Best 250 Travel Destinations in the World (according to Gary) — Installment 44 — #21-25

                What an interesting grouping — two great cities, one ancient ruin, a place which boasts unique wildlife, and the world’s best waterfall. These are without doubt some of the world’s best travel destinations.

              25.  Bagan, Myanmar — Bagan is one of the greatest Buddhist shrines in the world. More than 13,000 pagodas were once spread over this dry plain during the Golden Age of the 11 great kings (roughly 1044-1287). With the threat of an invasion by Kubla Khan from China, the area was abandoned. Now there are fewer than 3,000 pagodas.

             24.  Galapagos Islands, Ecuador — These islands, located approximately 600 miles (1,000 km) from the coast of Ecuador, are the legendary home to some of the most bizarre creatures on the planet. They are famous as the open-air laboratory of Charles Darwin, author of the Theory of Evolution, and are studied by all who take a high school or college biology course.

             23.  Istanbul, Turkey — The great city of Istanbul, formerly Constantinople and Byzantium, is located at the crossroads between Asia and Europe. It actually straddles the boundary between the two continents. As such, there are elements of both East and West that mingle provocatively in the city. From the Grand Bazaar to Topkapi Palace to Hagia Sophia, the city is replete with major attractions. (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)                   

Hagia Sophia

             22.  Iguacu Falls, Argentina/Brazil — The most magnificent waterfalls in the world are found at the border of Brazil and Argentina. There are actually almost 300 separate falls that make up the complex which can be viewed from either country.                           

Iguazu Falls

             21.  Hong Kong, China — This city is about as un-China-like as can be imagined. It appears to be a modern metropolis of the Western World, transplanted onto the edge of the Chinese mainland as some cruel joke. It is, in fact, a monument to capitalism and positively spectacular, with its backdrop of tall mountains, including the majestic Victoria Peak, looming over stunning skyscrapers. Take the Peak Tram to the top for incredible views. There is much to do here, so plan to spend several days. English is spoken widely since Hong Kong was a part of the British Commonwealth for so long. (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)                      

Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
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