Tag Archives: top100

Top-100 Series: Africa.

Africa. Just uttering the word conjures up visions of all things exotic. An exceptional continent, like no other. And with plenty of locations I deem must-see:

73. Sahara desert.

As if you need telling: the world’s largest desert. The mind is blown, gradually but intensely, especially at sunset (I slept through the sunrise). I saw it in Tunisia. Sand, dunes, salt lakes, mirages, oases. Oh yes.

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Read on: volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls and ancient …

Top-100 Series: Asia.

What’s interesting and recommendable in my Top-100 in the rest of Asia, apart from China and the Middle East? Here’s what…

62. Taj Mahal, India.

A mighty mausoleum made of white marble – the tomb of the favorite wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. If you look closely on Google Maps, here, on the other side of the river opposite the Taj Mahal you can see traces of the preparations for a second Taj-Mahal. Those traces are as far as plans went for a mirror image of the mausoleum – which was to be made out of black marble instead of white. Legend has it that the Mughal Empire simply didn’t have the funds needed to finance such lavish expenditure on an oversized grave, so its padishah (emperor) was deposed by his attendants, which brought his Taj-2 project to an abrupt halt too.

A magical place, especially the contrast between it and its somewhat less regal, rural surroundings. I really recommend taking an individual tour with a personal guide and mini-van so as not to be shaken about violently on a regular tour bus. Details here (pics; text in Russian).

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info_ru_20 wiki_en map_ru_20 gmaps Photos google flickr

Read on: mountains, pagodas and volcanoes…

Flickr photostream

  • Aquarium@Barkas 2021
  • Aquarium@Barkas 2021
  • Aquarium@Barkas 2021
  • Aquarium@Barkas 2021

Instagram photostream

Top-100 Series: China.

So, why does China (in addition to Russia) get a Top-100 post all of its own? Easy: the quantity of unique natural beauties here is simply off the scale. Curiously though, hardly any of them are known outside the country.

Quite why that’s the case, I’m not fully sure of. What I am sure about is that China appears to do absolutely nothing to attract foreigners to the country. But then they don’t have to. They’ve enough on their plate catering to the hundreds of millions of their own citizens. Accordingly, some places – no matter how ‘wow’ – don’t even have a Wikipedia entry. They only become known about through tales of the odd (odd!) foreign tourist or two who accidentally happen on them during their pioneering travels around the country’s hinterland. And one such odd odd foreign tourist is (to a certain extent, for I still haven’t seen a great deal of the country) me!

But before getting to those ultra-exclusive unknown Chinese locations, let me get a few of the very obvious, very famous Chinese tourist attractions out of the way…

52. Great Wall of China.

I’ve been told that several generations ago folks could trek along the wall for several days on end! Alas, these days there’s no chance of that: self-preservation’s the name of the game today; only a short section is open to visitors. Nevertheless, it’s still totally worth checking out, and not only for the proverbial tick on your ‘been and seens’: there’s no other wall quite like it in the world. Uniformly unique.

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info_ru_20 wiki_en map_ru_20 gmaps Photos google flickr

Read on: China…

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Top-100 Series: The Middle East.

The Middle East is another thoroughly interesting region. Without a doubt its ‘greatest hits’ are of a man-made archaeological-historical nature, comfortably prevailing over its naturally occurring ‘B-sides’. Hardly surprising given that the Middle East is an ancient cradle of civilization (please forgive the banality).

One thing I should mention at the outset here: I only have scant first-hand knowledge of the region; accordingly, there may be a few inaccuracies in this short regional section of my Top-100. If so – help me out! Any mistakes need correcting or additions need making? > the comments section please. I’d be most grateful.

All righty. Off we go…

45. Dead Sea.

An undeniably unique Middle Eastern natural phenomenon. Water so salty… yes, you know, you float in it!… So let me be a little less obvious here: water so salty… just a lick of your wet fingers and you need to down at least two cold beers in one. What better excuse for a little naughtiness? :-) .

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info_ru_20 wiki_en map_ru_20 gmaps Photos google flickr

Read on: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia…

Top-100 series: Russia.

Hi folks!

On we go with my journey around what are to me the 100 most beautiful places in the world, all of which I reckon need visiting at least once in a lifetime without fail – so as not to live the rest of that lifetime with regret!

Next up, the world’s largest country!

