Type 7-Wonders into Google and it currently returns 6,740,000 results. So a fair question to ask might be – why create another list?
Good question. There are three reasons:
- We are excited to present you with a truly unique 7-Wonders that is different from all other 6,739,999 listings.
- These results are a collation rather than simply a creation. Suggested and upvoted by our global ‘Travchat’ audience. A large Online travel community.
- Our 7-Wonders are unashamedly targeted at travellers. They are not meant to live in a vacuum as a list, rather we hope they will inspire you to visit them in person one day!
The ‘Travchat’ 7 Wonders.
#Travchat is one of the world’s most popular weekly travel chats. Each Wednesday travellers, travel brands and travel photographers from around the globe connect on Twitter to have a conversation about travel. Here is our list as voted by the Travchat community.
7 Great New Wonders of the World
#1. The Great Migration. Serengeti, Tanzania.
The Serengeti is renowned for elephants and lions but most lauded for its spellbinding annual great migration. A time when more than one million wildebeest and up to 200,000 zebras take to the hoof in search greener pastures – literally.
It is a photographers dream and a canvas of life and death played out before your eyes. Predators lie in wait but have little effect overall on the mass of movement, bombast and dust. The migration moves with the rains and can be viewed in both Tanzania and the Maasai Mara in Kenya.
A great time to visit is in May and June in the Western Corridor of Tanzania. The rains here also coincide with an increase in the numbers of big cats in the area which all makes for exhilarating wildlife-watching. A life changing experience.
CATEGORY RUNNER UP. Galapagos Islands.
#2 Ban Gioc-Detian Falls. Vietnam & China.
The Ban Gioc-Detian Falls is actually a collective term for two separate falls that straddle the border of China and Vietnam. Detian in China and Ban Gioc in Vietnam. The falls are venerated as national treasures in both countries but are seldom visited by western tourists. Had you heard of them?
When combined the falls are an impressive 200 metres wide and you would be hard pressed to find a more dramatic backdrop than the needle-like Karst peaks in the background. It’s hard to believe that this location hasn’t been used umpteen times in Hollywood blockbusters. It is very atmospheric and rivals Halong Bay in the jaw-dropping stakes. Part of its undeniable allure is the fact that it is so little known outside of China and Vietnam.
Because the falls are located on the Chinese border ensure you check the most up-to-date visa requirements before a visit. Best time of year to visit is between May – September when the falls are at their most impressive.
CATEGORY RUNNER UP. Victoria Falls.
#3 Great Wall of China.
Simply put the Great Wall of China is truly mind-boggling. More than 2300 years old and originally spanning more than 21,000 kilometres (13,000 miles). Today however nearly 1/3rd of the wall has vanished-without-trace.
Winding like a Chinese dragon across the northern interior it traverses deserts, plateaus, grasslands, forests and mountains. An engineering feat like no other on earth it has been a constant work-in-progress across two millennia. The section of wall most accessible and oft visited today dates from the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).
The purpose of the first section of wall erected in 206 BC during the Qin Dynasty was to keep people out. Ironic really, as today it stands as the main draw card for travellers visiting China.
Tip – get used to steps before visiting!
CATEGORY RUNNER UP. Petra, Jordan.
#4 Empire State Building. New York.
On March 17, 1930 construction of the Empire State Building began and almost a century later it still dominates the monolithic Manhattan skyline like no other.
Rockefeller gets more visitors and the Chrysler building is more beautiful but none of the Big Apple’s remaining skyscrapers have more authority than her. An icon of the city. At an impressive 102 stories in height (viewing platforms 86th and 102nd) she has long since been superseded as the world’s tallest building. However the Empire State remains steadfast as a sentinel over the city below. In good times and bad.
Constructed of 60,000 tonnes of steel and more than 10 million bricks it’s not beauty that should draw you to her. It’s presence and history. Another draw card these days is the tower lighting installed in 2012. Able to display more than 16 million colours it now even seems that the Empire State can have moods!
Best viewed from the Rockefeller Centre.
CATEGORY RUNNER UP. Burj Khalifa, Dubai.
#5 Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis
On many a bucket list the Northern Lights are quite life-affirming for those that view them. Almost a religious experience.
The palette of pinks, greens and violets dance across the skies above Scandinavia between September and early April. The lights can also be viewed in parts of Greenland, Canada and Scotland. If you are brave the deeper into winter you go the better your chances of seeing the Aurora.
It is important to recognise however that this is mother nature and there are no guarantees that the lights will turn on when you are there. If you are going to invest the time and money into chasing these ethereal lights we highly recommend you use the services of a specialist tour company.
Photography Tip. Practise your long exposure photography before you depart to get the best photos of the Aurora. Remember too that batteries drain super fast in cold air. Take some spares!
CATEGORY RUNNER UP. Grand Canyon, USA.
#6 The Himalayas
The Himalayas are a spiritual place. Home to the mightiest peaks on earth and stretching from Pakistan in the west through India, Bhutan and Nepal to China in the east.
Arguably these mighty mountains are most synonymous with Nepal. The country in which 8848m high Everest lies along with seven of the world’s other highest summits. A mecca for mountaineers and hikers but also those seeking contemplation and mindfulness. Kathmandu is the obvious choice as a base with plenty of accommodation options ranging from hostels to deluxe.
In general between October and early May is the best time to visit this region. Nepal is a destination reasonably easy to tackle independently if you are an experienced traveller. However the breathtaking beauty and yesteryear traditions of untouched destinations such as Bhutan and Ladakh are best experienced with the assistance and guidance of expert local companies.
Tip. Get fit, be fit, get fitter. It is useful to try to experience altitude before you travel to the Himalayas. Even Kathmandu is situated at 1400m (4500 ft). Altitude sickness can be a real concern.
CATEGORY RUNNER UP. Uluru, Australia.
#7 Moai. Easter Island Statues.
Saving the best til last? Quite possibly! The 887 moai statues scattered across remote Easter Island are quite simply spellbinding.
Estimated to have been carved between 1250 – 1500 AD mostly out of local volcanic rock known as ‘tuff’ their collective average height is 4 metres (13 feet). Proclaimed a UNESCO Heritage site in 1995 only guesses can be made as to their true purpose. Consensus now seems to suggest that they represent the ancestral forebears of the indigenous Rapi Nui peoples. Spiritual souls in terrestrial bodies facing in the direction of the original clan settlements.
More vulnerable than any other of our 7 Wonders these magnificent carvings are at grave risk due to their porous construction material and overly ‘hands-on’ tourists. Even more reason to visit soon!
CATEGORY RUNNER UP. Leshan Giant Buddha, China.
There you have it. How many have you visited?
Incase you can’t remember what the original 7 Wonders of the Natural World were just follow the link.
Great Wonders of the World. Have your say.