Lonely Planet has revealed the Temples of Angkor, in Cambodia, as the world's best sight to see in its Ultimate Travelist, a definitive bucket list for every type of traveller.
In a first-of-its-kind list from Lonely Planet's globetrotting community of staff and writers, 500 of the best places to see on the planet have been brought together in a new book.
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Described as the "Hindu heaven on earth," the Temples of Angkor is a "complex of more than 1,000 temples, shrines and tombs that form a virtual city of spires in the jungles of northern Cambodia."
The attraction in Cambodia is hotly followed by Australia's Great Barrier Reef – "a psychedelic underwater playground"; Machu Picchu in Peru – "mind-blowing" and "a proper enigma"; the Great Wall of China – "an awe-inspiring maze of walls and fortifications"; and India's Taj Mahal which "still presents a misty window through time".
The British Museum in London is the UK's highest-scoring sight. Coming in at number 15 makes it one of the highest-ranking sights in the world. The British Museum staked its claim to a top spot thanks to being "the great treasure house of Europe" and is praised as "a grand Greek Revival temple to treasure hiding an unexpected Norman Foster canopy over its vast central courtyard". Visiting the museum is described as "a pilgrimage for fans of antiquity".
To create Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travelist, Lonely Planet's team of travel experts and authors on the ground rated the world's best mega-sights and hidden gems. The experts whittled down a list of every single sight featured in their tried-and-tested guidebooks to almost every destination on the planet until they had, in their view, the very best spots. Ranked in order of their brilliance, the list highlights the places the experts believe every traveller must experience.
Tom Hall, Editorial Director of Lonely Planet, said: "This book has been years in the making and brings together the most compelling places in the world according to our team of globetrotting travel experts. Every traveller has got a list of places they simply have to see – places heard about, read about or dreamed about.
"Of course, what makes somewhere special is different for everyone and we'd love to hear about other people's top spots. But this is our definitive list. And one we hope will inspire many other travel wishlists."
Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travelist – The top 20
1. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
3. Machu Picchu, Peru
4. Great Wall of China, China
5. Taj Mahal, India
6. Grand Canyon National Park, USA
7. Colosseum, Italy
8. Iguazú Falls, Brazil-Argentina
9. Alhambra, Spain
10. Aya Sofya, Turkey
11. Fez Medina, Morocco
12. Twelve Apostles, Australia
13. Petra, Jordan
14. Tikal, Guatemala
15. British Museum, England
16. Sagrada Familia, Spain
17. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
18. Santorini, Greece
19. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
20. Museum of Old & New Art, Australia