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Asia, Budget Travel, Europe

Five classic backpacker trails

East Coast Australia: Kicking off in Sydney with its glammed up beaches, great nightlife and iconic harbor views drawing their attention this well beaten track trips north through hippy haven Byron Bay which has awesome surf breaks, to Brisbane where you might choose to stopover at beautiful North Stradbroke Island. After fun in the sand on Fraser Island and sailing in the Whitsundays the path continues to tropical Cairns, a jumping-off point for cruising the stunning Great Barrier Reef.

South East Asia: Most Southeast Asia trips start in Bangkok’s backpacker epicentre, the Khao Sanh Road, and hordes also wander to the beaches of Ko Pha-Ngan or up-market Phuket. Many young travellers then head to Cambodia’s Sien Reap to gape at the ancient civilisations of Angkor Wat, before heading via the capital Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, thence working their way north along Vietnam’s coast via Hoi An to Hanoi and the majestic rock formations of Halong Bay.

The Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia: Once the route of the tsars, this 9289km stretch of track forms a classic route from the coast in Vladivostok to the ancient capital Moscow by way of the world’s deepest lake, Baikal, often stopping at Yekaterinburg and the Urals. The Magnificent Moscow with its onion-domed churches and historic Red Square is a wonderful end-point, but it’s also possible to go on to St Petersbburg. Alternatively, take the Trans-Mongolian from Beijing and explore the steppes of Mongolia before meeting the mainline near Lake Baikal.

The Gringo Trail, Peru: This popular loop links Peru’s biggest attractions. From the capital Lima the trail traces the coast to Paracas, and the Islas Ballestas to spot penguins and sea lions. A quick toast in Ica, Peru’s wine and pisco (grape liquor) capital, before moving on to the Nazca lines and Arequipa, the ‘white city’ of colonial architecture. Next stop Puno, on beautiful Lake Titicaca, then hop on a bus to Cuzco to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – or cheat and catch a train!

The Silk Road, Asia: For centuries merchants wove roads back and forth between China and Europe, transporting silks and spices to market. The modern road starts in China’s Xi’an home to the famous Terracotta Army and heads on to China’s wild west Xinjiang province, before splitting in two: one branch heads west to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, while the other heads south to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Both ancient trading routes offer many treasures for the intrepid traveller.

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About Itchy Feet Magazine

Itchy Feet Magazine is an online travel magazine for independent and adventurous travellers. Our aims are to champion sustainable travel, provide a platform for new journalistic talent and last but not least provide a fresh and inspirational e-magazine covering all corners of the globe, from hidden gems to well-trodden paths.

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