Beyond the Original 7 Wonders of the World: Here’s Where to Go Next

17 February 2020

Did you know that only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still stands today? Built around 4,500 years ago, the Great Pyramid of Giza is a man-made architectural marvel and remains a popular tourist attraction to this day. However, the rest – like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the Colossus of Rhodes – have been worn away by time and only left as ruins.

New wonders have since been discovered or built, spread out across even farther corners of the earth. From impressive man-made structures to awe-inspiring natural spectacles, these wonders will remind you of the sheer beauty of our world.

The Great Migration | Tanzania and Kenya

wild animals running across a desert
The Great Migration in Tanzania and Kenya is one of the most extraordinary wildlife experiences in the world. Photo from Harshil Gudka

Experience the trip of a lifetime in East Africa during the annual Great Migration, the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world.

This is when millions of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras make the arduous journey north across the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, facing hungry predators and the punishing heat and hard rains of the African savannah.

If you’re looking to sneak a peek at adorable baby wildebeest and zebras, January to March is calving season at Ngorongoro Conservation Area, located in northern Tanzania.

Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia

a lady doing yoga while standing on water
See the world in double at Salar de Uyuni. Photo from Farsai Chaikulngamdee

Salar de Uyuni, or Uyuni Salt Flats, is the largest salt flat in the world, stretching out over 11,000 sq km. An arid, barren landscape with only salt pyramids and cacti during the dry season, Salar de Uyuni transforms into an enchanting natural mirror in the wet season, as rainwater turns it into a salt lake around six to 20 inches deep.

In the day, the reflection of the bright blue sky is spectacular, but after sunset, the blanket of stars in the night sky are even more dazzling amidst the dark and quiet solitude.

Burj Khalifa | United Arab Emirates

a young man standing atop a roof with the Burj Khalifa in the background
You may get a crick in the neck from trying to see the top of the Burj Khalifa. Photo from denis harschi

The Burj Khalifa has held the title of “Tallest Building in the World” since its opening in 2010. Towering at nearly 830 metres tall, it dwarfs all other buildings in Dubai’s shimmering skyline.

There are two observation decks that are open to the public: At the Top, which stands at 452 metres, and At the Top Sky, which is the highest observation deck in the world (at the time of writing), at a height of 555 metres. Be sure to book your tickets ahead of time – the observation decks are popular for gorgeous sunset views.

Bagan | Myanmar

Golden pagodas in Myanmar
Soar over majestic temples and shimmering pagodas in the vast plains of Bagan. Photo from RS

Over 2,000 ancient temples dot the wide plains of Bagan, the only reminders of a once-grand city. The best way to view the ruins is via hot air balloon, which will give you a bird’s eye view of the stupas and pagodas rising above thickets of trees, gleaming in the sunlight.

Balloon rides only take place between the months of October and March, so plan your trip around then. But if you’ve got the time, you can rent an e-bike or go old school by hiring a horse cart or go exploring on foot.

Pamukkale | Turkey

Pamukkale’s cotton-white terraces filled with powder blue waters
Pamukkale’s cotton-white terraces filled with powder blue waters look like they came from a dream. Photo from Arns Civray

In ancient Roman times, Pamukkale was what you would now recognise as a thermal health spa. Aptly named the “Cotton Castle”, the naturally white appearance of the hot spring terraces come from the constant flow of calcium-rich water.

It is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with the ruins of the city of Hierapolis surrounding it. Take a relaxing dip in the healing waters of the hot springs and have a wander around the pools.

Pro tip: You’ll have to go barefoot to walk around the calcite pools, so wear slip-ons or sandals and a bag to carry them.

Trolltunga | Norway

a man standing on the edge of a cliff
After a 10-hour hike, you’ll want to take as many photos as you can of the panorama. Photo from Benjamin Davies

One of Norway’s most famous and photographed natural attractions, Trolltunga (meaning “Troll’s tongue”) is a rocky ledge that sharply juts out from the mountain, offering a breathtaking vista of Ringedalsvatnet Lake hundreds of metres below.

However, do note that the hike up to Trolltunga is not an easy one – measuring 23-27 km long, the trek will usually take up to 10 hours in total. But those who have made the trip have said that the views are worth the effort. So if you’re looking for a challenge on your next trip, you may want to consider booking a trip to Norway.

Hang Son Doong | Vietnam

a hole at the top of a cave
A mysterious hidden world lies inside Hang Son Doong. Photo from Betsy Pitlick

The world’s largest natural cave, Hang Son Doong, was only discovered in 1991. Located in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, inside the cave you can find a swift subterranean river and some of the tallest stalagmites in the world. It is said that Son Doong is so huge that it could fit an entire New York City block, including skyscrapers.

The cave is also home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic. The cave is limited to 1,000 visitors every year and only one tour operator is allowed to carry out tours. The cave is closed to visitors during the rainy season between January to August.

Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park | Grenada

human sculptures underwater, standing in a circle
Over time, the ocean reclaims the sculptures, covering them in coral. Photo from Jason deCaires Taylor

Are you an appreciator of art and an ardent scuba diver? Then we’ve got just the thing for you: a fascinating underwater sculpture garden hidden in the depths of the Carribean.

Built by renowned British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park is the first of its kind. The sculptures, made from concrete and steel, were bolted to the ocean floor and act as an artificial reef, offering a safe haven for ocean wildlife.

Located between two to eight metres deep, the park is home to over 65 sculptures and can easily be viewed by divers, snorkelers and visitors in glass-bottomed boats.

Through his art, Taylor hopes to raise awareness about protecting our oceans: “Most people just see the surface of the ocean and it is hard to think of something so plain and enormous as fragile. We don’t regard our oceans as sacred and we should.”

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