18 Regions Of The World - BookitList

18 Regions Of The World

Whilst a quick google search of “how many regions are there in the world” might bring up varied results, you’ll often find people proporting there to be 8 or 12. That’s 7 continents diced up into 12 asymmetric portions, but on closer inspection we think that’s nonsense.


How can Australia have its own category, but all of Europe be just one region?


The snowy city squares of Moscow with it’s reminders of Byzantine architecture bear no resemblance to the sun soaked ivory cliff-edged houses of Santorini or the abstract Gaudi musings of Barcelona.

So we’ve delved deeper into the regions of the world, scrutinising everything from the culinary ingredients, the languages roots, the architecture, pace of life, weather and even music preferences.


After all of that cultural carving we’ve come to the conclusion that there are distinctly 18 regions of the world!


How is our detailed guide on the true - 18 regions of the world.

EASTERN EUROPE

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Sandwiched between Western Europe and Asia, Eastern Europe has no precise definition, but it’s character traits can be noticed from a mile away. It’s harsh sounding Slavic mother tongues seem to fit the cold weathered aesthetic of the region, and it hosts a more modest string of cultures and traditions than its western counterpart. Geographical highlights include the Caucasus mountains and the Ural river.


Must Try Dish: Gołąbki (Polish)


Hidden Gem: Riga, Latvia

WESTERN EUROPE

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If the world were a fashion show then Western Europe would be its most scarlet of catwalks. Teeming with iconic cities, founded upon the philosophical underpinnings of ancient Greece, and refined through the Renaissance period, nowhere fuses ancient history, modern art and colourful customs quite like Western Europe.


The weather varies and there are perfect conditions for anyone if you look close enough. A melancholic drizzly day ambling through the canals of Amsterdam might be a perfect day out for you, or a lazy beach bum afternoon along the golden hued sand of the Algarve might be your preferred climate.


Must Try Dish: Coq au vin


Hidden Gem: Lucerne, Switzerland

UNITED KINGDOM

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Ok, this is technically western Europe, but not without a whiff of nepotism we've decided to honour the United Kingdom with its own region title to befit its individualistic island status.


The world's language stems from this small, rainy, regal rock and the historical depth and cultural influences of the United Kingdom can be felt in every corner of the globe.


Whilst the cuisine is often the butt of jokes, it's hearty dishes are perfect when taking refuge from the elements, and Gordon Ramsay will be the first to tell you a Beef Wellington well done (as in execution, not done-ness), is a dish fit for a king.

London itself is a treasure trove of iconic landmarks and historical rhetoric. Where else can you soak in the sites of the world's most famous clock tower one minute, and hop on a short underground ride to Shakespeare's Globe theatre the next?


Scotland despite being even balmier in climate, is regularly voted as the most beautiful country in the world thanks to its eerie moors, misty highlands and serene lowlands. It might be dainty in size but the U.K is a titan of global relevance and the envy of many a traveller.


Must Try Food: Fish & Chips (from a chip shop)


Hidden Gem: Inner Hebrides, Scotland

SOUTH AMERICA

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Despte usually conjuring images of tropical humid heat and dense Amazonian rainforest, South America is more varied than often given credit for. Whilst it’s soulful, open armed spirit is well documented and luminously displayed in the Rio Carnival, further South will have you stumble across snow peaked mountain tops in Patagonia and communities of cowboys herding cattle beside glacial lakes.


The food and languages are hugely influenced by the Colonial echoes of Spain and Portugal, with the majority of the continent speaking Spanish with the exception of Brazil who speak Portuguese. The cuisine is seen as being hearty and simple, without a litany of exotic ingredients or influences.


2 of the world’s 7 new wonders can be ticked off your Bookitlist here with the misty citadel of Machu Picchu and the grand monument of Christ The Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro.


Must Try Dish: Ceviche (Peruvian)


Hidden Gem: Lake Titicaca, Border of Peru/Bolivia

NORTH AMERICA

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This region has one of the murkiest and undocumented histories, but what it lacks in ancient stupor it makes up for in brash modern accomplishments. America is the epicentre of Pop Culture and Northern American hubris boasting megacities that influence the rest of the world with trendsetting ideas in commerce and media, but it’s geographically speaking more rural than one might imagine. 97% of the USA is rural landmass, despite less than 20% of the population living there.


Canada is often seen as America’s humble sibling, but it’s influences from Britain and most notably France give it a very distinct feel worthy of its own labels. What Canada brings in wintery fun to the North of the US, Mexico delivers in sunny spades to the South. A Spanish speaking country of great passion, which can be seen from its iconic festival ‘Day of the Dead’ to its long history of producing boxing champions revered for their undying tenacity and spirit.


