Singapore named Lonely Planet's No 1 destination for 2015: A look at other countries in top 10 list

A dust cloud at the Nebrownii waterhole in Etosha National Park, Namibia. -- PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/YATHIN S KRISHNAPPA
A dust cloud at the Nebrownii waterhole in Etosha National Park, Namibia. -- PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/YATHIN S KRISHNAPPA

Singapore has been named Lonely Planet's top travel destination for 2015, but what are the other nine countries that make up next year's top 10? Here is the list, complete with information from Lonely Planet.

1. Singapore


- Lonely Planet said "a slew of new developments has elevated the 'Singapore experience' to a new level", from Marina Bay to "a new crop of swanky hotels". Read what else made Singapore No. 1 here.

2. Namibia


- This west African coastal country is celebrating its silver jubilee of 25 years of independence next year.

- It is the first African country to enshrine environmental protection in its Constitution and is comitted to sustainable development through conservation and tourism.

- Visit the Etosha National Park, which features flood-lit waterholes so that tourists can observe the nocturnal habits of the safari's inhabitants. Take a self-drive tour of the west part of the park if you're up for some adventure on your own.

- Be spooked by the bizarre ghost town of Kolmanskop, once a booming diamond mining enclave with its own hospital, school and casino. It was abandoned in the 1950s after richer deposits were found elsewhere and quickly reclaimed by nature.

3. Lithuania


- Lithuania will adopt the Euro as its currency on Jan 1, 2015, a huge step towards the West for this former Soviet republic.

- Walk the cobbled streets of Vilnius, the largest baroque old town in northern Europe and a World Heritage site.

- Visit the Curonian Spit, another World Heritage site that is essentially a long stretch of beautiful beaches. Visitors get free tickets if they carry 120 litres of rubbish out when they leave, an innovative way of keeping the sands pristine.

4. Nicaragua


- It's touted by those familiar with the Central American region as the new Costa Rica, with Lonely Planet calling it "cheaper, safer and less developed than its Central American neighbour".

- Take in the sights in Granada, the most famous of Nicaragua's old colonial cities.

- Adventurers will have a buffet of activities to choose from. Slide down the Cerro Negro volcano in a sled, hike up the Volcan Mederas or surf the waves at the San Juan del Sur.

5. Ireland


- Be prepared to be blown away by the rugged natural beauty that this so-called Old Country is known for.

- Take a drive along the 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way, a drive that rivals California's Pacific Coast Highway and Australia's Great Ocean Road.

- Ireland is known for its alcohol and countryside. So hop into a small-town pub for a pint to soak in the local culture.

- Catch the Puck Fair in August, where a goat is crowned king and the alcohol flows for three days.

6. The Republic of Congo


- Not to be confused with the neighbouring Democractic Republic of Congo.

- Foreign tourists are still rare even though the country is much safer now after years of turbulence.

- Enter the jungle in comfort thanks to two new upmarket safari lodges in the Parc National d'Odzala, whose forests are teeming with gorillas.

7. Serbia


- Lonely Planet calls it "one of Europe's best kept secrets".

- Forget the Swiss Alps, ski at the Kopaonik, touted as Serbia's top ski resort. It has 44km of slopes.

- Brave a visit to a kafana, which is what Lonely Planet describes as "somewhat akin to a pub or taverna, but with more shouting and smoke". According to the site, a smashed bottle or two is common and no reason to be afraid of this authentic Serbian experience.

-Soak in the atmosphere of Skadarlija, Belgrade's very own vintage street complete with galleries, musicians and inns.

8. Philippines


- It's the only other South-east Asian country, and Asian country for that matter, to make it into the list.

- Enjoy the beautiful coastline white sand beaches and swaying palm trees.

- Travel through the sprawling Metro Manila on a speeding jeepney, a vehicle based on US Army jeeps left behind after World War II.

- A host of special events are slated for 2015, the official Visit Philippines Year. Get ready for street parades, food festivals, sports tournaments and live music shows.

9. St Lucia


- This Carribean island has all that you would expect of a tourist destination in that region: lush greenery, clear waters for diving, and perfect beaches.

- Those seeking fitness bragging rights can scale the Piton Mountains.

- Strange fact: It is illegal to wear camouflage clothing on St Lucia., says Lonely Planet.

10. Morocco


- Explore the many souks, or bazaars, of Morocco where carpets, spices, dried food and everyday products are sold.

- Visit Fez, a labyrinth of markets and tanneries. According to Lonely Planet, it is the "world's largest living Islamic medieval city and most populous car-free urban area".

- The country's evocative landscapes have not gone unnoticed. It's appeared in Hollywood movies and TV series such as Game Of Thrones, Homeland, and Atlantis.

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