Some places you just fall in love with instantly. And there are many special places on our planet, with each continent having its own highlight. Special mentions of these kind of places must go to the Atacama Desert, the Himalayas, Mount Bromo at sunrise, the Great Barrier Reef, Bagan Archeological Zone, Jiuzhaigou in winter, and Mecca during Hajj, but even none of those can rival the 5 mesmerising landscapes I have chosen in my list below.
5. Cappadocia lies in central Anatolia, in the heartland of what is now Turkey. The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000m in altitude that is pierced by volcanic peaks known as “fairy chimneys”. The Black Sea coastal ranges separate Cappadocia from Pontus and the Black Sea, while to the east Cappadocia is bounded by the upper Euphrates, before that river bends to the southeast to flow into Mesopotamia, and the Armenian Highland. But the unusual rocky terrain of Cappadocia keeps tourists entertained all year round and it is even possible to fly over the area in a hot air balloon! Read more about my thoughts on Cappadocia!
4. The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation in Bohol, Philippines. There are at least 1,260 hills spread over an area of more than 50sqkm. They are covered in green grass that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name. The Chocolate Hills are a famous tourist attraction of Bohol. They are featured in the provincial flag to symbolize the abundance of natural attractions in the province. These hills are actually made of grass-covered limestone, and many geologists are still fascinated by this unique phenomenon. Tourists, too, are fascinated, and they flock here from all over Asia!
3. The Amazon, part of several South American countries but mainly Brazil and Peru, is one of the two places in this list I haven’t been to yet, but its hypnotic majesty cannot be denied. Whether you are focussing on the lush green rainforest or the deep caiman-infested river, you can admit that the Amazon is certainly one of the top landscapes on the planet. It’s not all dense foliage, though, as there are huge cities like Manaus that sit in the middle of the jungle, and tourism is increasing to this part of Brazil.
2. The Zhangjiajie National Scenic Area is one of the most amazing national parks in all of China. Its amazing landscape was the influence for the 2009 movie blockbuster Avatar. The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park (otherwise known as “floating mountains”). Although resembling karst terrain, they are actually the result of many years of physical, rather than chemical, erosion. Much of the weathering which forms these pillars are the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants which grow on them.
1. Patagonia sits literally at the foot of the world, in Chile and Argentina. It really is inexplicably beautiful and no amount of photos can do it justice. Not too far from Antarctica, the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile comprises a collection of lakes, rivers, mountains, and glaciers for which tourists come from all over the globe. Winter sports can be performed here, as well as basic hiking, but mainly people come just to admire Patagonia’s beauty.
What an amazing world we live in! Which landscape most mesmerises you?