From boat cruises to dune tours: the best things to do on vacation

The best travel experience in the world is an open boat cruise along the canals of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where tourists will pass by iconic places such as the Jordaan, the Houseboat Museum, the Rijkmuseum, De Duif and the house by Anne Frank.

But that’s only according to Tripadvisor’s “2022 Best of the Best” list, which was compiled based on reviews and recommendations posted on the travel guide’s website.

There are two main lists: “World” and “Asia”, with 50 activities presented in total. The canal cruise from a company called Flagship Amsterdam, of course, is listed in the World category with up to 10,195 (mostly positive) reviews posted on Tripadvisor and a recommended rating of 99%.

Second on the list is an adventure tour in Dubai, where you can discover the red dunes by quad/ATV or camel. You can even try your hand at sandboarding, before ending the day with a barbecue meal at Al-Khayma camp. This tour has 4,922 reviews with a recommended rating of 99%.

Other great experiences on the list include a jeep safari to Aruba’s natural pools and Indian caves; a Beatles tour of Liverpool, England; a chocolate tour in Edinburgh, Scotland; a Vespa sidecar tour of Rome, Italy; and Black Cab tours in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The latter is operated by a company owned by both a Catholic and a Protestant, providing an unbiased account of ‘The Troubles’, the violent conflict that took place in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to 1998.

In the Asia category, food tours are the clear favorite as almost half of the number of experiences listed are either food hunting excursions or cooking classes and workshops.

There are no Malaysian experiences listed. (It just means that tourists who visited Malaysia don’t care to leave reviews on Tripadvisor, or there are not enough reviews, or they don’t use the guide at all travel.)

The best experience in Asia according to the list is a Thai and Akha cooking class in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with 1,796 reviews. Akha are a hill tribe from Chiang Mai, so those who join the cooking class can learn about the community and its culture through food.

Next on the list is a private Khmer cooking class in Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia with 625 reviews, followed by another Siem Reap activity – a sunrise tour of Angkor Wat and nearby temples with 429 reviews of Tripadvisor users.

Other experiences highlighted include private heritage walking tours of Jaisalmer Fort and Jaisalmer Old Bazaar in Rajasthan, India; surf lessons for beginners in Bali, Indonesia; Korean cooking classes and local market tours in Seoul, South Korea; a chef-led food tour in Bangkok, Thailand; and a tour of the “back streets” of Osaka in Japan.

Finally, the list also includes a food and culture motorbike tour in Hanoi, Vietnam, and a full-day trip to Care Pride Elephants in Chiang Mai.

Care Pride Elephants is an animal sanctuary and teaches tourists and visitors how to care for its herd of former “show elephants” who are no longer able to fend for themselves in the wild. There is strictly no elephant ride experience available here.

There is also a private “Instagram tour” in Bangkok, where tourists are taken to some of the city’s most famous and iconic locations. These include Wat Ben (Marble Temple) and Wat Arun, Pak Khlong Talat or the Flower Market, Grand Palace, Lumpini Park, Sky Bar in Lebua, Giant Swing and the Chao Phraya River. There is no note on whether these tours also provide photography services.

Although Tripadvisor is a trusted source for travel, be sure to read reviews from various travel guides, platforms, and blogs/vlogs before deciding to try an experience or pay for a tour to ensure to have a safe holiday.