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Visit a lost city
\nEvery empire to have come from the Middle East has at some point occupied the land east of the River Jordan and the Dead Sea (which now makes up modern-day Jordan). As such, the country boasts some of the most majestic ruins, remnants of ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Ottoman kingdoms. Petra is its most famous attraction, including a 'lost' citadel that you'll recognise from a number of documentaries and films. But Aqaba is also a worthwhile visit – the place where Thomas Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia – fought back against enemies sweeping into the city from the North.
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Become one with nature
\nNew Zealand's south island boasts some of the most pristine landscape in the world. Milford Sound – in Fiordland, a region in the island's south-west corner – is certainly one of the most picturesque locations. There are scenic roads, well-marked trails and peaceful cruises – all combined with temperate forests that make it a beautiful place to hike, bike, paddle, sail or take photographs. At the centre is the 5,560-foot-hgh Mitre Peak, actually give separate peaks that cluster around a single arrow-headed summit.
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See the driest place on Earth
\nOutside of the North and South poles, Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth. As a result, it is one of the only places on the planet almost entirely without greenery and shade. It hasn't been touched by modern society in the slightest, which means no people, towns, or pollution. For landscape photographers, it's just about the most exciting place on earth, with wind-sculpted canyons and salt lakes. With no cities nearby, it's used by three international observatories that take advantage of its clean air and the huge night sky.
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Go on safari
\nOf all the countries in Africa, Namibia is the most tourist-friendly. Not only does it have exceptional wildlife (including a significant portion of the world's cheetah population, and the last free-ranging group of black rhinos – all kept in a vast network of parks, reserves and safari lodges, but the landscapes of its coastline and desert are some of the most photographed on earth.
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Walk the Great Wall
\nOne of humanities greatest triumphs of engineering and a direct link to the legendary empowers of China's past. The Great Wall used to be a way for China to keep separate from the rest of the world, although today it brings hundreds of nationalities together to see it snaking away across the mountainsides of northern China. While day trips are available, it's also possible to run or cycle along parts – or even take in the views via helicopter.
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Tour the gardens of Kyoto
\nFor serenity and calm, you need not look any further than the temples and gardens of Kyoto. Visit in March, and you'll see the Riverside cherry trees in cloudlike bloom, along with Zen gardens – complete with raked sand – and their haiku-inspired rock formations. While Tokyo is the epitome of everything that is modern (high-speed trains, skyscrapers and neon lights), Kyoto celebrates the country's history. As the imperial capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto is now home to over 2,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.
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Stand in the Antarctic
\nEven the most isolated locations still have mobile phone reception these days. There are queues to reach the summit of Everest, and direct flights to some of the most remote Pacific islands. However, there are still a few places completely untouched by humanity – including Antarctica. You can visit only between the months of November and March, and then only via cruise ship. But the grand, unpredictable wilderness makes for one of the most exotic trips of a lifetime.
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Trek the Himalayas
\nHome to the highest peaks in the world, the Himalayas begin in Pakistan but across India, Bhutan, and China. The country that is most closely identified with the Himalayas is Nepal, home to Mount Everest (or Sagarmatha in Nepali). Since Sir Edmund Hillary first summited the peak 60 years ago, there have been thousands of attempts to ascend it, but if standing on top of the world is too daunting, the trip to Everest Base Camp is far more pleasant.