New alternatives to classic travel icons
If you've already visited some of the world's major icons, there is still plenty to experience in these must-see alternatives. We've rounded up the best lesser-known but equally as memorable counterparts to the classics.
If you've seen the Great Pyramid of Giza
Head to Dashur
The pyramids at Dashur in Egypt are nearly the same size as the Giza pyramids, but are deserted, which means you can go inside and explore the ancient structures with no crowds. These pyramids still have their marble facing, so you can see what the Giza pyramids looked like before they had their facing stripped.
If you’ve seen Ayers Rock
Head to Wilpena Pound
A true Outback experience, Wilpena Pound is a natural stadium of mountains located north of Adelaide in the heart of Australia's Flinders Ranges National Park. The area is world-renowned for its geological history and natural landscapes: the landmark of Wilpena Pound is a remnant valley floor from an ancient range of mountains that have been eroding away over millions of years. Adnyamathanha aboriginals were the original inhabitants of Wilpena Pound and the area is a sacred place, where their strong cultural and spiritual connection to the land is evident.
If you’ve seen Angkor Wat
Head to Ta Prohm or Beng Mealea
As an alternative to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, the largest religious monument in the world, visit some of Angkor’s lesser-known temples. Swallowed up by the surrounding jungle over time, Ta Prohm is a wonder to behold and explore. Experts suggest arriving as soon as sunrise hits to get a more intimate experience with the land.
Beng Mealea, also in Angkor, is an excellent alternative; the site has not been restored at all with the exception of a few walkways, so you get a truly authentic, untouched experience that’s undiscovered by most visitors.
If you've seen the wildebeest migration in Tanzania
Head to Botswana for the zebra migration.
Botswana's Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks are the setting for the second largest mass migration of zebra in southern Africa. Every November, approximately 25,000 zebra begin their annual migration from the Boteti River in the north through Botswana. Visitors from across the world flock every year to the area for the opportunity to experience the great spectacle of the migration.
If you've seen the Great Wall of China
Head to Longji for the Dragon's Backbone walk
The magnificent and ancient rice terraces of Longji, located on the ‘Dragon’s Backbone’, offer an awe-inspiring location to experience minority culture first-hand. Just two hours from the popular destination of Guilin, the area remains relatively untouched by crowds, making for a truly off-the-beaten-path experience. Walks ranging in length from thirty minutes to six hours can be arranged through the many villages that dot the terraced hillside, and as you walk, you'll be able to observe the way of life of the local rice farmers.
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