Destinations to explore before they become too popular

This article was originally published on the global travel search engine Skyscanner.

These 10 destinations should definitely be on your list for holidays in 2016 - they're vacation spots that have been growing in popularity from Singapore over the past 3 years, according to Skyscanner's data. Plan your next trip to visit these places, and find out for yourself why people are loving them so much.

1. Phu Quoc, Vietnam (up 202 per cent)

The island offers visitors an array of activities such as sunset cruises, a night market and water activities which include diving and snorkelling. Photo: Delvin Lee

Think of Phu Quoc as a cleaner, calmer and untouched version of Phuket, a beach town that's devoid of tacky souvenir stores and love-you-long-time massage parlours.

Fringed with white, sandy beaches, Phu Quoc makes an easy choice for beach bums and water babies. The island doesn't get as much press as its neighbours, but a quick ride around will tell you that the winds of change are fast approaching - a brand new international airport, roads are being widened, more resorts are popping up, and most importantly, there's Wifi pretty much everywhere.

Don't miss the Dinh Cau Night Market where you can pick your fresh seafood and have them whip it up into a delicious, authentically Vietnamese meal for you. Be sure you amp up your bargaining skills in Phú Quôc too!

2. Paro, Bhutan (up 147 per cent)

The Dzong in the Paro valley, built in 1646. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

You've definitely heard multiple things about Bhutan (the world's happiest country!) and you've even toyed with the idea of a vacation there, so it's about time you do. Paro is the perfect place to start. The historic town is chock full of sacred sites and buildings you'd want to spend time in, plus the Paro Valley is known to be one of the most beautiful in Bhutan. Expect to witness the serene yet grand monasteries of Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest Monastery) and Rinpung Dzong here; Paro is the best place for nature lovers and those who are yearning peace and quiet.

3. Kalibo, Phillipines (up 66 per cent)

A surfer at the Boracay island in Kalibo, the Philippines. Photo: Silkair

While Boracay is known far and wide for their incredible beaches, Kalibo is the lesser known cousin. However, the city that you're probably landing into to get to those beaches is worth a stay. Check out Kalibo during Ati-Atihan, a festival in January that has remained true to its Filipino culture and roots, without the commercial aspects of a lot of other festivals.

It was originally a pagan animist festival that the Spaniards adapted, and Ati-Atihan lets you participate in the festival - dance your heart out with the performers instead of just watching along the sidelines. Besides this festival, don't miss out on the Sampaguita Gardens, Bakhawan Eco-park, and the Aklan Animal Rescue Centre for some fun dog walks and cat cuddles.

4. Reykjavik, Iceland (up 57 per cent)

Tourists soaking it up in the Blue Lagoon at Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Reykjavik is one of those places you've always seen in postcards, and is also the go-to for the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The city is Iceland's coastal capital and despite how cold it gets, it's renowned for its clubs and bars that open until dawn!

But even if you're partying 'til late on most nights, you shouldn't miss the exceptional Hallgrimskirkja church, the rotating Perlan glass dome that offer breathtaking views of the city, and the chance to soak in some geothermal wonders at the Blue Lagoon.

5. Shenyang, China (up 55 per cent)

Historically-rich Shenyang Imperial Palace in China. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The biggest city in Northeast China, Shenyang is the capital of the Liaoning Province, and the economic and historical centre. The city is great for Chinese history buffs because it's the birthplace of the Qing Dynasty; it boasts multiple cultural relics that tell the story of the infamous prosperity and subsequent decline of China's ultimate feudal dynasty. One attraction you have to absolutely check out is the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is of great historic and artistic significance and second only to the Forbidden City in Beijing.

6. Sapporo, Japan (up 46 per cent)

Sapporo from the top of Odori Park. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Sure, you've drunk the beer, but did you know that the city of Sapporo is also known for skiing and their annual snow festival in February that features larger-than-life ice sculptures? While it is the fifth largest city in Japan, it's also one of the youngest: in 1857, there were only 7 inhabitants in Sapporo.

The city is known for having hosted the winter Olympics in 1972. Interesting note: Sapporo was built based on a North American-style rectangular street system, so you can navigate the streets really easily if you're not on the slopes. And regardless if it's snowing, check out the Shiroi Koibito Park (chocolate factory), Sapporo Beer Museum, and Odori Park for beautiful views.

7. Nagoya, Japan (up 38 per cent)

Nagoya Castle located in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nagoya may be a manufacturing powerhouse, and the birthplace of Toyota, but it shouldn't be overlooked as a vacation destination. Located in between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen line, Nagoya is an unpretentious city - and their parks, museums, temples and bustling recreational activities are definitely worth checking out, even if it's for a quick day trip. Visit during the Nagoya Castle Spring Festival to bask in the beauty of the sakura.

8. Hobart (up 30 per cent)

Aerial panoramic view of Hobart City and its vicinity from the Mount Wellington peak. Tasmanian Island, Australia. Photo: Shutterstock

The capital of Australia's Tasmania island, Hobart is the second oldest capital in Australia, after Sydney. The air is fresh, the grounds are lush, and the backgrounds of your photos are picturesque mountains and idyllic quays - you really couldn't ask for a better vacation. Hobart is a place to kick back and chill out because things move at a glacial pace, especially suitable when you're on vacation. Enjoy a glass of local wine while you dine at the finest establishments, bask in beautiful architecture and spend time enjoying nature.

9. Osaka, Japan (up 30 per cent)

Dōtonbori or Dōtombori is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka, Japan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If nightlife and street food are things right up your alley, it's time to make your way to Osaka where, unlike New York City, the city actually truly never sleeps. Beyond just that, it is a city that offers literally everything for any kind of traveller: incredible museums for history buffs, gastronomical journeys for foodies, beautiful parks to chill out and watch the world go by, and copious amounts of shopping for the fashionistas.

10. Tokyo (up 28 per cent)

The Chidori-ga-fuchi is an excellent spot to see the sakura bloom. Containing over 250 sakura trees, this blooming area is located next to the Imperial Palace. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tokyo doesn't need an introduction. What city has this much eclectic mish mash of traditional and ultra modern, yet still manages to pull it off so seamlessly? Tokyo is another city that has everything for any kind of traveller, but specifically if you're a foodie with a soft spot for Japanese-anything, book a ticket and try to return. With the seafood markets, hole-in-the-wall bars, secret Michelin Star restaurants, you might gain weight, but also be filled with lots of interesting travel tales for sure!

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