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Top 5 must-see sites around the world

I recently returned from a trip around the world where I was lucky enough to see some of the most incredible sites in India, Cambodia, Eastern Africa and Vietnam, In some instances, it was the sheer magnitude of a landscape that mesmerised me , or I was left speechless staring at a single tile of an ancient ruin, possibly thousands of years old. So I wanted to share my top five must see-sites from around the world that I've visited.

1. The Taj Mahal, India. Quite possibly the most romantic building ever designed, the Taj is empowering, secretive and bewitching. Built as a memorial to Mumtaz Mahal, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's third wife, it is an incredible display of a romance and dedication and has been honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although it may be touristy and a little cliched to pose in front of this magnificent building, how could you not?

2. A sheet expanse of Savannahs that are home to incredible wildlife, The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is a true display of nature in all its glory. Camping out in one of the many un-gated campsites, eating dinner around the campfire, falling asleep to hyenas laughing, elephants trumpeting and sharing breakfast with the lions, need I say more?

3. Angkor Wat, Cambodia. It's slowly disappearing back into the jungle and this temple of the three was the most mesmerising. Haloed by Cambodia's sun, the ruins of the Khmer Empire stand green and gracious in the surrounding town. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and exploring the three famous temples on foot is the best way to get lost in the maze of ancient stone. Don't forget to wear long sleeve t-shirts, as even scarves won't do at the top of Angkor.

4. The ruins at the Mayan site of Tulum are sometimes in the shadow of Chitzen Itza, another famous ruin of the Mayas, but having visited both I'd have to pick Tulum as the must-see. The ancient city is a mass of tiny, intricate stone buildings, famous for their narrow doorways and few windows, and it sits on the side of a steep cliff, with a backdrop of crystal clear water and an idyllic beach. Tulum was one of the last inhabited Mayan cities and stood for 70 years after the Spanish began settling in Mexico.

5. Probably the least 'aesthetically pleasing' of my chosen sites, it is the captivating history that Cuba's Revolution Square was a stage for, that places it in my top five. As told by a Cuban, locals danced in the square well into the night after the fall of President Batista in the Cuban Revolution, and the square is guarded by a huge metal structure of the Che Guevara's infamous face. Situated in the capital Havana, the Square is surrounded by old classic cars and wide, tree-lined boulevards.

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor statue
Exploring Angkor Wat
Cambodian Monks
Taj Mahal
Indian Street life
Indian cuisine
Havana, Cuba
Cuban street
From £430pp exc flights
Trip type: 
Cultural
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
16

Golden Triangle

Asia, India | 9 days
Trip code: 
HHSN
Local market
The Golden Triangle is a classic introduction to India's three most popular cities; Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

Departs in:

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From £1,080pp exc flights
0
(average rating, based on 16 reviews)
Trip type: 
Cultural
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
12

Best of Cuba

Americas, Cuba | 17 days
Trip code: 
QUSH
Cuba Tours - Local Cuban
An in-depth exploration of Cuba’s past and present

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From £575pp exc flights
5
(average rating, based on 5 reviews)
Trip type: 
Cultural
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
16

Cambodian Traveller

Asia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam | 10 days
Trip code: 
TKSE
Vietnamese locals
Travel west from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok, stopping at the fascinating Angkor Wat on the way.

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From £1,330pp exc flights
Trip type: 
Wildlife
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
14

The Masai Heartlands

Africa, Kenya, Tanzania | 17 days
Trip code: 
YGOCC
Masai Warrior
An incredible overland camping adventure discovering the heartland of the Maasai and the finest game parks in eastern Africa

Departs in:

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Comments

22 January 2014

I travelled to Cambodia with The Adventure Company last April and I have to say Angkor Wat was the highlight. A top tip is to get there for sunrise, you'll get some amazing photos plus you can view the ruins before the heat of the day.