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PhilSTAR L!fe Recommends: Places we want to travel to in 2023

By AYIE LICSI Published Dec 29, 2022 4:16 pm Updated Oct 25, 2023 9:14 pm

2023 is right around the corner and with the new year come new plans! Is traveling to more places part of your resolutions?

Travel restrictions have eased and many countries around the world and in the Philippines have opened up. All that's left to do is plan, save up, and book those tickets! 

For those who don't know where to travel yet for the coming year, PhilSTAR L!fe has rounded up some of our (and our past cover girls') dream destinations that we want to go to in 2023.


As a traveler, I'm the type who is not that into the idea of going back to the countries and places I've visited before. So this 2023, I want to take another opportunity to go somewhere I've never been: Tanzania.

I am, in no way, a fan of safari and the outdoors. They're dangerous, scary, yet exciting—the same reason why I want to explore Tanzania next year. One of my New Year's resolutions is to grab every chance that would push me out of my comfort zone, and I think this is the perfect place to do so.

Tanzania has been known for its stunning wildlife and beyond—it covers a significant chunk of Africa's large mammal population, and the Serengeti National Park is home to the great, world-famous wildebeest migration. Sounds thrilling, doesn't it?

- Brooke Villanueva, Deputy Editor
South Korea

Like many Pinoys, I discovered how good of a pick-me-up BTS and K-dramas could be during the pandemic. That is why for 2023, I'm putting the home of hallyu, South Korea, on top of my travel bucket list.

Seoul looks like a good start as this popular city combines iconic K-ent tourist spots with historical landmarks. For starters, you can ride a cable car to the N Seoul Tower and enjoy a scenic view of the city. For a feel of the country's traditional culture, head to the historic Bukchon Hanok Village and the grand Gyeongbokgung Palace.

As a new BTS ARMY, I'm adding Hybe Insight to my itinerary for an interactive ride through the supergroup's success journey. The Line Friends flagship store in Itaewon, Garosigil, or Meongdong is also a must-visit, with its Insta-worthy amenities, like its BT21-themed areas and cafe.

A trip to Seoul wouldn't be complete without a two-hour ride to Nami Island, which has been a popular filming location for K-dramas. Here, you'd get to marvel at natural wonders, including its tree-lined paths perfect for stunning travel snaps.

- Justine Punzalan, Associate Editor

I'm not really a big traveler but I am a huge nerd for film and TV series. I'd love to one day be able to go to some of the countries where Game of Thrones was filmed. While scenes were shot all over the world, I want to first go to Croatia and see the Lovrijenac Fortress and Dubrovnik's Walls where scenes from the Battle of the Blackwater were shot.

Other than the Game of Thrones locations, it would be nice to chill by the Croatian beaches and try their traditional dishes like risotto and truffle pasta.

- Ayie Licsi, Content Producer

I've always wanted to spend Christmas in Switzerland, specifically in Iseltwald. Other than the reason that I get to see the actual setting of the iconic piano scene in CLOY, I want to simply stroll around the picturesque view of the fairytale-like village, a perfect way to escape and get a dose of nature fix.

- Melanie Uson, Content Producer

If you like learning about culture and tradition, then Cuba is the perfect country for you. From its post-war architecture to the old-school mode of transportation, the “Pearl of the Antilles” is known for cigars, sugarcane and famous personality like Che Guevarra.

If you would visit Cuba, you must check out its capital, Havana, wherein you will see people dancing to music and walking along the beach. I love to visit this country someday because people seem to be friendly and they will become you wholeheartedly it's a plus that the country is beautiful.

- Alain Robredillo, Social Media Producer

As someone who has had his heart captured by anime and manga as far as he could remember, the number one country that I would like to visit in 2023 is Japan. Based from all the travel vlogs and stories I have consumed about the Land of the Rising Sun, the country is basically like a dazzling paradise, known for its cleanliness and disciplined citizens. I want to be able to personally experience the things that I can only see through the lens of the anime characters I watch, such as gazing at beautiful cherry blossom trees, or having a blast at summer festivals, or walking around the busy streets of Tokyo and just taking it all in.

- John Patrick Magno Ranara, Content Producer

I always wanted to go to Japan, primarily because of its cuisine.

Even if Makati has Little Tokyo and even if several local malls offer (authentic) Japanese food, nothing should compare to the original. Where else is the best place to eat ramen, gyoza, tempura, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, chahan, and omurice, to name a few, but in the Land of the Rising Sun? The ones being sold in the streets are preferred, I suppose, because of my penchant for lugaw, pares, ihaw-ihaw, and other Noypi street delights.

A sushi restaurant is also a dream destination. It would be so surreal to finally witness a sushi master in the flesh (hehe) as he prepares all the meal courses in front of me. As someone who binge-watches culinary videos, who reads food essays, and who cooks at home, I believe the heavenly gastronomic experience is not only about flavor, texture, and even plating, but also the spectacle of the food's very preparation.

- Nick Garcia, Content Producer

Akihabara, Japan Anime and gacha enthusiasts should surely put Akihabara on their bucket list. It is considered an otaku's heaven, with it being the place for anime, manga, and games. Tourists can go around to visit themed cafes, like maid cafes or cat cafes. If you want to play games with your friends, arcades and game centers are the way to go. Buying anime figures for your collection is also a must when you're there. Be sure to explore, as there's surely a lot to discover at Akihabara!

- Djulienne Foster, Social Media Producer

Southeast Asia

One of my goals next year is to travel and I’ve been planning to explore Southeast Asian countries next year. The top destinations on my bucket list are Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. I would love to see their incredible architecture, numerous temples, and breathtaking archipelagos, and to try their tasty and great food! Traveling Southeast Asia, street food is the most popular form of eating. Different food stalls throughout every region line major streets, and markets, and food costs cheap. Exploring the busy streets and night markets of Bangkok, Hanoi, and Bali is an essential part of traveling through Southeast Asia and I’m excited to experience it next year!

- Mina Lampitoc, Graphic Artist

Basic as it may sound, but I want to visit Sicily in Italy someday and check out the scenic spots that were shown in White Lotus season 2. Aside from its idyllic backdrop, I'm looking forward to discovering Sicily's rich and diverse culture, impressive architecture, and gastronomical eats.

- Camille Santiago, Head Editor

South Africa

In 2023, I would love to visit South Africa and go on a safari but realistically we will probably be in France for the summer.

- Isabelle Daza
Japan, Spain, Minnesota

There's a lot on our bucket list but hopefully Japan, Spain, Chris Quimbo's hometown, Minnesota.

- Alodia Gosiengfiao