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There are many great places to travel in the world and witness with your own eyes, but there are some which are almost required to see firsthand.
These are places which almost everyone has seen in the history books, along with various television shows. Most often they are featured as locations for the plots of many a popular story, television show or movie.
Travel is becoming more affordable as the number of cheap international flights increase, making it easier than ever to get out and see the world.
It will be hard to choose only nine places to see before you die, since which ones are a better sight is a matter of opinion. However, we will give it a try and start out with nine.
Top 9 Places to See Before You die
9. The Grand Canyon
While you might think this would be mostly for those in the United States, the Grand Canyon is truly a sight to behold. This is a steep canyon carved over the tens of thousands of years by the Colorado River.
Pictures do not truly do justice to the sheer size of the Grand Canyon. Being able to stand near the edge and see the huge rock walls which span for well over 200 miles.
Read More: our 4 day trip to the Grand Canyon
8. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is first structure ever constructed by man to be visible from space, so this is certainly a must see. When you stand on the Great Wall, looking down towards the horizon and seeing that it stretches beyond, it can be hard to imagine that this was built by human hands.
Being over 5,000 miles long, this truly is a marvel to behold. It is hard to imagine just how much labor went into the construction, and if you plan the proper tour, you will even see some of the many statues contained inside.
Each of these terracotta statues are life-sized, and individually numbered. It is estimated that inside the Great Wall of China there are around 8,000 of these statues earning them the name Terracotta Army.
Read more: Climbing the Great Wall of China
7. Easter Island
This small island in the Pacific isn’t very interesting by itself. The ancient culture used up all the trees before vanishing, possibly to aid in the construction of the many 13 foot tall statues that line the island.
Not much is known about why or who created them, and while we have seen pictures they just don’t convey the sheer size of these 10-14 ton behemoths.
It has been speculated that the peoples responsible for these statues left when the island was running out of resources. They have been a focus of study for quite a long time, and have inspired some truly unique stories.
The canal streets of Venice Italy are truly unique in the world, and to see firsthand just how people go about their daily lives is an interesting experience.
The city was built on over 100 small islands, which made travel by boat a necessity. With such easy access to sea trade routes, it is easy to see how this great city became known as an industrial center.
Taking a guided tour down the many canal streets is a truly unique experience which cannot be replicated. Every faucet of modern living as we know it will be different when your roads are canals.
Read more: Things to do in Venice Italy
5. The Taj Mahal
This huge mausoleum was built in the 1600’s at a time when most people would not have thought it possible to create such a magnificent place. While many people might think that this is one huge building, it is actually made up of many smaller structures, which all add up to make the place truly beautiful when viewed by the naked eye.
The large white dome is a world renowned landmark and although people have tried to replicate the look, it just isn’t the same. Even from afar this is truly a sight to behold, but what is even more spectacular are the decorations on the buildings themselves.
Calligraphy carved into the side and many small adornments that were painstakingly handcrafted have held up to the test of time, and even by today’s standards considered very impressive.
To this day much effort is put into maintaining, both the Taj Mahal itself, and the grounds surrounding the area so that you are surely to not be disappointed.
4. Angkor Wat
The name of this place means “city temple” and this exactly what it is. Located in Cambodia, Angkor Wat is an example of what truly marvelous structures can be created without the aid of technology.
The large statues carved inside the structure itself is what most people think of when hearing the name, but seeing the great temple from afar truly is impressive.
For anyone wanting to see great examples of architecture, Angkor Wat has to be high on their list. As there is so much to take in, you would be wise to schedule a guided tour so that you are sure not to miss out on the more interesting aspects of the city temples design.
3. The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living coral reef in the world is actually made up of many smaller reefs which span for over 1600 miles.
The large abundance of colorful sea life make this a real hotspot for divers worldwide. If you are lucky enough to view this spectacle from the air you will see just how large this reef really is.
Reefs are composed of millions of tiny creatures, so one of this size would take untold ages to be able to form as it has.
Read More: How to visit the Great Barrier Reef
2. Petra, Jordan
No one really knows just who built this great city in the mountain walls.
The very large entry ways which can be over 14 feet tall have inspired many tales of a city inhabited by giants. It is estimated that the city itself is well over 3,000 years old, and served many purposes over it’s ancient history.
It has been reported to be a capital, caravan trading post, as well as a temple of sorts and has been ruled by several different cultures.
The hardness of the stone must have made construction of the ancient city a project that spanned over multiple generations.
1. Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza has been chosen for number one as it is one of the most widely known ancient structures in existence.
It was built precisely to match the geographic directions of the compass, proving that mankind could indeed manipulate numbers back in ancient times to create great marvels of engineering.
While all of the other pyramids have a recorded history, and are proven to serve as a tomb, the Great Pyramids reason for being built is largely unknown.
The top of the pyramid is missing though many believe from ancient writings that it was a huge piece of gold that would shine from the horizon.
When looking at pictures, you have to envision that many centuries of erosion and vandalism have changed the way this site looks. The outer walls were made of highly polished stone, which make some scientists believe that it would shine bright enough at parts of the day to have been visible from orbit around the Earth itself.
I must admit that the order of these great sites to behold is based on personal preference, but this does not mean that these are not must see places before you die.
The many photographs available truly do not let you behold and feel the presence of these unique places around the world.
Need more inspiration? Check out 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, the second edition.
How many of these places have you seen?