10 weird and wonderful places to see before you die
One of the most exciting things about travel is experiencing something out of the ordinary, something that you’ve never seen before and that you just couldn’t have even imagined back home! The world is full of beautiful and sometimes even bizarre destinations just waiting to be explored and here is our pick of the top 10 weird and wonderful.
1. Tusua Ocean Trench - Samoa
Tusua actually translates to ‘gigantic swimming hole’ and this exotic gem can be found in the village of Lotofaga, on the South Coast of Upolu island in Samoa. The only way to reach it is by ladder as it is about 30 metres underground and the pool is surrounded by colourful gardens and a small beach. Heaven on Earth!
2. Leshan Giant Buddha
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya, carved into the mountains and stretching 71 metres up in to the clouds. There are steps to climb either side of the statue so you can get a real sense of it’s imposing and dramatic presence in the landscape.
3. Salar de Uyuni - Bolivia
The is one of the largest salt flats in the world and a site not to be missed! The spectacular landscape stretches far into the horizon which makes for perfect (and hilarious) photo opportunities and one of the best sunsets you will ever see!
4. Hobbiton - New Zealand
Discover the real middle Earth and visit the picturesque Hobbiton movie set which was used for Lord of the Rings trilogy and Hobbit films. Channel your inner hobbit as you explore Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, double arched bridge and other structures and gardens built for the films!
5. Mt Huashan - China
Nicknamed the ‘heavenly stairs’ this trail takes you precariously up the side of a mountain along the Hua Shan plank path. Although the plank path will take you through stunning landscapes, this is not for the faint hearted and at many points there are just ledges in the mountainside to grip on to! Make it all the way to the top though, and you are rewarded with a nice cup of tea at a traditional Chinese tea house perched on the top of the mountain!
6. Cancun Underwater Museum - Mexico
This is the largest underwater museum in the world where you can snorkel and dive amongst a series of underwater sculptural installations all sited within the protected National Marine Park, of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Hurricanes, tropical storms and mankind have all taken their toll on the natural reefs so the idea of the underwater museum was to create an artificial reef from the life sized sculptures in order for marine life and fish to live and breed.
7. Lake Nakuru National Park - Kenya
This stunning National Park is home to a huge array of wildlife and most notable for at least one million flamingos that gather on it’s shores making for an unusual and colourful sight!
8. Zhangy Danxia Landform - China
Get off the beaten track and visit the beautiful and otherworldly Zhangye Danxia Landform in the Gansu province of China. These multicoloured mountains are a great example of how spectacular nature can be.
9. Devils pool - Victoria Falls, Zambia
This is natures crazy infinity pool overlooking the spectacular Victoria Falls in Zambia. In certain seasons a wall is created before the dramatic drop of water making it relatively safe for daredevils to chill out by the waters edge.
10. Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat - Cambodia
You may recognise these magical looking temples at Ta Prohm from the Tomb Raider films! The jungle has grown around these remarkable Bayan temples making for an incredibly eerie and atmospheric setting. Set your alarms and head to Angkor Wat early to watch the sunrise over the temples for a truly magical site!