Friday, September 19, 2008

Top 7 Picks For the New 7 Wonders

By []Neil Simon

As of this writing, the world has spoken: 77 finalists for the top 7 spot for the new top 7 wonders of the world. For today, in keeping with the 7-centric nature of the New7Wonders Foundation, I'm picking out my top 7 from the bunch.

Mind you, I haven't been to all 77 of the mentioned places, but that's not to say I don't know what I like. Here's my pick. (And hopefully, yours too!)

Great Blue Hole, Belize - This is a wonder all itself --- considered to be one of the world's strangest places, it is a great big dark-blue hole near Belize city. It is reported that most parts of this bizarre wonder still remains undiscovered. That fact alone leaves it as one of the top unique spots on earth that we must preserve.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam - This is just beautiful. I'd have to say Vietnam's Ha Long Bay definitely deserves to be at the top, or at least, as of today, the top spot. Many of the locals will gladly tell you the mythical origins of the various islets that are the lushest of greens. Long ago, apparently, when the forefathers were defending the land, the gods from heaven sent out a family of dragons to assist them. These dragons, apparently descended down where the bay is today and started spitting out jewels and jade. Upon hitting the lake, these precious stones turned into the various islets, forming a barrier against foreign invaders. "Ha Long" literally means descending dragons.

Vietnam - 2008.07.05 - 09 - Ha Long Bay

Mount Fuji, Japan - One of nature's truly triumphant wonders. Influencing artists and writers over the years, the great mountain has been featured in many texts and artworks over the years. Many tourists and climbers frequent the mountain yearly --- aside from being a true testament of great natural wonders, it is also considered sacred, and is rich in history, as ancient samurai are said to have trained near the base of the mountain.


Chocolate Hills, Philippines - Who doesn't love chocolate? Besides, if there's anything to be said about the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, it's the magical formation of the clumps of Earth into truly wonderful gobs of tourism. While it does take quite a bit of effort to get near them, all that disappears once you see these beauties. About a thousand-or-so of these natural hills are made even more special by the grass that covers them. During dry season, the grass turns brown, hence the name Chocolate Hills.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines

Machu Picchu, Peru - Now an ecological reserve, it houses several unique flora and fauna and various ancient geological formations formed --- who knows when? The various buildings are believed to be of Incan origin make you wonder how people lived here, and where'd they go?

les touristes viennent par millions et sont tous �merveill�s par Machu Picchu

Dead Sea Lake, Jordan - Aside from the biblical significance of the place, being located in the area that is the lowest point of earth to have dry land, it has a totally different composition than regular sea water. Visitors and travelers are all astounded by the unusual buoyancy they have when swimming in the lake.

Dead   sea

Krakatoa, Indonesia - If spy supervillains were real, and if they truly had volcanic islands for a secret lair, I wouldn't be surprised if this was it. Having been said as the volcano that holds the record for having the largest explosion, ever --- it is a great force and beauty of nature that has to be preserved.

approaching Krakatoa

Neil Simon enjoys traveling a lot either all by himself or with his wife and his (now) grown-up kids. You can read more of Neil Simon's travel tips at []Travel Nooks

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