5 Places to Visit for a Truly Local Experience

While on holiday we love the notion of throwing ourselves in at the deep end when it comes to exploring a new culture or custom. A lot of very tourist-heavy destinations exist out there, but some spots still offer a very “real” taste of local life.

Today we’ll look at five such locations, where holiday-makers should travel for a truly local experience.

5 Places to Visit for a Truly Local Experience

1. Thailand

There are lots of touristy areas in Thailand which have been set up to cater for the increasing number of people taking trips there, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still holidays crafted around the Asian nation’s natural heritage.

One such example comes in the form of a day spent with a Lanna farm family – learning how they still exist on relatively basic commodities. You’ll see first-hand how they cook and maintain their land, as well as all sorts of other authentic aspects which make up their daily lives.

2. Iceland

Icelandair have created an exciting new service which sees people who travel away to the Scandinavian nation partnered up with a member of their cabin crew. The theory here is that people will be able to experience the true Icelandic culture while staying with a native.

A survey they conducted found “39% of people said they felt they’d never actually been able to fully immerse themselves in a local culture whilst abroad”, which is what prompted the company to try and appeal to this desire to experience genuine life in Iceland.

3. Namibia

You’ve probably never heard of this remote spot in Namibia (who knows, maybe you’ve never even heard of the nation itself?), but Puros is actually an amazing place to visit if you’re looking to immerse yourself the heritage of an ancient people.

The area itself is an idyllic locale where people go to relax and unwind. In a world where elephants roam through you campsite, and the only other inhabitants are local Himba tribespeople, you’ll be able to spend some serious thinking-time contemplating life.

4. Mexico

The Maya people are a race we associate strongly with the past – but, in reality, small sections of their culture still persist in the modern day and age. The majority of contemporary Mayans can be found situated in the Central American nation of Mexico.

Specialists tours now operate in certain regions which give visitors the chance to come face-to-face with the tribespeople who still live like their ancestors. Villages like Tres Reyes are happy to accommodate tourists – serving up traditional Mayan dishes for them and letting them observe their way of life.

5. Japan

The Japanese ski resort of Appi is the perfect site to finish out list with – primarily because it serves as a blend of modern and authentic local culture all at once. While skiers can enjoy the slopes and contemporary facilities, a short trip into the nearby town sees things change dramatically.

Unlike bustling cities like Tokyo, the residents of Appi will in no way cater to their visitors – speaking almost entirely Japanese as they go about their daily lives. For a taste of the real Japan, this is the ideal spot.

Fancy trying out any of these cultural experiences for yourself? If so, plan your next holiday around visiting one of the nations listed above. You won’t regret it.

A Thai rice farm

Rice Farm - تصوير عبدالعزيز جوهر حيات


Live like an Icelandic native



The Himba tribespeople

Himba Child


Discover the real Mayan culture

Mexico-2669 - Palenque


Appi Japan

Dec. Appi Japan


About the author:

This post was done in collaboration with our guest blogger Jake Whilst. Jake or “J” has always been a weekend traveler. He’s usually off to camping or fishing trips with his brothers and sometimes go to nearby towns to take photos of townspeople. He writes for travel blogs as his part-time job which fuels his weekend adventures. He’s also fond of exploring offbeat destinations with his travel buddy and girlfriend, Jen and they’ve been to a few countries such as Peru, Brazil and Croatia.

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A techie by profession and an ardent traveler & reader by passion. Wife to an equally travel-bug-bitten husband. Together finding solace in traveling.

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