Journal

Top 10 destinations to visit before you die

Top 10 destinations to visit before you die

We are writing this as tropical cyclone HATO hits Hong Kong, hurricane level 10 (the highest). With this apocalyptic weather around, there are a million better places we would rather be. 

We thought we give you a selection of breathtaking, stunning destinations to discover on your next holiday-escape (or imaginary typhoon trip). This time, we checked out some of nature’s most amazing wonders around the globe for you: Breathtaking natural landscapes

10. THE COLOSSAL

Mountain River cave

Hang Sơn Đoòng, Vietnam

Known as Mountain River cave, this is the world’s largest cave. It is so big that it has its own river, jungle and climate. A farmer only discovered this cave in 1990 by chance as he was seeking shelter from a storm (what are the odds). 

Stretching over 5km with heights reaching 200m, the cave could house a 40-storey skyscraper or park a Boeing 747 airplane. Beware, this visit is not for the faint-hearted. It involves 2 days of intense trekking and river crossing. Getting inside the caves, you will need to climb, crawl and swim through underground rivers to arrive at the end of the cave. According to tour company, Oxalis Adventure Tours, they can organize tours for 500-600 people from January to August at 3000USD per person, given that you meet all the physical requirements. Tickets for 2017 were sold out within the first 20 hours. If you’re in for the thrill this one is definitely for you.

9. THE ENCHANTED

Waitomo Glowworm Caves New Zealand

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

Forget Disneyworld. Imagine sailing through a starry sky surrounded by countless flickering lights in the famous Waitmomo Caves, New Zealand. The cave is home to thousands of glowing worms, that sounds a bit eww but is truly, breathtakingly beautiful. The limestone cave was formed through geological and volcanic activities over the last 30 million years and discovered by Māori people in 1887.  Be prepared to venture 150 feet underground to witness one of life’s most breathtaking moments to see the cave illuminated by  thousands of glowing worms lining the ceilings.

8. THE MUSICIAN

Reed Flute Cave China

Reed Flute Cave, China

Known as the “Palace of Natural Arts”, this natural limestone cave is one of the most remarkable landmarks and tourist attractions in Guilin, China. Estimated to be over 180 million years old, the cave got its name from the abundance of reeds that have grown wildly outside the entrance. The cave’s stone formations are made more spectacular by illuminating with colored lightings, because when you got something that beautiful, you better put on a good show. Besides those spectacular stalactites, the cave features more than 70 inscriptions written in ink dating as far back as 792 AD in the Tang Dynasty. 

7. THE CHAMELON

Marble Caves Chile

Marble Caves, Chile

Chile’s Cavernas de Mármol, or “Marble Caves,” are some of the most breath-taking ones in our ranking. Formed over six centuries of waves pushing constantly into the cave, the results are beautifully curved walls in swirling hues of blue, reflecting the cave lake’s turquoise waters. Even more amazingly, the walls will change colour depending on the shades of the water, changing with seasons and temperature. People named this cave “Marble Cathedral”, when visiting don’t forget to look down into the crystal clear water to spot the amazing marble formations. Conveniently, you don’t need to crawl for days through underground rivers to get to this amazing place.

6. THE UNEXPECTED

Salina Turda, Romania

Salina Turda, Romania

Imagine this: A giant theme park built 400 feet underground in an abandoned salt mine. Sounds like Dr. Evil’s secret headquarters? Welcome to Romania’s version of “Warner Bros Studio”, where you can find a bowling alley, mini-golf, an amphitheater and even a giant Ferris wheel. Surrounded by natural rugged caverns, these walls are the result of mining that carved out 3 billion tons of salt. This sure is a place worth checking out, given its uniqueness. Take a look at this stunning video to get a glimpse of these extraordinary mines.

Now go discover these amazing, travel-worthy destinations, don’t forget to wear #MYKU watch and share your images with us. We are glad to share them with our #MYKU insiders to inspire them to travel to see the world’s best nature creations. 

