2017-top-countries_header2017 is knocking on our doorstep, and all the anticipation of what the next year may bring, provides the perfect excuse for exploring. Lonely Planet’s experts have compiled their ‘Top 10’ list of places you cannot afford to miss in 2017.

Canada, Mongolia, Oman, and Myanmar are among those ‘Top 10’ countries, which we invite you to discover with our airlines Pacific Coastal, MIAT, Oman Air, and Myanmar Airways.

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These Are the Places to Visit in 2017:

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It is impossible not to like Canada and its friendly people. In 2017, our neighbor to the North will celebrate its 150th birthday, and all the National Parks are going to be free. The second largest country on earth has incredibly rich offerings for tourists, ranging from adventurous outdoor experiences, dynamic and modern cities, to strolling around quaint neighborhoods. English and French influences, alongside its huge immigrant influx, make it one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world. Summertime has the most pleasant weather, and streets are alive with locals and visitors. Spring and fall have slightly lower temperatures, but fewer crowds, and better rates for hotels and transportation. Winter is ideal for fans of snow-based sports. A weak Canadian dollar pushing down prices will allow for plenty of pocket money to spend on Canada’s exciting fusion food and great selection of local wine.

Based at Vancouver Airport (YVR), Pacific Coastal Airlines provides regular and charter services to 15 airports, with connections to 50+ destinations in British Columbia.

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2017-top-countries_mongoliaTravel back through the sands of time to the farthest reaches of northern Asia and immerse into the nomadic culture of the Gobi Desert. Beautiful Alpine landscapes dotted with ‘gers’ (circular tents) and horse-back rides through lush, green, valleys, make vacations in Mongolia an enthralling experience with the temples of Ulaan Baatar providing an intriguing contrast. This is the land of Genghis Khan, where ancient warriors’ mastered feats of horsemanship and archery never equaled elsewhere in the world. Half of Mongolians still live pastoral lives, while the rest settled in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia’s only true city -enriched by overseas investment, dashing into the 21st century. Change is in the air here, and now is the time to visit.

MIAT Mongolian Airlines is the Mongolian national carrier headquartered in Ulaan Baatar, the country’s capital. The airline operates international scheduled services from its base at Genghis Khan International Airport near Ulaan Baatar.

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2017-top-countries_omanFor an Arabian experience of mosques, dunes, and spices, look no further than Oman. Bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west, and the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, the Sultanate of Oman – a historic seafaring nation of traders and fisherman – has only opened itself up to tourism in the 1980’s. A visit to the country promises a glimpse of the beautifully preserved Omani culture, as well as access to pristine natural wonders. The ‘grande dame’ of tourism for Oman, the capital Muscat, which means “safe anchorage” in Arabic, is where tradition and modern merge. Delight in superlatives and contrast – luxury accommodation and high-end names have long been rooted here. The burst of construction though – the US $120 million Majarat Oman, a futuristic theme park for families, will debut in 2017.

Oman Air, the flagship carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, operates scheduled domestic and international services. Founded in 1993, the airline has witnessed massive growth, and has played a major role in making Muscat a major traffic hub in the Middle East.

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2017-top-countries_myanmarDramatic Myanmar, also known as Burma, is an intrepid traveler’s dream. For a glimpse of old Indochina, there isn’t a more eye-opening destination than this mysterious country, which only began allowing Western visitors into its borders in recent years. Colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and picturesque streets, can be found throughout the country’s largest city Yangon – a fascinating mix of British, Burmese, Chinese, and Indonesian influences. In this deeply Buddhist country, pagodas pockmark the land, and some of the most impressive ones can be found in Yangon. One of the best ways to experience both the romance of the colonial era and see Burmese people’s day-to-day realities, is by cruising on the Ayeyarwady River, all the way to Bagan, the country’s spiritual center, disembarking at temples and viewing life along the river. Visiting Myanmar, you’ll find a mesmerizing range of religious and cultural sights to unlock a once forbidden world.

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) operates scheduled flights between Yangon and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Gaya, Guangzhou, Seoul and Mandalay. MAI is the only recipient in Myanmar of the IATA Operational Safety Audit Program (IOSA).

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