The food of North America is split into 3 distinct categories, the modern American diet of fast food and quick sugar fixes. The colonial hangovers of Canadian comfort food (with a pinch of American buns and meat was thrown in), and the slightly more Picante culinary exploits of Mexico that revolve around beans and cilantro.


Must Try Food: Tacos (Mexican)


Hidden Gem: Boulder, Colorado

CENTRAL AMERICA

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Dwarfed in size by it’s North and South American counterparts - but not in spirit or allure. Roasting marshmallows in volcanoes and walking through cloud forests and diving into blue holes that appear to lead to the Earth’s core are all activities that people travel to Central America for.


Nature here is as unspoiled as you’ll come across when travelling, and divers, culture vultures and beach bums can all indulge in their favourite activities without reems of tourists queuing to take selfies and obstructing the views.


Seafood is popular due to being in such close proximity to the sea, added to the carb staples of rice and beans, used across much of the Americas. The infrastructure still lags behind many regions of the world, but the charm is in the people and nature, not expensive shopping districts or fancy restaurants.


Must Try Dish: Ceviche


Hidden Gem: Tikal, Peten, Guatemala

Discover Central America

At the forefront of eco and adventure tourism, Costa Rica is one of the world’s most beautiful and biodiverse countries. Glide by boat, and kayak through the waterways of Tortuguero and tread through a handful of the world's most eco-conscious national parks! This is the ultimate 11 days of discovery in Costa Rica.

Visit Costa Rica

CARIBBEAN

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Whilst many regions are unfairly pinned down as having one predominant aesthetic or cultural crutch, the Caribbean is rightfully proud of it’s core identity. White sand as fine as flour and azure waters. The islands have become the postcard picture synonymous with words like “paradise” and “oasis”, and it’s easy to see why.


A slower pace of life and an unmistakable string of music genres from calypso in Trinidad to the soothing deep bass vibrations of reggae make it a stress busting set of islands. It's also home to a set of dishes that are quickly spreading across the globe thanks to small settlements of Caribbean citizens opening their own restaurants abroad to quench their need for some home cooked 'soul food'.


Must Try Dish:Jerk Chicken with Rice & Peas


Hidden Gem: Aruba

MIDDLE EAST

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A complex region that binds together Northern Africa and North West Asia, with a history that juts out almost literally from the rocks that build its temples, mosques, churches, roads and refuges. Religion plays a larger role here than any other region and this in turn lends itself to cultures heavily centred around family and tradition. Few places on Earth maintain such firm grips on the methods and means of yesterday.


The Middle East is possibly at it’s best when mixing this historical and anthropological significane with it’s vast swathes of arid nature. Think Bedounin camps in the desert land of the Wadi Rum, humble abodes carved into the very bedrock of Petra making for cosy cave dwellings, and soothing Spa’s on the banks of the dead sea.


Must Try Dish: Tabouleh


Hidden Gem: Petra, Jordan

OCEANIA

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Synonymous with the sea, you’re never too far from a beach, a surf break or a scuba spot in Oceania. The Pacific islands are sprinkled across the region boasting the most stunning natural splendour, whilst Australia and New Zealand provide the glitz and glamour that come with large cities and thriving business hubs.


New Zealand is one of the few countries that boasts a strong economy and beautifully smooth infrastructure but is known almost entirely for its large expanses of uninterrupted nature, so ethereal that they need not be edited into fantasy franchises such as Lord Of The Rings or Game Of Thrones.


Its cuisines have not made much of an impression on the global scene, Australia’s wine is fast becoming a go-to for “better than you pay for" bottles of red and white.


Must Try Dish: Māori Boil-Up

Hidden Gem: Norfolk Island, Australia



EASTERN & SOUTH AFRICA

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For nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and adventurers no region hosts such grand opportunities as East & South Africa. Tanzania lays the foundations for Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest and proudest peak, and one of the most revered climbs in the world. Uganda is home to the most diligent Gorilla sanctuaries that stretch hundreds of miles in an effort to support these endangered gentle giants.


Kenya hosts perhaps the most spectacular site possible for wildlife lovers, the Great Migration!


Where most regions make their name from a range of attractions and excursions, it's clearly wildlife and nature that stand firm as THE reason to visit East and South Africa.


