Until 2013, Motou or Mêdog County in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China was the last county without permanent road access and was only accessible on foot. Set on the southern slope of the Himalayas, the area has a subtropical climate, offering visitors access to forests, lakes, and a large variety of plants and animals. While the area now has road access, many backpackers still prefer to take one of the hiking routes.
Located west of Easter Island, the Pitcairn Islands are a group of four volcanic islands—Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno—in the southern Pacific Ocean. Pitcairn Island is the only one of the four that is inhabited. The British Overseas Colony was settled by the mutineers of the HMS Bounty and their Polynesian companions in 1790, and the island now has a population of about 50, many of whom are descendants of the original founders. Henderson Island is an UNESCO World Heritage Site with an important collection of bird species, including four endemic to the island.
Also known as the Desolation Islands, the Kerguelen Islands are located in the southern Indian Ocean and are part of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. Grand Terre, the main island, is home to the Port-Aux-Français research base. The islands, which are 2,000 miles away from civilization, are also inhabited by several species of penguins, albatrosses, and seals. Visitors can only reach Grand Terre four times a year by ship.