The cat is out of the bag! Boots have officially become the first pharmacy in Ireland to offer a Travel Vaccination Service! That’s right, getting the recommended vaccinations before you jet off on your exotic adventure is now more convenient and easier than ever before with the service now available in 10 pharmacies nationwide. For more information or to book an appointment pop into one of the participating pharmacies or visit www.boots.ie.
To celebrate we decided to put together a list of our top 7 destinations to visit in 2019
This Year’s 7 Best Long-Haul Hotspots
You’ve seen it in pictures but may not know exactly where to find this picturesque paradise on a map. Ha Long Bay is a breath-taking collection of 16,00 islands rising from the ocean, forming steep cliffs with jungle vegetation. Quite the natural wonder to say the least. What’s especially unique about these islands is that most of them are completely hollow and contain labyrinthine series of caves for you to explore if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
For navigating the bay, we recommend renting a kayak so you can get some stunning close-up photos. With an out-of-this-world appearance, it’s easy to see how this UNESCO Heritage site inspired the planet of Pandora in the blockbuster film Avatar. There are no special effects in play here however, just the natural beauty of Eastern Vietnam
If you’re visiting Cambodia, this destination should not be overlooked. As one of the largest religious monuments in the world, Angkor Wat is a series of ancient temples unlike anything else on the planet. What’s unique about these religious structures is that they were originally Hindu temples but later became Buddhist shrines.
You may recognise Angkor Wat from adventure films such as Tomb Raider. The reason it makes our list, however, is that there is so much to explore in the temple complex apart from the more recognisable structures. This landmark is bursting at the seams with hidden gems and all of its secrets have yet to be revealed. We recommend visiting Angkor Wat at sunrise to appreciate the true beauty of the region. Temperatures can often exceed 40 degrees Celsius during the summer so getting there early is always advised.
If you’re visiting India, you will likely have a list of must-see destinations you plan on visiting. However, there is one landmark that many tourists neglect and that’s India’s Kerala Backwaters. This series of interconnected rivers, lakes and canals stretches a staggering 900km in total! The result is a mixture of natural and man-made beauty that you simply have to see to believe.
When navigating through the maze-like channels, you have several options. Tourists opting for a more relaxed holiday may enjoy seeing the sights by houseboat. More active tourists may prefer to kayak, especially those looking to explore every nook and cranny of this unique wonder. Regardless of how one chooses to see the Backwaters, those who discover India’s best-kept secret are rewarded with an unforgettable experience.
Uzbekistan isn’t on the average tourist’s must-see list but you’d be surprised at the hidden gems this country has to offer. Our top pick is undoubtedly Registan in Samarkand, an ancient public square and marketplace. The word Registan translates to “Desert” in Persian although you won’t have to ride camelback through the sand to reach this stunning site.
The mosaic tile art is of particular interest here as many consider it among the finest in history. Once a commercial centre dating back to the 15th century, you will still find some great finds in the various stalls and stores in the area. Once you see the fantastic destination, you won’t be able to help buying a souvenir to commemorate your visit.
Next on our list is the magnificent Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur. A key religious Hindu site, the caves are famous for the 140 feet golden statue of Murugan, the philosopher-warrior god of Hinduism.The statue is over a century old and draws tourists from all over the world, specifically for the Hindu festival Thaipusam.
The caves themselves are a remarkable sight to behold, with limestone structures over 400 million years old. This destination will be of particular interest to more adventurous tourists interested in rock climbing and spelunking. In fact, there are over 160 climbing routes on the exterior of the Batu Caves. For those looking seeking a less strenuous experience, just as much fun watching the many capuchin monkey’s that roam the treetops in the area!
Last but certainly not least is the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. Again, many tourists have this location on their bucket list but not many have actually made the trip. That’s because this paradise isn’t the easiest to get to, requiring a 2 hour Ferry ride. Those who make the expedition to the islands, however, often describe the beaches as the most beautiful in the world.
In fact, many will recognise this destination from the 2000 film The Beach and it’s no surprise that this location was chosen to represent the perfect paradise. Once you’re there you’ll have the option of renting boats if some adventurous island hopping is your thing. Once you get there, however, you might just find that all you want to do is sit back, relax and let the modern world fade to the back of your mind. Just make sure you check which of the island’s tourists are allowed to visit as some of them may be preserved.
Next up is one of Bali’s most spectacular sites, the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple. Dating back to 1633, this Shivaite and Water temple is the largest in the area and plays a key role in the region’s irrigation. Perhaps what makes this temple so iconic is its illusion of floating on water when the river rises.
The temple itself was built as a shrine to the river goddess Dewi Danu and is thus associated with fertility of the land. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in unforgettable landmarks that are off the beaten track. It is located at Lake Bratan in mountains near Bedugul and it is certainly worth the trip.
So there you have it, our top long-haul destinations to visit this year. Travel vaccinations are recommended ahead of visiting these destinations. Now that Boots have made it easier than ever to get your recommended vaccinations before you travel, all you have to think about is discovering new places.
The Travel Vaccination Service will be available in four of Boots Dublin pharmacies including: Liffey Valley Shopping Centre; Stephens Green SC; Carrickmines and Swords; and across six Boots pharmacies nationwide including: Waterford; Galway Shop Street; Sligo; Killarney; Half Moon Street, Cork; and Childers Retail Park, Limerick.
For more information or to book your Travel Vaccination appointment pop into your nearest participating store or visit www.boots.ie.
T&C’s: Boots Travel Vaccination Service is available in selected stores, subject to authorised person and stock availability. It’s suitable for persons aged 16 years and over. Eligibility criteria and charges apply. The service requires a doctor consultation and is subject to a valid doctor prescription containing administration instruction. Most doctors in Ireland prescribe travel vaccinations, where indicated, following a consultation. Doctors charge applies.