Must Try Food: Ugali


Hidden Gem: Damaraland, Kaokoveld and Skeleton Coast - Namibia

Discover East Africa

The adventure across the Masai Mara and the Serengeti define what it means to be an explorer on Safari! Embark on a journey designed to let you drink in nature in it's purest form and witness stunning wildlife in its natural environment.

Visit East Africa

CENTRAL AFRICA

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Africa’s backbone is undoubtedly it’s nature and wildlife. Each region has its own slices of serene nature, but none can boast the wildlife reserves that Africa can. What makes Central Africa distinct is it’s rich natural resources and the second largest rainforest in the world. The stability of the region is less so than other areas of Africa and balancing it’s delicate ecosystem can be tricky.


Must Try Dish: Ndolé


Hidden Gem: Zambia

NORTH AFRICA

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The Atlas mountains dominate the landscape alongside the vast expanses of the Sahara desert. Being closer to the Middle East and Europe make it slightly more of a blending of influences, with Islam becomming the dominant religion and Middle Eastern food also finding it’s way into the cuisine. The sprawling bazaars of Morocco are a beautiful microcosm of the region's influences.


Must Try Dish: Tagine


Hidden Gem: Chefchaouene, Morocco

WEST AFRICA

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The coastal countries on the West banks of Africa are some of the safest on the continent. Cape Verde is a highlight not far from Cameroon, but there’s a lot of hidden beauty in the region. The mud architecture of Mali and Niger is quite spectacular. Culture vultures will love the festivities of the region with findings like the masked dance of the Dogon or the religion and folktales of the Yoruba culture.


Must Try Dish: Cachupa


Hidden Gem: Cape Verde

ANTARCTICA

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The immense expanse of the Antarctic region holds a landscape and wildlife combination like nowhere else on Earth. The seals, whales, penguins and birds here have been left uninterrupted essentially since the first single celled amoeba split in two. Colonies of squabbling penguins clamber over one another on pebbled shores, whilst enormous majestic whales cry out their songs under the icy surface of the Southern Oceans.


Must Try Dish: Fresh Caught Shellfish


Hidden Gem: THE ENTIRE REGION!

NORTH EAST ASIA

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A long running history of humility is the hallmark of the cultures found in North East Asia. Several glaring dichotomies make up much of the region's significance. China’s written history goes back as far as 1250 BC and is a hotbed for historical excursions, whilst Japan is the world's frontrunner for the tech of tomorrow.


Another obvious contrast can be seen between North and South Korea, one famed for a dictatorship and stringent privacy policies adding a shrowd of mystery, whilst South Korea is a bustling LED laden metropolis, who’s K-Pop music and moreish BBQ cuisine are quickly becoming a western favourite. The weather is mostly cool and perfect for a break that doesn’t involve sweating profusely.


Must Try Dish:Kimchi Jjigae


Hidden Gem: Jeju Island, S.Korea

SOUTH ASIA

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Home of the world’s tallest Mountain, the Taj Mahal, the overwater bungalows of the Maldives and some of the world’s most treasured dishes, South Asia is rife with variety despite keeping a consistent and noticeable energy across it’s land. There are plenty of languages spoken, but they are somewhat tethered to the ancient roots of Sanskrit. Hindi and Urdu in particular are more like loose dialects than different languages.


India alone has a continents worth of activities and excursions with the Taj Mahal, Amber Fort, Amber Palace, Bazaars in The Pink City of Jaipur, The Golden Temple and the Kettuvallam houseboats of Kerala! Once you add gems like The Tiger Monastery Of Bhutan and the tea plantations of Sri Lanka, South Asia’s appeal can become irresistible.


The food is spicy throughout, so for those who love their food to be rich in flavours and depth, this is paradise.


Must Try Dish: Punjab Chicken Tawa


Hidden Gem: Kashmir, India

SOUTH EAST ASIA

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No region is as synonymous with world travel as South East Asia. Backpackers have long considered this mecca. The generous currency conversions, Michelin star worthy street food and welcoming faces of the region are only topped by the remarkable jungle meets tropical island setting.


Temples are the historical and architectural zenith on offer with unmistakable landmarks such as the mystifying Angkor Watt in Cambodia and the ethereal Batu Caves of Malaysia. The Mekong river plays a significant role in the geography, binding Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Whilst much of the region is steeped in tradition with blends of Buddhism and Confucianism, Singapore provides a modern metropolis for city slickers.


With each year travellers are peeling back South East Asia’s layers to reveal even more treasures, and it’s popularity will only strengthen as more people get the opportunity to indulge in it’s laid back culture and bold cuisine.


Must Try Dish: Khao Soi


Hidden Gem: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam

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