15 Places In The World Where You Can Truly Get Away From The Internet


The constant buzzing of my alarm woke me up at 8 in the morning and I unwillingly got out of bed, a cup of tea in one hand and my phone in the other. As I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I chanced upon a beautiful picture of Mount Fuji and could not stop myself from sharing it with the caption 'wanderlust'. A cascade of WhatsApp messages then greeted my notification bar while I replied to a few important e-mails. I got ready and sat down to work and could not help but check Twitter and staring at me was a massive list of budget-friendly countries that I could visit in order to satiate my aforementioned wanderlust. "But will I get free WiFi here?", I thought to myself while looking at a picture of a lesser known camping site and then came the sudden realisation that I was essentially a slave of the interwebs.

While the internet has certainly made our lives a lot easier, one cannot deny its constant encroachment upon our personal spaces. It is undoubtedly a boon but the fact that it is inherently distracting is a major bane and sometimes, you just need some de-addiction. Luckily, a good number of places on our planet are yet to be permeated by superlative technology and if, like me, you intend to run away from your tyrannical WiFi Router to find peace, here are 15 destinations that might just help you do the same:

At the Yellowstone National Park, a geological wonder in the United States with incredible natural geysers and a staggering diversity of flora and fauna, you are encouraged to cut yourself off from the internet. Considering the total lack of WiFi barring a few hotels that offer the same for a price and limited cellphone reception, this enormous park is all about hiking, biking, camping and fishing. You could also soak in a hot spring or two and pamper yourself to your heart's content. Ditch that phone of yours and go!

Credits: blueinsky(Leon)

Photo of Yellowstone National Park, Teton County, WY, United States by Sumedha Bharpilania

Yakutat is a lesser-known village in the North American state of Alaska with wonderful outdoor recreational activities in store for travellers. Home to some arresting views of the Gulf of Alaska, this hamlet is interestingly far, far away from the internet. Situated in the northern reaches of the Inside Passage route, Yakutat is an immersive cultural experience owing to the presence of its traditional local communities. You could perhaps go fishing for as long as you like or allow glaciers and fjords to amaze you. Bid a temporary farewell to that Facebook account of yours.

Credits: Kenneth Cole Schneider

Photo of Yakutat, AK, United States by Sumedha Bharpilania

Ladakh is the mother of all destinations in India and the pristine blue waters of Pangong Tso are its main drawcard. The enchanted lake provides some memorable camping opportunities and owing to its remoteness, getting a WiFi connection or even a mobile network for that matter, is practically impossible. And who on planet earth would want to check Twitter when the most surreal, the most spell-binding landscape is shining in all its glory, right before their eyes? This paradise is all about unbridled happiness and quiet contemplation.

Credits: Souparna

Photo of Pangong Tso by Sumedha Bharpilania

The largest desert in the world, the Sahara dominates most of North Africa right from Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria to Niger, Egypt and parts of Tunisia, Chad, Sudan and Mali. The fabled sand dunes seem unending and every step is greeted by a mirage. Vacationing in this spot, despite its unrefined beauty, is therefore not for the faint-hearted and only certain areas are accessible to travellers. Considering its daunting remoteness, finding a stable internet connection in the desert is a lot like finding Waldo with an Attention-Deficit Disorder- both are equally challenging.

Credits: Patrick Wuske

Photo of Sahara Desert by Sumedha Bharpilania

Brimming with fragments of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood, the Black Forest in Germany is an enchanting fairytale in itself. The abode of the cuckoo clock and the decadent chocolate cake of the same name, this mountainous region is a much loved destination. Dotted with towering pine trees and a babbling, meandering Rhine River, the Black Forest is home to several tiny, cosy hamlets and isolated resorts, a lot of which do not have an internet connection to offer. Hike along the tranquil countryside and say hello to a dairy cow or two. Life is good.

Credits: Roman Boed

Photo of Black Forest, Todtnau, Germany by Sumedha Bharpilania

The Grand Canyon Region is easily the most iconic, the most sublime natural wonder of the world. You must have seen thousands of breath-taking photographs of this two billion old geographical treasure in the United States, yet the real landscape is infinitely prettier in ways impossible to describe. The Colorado River continues to carve this mighty exposed rock formation and travellers continue to be enticed by its majesty. With three incredible rims - The North, South and the West, internet connection in the canyon is sporadic and you should therefore not pack your laptop for a change.

Credits: Airwoldhound

Photo of Grand Canyon National Park, Coconino County, AZ, United States by Sumedha Bharpilania

A remote archipelago in Polynesia, the American Samoa is all about exotic landscapes in the form of palm fringed beaches and azure-emerald waters. With fishing towns that several aboriginal communities call home, this photogenic paradise is capable of putting you in a constant state of trance. However, for all of the digital natives, this atoll is rather infamous for having the most expensive internet in America which is painfully slow despite the exorbitant cost. Swim with the fishes and hike along the many trails of its islands and give YouTube videos a break.

