For travel and history buffs, the “wonders of the world” have always been a source of bucket lists. How many wonders of the world will they be able to see in their lifetime? Will they be able to add one to their checklist every year? The “wonders” lists have evolved and branched out to different categories. There’s the list on the wonders of the ancient world. Then there are the wonders of the modern world, and as of late, the wonders of the natural world.
For a place to get on any one of these lists is an absolute honor. It’s given the recognition it deserves, and sometimes, it will mean a boost in tourism, as an influx of visitors trek to these places to see if they’re just as beautiful as they are in pictures.
Given the beauty of our world, there are still so many other places that have not been discovered or given the distinction of being considered a wonder of the world. Many have not made the list, but are wonders in their own right and definitely worth visiting. So in no particular order, here are some wonders that should make the list! And even if they never do, they’re still worth visiting!
10. Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines
The famed rice terraces in the Philippines are man-made, which is what makes it such a wonder. Built 2,000 years ago by hand, the Banaue Rice Terraces are often referred to by Filipinos as the “eighth wonder of the world.” It’s said that if all the steps were laid side by side, they would encompass half the globe. Today, numerous tourists trek up the Ifugao mountains to see the terraces, which are still used to plant rice and vegetables.
9. Tower of Hercules, Spain
Just like the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, the Tower of Hercules is an ancient lighthouse. Located in the north-western region of Spain, the structure is almost 2,000 years old and is the oldest Roman lighthouse still in use today. It’s rightly considered a National Monument of Spain, as well as a UNESCO world heritage site.
8. Torun, Poland
Well-preserved medieval towns always make for such beautiful tourist destinations—and the quaint town of Torun in Poland is no exception. Known best as being the birthplace of the famed astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, the medieval area of Torun is beautifully well-preserved. It proudly boasts of structures in the medieval style, all built from brick, many being in their original form. From churches to the town hall to city fortifications, Torun is definitely a site worth seeing.
7. Meteora, Greece
The Meteora, which means “middle of the sky” truly lives up to its name. Located in Thessaly, Greece, it’s one of the largest and most famous complexes of monasteries in the Eastern Orthodox faith. The six monasteries are built on top of sandstone rock formations that jut out above the trees and high into the sky, hence giving rise to the name Meteora. It’s considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and now that it’s still under the radar in terms of tourist attraction popularity, visiting it would be highly commendable before the crowds discover it!
6. Bagan, Myanmar
Asia has a multitude of breathtaking temples and cities that are proudly unique to the continent and Bagan in Myanmar is one of them. Widely considered equal in splendor to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan is an ancient city that once contained over 10,000 Buddhist temples and pagodas in its heyday. Today, it houses a little over 2,000 ancient structures, but that’s more than enough for the city to be considered a tourist attraction. The best way to see the city in its entirety? Taking a hot air balloon ride that floats you above all the ancient sites!
5. Library of Celsus, Turkey
Like the Parthenon in Greece, the Library of Celsus is all but a structure in ruins, yet it’s still considered a marvel. Located in Ephesus, Turkey, the Library of Celsus was built in homage to the great Roman Senator for which the edifice is named. It once stored 12,000 scrolls for public perusal. Celsus’ remains lie beneath the main entrance of the library and it was a highly unusual practice for any person to be buried within a library.
4. Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
Nestled deep in the forests of Klevan, Ukraine is a three-kilometer, grass-covered railroad track that passes through a corridor of thick, lush trees. Aptly called the Tunnel of Love, it has become a backdrop for photo opportunities of lovers and photographers alike. It’s said that if a couple walks through the tunnel and makes a wish, the wish will come true! Superstitious as that sounds, many have paid heed and have visited the tunnel for exactly that purpose.
3. Red Beach, Panjin, China
Contrary to what many initially think, Red Beach in Panjin, China isn’t actually a beach. There’s no vast expanse of sea and sand for it to be considered a beach—just a type of seaweed called Sueda, which starts growing in spring, turns green in summer, and transforms to a beautiful maroon shade in autumn. So the best time to see it (at least, the small portion that’s open to tourists) is during the months of September to November.
2. Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Gardens, Japan
If you want to know what it feels like to be in fairy tale land, Wisteria Tunnel in Japan is the place to be. This man-made tunnel made entirely of wisteria flowers is a pastel passageway of fantasy. Of course, the flowers aren’t in full bloom all year, so the best time to go is at the height of spring, during the Wisteria Festival.
1. Enchanted Well at Chapada Diamantina National Park, Brazil
The Poco Encantado or Enchanted Well in Brazil is actually not a well, though who knows if it’s really enchanted or not? The well is a giant sunken pool that’s more than a hundred feet deep and startlingly clear. It’s so transparent, that you can see the rocks and tree trunks that lie at the bottommost portion of the pool. The body of water is most beautiful when sun light streams into a small opening and elicits a clear blue reflection on the water.