When you travel to the far reaches of the world, you may be looking for gorillas, business deals, or incredible blue waters. But if you love to gamble too, you’ll find some of the most distant, beautiful cities on Earth also boast great casinos.
Not every exotic location is easy to reach. And once you get there, you may not find much to do. Most travelers want to enjoy nature’s beauty without sacrificing the comforts of modern civilization.
That narrows the list a bit. Still, here are seven great locations that world travelers recommend for both their unique landscapes and histories. And you can gamble for real money in these locations, too.
1 – Mbombela, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Formerly named Nelspruit, this city is the capital of the Mpumalanga Province in Eastern South Africa. The area is famous for its stone ruins, in close association with the Zulu and Boers, and the Emnotweni Casino Complex.
The Drakensberg Escarpment divides Mpumalanga Province from north to south, and the region has earned a worldwide reputation for its varied landscapes. About half of Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game parks, extends into Mpumalanga’s northern territory. Scientists believe Mpumalanga’s Lowveld may be one of the oldest geological regions on Earth.
One of Mpumalanga’s ecological jewels is Chimp Eden, a short drive from Mbombela. This is the only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, and it provides refuge for chimpanzees that have been abused in many ways.
Thanks to the region’s subtropical climate, visitors experience a range of temperatures and weather throughout the year. Many outdoor activities, including rafting, horse trails, and more enliven tourism in the province.
2 – Savannakhet Province, Laos
Savannakhet Province is located in Southern Laos, and it is the largest administrative region in the country. Much of the region is heavily forested and contains several reserves set up to protect endangered species.
Visitors to Savannakhet will find both mountains and lowlands. Scientists have discovered five dinosaur fossil-producing sites in Savannakhet to date. The region is also home to several ancient temples, such as Wat Inghang and That Phone Stupa.
The Savan Legend Hotel and Casino, near the Thai border, provides a five-star experience for visitors.
3 – Singapore
Singapore was world-famous long before a pirate movie made it the butt of a harmless joke. Many people mistake Singapore for another city in Malaysia, but it’s an independent country.
Singapore is a modern city-state. Engaged in commerce the world over, Singapore is uniquely situated to benefit from many shipping lanes crossing between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. But as a modern city, Singapore also boasts an international airport that receives over 50 million passengers every year.
From Singapore, it’s easy to visit nearby tourist destinations, and the city itself features five-star hotels and restaurants. Local attractions include Gardens in the Bay and Supertree Grove, which uses uniquely designed buildings as frameworks for a sustainable garden-like environment.
The Singapore Zoo claims to be the best, most representative of the world’s rainforest zoos. Other wildlife attractions include Jurong Bird Park and a river safari through a giant panda forest.
Resorts World Sentosa provides a five-star gaming experience for travelers. Built on Sentosa Island off the city’s coast, the nearly $5 billion complex includes a world-class casino.
4 – Antananarivo, Madagascar
Most Americans may easily recognize Madagascar’s association with vanilla. This island nation off the eastern coast of southern Africa offers much more than a key food ingredient.
Marco Polo visited the island in the 1200s, giving the island its distinctive European name (from the native Madagasikara). The island was visited by humans as long as 10,000 years ago, but it appears to have first been colonized during Roman times (circa 350 BCE to 550 CE).
Travelers and great powers from the Middle East and Europe arrived in successive waves, contributing to the nation’s unique character and history. Madagascar is the second-largest island nation on Earth and contains a varied landscape and ecology. Some species of plants and animals live nowhere else in the wild.
Tourists love to visit Ranomafana National Park, Isalo National Park, Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, and Île Sainte-Marie Island. These four locations represent most of Madagascar’s unique and varied landscape, from deep jungles to rocky peaks to a jeweled Indian Ocean’s view.
Travelers to Antananarivo, Madagascar, can stop at the Casino Marina in the Madagascar Golden Peacock Hotel on the city’s northwestern outskirts. Antananarivo is the nation’s capital and largest city. It’s located near the middle of the island.
5 – Paradise Island, Bahamas
The Bahamas need little introduction to most travelers. This group of islands sits off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean. Famed for their pristine beaches and blue waters, the Bahamas are popular with cruise ship and airline travelers from all parts of the world.
More than 700 islands make up the Bahamas, whose ecosystem is deemed unique. The world-famous clear waters allow visibility up to 200 feet below the surface. The varied sea life and underwater landscape ensure these islands are popular with divers of all skill levels.
The world’s third-largest fringing barrier reef runs through the Bahamas. Islanders enjoy good weather throughout most of the year and have easy access to Miami and other nearby international destinations.
The five-star Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island provides a mix of entertainment and gaming options for visitors to the Bahamas.
6 – Kathmandu, Nepal
Nepal is one of the few completely mountain-locked countries in the world. It’s famous for many reasons, having been featured in numerous films and books. Even so, if you ask most people to name the capital city of Nepal, they won’t be sure—but it’s Kathmandu.
With about 1 million residents, Kathmandu is a modern city. Also rich in history, Kathmandu is home to palaces, temples, and mansions that preserve its rich cultural traditions and history. Eight rivers run through the city.
Even though the city was built in a valley high up in the Himalayan Mountains, it’s a melting pot for many Eastern and Western cultures. The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Because of its relatively low elevation (about 1,400 meters above sea level), Kathmandu enjoys a warmer climate than many other regions in the mountains.
Several casinos provide gaming to residents and visitors. Casino Royale Nepal earns many favorable mentions from travelers around the world.
7 – Coober Pedy, South Australia, Australia
Although not found high on many travelers’ lists of preferred destinations, Coober Pedy offers several interesting visitor experiences. It’s a popular destination for people searching for the world’s best opals.
Truth be told, more people will think about visiting Coober Pedy because of its remoteness and the unique architecture much of the city boasts. Many “buildings” are actually constructed underground, including Desert Cave Hotel, which boasts an underground casino.
While the Desert Cave won’t top lists of the world’s largest casinos soon, it’s situated in a unique Australian Outback area. If you’re thinking about doing a Walkabout, Coober Pedy may be the place to start. You’ll reach several outback communities that depend on Coober Pedy.
Guests staying at the Desert Cave eat and sleep underground. The underground environment regulates temperatures very well, and you should be quite comfortable.
Local attractions include the Painted Desert Tour, a tour of the local caves, a sunset and history tour, and opal mining. The Quest Opal Mine issues visitors hardhats and picks, and their tour lasts several hours.
Whether you travel for pleasure, business, or both, it’s always more interesting to visit a city that is as different from your hometown as possible. Modern technology makes traveling the world easier than it was 100 years ago. It’s just a matter of choosing your destination.
Some of the towns and cities on this list make great bucket list items. Finding places to enjoy an evening of gaming in far reaches of the Earth makes travel a little more fun.
But finding top-rated hotels and casinos in the world’s most exotic locations is more challenging. Some cities with awe-inspiring local landmarks or incredible historical monuments have no casinos. Or their local gaming houses are less than appealing to tourists. One casino in Eastern Europe has even earned a reputation for cheating its players.
You don’t have to settle for a bad gaming experience when you’re traveling. Many great entertainment venues wait to be explored the world over.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …