhat of a revival of certain parts of the route, there are some commercial trips through Europe and Asia which bypass conflict zones. Many iconic spots from the Hippie Trail are still around today, for example, Yener’s Café or Istanbul’s Pudding Shop, Amir Kabir Hotel in Tehran, and Freak Street in Kathmandu. Look for tours that connect England with other parts of Europe from where you can head to Turkey, Iran, India, Pakistan and Nepal.

3. The Silk Road

This complex network of highways and roads, which is as long as 6437 kilometres spans across more than 40 countries. It was named after Chinese silk and other goods which were transported by travelers.

The Silk Route is probably one of the most influential roads in history, it’s social and cultural impact on the globe is immeasurable.

Registan Square in Samarkand, Uzbekistan at sunset | © Ekrem Canli/WikiCommons

From one end of the Silk Route to the other, you’ll discover a history the length of the world: the remnants of lost dynasties, old-world architecture, captivating cities, and natural wonders. The only way to take on a proposition as extraordinary as the Silk Route is by an overland adventure, that will carry you across the destinations of this sprawling network.

The Silk Route offers a multitude of paths, which an intrigued traveler may choose to wander upon. To discover the Silk Road, charter a course for Xi’an in China (an important destination) and earmark some of the following destinations for a visit: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

4. The Gringo Trail

This amazing trail has a varying distance, which makes it remarkable, especially when taking interesting journeys. Spanning across Latin America the Gringo Trail is a shoo-in. Most travellers focus on South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile), Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras and Panama) or Mexico.

To explore the Gringo Trail authentically, fly into one of the many offbeat cities and choose one direction and one choice of transport. Bear in mind that there is no overland option between Mexico and Central America and South America.

5. The Banana Pancake Trail

The Banana Pancake Trail in Asia is a trending route popular among low-budget travelers. Despite not being an official route, the Banana Pancake Trail is an actual experience akin to the Gringo Trail or Hippie Trail, and encompasses a number of different routes the backpackers and tourists take around Asia.

The Banana Pancake Trail is famous for backpackers | © Jan/Flickr

Many tourists consider Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia to be the most popular destinations along the road. One of the most popular routes through South Asia starts in Bangkok, from where travellers go to Ho Chi Minh City via Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. But other popular destinations such as Nepal (Pokhara, Everest Base Camp), India (Goa), Indonesia (Bali), the Philippines, Myanmar, and even parts of China are now considered part of the Banana Pancake Trail

While the Banana Pancake Trail has not impacted history as such, as travel to the regions on the trail continues to flourish, tourism will have cultural and social implications.

6. Travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway 

Built between 1891 and 1916, the Trans-Siberian Railway is a colossal feat in engineering and vision. Connecting Moscow with Russia Far East, and network offshoots into Mongolia, China, and North Korea, the Trans-Siberian Railway spans 9,289 kilometres (5,772 miles), making it the longest railway in the world.

Onboard, travellers will travel overland from Moscow to Vladivostok in Siberia and have an opportunity to explore remote parts of Russia, as well as Mongolia and China. While the overland adventure can be completed in seven days, the best way to do the journey is by hopping on and off at numerous stops the train makes, and staying on to explore before continuing on to China.

Source: tour radar

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