If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
That’s the question I’ve been grappling with the past few weeks. With plenty of time on my hands and inspired by a copy of Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Sights, I’ve taken to daydreaming about all the fascinating and exotic places I could go and all the amazing sights I could see.
Only problem is that, once you start flicking through compilation books such as 1000 Ultimate Sights, you soon realize that not only is there is just too much to see but that you want to see it all.
Each and every page of Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Sights draws you in, enticing you with glossy photos and inspiring descriptions to get packed and hit the road.
But, as William Caverlee points out in his review of Ultimate Sights, trying to visit all 1000 sights would result in ‘twenty years of nonstop travel.’
Even if you had the money, who, in their right mind, would have the stamina or enthusiasm to take on such a task?
Instead, I’ve narrowed it down to these five ultimate sights that ‘if I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to.’
The El Tatio Geysers in Chile – who knew that hidden way up in the Andes was the world’s third largest geyser field. These geysers may not have the eruption height of say Old Faithful, but given their challenging environment, they are probably much less crowded too. Plus there’s a network of bather-friendly hot springs to enjoy.
Teatro Amazonas Manaus in Brazil – the Amazon seems like the most unlikely place to find an opera house but there it is, in the capital city of Manaus, a vision of European opulence. It was built by the wealthy rubber barons in the late 19th century to entice, rumor has it, Enrico Caruso to come and sing.
Donghuamen Night Market in Beijing – how could any dedicated foodie resist any place described as a ‘kaleidoscpoic food zoo of all the Chinese food’ you could wish to try. Of course, there’s probably a lot that you’d only want to look and not touch, or eat.
Pulpit Rock in Norway – anyone who wants to commune with nature, sans glass floors and manmade skywalks, should head for Preikestolen, otherwise known as Pulpit Rock. It’s a perfect flat top rock that juts out over the water, 604 meters about the fjord, with absolutely no safety barriers.
Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar – fans of Dr Suess will love the look of these huge, bottle-shaped trees, often called ‘upside-down trees’. Granted, they can also be found growing across Africa and Australia, but only in Madagascar is the ‘Avenue of the Baobabs’.
So where would you go, if you could go anywhere in the world?
(Flickr image by plizzba)
(Disclaimer: The writer was provided with a review copy of Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Sights)