I decided to compile a monumental pictorial list of the top 100 tourist attractions I have visited (so far) in my travels. It took me ages to do, but it was very enjoyable as I got to think about why I loved certain places more than others. Initially, the list contained 264 places, but I began to whittle it down to a 150, which was VERY difficult, as some great places got left off the list. Obviously for such a long post, I have kept the descriptions for each attraction to the very minimum, and you can click on each thumbnail in the gallery to see a larger version of my photo. I thought about putting up the selfies I took in each location, but I don’t think the Internet is ready for so many pics of my mug!
You may notice that some really popular tourist attractions on the planet, such as the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Army, Pyramids of Giza, Luxor Temple, Uluru, Kamakura, the Forbidden City in Beijing, as well as most beaches in Thailand, have not made my list. In general, I like to stay away from really touristy places to give me the chance to make my own opinions about the place.
It was a very moving experience to visit such museums and memorials such as the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and the Red Martyr’s Terror Museum in Addis Ababa, as it educated me of the horrors that have occurred in the past century. I also had a nice time visiting San Pedro Prison in La Paz, Bolivia, which is actually a city behind walls, where inmates can use money to buy food from shops and even pay to sleep in hotels! Food wise, Dotonbori in Osaka is the best place for takoyaki and okonomiyaki whereas the infamous Wangfujing Snack Street in Beijing has snacks of a slightly more weird variety. Culturally, Beijing’s Summer Palace and Luang Prabang’s Wat Xieng Thong were magnificent to visit, and what can be said about the natural splendour of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in China’s Yunnan Province?
Although most people don’t usually visit theme parks when travelling, I was lucky to pay a visit to Tokyo DisneySea, which is the best theme park in the world – and not childish like other Disney parks. Khor Al Udeid in Qatar provides a fantastic opportunity for a desert safari whereas the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia can also give a good safari of a different kind. For food, Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur and the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai are favourite haunts of mine, but for the culture vultures among us, you cannot miss the creepy Shwenadaw Monastery in Mandalay, the opulent Grand Palace in Bangkok, and the striking Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, India.
Something extremely different but still memorable was the Witches Market in La Paz, where you could find all sorts of weird items (presumably for witches) on sale. Natural beauty was evident on the Kinabatangan River in Borneo and at Bunaken National Park in Sulawesi, where I took my first ever deep sea dive! The Temples of Bagan in Myanmar were a real highlight for me (I keep going back there), and the finest temples I am drawn to again and again are the Sulamani Temple and the Ananda Temple. Let us not also forget the famous Great Barrier Reef and the Sahara Desert, where I really enjoyed some interesting experiences.
In my trip to Marrakech, I thought El Badi Palace was the real highlight, and in Sri Lanka Polonnaruwa was very impressive. In terms of stunning natural beauty, Lamington National Park near Brisbane in Australia was awesome with its jungle and waterfalls, but what can be said about the spirit of the Galapagos Islands and the chance to see the unique flora and fauna? For something even more different, I had a great time climbing Mount Bromo in Indonesia, and its lunar landscape has always stayed with me in my mind. I have always had a soft spot for Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, even though for most people it is too expensive, at least I have had the chance to stay there and enjoy what the integrated resort has to offer. The world’s largest temple complex is situated in Luxor, Egypt, and it is a great place to immerse yourself in Ancient Egyptian legend.
30. Ayutthaya, Thailand
29. The Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
28. Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia
27. Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India
26. Agra Fort, India
25. Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia
24. Portofino, Italy
23. The Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China
22. Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
21. Taj Mahal, Agra India
20. Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia
19. Potala Palace, Tibet, China
18. Komodo National Park, Indonesia
17. Bayon, Siem Reap, Cambodia
16. Iguassu Falls, Brazil
15. Suzhou Water Town, China
14. Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan
13. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
12. Hoi An Ancient Town, Vietnam
11. Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
10. Kinkakuji, Kyoto, Japan
9. St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
8. Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
7. The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
6. Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto, Japan
5. Chichen Itza, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
4. Machu Picchu, Peru
3. Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
2. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
1. Candi Borobudur, Java, Indonesia
So, as you can see, I have travelled to quite a few places now (!), but I am always on the look out for more beautiful places to travel to. Next on my hit list is certainly Uganda, Tanzania, Chile, Jordan, and Uzbekistan. If you had a top 5 or a top 10 list of favourite places in the world, what would they be?!