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9 exotic places where English is widely spoken

Sri Lanka Columbo Gangarama Buddhist temple

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Exotic destinations

In most countries, hotel staff, airline employees and tourism personnel speak at least some English. However, once you step off the tourist trail, you will quickly be reduced to using a phrasebook or relying on the point-and-gesture method of communication. To avoid that, many travelers choose to stay in the tourist bubble.

But in a number of countries, including many former British colonies, English is used for official purposes, or as the unifying or bridge language in nations where there are many regional languages. So even if you're a monolingual Anglophone, the world is not off limits — you just have to know where to travel.

Here are nine far-flung destinations where an English speaker can step off the tourist trail and still be able to communicate. (Text: Josh Lew)