10 Amazing Places to Visit
Find our list of 10 of the most amazing places and sights to see in this wonderful world of ours. With so much beauty surrounding us it is hard to narro wit down to ten places so please feel free to comment below and make your suggestions of where you would like to see or if their is something inparticular that we should have added, Enjoy!
Mayan Ruins, Palenque Mexico – Palenque, is located in the Tumbalá mountains, is the site of of an ancient Maya state (dating from about 500 AD to 700 AD) in Mexico which fell into decline and was absorbed into the surrounding jungle of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, and with it went all its wonderful Mayan treasures of temples and monuments bearing hieroglyphic inscriptions, rich decorations, stucco, bas carvings and some of the finest examples of Mayan sculpted reliefs, architecture, water drainage systems and roof comb, many of which have never been seen before. The fact that the ruins were taken swallowed into the jungle afforded them some protection from looting and from the weather. The builders and designers of the Palenque buildings brought harmony between the palaces and temples and the landscape and the area flourished during the 7th century. The Spanish arrived in the 1520’s and discovered the Mayan Ruins with small communities living here and has been the object of interest to numerous explorers and researchers since the 18th century. It covers an area of around 1780 hectares with 1,400 documented buildings, but less than 10% of the city has been explored and leaves more than 1,000 structures still absorbed within the jungle. The Ruins of Palenque are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are growing numbers of people coming here each year and today there are around 600,000 visitors who travel here to see these ruins every year. Main sights include The Temple of Inscriptions ( the funerary monument of Hanab-Paka), The Temple of the Cross, Temple of the Sun, and Temple of the Foliated Cross are a set of graceful temples atop step pyramids, The Palace which is a complex of several connected and adjacent buildings and courtyards, The Temple of the Skull, Temple XIII, The Temple of the Jaguar and the Temple of the Count.
Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine, Chile – Torres del Paine, Chile – The spectacular National Park Torres del Paine is situated in southern Chilean Patagonia at the southern tip of the Andes and features include ancient forests, snow-capped mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, clear lakes, cascading rivers and fjords, and fauna including guanacos, foxes, pumas and a diverse array of birds. The impressive granite pillars of Torres del Paine soar more than 200 m above the Patagonian steppe and dominate the landscape of the National Park. The Torres del Paine National Park was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1978 and is widely recognized as being one of the most beautiful and uncontaminated places on earth. The national park has over 140,000 visitors per year and is a popular hiking destination in Chile.
Borobudar Temple, Indonesia – Classed as one of the world’s great ancient monuments, the Borobudar Temple is located in the Kedu Valley in the southern part of Central Java, Indonesia and is set in unspoiled green valleys surrounded by mountains It is a Buddhist temple complex and stupa dating from the 8th and 9th centuries and was been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. The main part of this magnificent temple is a visual representation of Buddhist teachings because of its shape in a three-dimensional mandala. It was built in three tiers on a pyramidal shaped base with five square terraces, three circular platforms topped with with a monumental stupa, the bulk of the complex consists of six square terraces with three circular platforms and contains 504 Buddha statues. The main dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues each seated within a perforated stupa. it is the largest Buddhist single structure on earth. It is believed to have been built around the 8th and 9th centuries and has lain under layers of volcanic ash, from Mount Merapi, for centuries as the area surrounding the temple lay abandoned. Rediscovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (the founder of Singapore), there followed efforts to clear away the debris that had amassed here and it took two months to reveal the amazing find that lay beneath, but it took until 1885 before the magnificent monument was revealed completely. Between 1973 and 1984 the complex has returned to much of its former glory and has become a Buddhist pilgrimage site.
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador – The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of 19 volcanic islands situated in the warm, clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast. The Islands are famed for their unique wildlife and are, along with the surrounding waters, a protected Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve and have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. The Galapagos were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1978. Although the landscape is volcanic, it is nevertheless beautiful and is home to many interesting species of animals, reptiles and fish as well as being rich in unusual plant life such as endemic trees and huge cacti, all of which are unique due to the fact of their extreme isolation. The most famous visitor to the Galápagos Islands was Charles Darwin in 1835 whose studies on the Islands led to his Theory of Evolution by natural selection. These isolated Islands are no less interesting now than they were in Darwin’s time and attract thousands of visitors to their shores every year, although to walk around the Islands you must be accompanied by a guide. Animals which can be found here include the legendary marine and land iguanas, Galapagos Green Turtles, the giant tortoises, flightless cormorants, humpback whales, dolphins, Waved Albatross, Greater Flamingos and colonies of seals. As these animals live in such an isolated place they seem to have no fear of people which can leave them very vulnerable. Scuba diving in the clear waters around the islands is the best in the world and offers a unique display of unspoiled marine-life, which range from corals to sharks, penguins and marine mammals. Divers will often be surprised to find that they are accompanied on their dives by the very marine-life that they have come to see.
Stonehenge, England – Mystery surrounds the prehistoric monument which is one of the most famous sites in the world with a history of 3,500 years. The circle of huge standing stones in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside is in the centre of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age in England. Stonehenge stands in a World Heritage Site of over 200 hectares and is owned by the Crown, administered by English Heritage and the surrounding land is owned by the Nation Trust. There has been evidence of human remains discovered around the stone circle which gives rise to speculation that it may have been a burial ground, a temple or even a site of sacrifice, other theories are that it was a solar calendar or the location of festivals, feasting or fairs, but whatever it was it is definitely a magnificent feat of engineering and one can only wonder how these grand stones were placed into the ground where they stand as a timeless monument to the people who built it and its aura of mystery still draws thousands who come and experience the magic that is Stonehenge.
