Reading an article on the Ancient 7 Wonders of the World, I felt disappointed that we can’t exactly see them now, apart from the Pyramid of Giza, but this got me thinking.
What are our 7 Travel Wonders? I know that today, the 7 Wonders of the World has been updated in all sorts of categories such as the 7 Natural Wonders, 7 Industrial Wonders etc. But what about Travel? For me, the wonder is fulfilled when you see the potential wonder and struck over by the awe-inspireness and actually makes you feel like you’ve travelled to the very one thing in that country or continent.
So here’s my list of what I think are the travel wonders themselves.
1. Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru
Completed around 1450, this City of the Incas can be found in the Cusco Region of Peru. More and more, many people come back raving about their trail up to this mega structure situated thousands of metres above sea level. Declared as a UNESCO Heritage site, this site has been nearly restored to its original structure after hundreds of years left to ruin after the Spainish Conquest of South America. Luckily for the Incas, the Spanish never found it but the Incas population got wiped out thanks to wars and ultimately the biggest killer the Spanish brought with them…the common cold. It is no wonder this has been voted to be one of the New Wonders of the World.
I hope to travel to this region in the next few years and spend a trip in its own right to Peru and Chile. Then I’ll scale the travel wonder in itself and become struck by the wonder of it all.
2. Statue of Liberty, New York, USA
Okay, okay, but who doesn’t feel like they are truly in America when they see the man-made structure? A gift from the French People to America thanks to their individual revolutions, this structure is meant to symbolise freedom. Many immigrants in the olden days would see this structure as their first viewing of USA as they were processed through on Ellis Island, where the Statue is based. Administered as a lighthouse first, this statue became a mounument for the National Park Service and has become under threat from closures and ruin thanks to funding and events of the last century such as the Second World War, 9/11 and very recently, Hurricane Sandy that flooded parts of New York.
I’m hoping to travel to the East Coast of America in 2014 and this Statue is absolutely the first things I’m going to see when I land at New York Airport where you can find flights new york-chicago ohare here.
3. Great Wall of China, China
Another UNESCO Heritage site on this list, this gigantic wall stretches 6,259 km of actual wall and has a bundle of history to offer. Originally built as early as 7th Century BC, this wall served many uses such as serving as the Northern Border of the Chinese Empire, protecting the Silk Road for transportation of exotic goods to florish there, Control of Immigration and finally its original use – part of a defensive system including watchtower, garrison stations and signalling capabilities such as smoke and fire.
Again, I STILL haven’t been to this wonder yet. And actually, it’s the only thing I really want to see in China other than the Terracota Warriors. I just don’t get the Chinese Culture and its people. And don’t get me started that these people are the ones wanting exotic and IILEGAL goods for their ‘medicines’ causing near-extinction of the beautiful species in Africa (Black Rhino, Elephants).
4. Uluru, Alice Springs, Australia
Again, another UNESCO Heritage site, this massive sandstone rock formatioin in the Southern Part of the Northern Territory in Australia. Sacred to the Aboriginal People, they condemn the people who take pieces of rock as souvenirs as bad luck will prevail on them. There have been instances of people trying to mail them back due to the curse. This ‘red rock’ can be only be seen fractionally above ground as there is a far much grander scale of this rock beneath the ground. Uluru has become synomous with travel in Australia and providing you respect the traditions of this dream place, you will feel the awe of this rock in this hot centre of Australia. Please do not climb on it as it is disrespectful but you can walk around it with an Aboriginal and understand the myths and tradition around it.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to this place when I was in Australia last year. In the middle of Winter, lots of people said it was far too cold and dull and it would have been better to see when it’s warmer. I hope to go back to Australia in the next few years and make a tour to the Northern Territory while I enjoy being back in Western Australia and frolick amongst the Wildflowers.
5. Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand
With Rudyard Kipling famously calling this as the 8th Wonder of the World, it’s not at all hard to see why as I’ve been there!!! Check out my trip there from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Voted as the World’s best place to travel to according to the 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor, you will be ultimately struck by the wonder of it all. Up to the 20th Century, this fjordland area was the least explored area of New Zealand and good for the Maoris who viewed this as their local playground. Sporting 2 permanent waterfalls within this enclave 15km inland from the Tasman Sea, you are now able to take a green cruise and spot the reasons why Milford Sound is a wonder. I’ve been and I can firmly say that this is so.
6. Taj Mahal, Agra, India
This finest example of Mughal Architecture, it’s not surprising that this is an UNESCO Hertiage Site. As the Jewel of India, many backpackers and tourists flock to this structure and believe they are actually in India. After all, this image is one so marketed by the Indian Tourism Board that it’s become synomous with India itself. Built in around 1650 by the Shah of the time, who become grief stricken by the death of this third wife Mumtaz Mahal after the birth of their 14th child (my god, she must have been exhausted!), this became a mausoleum for her body. Fell into disreapir in later centuries and ultimately defaced during the Indian Rebellion against British Rule, a sweeping restoration project was undertaken in early 20th Century and has become what it is today.
Again, I haven’t been to this. But seeing it in the content of many bollywood films and blockbuster films (Slumdog Millionaire), I’m really enthused to visit this place in the next few years.
7. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, Great Britain
Managed by English Heritage, this UNESCO Prehistoric Structure has become one of the most famous sites in the world. No one truly knows what this ring of Stones was truly for. Recent architectural evidence shows that this may be the scene of a burial ground. Who knows. But many people believe that thias may have supernatural and extra-terrestrial origins. According to Pagan Ritual, this is the scene where on All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween to you) the veil between this world and the world of the dead is at its thinnest and people can commune with their dead relatives at this site. More recently, Stonehenge has hit the news in December 2012 when some people thought this is the place where aliens were going to pick people up due to the end of the world as wrongly predicted from the end of the Mayan Calendar.
I live in Britain and I haven’t been to this site. SHOCK, HORROR! But I will be making up for that by visiting it in the summer this year and become at one, British personified! Unless I’m picked up by aliens or my dead ancestors that is!
So here it is, my 7 Travel Wonders! Let’s get this thread going through the Blogosphere. What are YOUR 7 Travel Wonders?
Neil of Backpacks and Bunkbeds
Cool roundup, Rexy! Loads of cool spots to see here. A lot of them still on my to-do list (there’s always more travelling to be done :D).
So many beautiful places out these. Stonehenge is where I will be heading to Oct. 6th. Very excited to broaden my horizon – it’s time.