Carpe Diem. Seize the day. A simple reminder to live life by the horns and cherish every moment. You wouldn’t want to live with regret. In that line, here 7 unique places to go before you die.
The Great Wall of China
Hey, it’s the only man-made structure that can be seen from the moon and is the largest cultural relic to ever be built. It stretches from the Lop Lake in the west to the Shanhaiguan in the east. In an attempt to keep away from northern tribes, the wall construction began over 2,000 years ago. The less costly and most colorful times to visit are spring as well as autumn. In late March, the landscape is blanketed by pink cherry blossoms. In mid-October the area around Badaling National Forest Park is peppered with red leaves.
Taj Mahal – Uttar Pradesh India
You can’t design love better than through this architectural wonder which is one of the most recognized structures the world over. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had it built in the first half of the 17th century to hold the body of Mumtaz Mahal, his beloved third wife. It took over 22 years to complete construction with over 20,000 workers. Transport of materials was done by around 1,000 elephants as well as artisans from as far as Istanbul (Constantinople). At present, smoke-emitting vehicles are not allowed within a mile of the structure. You have to walk of hire a tuk tuk, a battery-powered vehicle.
Machu Picchu – Cusco RegionPeru
This was once called home by the Incas. This 8,000 feet above sea level mountain-top ruins were widely unknown until the publishing of American historian Hiram Bingham’s findings in “Across South America” in 1911. Macchu Picchu’s Incan design and architecture were preserved because Spanish colonialist didn’t know it existed. It is recommended that you go by rail, stay in Aguas Calientes for a night and hop on an early bus to beat the crowds as well as the sun (in the summer months). Or if you don’t and are wildly adventurous, you can go on a 2-4 day hike up the Inca trail.
Pyramids of Giza – Egypt
There are many mysteries about the construction of the three pyramids. The Great Pyramid of Giza, the most known of the three, was finishedaround 2, 560BC and was the tallest structure made by man for 38 centuries until Lincoln Cathedral came along in 14th century England. Towering at 481-feet, it is a marvel how these were made. How the stones, some of which weigh 88 tons, were moved is an engineering milestone worth finding out. See for yourself and judge.
Stonehenge – Amesbury, England
Theories abound for this almost 5-millennia old stone structure. Some suggest that it is for some type of celestial prediction while others say it’s just a bunch of boulders. Still others believe it to be a burial ground utilized for ancestor worship while some hold it as a place for healing. Visit the site by sunset and be enchanted by the yellow-orange glow through the magnificent arches of the towers. You need to book a guided tour to get to the center and get an up-close view of the stones. However, the best views of the structure are from somewhere you can appreciate the structure’s grand design, about a couple of hours drive from London.
Iguazu Falls – Argentina
This is one of the world’s most striking natural wonders and is nestled in the Iguazu National Park on the internation border of Brazil and Argentina. Iguazu Falls is a majestic and misty onset of rushing, roaring water adorned with rainbows on the cascades that stretch for almost two miles. Now picture that for awhile. Fascinating, isn’t it. But wait, there’s more. You can marvel at the site up close from a wooden walkway over the stretch of the river. Brazil’s Iguacu Park borders the UNESCO site and the lush Misiones rainforest surround the falls. Tropical birds searching for fish in quieter waters are a common site here.
Puerto Princesa Underground River – Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
It’s the world’s longest navigable underground river. Underground rivers are one of nature’s most peculiar phenomena. Hence, it isn’t surprising that this site is among the New 7 Wonders of the World. You can have a guided tour through the underground river via paddle boats and see fascinating rock formations in the cave. Just take caution against bats. You know, they have a peculiar timing when it comes to releasing pooh—just when you are under them. CAVE
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