You could travel non-stop for a lifetime and never see everything that this amazing planet has to show you. So where do you start? Here are five of the top man made wonders we think you should see before you die.
What would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments below.
China’s Great Wall
Stretching 8,850km from Shanhaiguan to Lop Lake, the Great Wall of China was originally built in the Ming era as border control... not to keep the rabbits out as some may have you believe. The most visited section of the world’s longest man made structure is in Badaling, close to Beijing, and was first opened to tourists in 1957. Urban legend says that the Great Wall can be seen from space but this claim has been debunked many times.
Easter Island’s Moai
Easter Island (or Rapa Nui as it’s more correctly known) is off the coast of South America. The island is most famous for its 887 monolithic statues, called moai. The statues were erected somewhere between 1250 and 1500 and the heaviest one weighed 86 tons! The creation and transportation of these incredible things is considered something of an engineering marvel. While a lot of the statues were torn down when the Rapa Nui people’s civilisation broke down the ones that are still there are well worth the trip.
There are about 140 known pyramids in Egypt, most of which were built as Pharaoh tombs. The earliest pyramid was constructed 2630 BC – 2611 BC and one of the most famous pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Giza, is the only one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World still in existence. The history that surrounds these pyramids is absolutely fascinating so when you go to see them make sure you have an Egyptologist with you.
Peru’s Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, or the “Lost City of the Incas”, is a 15th-century Inca site that was rediscovered by the western world in 1911. Most archaeologists believe it was an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Machu Picchu was spared from destruction during the Spanish Conquest so is highly significant as a Peruvian cultural site so has been World Heritage Listed. It’s about 2,430m above sea level so you’ll need to spend a few days acclimatising in Cusco to reduce the chances of altitude sickness.
Cambodia’s Angkor Wat
So much a part of Cambodia that it appears on the national flag, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and has high religious significance, originally in Hinduism and then in Buddhism. Angkor Wat was constructed in the first half of the 12th century and remains a major tourist attraction to this day. To see the temple you can stay in the nearby town of Siem Reap. It’s worth getting a private tour guide and making the effort to see the sun rise and set against this beautiful structure.