Russia’s East European Plain doesn’t have anything outstandingly must-see when it comes to natural beauty. Of course, there are beautiful places – and many of them, but none quite make their way onto my Top-100. Then, east of the Urals there’s the West Siberian Plain – a rather plain, er, plain, this time all tundra/taiga/steppe (from north to south, respectively), marshes, rivers, lakes, oil extraction and mosquitoes. Things only start getting Top-100-worthy still further east. But I’ll get to that in a bit. For now though…

39. Red Square and the Kremlin.

Many of our foreign friends who come to visit us here in Moscow tell us that Red Square – with St. Basil’s at one end, the Kremlin to one side and GUM on the other – is the most beautiful spot in Europe, especially at night when lit up. And who am I to argue? I too am a big fan.

Note: St. Petersburg was in the Cities section of the Top-100 series.

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info_ru_20 wiki_en map_ru_20 gmaps Photos google flickr

Read on: Shambala, Kondyor, Pillars …

Top-100 Series: Europe.

You’ll probably already know about a lot of the man-made wonders and beauties on this continent – the cradle of western civilization – for it does have them in spades. However, it also has plenty to see in the natural-historical-phenomena department too, some of which you may not be aware of. Until now!

Curiously, practically all European natural-historical marvels are situated on or by the coast or on islands. Deep into its territory there’s practically no ‘top’-worthy stuff. But that doesn’t matter, for Europe has plenty of both coastline and islands :-). All righty. Off we go!…

Europe.

28. Volcanic Iceland.

One of the most volcanically active places on the planet. Volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, plus the glaciers and harsh northern climate you’d expect from a country with the word ‘ice’ in its title. I was there just this summer. It was out of this world. Even gives Kamchatka a run for its money. Only saw a small part of it though. Must get back and explore the rest…

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info_ru_20 wiki_en map_ru_20 gmaps Photos google flickr

Read on: cliffs, islands, volcanoes, bays …

Top-100 Series: North America, Part 2.

Hi folks,

In continuation of my revised and revamped Top-100 of the most remarkable, interesting, enchanting and beautiful places and countries of the world, here’s the next installment: part 2 of the very best – IMHO – places to visit in North America, i.e., the North American continent, which (of course?:) includes Central American countries and the Caribbean islands.

First, for starters, a few pics from this part of the world…

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North America, Part 2.

Top-100 Series: North America – Part 1.

Howdy folks!

I’ve started – so I’ll finish. In my lengthy prelude, I promised to lay before you my updated Top-100 Must-See Places in the World in several portions over several posts. You’ve already had my new – extra – Top-20 Cities. Next up is a set of Top-Non-City-Must-See-Places – actually 17 of them – out of the Top-100, all of which are in the first continent I’ll be tackling: North America. A quick guide to the most astonishingly amazing places therein – most of which I’ve been lucky enough to visit in person, and all of which contain a particularly high concentration of natural and/or man-made beauty and/or unusualness. In this post – the first 10 entries; in the next post – the remaining seven.

So why North America? Or, rather, why this particular continent first?

Well, it just seemed the natural place to start, as it’s – normally – up in the top left-hand corner of a world map. From there I’ll be taking you on a trip around the globe with the following route: down through Central America, and through South America. Next – across the Atlantic to Europe, across Russia to its far eastern reaches. Then it’s back west and down to the Middle East, across Central Asia to India and Indochina, then up to China itself with brief stops at other assorted Asian spots. Next: again back west to start another eastern movement: Africa > Australia and Oceania. And last but not least: Antarctica. That’s the basic outline of the route as I see it now, anyway. So, ready? // Phone off, popcorn microwaved, beverage prepared, soft armchair… off we go!…

Of course, if I lived in China or America the world map used in the above snakes and ladders across the globe might have looked a little lot different. Or, if I lived in Australia, it might have looked like this:

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Read on: Geographical authoritarianism…

My new Top-20: Cities.

Hi folks!

Following on from the prelude, herewith, my recently formed list of what are to me the world’s Top-20 cities. In this post I’ll briefly describe and present pics of my Top-20 most interesting and unique districts, quarters or whole cities of the world that I recommend everyone should visit one day. It should go without saying I’ve been to all 20 – most times often, unlike some of the must-sees in my main list.

But first – rewind: How are my Top-100 and now Top-20 made up?

First, by using my own eyes and senses. I’m lucky enough to have a job in which I globetrot for nearly six months out of every 12. The primary reason: business. But why not mix it with the pleasure of a tourist? Why not indeed.

Eugene Kaspersky's top-100 must see places of the world

Read on: Places, which hardly require anybody’s recommendation…