Fenghuang, China – Fenghuang (Phoenix Ancient Town), is located in the Western Hunan Province, is said to be named after the mythical bird which represents good fortune and was re-born out of the ashes, legend says that two of these birds flew over the town and loved it so much that they decided to stay. Fenghuang is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty surrounded by mountains and water and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on March 28th 2008. The well-preserved ancient town is a wonderful example of how these ancient towns would have looked in days gone by and contains many distinctive architectural remains from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1644-1911). A lovely gentle way to view the town is from a boat trip along the water, or for the more energetic, a strenuous walk along the Southern Great Wall offers views over the countryside and rice terraces. The Tuo Jiang River is vital to the locals and it is where the women do their washing while their menfolk do thier fishing. For these people life has not changed much over the centuries which has made them tough and hardworking with a simple, gentle and welcoming outlook on life. With a history spanning 1,300 years, there are many beautiful gardens, buildings, towers, pagodas and bridges to discover.
Taj Mahal, India – The beautiful, white marble, mausoleum that is the Taj Mahal, lies on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and is part of a huge complex which includes the main gateway, a mosque, a guest house as well as several other palatial buildings. The enormous dome stands 213 feet high and is 58 feet in diameter It was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth, and is were her her grave lies in the lower chamber along with his own. The tomb is the main focus of the entire complex of the Taj Mahal and the spectacular marble dome that is positioned over the tomb is almost 35 metres high and is surrounded by four smaller domes; four slender towers, or minarets. Construction of the Taj Mahal took around 23 years to build and employed 22,000 workers and over 1,000 elephants in its construction. The building takes traditional designs from Persian and Mughal architeture and is built from white marble, brought from Makrana, and inlaid with precious stones, jasper from Punjab, jade and crystal from China,turquoise from Tibet and Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, while the sapphire came from Sri Lanka andthe carnelian from Arabia, it is no wonder that this beautiful building was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 now counts amongst the Seven Wonders of the World. The entire complex of the Taj Mahal sits inside a vast Mughal garden set out with peaceful avenues of trees and fountains and flower beds and contains four reflecting pools dividing it at its centre. Today, some 3 million people a year visit the Taj Mahal.
Colossium, Rome Italy – The Colosseum in the centre of Rome was originally named the Flavian Amphitheatre. It is the largest amphitheater ever built in the Roman Empire and is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Construction started in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus. It was able to seat 50,000 spectators and was used for Gladiatorial fights, plays based on classical mythology, executions, mock sea battles and animal hunts. It was a social meeting place and stands near the Roman Forum. Like many other amphitheaters its use changed in later centuries, it was used to house religious orders, as a fortress and a quarry. Although a large part of the Colosseum now stands in ruins due to earthquakes and stone robbers, it is still an iconic symbol of the Roman Empire and it also has long connections with the Catholic Church, the Pope leads a torchlight procession on Good Friday from the area around the Colosseum. It is one of the most visited sites in Rome, with 4 million visitors every year.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil – The awesome Iguazu Falls are located on the Iguazu River which flows mostly through Brazil, however the Falls are actually situated over the Argentine border and it is possible to view these tremendous, thunderous 275 individual drops from Brazil or Argentina. The Iguaza Falls are 2.7 kilometres wide and vary in height from 60 metres to 82 metres making them taller than Niagra falls and twice as wide. The main section is known as the Devil’s Throat, a long chasm which is 82 metres high, 150 metres wide and 700 metres long and from which the mist rises between 30 and 150 metres. The Falls were first recorded by a European in 1541, this being the Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. There have been special walkways constructed around the Iguazu Falls which allows visitors to be able to get close to this great natural wonder of the world. The Iguazu Falls are owned by the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Iguazú National Park in Argentina and the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil.
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China, China – One of the great wonders of the world, The Great Wall of China stretches 13,170.69 miles (21,196.18 kilometers) from Shanhaiguan (and the Old Dragons Head) in the east to Lop Lake in west and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and the purpose of building it was to protect people and territory from invasion. In actual fact it is not a single wall but a series of four walls built over various times by different Emperors, ranging from 2221 BC in the Qin Dynasty to 1644 in the Ming Dynasty. The Wall passes through differing landscapes in Northern China from the beaches of Qinhuangdao, rugged Mountains around Beijing, grasslands and deserts. Some of the most popular and busiest sections of the Wall are Badaling, Juyongguan, Mutianyu, Simatai, Jinshanling, Jiayu Pass and Shanhai Pass and are among the most crowded sections of the Great Wall. The older sections of the Great Wall were built mainly of stones, wood and earth jammed together and so large sections have fallen down or eroded but the newer section of the Great Wall, which was built during the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644) 5,500.3 miles (8,851.8 kilometers) from Hushan in Liaoning to Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu, was built from bricks and is the strongest and therefore has remained in much better condition. The Great Ming Wall is composed of 723 beacon towers, 7,062 lookout towers, 3,357 wall platforms and 1,026 other ruins, it was estimated that there were around 25,000 watch-towers constructed along the entire Wall.