Unlikely Tourist Hotspots for 2012

Panama, Finland, and Myanmar top the list
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2012 5:33 PM CST
Tanzania, Cuba, and Panama City Among Unlikely Tourist Locales for 2012
A street performer dressed as Superman holds a balloon of the Centre Party as he walks on a tightrope, in downtown Helsinki, on April 16, 2011, ahead of the April 17 elections.   (Getty Images)

If you like cool design, upscale safaris, or a forbidden communist island, the New York Times can recommend 45 locales to visit in 2012. Among them:

  • Panama. See the world-famous canal before its expansion, then stay for Panama City's economic boom and Frank Gehry's first design in Latin America—a natural history museum called BioMuseo.

  • Helsinki, Finland. Crowned the "World Design Capital" of 2012, Helsinki boasts a 25-street, 200-business Design District and a Sibelius Academy where student ensembles play in a splendid glass-walled space.
  • Myanmar. With Aung San Suu Kyi released from house arrest, the Myanmar boycott is over. Explore this pristine land of Buddhism untouched by tourists—but make sure to bring cash.
  • Tanzania. Violence in Kenya has boosted tourism in Tanzania, but the East African country is worthy regardless. Enjoy classy safaris, upscale camps, and the timeless Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Havana, Cuba. "People-to-people" rules mandate that Americans must mix with Cubans, so resort vacations are still forbidden. Approved tours include meetings with organic farmers and art historians. Read about expeditions here, here, and here.
Read the rest of the Times' list here. (More tourism stories.)

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