If your idea of a vacation involves only staying inside a luxurious hotel and enjoying the private jacuzzi or lying on the beach all day, then you won’t appreciate this list as much. However, if the thought of being able to interact with some of the most adorable animals on this planet feels you with excitement, then the following three destinations should be at the top of your bucket list.
Swim with the Manatees at Crystal River in Florida
The manatee is a very unique aquatic mammal that resembles the cow in more ways than one and therefore, they are also known as sea cows! At Crystal River, visitors can not only see the peaceful and loving giants that migrate here for the winter, but people can also interact with them by going in the lake to swim with them. Being hugged by a baby manatee underwater is one of those experiences which cannot be described in words unless you have been a part of it. However, it is important to remember that you strictly cannot touch a manatee unless it touches you on its own, and breaking this law will land you in jail.
Take a Mud Bath with the Elephants in Thailand
When you visit an Elephant Nature Park Thailand, you will not only get to see these majestic animals up close and personal, but you will actually get the chance to play, touch and even bathe them if you want to. These are not zoos, but sanctuaries that are part of Thailand’s eco-tourism projects and they are created to provide a safe and loving environment for domesticated elephants before anything else. As of now, you can visit and spend time with these lovely, magnificent animals and their adorable babies in Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya. To be so close to these intelligent animals and actually be a part of their daily lives at an elephant nature park is the experience of a lifetime.
Cuddle Pandas in Chengdu, China
The renown of the panda as adorably silly animals is worldwide at this point, thanks to videos of their hilariously cute activities circulating all over social media. However, did you know that you can actually go to the Giant Panda Research & Breeding Centre and cuddle a baby panda yourself? If that sounds like a dream come true, then that’s because it is! Don’t forget to call ahead and make an appointment for your cuddling session though because that’s pretty much mandatory. Alternately, you can also have panda interactions at the Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya’an, Sichuan and at the Dujiangyan Panda Base in Dujiangyan.
Even if you have not tried any of these destinations yet, or even considered them before, it might be time to try something new. Unfortunate as it is, it isn’t unlikely that many of these animals and places may not even exist in the future, so that’s one more reason to visit them before that option is gone forever.