Credits: U.S Department of the Interior

Photo of American Samoa by Sumedha Bharpilania

Papua New Guinea attracts the most seasoned of travellers only because it is one of the most unexplored destinations in the world and therefore offers experiences that are very different from the done-to-death Banana Pancake Trail in South-East Asia. Indigenous tribes live in perfect harmony with nature and the fascinating diversity in flora and fauna only helps in embellishing the many charming reefs dotting the island. Internet on the other hand, if available at all, is ridiculously expensive. You should therefore focus more on the woodlands and the wartime sites and a lot less on your phone.

Credits: Taro Taylor

Photo of Papua New Guinea by Sumedha Bharpilania

Mongolia is of the nomads, for the nomads and by the nomads. It is like experiencing life by travelling back in time. Trek and camp on its rugged pastures in order to witness raw, virginal beauty and savour steaming cups of Suutei Tsai (Milk Tea) with its locals to restore your faith in humanity. While the otherwise urbanised capital of Ulaanbaatar provides decent access to the internet, the countryside with its staggering wilderness is largely cut off from telecommunications. A little break from social media is, more often than not, good for health.

Credits: Bernd Thaller

Photo of Mongolia by Sumedha Bharpilania

The driest place on this planet, the Atacama Desert is seemingly daunting with its endless salt pans and muddy ravines. Akin to the moon's landscape in several ways, it serves as the perfect place for travellers looking to trudge uncharted territories. The mighty Andes in the background is the perfect interlude from feasting your eyes on vast expanses of nothing. Moreover, few people are aware of the fact that Atacama is the best place on earth for stargazing. With painfully slow internet speeds and limited availability, the desert is a great destination for cutting yourself off from the World Wide Web.

Credits: Mariano Mantel

Photo of Atacama Desert, Antofagasta, Chile by Sumedha Bharpilania

Lapland, also known as the North of Finland is a surreal destination. A winter wonderland like no other, summers in this area play host to 24 hours of sunlight while the cold months are enveloped in perpetual darkness. For those who intend to witness the magical Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from the comforts of their chalet and perhaps even say hello to the real Santa Claus and his reindeers, Lapland is the ideal escape. It also is a great place to indulge in some digital detox as WiFi, albeit available, can be intermittent as the population density of this region is exceptionally low.

Credits: Chris

Photo of Lapland, Finland by Sumedha Bharpilania

With colossal limestone pillars and enclaves surrounded by the incredibly calm olive-jade waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long Bay is where the dragons once belonged. Its caves and fishing villages are almost like a fine piece of poetry penned by nature. A glittering UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Vietnamese beauty is also a brilliant place to get far, far away from the internet. Considering the almost total lack of WiFi on its overnight cruises along with a rather unstable cellphone reception, the elegant karst topography of the Bay is worth all your time and attention.

Credits: Eustaquio Santimano

Photo of Hạ Long Bay, Thành phố Hạ Long, Vietnam by Sumedha Bharpilania

Easily one of the trickiest destinations to visit, Antarctica comes across as a forbidding and unearthly continent, perpetually shrouded in mystery. However, the coldest place on earth, despite its menacing wilderness can be reached with the help of a permit and a plethora of protocols are to be followed. You will, additionally, have to undertake a long journey on a cruise ship. Internet on the landmass, if available at all, is painfully slow and ridiculously expensive and will be the last thing on your mind during your travels. Antarctica is a challenge and is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Credits: nomis-simon

Photo of Antarctica by Sumedha Bharpilania

China makes it to this list only because accessing websites like Facebook and Twitter is close to impossible for travellers who are unfamiliar with the magic of Virtual Private Network (VPN). Owing to tightly censored interwebs in the country, infamously known as the 'Great Firewall of China', students have come up with their own version of social networking websites that, obviously, are impossible for tourists to navigate. I would therefore suggest you ditch your phone during your time in the Middle Kingdom, rub shoulders with the Great Wall, gorge on some delicious street food and post all of your pictures on Instagram after getting back home.

Credits: Michael Levine-Clark

Photo of China by Sumedha Bharpilania

The Kalahari Desert is a tryst with the wild, from the invincible lion and the evasive jackal to the perfectly harmless springbok and the scheming hyena. An unending expanse of reddish-brown sand greets your eyes upon your arrival while a few clusters of cacti and acacia trees emerge every now and then. What does not however, show up at all, is a WiFi signal. Given the fact that this place is so deeply in touch with nature and is home to indigenous communities, communication facilities aren't all that advanced in Kalahari, especially when you stay at Wildlife Reserve camps like !Xaus Lodge. Go on adventurous safaris and watch the stars dotting the velvety night sky. Your inbox can wait.

Credits: Martin Heigan

Photo of Kalahari Desert by Sumedha Bharpilania
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