You’ll need this: #nofilter.
With female turning 40 this year, we started thinking about bucket lists, especially in the travel category! But as much as we love Tokyo, Paris, Taipei and all the other jazzy-snazzy places, there are many other places around the world that definitely need a stamp on our passports for the immense beauty they hold. Places that are so beautiful, you wouldn’t believe they actually exist, and when you do get there, we think the sight will take your breath away because these photos alone already did the trick.
1. Bioluminescent Beaches, Maldives
Photo: Will Ho via www.thisiscolossal.com
The beach is actually covered with millions of bioluminescent phytoplankton, which act similarly to fireflies whereby they’ll start to glow when disturbed.
2. Lake Hillier, Western Australia
Yes, it’s really bubblegum-pink coloured! Why that is so remains a mystery to scientists, but don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe to wade in it.
3. Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Garden in Kitakyushu, Japan
4. Mount Hua, China
Photo: Dave Morrow via www.davemorrowphotography.com
We’ve featured the trail for this place before without knowing where it actually ended but now that we do, we can see why hundreds of people continue to make the climb despite the dangerous risks. There’s also a well-known Huashan Teahouse and a chess pavilion for you to ‘rest’ at at the end of the hike.
5. Socotra, Yemen
Isolated, the island has been known for its odd-looking flora and fauna; especially these unique dragon’s blood trees.
6. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
It’s the world’s largest salt flat and during the rainy season, it gets so flooded, it turns into a giant mirror.
7. Swing at the End of the World, La Casa del Árbol (The Treehouse), Baños, Ecuador
Photo: Zak Erving via www.sparkpunk.com
At an elevation of 2,660 meters, this is the perfect swing that thrill-seekers have been looking for. It includes a view of the Tungurahua volcano.
8. Lake Baikal, Siberia
It’s the oldest freshwater lake on Earth and in March, the ice crusts begin to crack and form hummocks. The results: these shining Listerine-like turquoise shards in the ice. Yes, the water is THAT clear.
9. Haiku Stairs (also known as Stairway to Heaven), Hawaii
Photo: David Chatsuthiphan via www.unrealhawaii.com
It’s not exactly a legal hike but for those who dare climb the 4,000 (rickety) steel stairs, they’ll be in for a breathtaking treat of Hawaii’s gorgeous landscape.
10. Abraham Lake in Alberta, Canada
An artificial lake, it’s home to a rare phenomenon that has made it a photographer’s fave: ice/frozen bubbles underneath its surface.
11. Hallasan (Halla Mountain) on Jeju Island, South Korea
It’s the highest mountain in Korea and also one of Jeju Island’s most iconic landmarks, where its panoramic landscape is absolutely gorgeous be it during winter or spring.
12. Door to Hell in Derweze, Turkmenistan
Photo: Priscilla Locke via www.matadornetwork.com
“The Door to Hell”, which is 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep, wasn’t always a huge hole on fire. It’s actually an area rich in natural gas, but thanks (not really) to a Soviet gas exploration accident in 1971, a large crater was formed. Afraid of poisonous gas escaping into the atmosphere, geologists decided to light it on fire, thinking it would burn up all the fuel in a couple of days. Instead, the supply of natural gas seems near infinite as the crater continues to burn to this day.
13. To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa
To Sua could also be translated to mean ‘big hole’ and is 30 meters deep.
14. Petra, Jordan
Photo: Dennis Jarvis via www.flickr.com/photos/archer10
Think about it: rock-cut architecture. That’s enough to amaze anyone. Also, motorized vehicles are not allowed in the area so you can either take a hike (literally) or hire a horse/donkey/camel to get there.
15. Unkai Terrace at Tomamu Resort in Hokkaido, Japan
Photo: Skyhouse Studios via www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
Unkai Terrace literally translates to “Sea of Clouds” Terrace.
16. Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
17. The Travertines of Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale literally means “cotton castle” in Turkish, and looking at those winter-white terraces of travertines (a type of rock) that contain hot pools, it’s not hard to see where its fluffy name comes from.
18. Crystal Cave of Svmnafellsjvkull in Skaftafell National Park, Iceland
Photo: Orvar Thorgeirsson via www.flickr.com/photos/orvaratli
19. Baatara Gorge Waterfall in Tannourine, Lebanon
How epic is this? Not only does the waterfall (also known as Three Bridges Chasm) flow into a cave, it also passes through three naturally formed bridges!
20. Red Beach in Panjin, China
Photo: Jia Mi via www.flickr.com/photos/mijia
Unlike most beaches, this particular one isn’t covered in sand but in a type of sea weed that turns a vivid red in autumn.
21. Cherry Blossom Avenue on Bonn, Germany
Photo: Moritz Mehrlein via www.flickr.com/photos/mooligan
22. Mount Roraima, South America (specifically bordered by Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana)
Fun Fact: According to Atlas Obscura, the remote landscape of this place inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World and the Paradise Falls that was mentioned in Pixar’s Up.
23. Melissani Cave in Kefalonia, Greece
Photo: Aggelou Zias via ILTWMT.com
24. Tulip Fields, Netherlands
25. Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany
Looks a little familiar? Well, it was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
26. Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan
Photo: Zhirayr Nersessian via www.flickr.com/photos/znersessian
It may look like long poles have been planted at the bottom of this lake but they’re actually the trunks of spruce trees that have been submerged underwater. The most strucking sight is really beneath the water’s surface; a sunken forest where the water is so cold that the pine needles remain on the trees despite having gone ‘down under’ 100 years ago.
27. The Atlantic Road, Norway
Photo: Florian Franke via www.pictorymag.com
Not only has it been awarded with the title of “Norway’s Construction of the Century”, the 8.3km road has also been deemed the world’s best road trip and is a popular site for automotive commercials.
28. Zhangye Danxia Landform, China
29. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Photo: James Marvin Phelps via www.boredpanda.com
30. Mendenhall Ice Caves, Alaska
Photo: AER Wilmington DE via www.flickr.com/photos/2594944[email protected]
Part of a 19km-long glacier, the stunning Mendenhall Ice Caves is truly a surreal sight. Unfortunately, due to global warming, the glacier is melting faster than it should.
31. Machu Picchu, Peru
32. Marble Caves, Chile
33. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Scientifically, the vast area of about 40,000 basalt (a type of volcanic rock) columns is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Legend-wise, it’s the remnants of a causeway built by a giant.
34. Cappadocia, Turkey
35. Glowworm Caves at Waitomo, New Zealand
36. Tianzi Mountains in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
Yup, they were the inspiration behind Avatar‘s Pandora.
37. Godafoss (The Waterfall of the Gods), Iceland
Photo: Valeriy Shcherbina via www.onebigphoto.com
38. Son Doong Cave, Vietnam
It’s the world’s largest cave that’s about 8.8km long, has a tiny jungle and river, and it’s SO big, it could fit a 40-story skyscraper within it. What’s even more amazing is that the cave’s entrance was only discovered in 1991 by a local and was only explored by British cavers in 2009.
39. The Wave, Arizona
Photo: Greg Mote via www.mnn.com
40. Trolltunga, Norway
We’re not trolling you but it’s really also known as Troll’s Tongue due to its odd shape. Besides the great view, it’s also possibly one of the scariest yet most awesome places for a photo op. #YOLO, right?