 

5. THE MAZE

Derinkuyu Underground City, Turkey

Derinkuyu Underground City, Turkey

Imagine this: You do some home-renovation, knock down a wall, find a mysterious room leading to an intricate tunnel system of cave-rooms. Sounds like a movie?! This is in fact what happened in 1963 to the guy discovering a cave system, later known as Derinkuyu underground city. This is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey today, reminiscent of the Flintstone’s Bedrock city. Running approximately 60m deep covering an area of 10.4km2, the vast labyrinth is believed to hold up to 20,000 people together with their livestock. This most impressive construction is even connected to other local underground networks, including wineries, underground water wells and even features a security system of gigantic rolling stone doors to seal the city from enemies. A self-contained underground city, this is definitely worth checking out on your next trip to Turkey. 

4. THE SACRED

Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Ajanta and Ellora Caves, India

Feeling Indiana Jones today? 400km away from Mumbai lies a mountain, consisting entirely of palaces to worship, eloborately upheld by sculpted columns and decorated with colossal statues from Hindism, Janism and Buddhism, all crafted by hand. These UNESCO world heritage sites are known as Ajanta and Ellora Caves, consisting of a total of 63 caves, dating as far back to the 2nd- 6th centuries AD. The caves include magnificent paintings, murals and sculptures, illustrating the life of Buddha; known as the finest evidences of Buddhist civilization ever found for the Ajanta Caves. Spoiler alert: the most magnificent structure is cave 16, known as the Kaliasa temple, which is carved out from a single piece of rock for the Ellora Caves. Seek for spiritual enlightenment and you will feel like a geoloist of a lost world. 

3. THE COVETED

The Wave, United States

The Wave, United States

You are not surfing this wave, but hiking it (just as much fun, trust us). This famous sandstone rock formation is located in Arizona and consists of two major intersecting colorful troughs, looking like waves due to erosion. Just like Hang Sơn Đoòng in Vietnam, you got to be fit to take on this one and even lucky, given that, in order to trek the wave, you need to join a “lucky” draw to be permitted to hike. In order to preserve this natural environment, only 20 people are allowed to trek per day. In 2014, the success rate for a hiking permit was merely 14.6%. For more information for applying to trek and this beautiful monument, go to Coyote Buttes North Lottery Page

2. THE SPECTACULAR

HORNOCAL MOUNTAINS, ARGENTINA

HORNOCAL MOUNTAINS, ARGENTINA

This marvel of Mother Nature looks like the most amazing filter applied to real-life mountains. A calcareous system made up of different eroded minerals, reveals a symphony of colors on this limestone formation, located at an altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level. The best: Don’t worry, you won’t have to hike this one, it is accessible by car, located 25km outside the sleepy city of Humahuaca. The sight is breathtaking and definitely Instagram worthy, boosting #nofilter to impress your peers.

1. THE IMPOSSIBLE

The Cave of the Crystals, Naica, Mexico

The Cave of the Crystals, Naica, Mexico

This is like Superman’s home came to life. Nestled 1000 feet underground in a mine in Chihuahua, Mexico (home to Paris Hilton’s favorite dog breed) this cave is also known as “Cueva de Las Espadas,” or, Cave of Swords. It was discovered in 1910. What makes this one so special are crystals, measuring up to 12m long and weighing up to 55 tons, creating a demanding climbing course throughout this cave, which took millions of years to form. If that isn’t thrilling enough, the conditions in this cave make it difficult for humans to survive as temperature can reach up to 150 degrees with 100 percent humdity. It is only manageable if you wear a special cooling suit and you can’t spend longer than 30 minutes in the cave, unless you are Superman. 

Now go discover these amazing, travel-worthy destinations, don’t forget to wear #MYKU watch and share your images with us. We are glad to share them with our #MYKU insiders to inspire them to travel to see the world’s best nature creations.

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