San Juan del Sur: Consistent Pacific waves have turned this one-time fishing village into a surfing Mecca with decent nightlife. It's no Tamarindo (generally considered the Cancun of Costa Rica, and just over the border from San Jan del Sur), but that's the point: you'll spend half the cash, and the breaks are relatively uncrowded.
The Corn Islands: True alpha tourists go where the roads barely do. You'll have to take a small (but commercial) plane, or else spend all day and night negotiating a bus/taxi/ferry combo. The two Caribbean islands (Big Corn and Little Corn) are a former British colony, where the black-skinned, blue-eyed descendants speak English and enjoy year-round 85-degree weather. Snorkel around uncounted pirate shipwrecks and find cold rum on the street for just a few dollars.
Borat's country? Yes.
Sacha Baron Cohen's character may have lifted Kazakhstan from its general obscurity as another former Soviet republic, but in recent years the nation has seen as huge rise in oil money. Which means a huge rise in luxury hotels, five-star restaurants and exotic nightlife in Almaty, its largest city.
A constant Dubai comparison floats above it like a cloud in the sky, and rightfully so: It's a great place to smoke a water pipe and plan your excursions to mountain glaciers, national parks and medieval ruins along the Silk Road -- the old trade route from China to Europe.
On these treks, you might have to swap the fancy cocktails and high-thread count sheets in Almaty for a hut and some fermented camel milk.
Also, take the train. You're likely to get pulled into an impromptu vodka party and a round of 20 (or more) questions from locals wanting to get to know you.
Charyn Canyon: The second-largest in the world, the canyon is also known as "Castle Canyon," since the shapes formed look like the towers of a Disney castle.
Tamgaly Petroglyphs: Archaeologists estimate the rock paintings here span 20 centuries of civilization, starting with sun-god worship all the way up to Buddhist images of more recent times.
Chimbulak: Techincally, it's a ski resort. But go in summer for a challenging hike up the mountain – keep going past the resort, and you'll hit the dam and then an impressive mountain glacier.
Silk Road ruins: Otrar and Taraz are two sites to consider; the former flourished around the 11th century, and the latter is more than 2,000 years old. You'll find city gates, citadels, forts and ancient mausoleums.
Adventure-seekers have already trailed Vietnam and Cambodia.
And while Laos has seen a couple of upscale hotels pop up -- like the Residence Phou Vao and its infinity pool -- there's still plenty of territory with little Western influence.
Though 10 percent of the country lives in the capital city, Vietaine, its lack of modern architecture has preserved an Asian village feel -- despite some French colonial architecture offsetting the city's gilded temples.
Mekong River: Charter a teak houseboat and float through the countryside along Southeast Asia's longest river. Tours range from three to 18 days and must be booked in advance.
Wat Phou: Six kilometers from the Mekong in southern Laos, this ruined Khmer temple complex dates back to the 11th century. The name translates to "temple on the mountain," as it sits at the base of Mt. Phu Kao.