Serving as the Event Director for over a decade of the annual world travel championship, the around the world travel adventure competition known as The Global Scavenger Hunt, I am regularly asked what my favorite spot in the world is?
I get the curiosity behind the question, but I loathe it nonetheless; how do you pick one out of so many? The Grand Canyon at dawn, no Venice at sunset, no Santorini…do you feel my pain?
Anyway, as you know, I believe that we live in the Golden Age of Travel. Travel has never has it been safer, cheaper or easier–I am not talking flying domestic here!. You can literary be anywhere in the world your heart desires in 24-hours. Anywhere! Today, so-called off-the-beaten path mythical destinations inevitably turn into hot spots. Then faded glories.
But there are still some not so hidden gems awaiting the curious traveler. Here is the latest edition of my collection of Seven Amazing Sites You’ve Maybe Never Heard Of…that you should consider seeing soon:
The Prambanan temple complex on Java in Indonesia. A 9th-century Hindu complex that is almost 50 meters high. Amazing. A 2011 scavenge.
The Rila monastery (aka Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila) of Bulgaria. Not so much for the important 10th century Eastern Orthodox monastery itself, but check out the transcendent frescos hidden inside. A treat. A 2008 scavenge.
The Banaue Rice Terraces on the island of Luzon, Philippines. Picture a tranquil and tropical area the size of Los Angeles amazingly carved with verdant terraced rice paddies. And it is 2,000 years old to boot. Extraordinary. A 2010 scavenge.
Herrenchiemsee Palace located in Germany in the middle an island on Lake Chiemsee. The Bavaria mad King (of Neuschwanstein Castle fame) Ludwig’s ode to French King Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles. A surprising site. A 2005 scavenge.
Bagan Plains is an ancient Burmese area built between the 9th and 13th-centuries that features over 10,000 temples, pagodas and shrines in an arid plain along the Irrawaddy River of less than 40 square miles. Over 2,000 are still viewable. Simply breathtaking. A 2012 scavenge.
Borobudur is another monument on Java in Indonesia. A stone-made 9th-century Buddhist temple with over 2,500 story-telling reliefs and 500 Buddha statues. It is reputed to be the world’s largest Buddhist temple. Wonderful. A 2011 scavenge.
The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland area located mostly in Brazil–also in Bolivia and Paraguay. It may be the most diverse biological area of the world with 3,500+ plant species, 1,000+ birds species, 400+ fish species, and 300+ mammals. Awe-inspiring. A future scavenge?
So, What is my favorite spot in the world? It continues to be simply known as Bob’s dock. Destination? I am not telling…