The Earth never ceases to amaze with its raw beauty. Right here, on our very planet, exist exciting landscapes that are so viscerally off-the-wall that you’d swear they can’t be real. Yet once the denial passes, an intense wanderlust settles in, stronger than any you’ve felt before, and becomes your obsession. So indulge your imagination with these wonderful landscapes from around the world that you must see.
Chocolate Hills Of Bohol Island-Phillippines
No, you may not eat these hills as they’re a protected National Geological Monument of the Philippines. Oh, and they’re not made of chocolate anyways. These conical hills are covered in grass that goes brown in the dry season, hence the name. 1,500 or so chocolate hills stretch out for miles around with little rice paddies here and there dotting their premises. Truly a whimsical landscape to look upon each day.
Salar de Uyuni-Bolivia
You’d think that the day you confused the ground with the sky would be the day your sanity left you. But it’s totally excusable up on the world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni. During the wet season, a thin layer of water tops off the vast plains of white, salted earth. In turn, a sunny blue sky becomes perfectly transcribed upon the very ground you stand on, creating a dreamy sensation of psychedelia.
The Tianzi Mountains-China
Peak after peak emerges from dense fog which frequents the region. They were named after emperor Xiang Dakun, also known as Tianzi, meaning ‘son of heaven’. Thick outcroppings of flora nestle in cracks and crevices of these rocky spires, creating miniature forests on their peaks, reachable only for the birds. Luckily, you can take a cable car through the maze to catch a panoramic view from up high.
Mount Bromo is an active volcano in East Java known for glorious views of the surrounding basin during golden hours. Every so often it erupts, spewing an ash geyser half a mile sky high, while leaking lava flows on the fields below. Tourists can stop in the nearby Cemero Lawang for supplies before taking an hour walk to the mountain’s base.
The Giant’s Causeway-Ireland
Imagine being the explorer to discover this bizarre landscape of basalt columns. They’re not only geometrically perfect, but they connect with each other into an alien grid. You’d probably assume supernatural origins, and you couldn’t be blamed for doing so. The Irish allege that their fabled Fionn mac Cumhail—a heroic giant from Gaelic folklore—built the causeway with his bare hands.
According to Jules Verne, the entrance to the center of the earth lies within the caves of the Snæfellsjökull stratovolcano. The real draw for tourists isn’t within the mountain, it’s the glacier field within the summit’s crater. Narrow, winding passageways and foreboding fissures dig into the 200m thick glacier. Just right for a beautiful hiking tour.
Do you like hoodoos? Of course you do, who doesn’t get a kick out of other-worldly rock pillars resulting from hundreds of thousands of years worth of erosion from frost and steam. And Bryce Canyon has the densest, most populous collection of hoodoos on the planet. Amphitheaters abound just covered in them. At 55 square miles, the park is worth at least two good days of trekking about.
Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish. But like the chocolate hills, this isn’t to be taken literally since these overarching terraces are certainly not composed of cotton. They’re made up of travertine rock, which in turn is composed of minerals from the hot spring water which seeps down the terraces. Due to governmental protections, visitors are only allowed access to small springs off to the side of hiking paths, and not the actual terrace springs themselves. Bummer!
Kyoto’s premier bamboo grove isn’t a place for campers since offers only a single solitary trail. But the serene green atmosphere is worth it. It’s just a thick clot of beautiful bamboo poles that sway gently in the breeze, with the wind whistling off their green sprouts at the skyline. The path eventually(sadly) ends at a finely preserved little hut, Okochi Denjiro villa, named after a famous actor.
No, that’s not a trick of the camera, that lake is actually pink! The water is permanently dyed by micro-algae called Dunaliella salina. You could guess from the name that these organisms occupy salt flats around the world. Fitting considering Lake Hillier is a saline lake; mounds of salt sit along the water’s edge. Strangely enough, considering the high salt concentration and algae, the lake is perfectly safe to swim in.