My Top 5 Travel Sights of 2012

My Top 5 Travel Sights of 2012

My Top 5 Travel Sights of 2012

It’s always difficult to do a top five travel sights from any given year. This year saw me visit 15 countries (8 of them new countries!), over 40 new cities or towns and 11 World Heritage Sites. I’ve been doing some top 5s this week on my Facebook Page. But here I’m just going to do my top 5 individual sights. There is no room from Prambanan, Angkor Wat, the Nam Song river, the old city of Lijiang or the night time streets of Tokyo. I could have done a top 30 but alas, I’ve whittled it down to an excellent 5! Hope you enjoy them, as you can tell, I certainly did!

1. Borobudur, INDONESIA
The amazing temple complex at Borobudur in Central Java blew me away. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest and thought it would be “just another temple” but it lived up to its reputation. I visited in January 2012. It’s the largest Buddha Temple in the world. Definitely worth a trip! I wrote about Borobudur here: Don’t Stop Living – Borobudur.

borobudur yogyakarta


2. Giant’s Causeway, NORTHERN IRELAND
In April 2012, I made the second trip in 3 years back to my home country of Northern Ireland. I mixed it up with a bit of sightseeing and visited the amazing Giant’s Causeway. It’s on the North Antrim Coast and is one of my favourite places in the world. I didn’t yet write about my 2012 trip to the Giant’s Causeway but one of my older posts is here:

Don’t Stop Living – Giant’s Causeway.

Everything You Should Know About The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Everything You Should Know About The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

3. Fujian Tulou, CHINA
Perhaps a surprising inclusion, the less popular but inspiring Fujian Tulou buildings in China had me gasping in awe. Dating back over 12 centuries, some of these buildings still house the families and clans that built them way back. Endless hours of touring round, hundreds of nooks and crannies and the mystical charm of China make this a very special place, so much so I had to write numerous blog posts on them:

Don’t Stop Living – The Qingde Building

Don’t Stop Living – Gaobei Hamlet

Don’t Stop Living – Tian Luo Keng

The amazing Fujian Tulou buildings - the cluster at Tian Luo Keng near Taxia Village

The amazing Fujian Tulou buildings – the cluster at Tian Luo Keng near Taxia Village

4. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, VIETNAM
I loved Vietnam and 2012 was my first time to visit this incredible country. Although I could pick many highlights such as Halong Bay and the hikes at Sapa, I have to go for the trip to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. Getting to see Ho Chi Minh restored in his tomb in the capital city of Hanoi was special. This was a man of great passion, leadership and bravery and the Vietnamese can be proud of their troubled past. I have a bit of catching up to do writing wise on my Vietnam travel stories however…

Don’t Stop Living – My Only Stuff on Vietnam So Far!

Outside Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum in Hanoi

Outside Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in Hanoi


5. Upper Trail Hike and Yunnan Mountains, CHINA
Christmas Time is always a special time to travel. This year I did the amazing two day hike in the mountains of Yunnan near Tiger Leaping Gorge. I’m only just back from the trip and I just loved the mountains. Bliss for a traveller. Tough hikes, gorgeous views all the way, no other travellers and a great way to relax!

upper trail hike

Backpacking the Yunnan Upper Trail hike in China.

I visited some incredible places yet again in 2012 and cannot wait until 2013. I’ll be spending New Year in and around Chocolate Hills in the Philippines before heading to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Brunei in the next few months.

Happy New Year one and all! Hope I can help you to build a lifestyle of travel!

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