Another 7 Natural Wonders?

Lonely Planet has decided that they do not agree with the New7Wonders, as many controversies have come from this voting competition. Instead, they chose the following, of which 4 were the same (Amazon, Iguazu Falls, Komodo, and Puerto Princesa Underground River):

1. Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil

Photograph: Judy Bellah

South America’s gushing spectacle washes away the competition as Lonely Planet readers’ top natural wonder. From the dizzying walkways to the spray from Devil’s Throat, the sight of this colossal waterfall is seared into traveller’s brains.

2. Grand Canyon, USA

Photograph: Mark Newman

The rocky wonder favoured by the New7Wonders list was Table Mountain, but the Grand Canyon, with its vermillion cliffs and river-carved rock faces, takes the number two spot among Lonely Planet readers.

3. Komodo, Indonesia

Photograph: Kraig Leeb

Teeming mangrove swamps and basking lizards hurtled Indonesia’s Komodo National Park into third place.

4. The Amazon

Photograph: John Borthwick

Finally, something we can all agree on. The rich jungles of the Amazon’s river basin are big hitters for Lonely Planet readers, as well as New7Wonders and the G Adventures bloggers. Check out our tips for Amazon riverboat trips.

5. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Photograph: Leonard Zell

Another firm favourite, this azure expanse of Queensland coastline is a magnet to snorkellers, scuba divers and beach hoppers.

6. Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines

Photograph: Tom Cockrem

This subterrannean river captured your imaginations, but it seems the whole country is dear to your hearts. Our survey showed an incredible 8 destinations from the Philippines were put forward, from the Banaue Rice Terraces to the Chocolate Hills of Bohol.

7. Uluru, Australia

Photograph: Richard l’Anson

The second Aussie highlight on our top 7, the sacred site of Uluru remains an unmissable icon for Lonely Planet readers.


So the Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef and Uluru are the wonders that Lonely Planet decided to use to replace Halong Bay, Jeju Island, and Table Mountains. Hmmm….I love them all, so just take me to all of them for me to decide on my own!!

Photograph of the Day – Hawaii

Lahaina, Maui, what a spectacular view. I was lucky enough to be able to gaze at this backdrop every morning, while enjoying a nice cup of Kona coffee. What a way to feel relaxed!

Lahaina on the beach


My favorite Christmas Eve tradition

Alas, it has to do with looking at maps and viewing pictures of random cities around the world…

The NORAD Santa tracker!

So many places to dream about!

Fantasy Friday – Finding Santa

Yep, it’s possible to take a vacation in the North Pole. Possible, but only a reality to people with a ton of money just hanging around for a snowy day. Check out the prices on some of these tours!

You COULD pay me to do that….because I can’t afford it. Sounds spectacular though, imagine how few eyes have seen the wonders of the North Pole.


Shhhh, secret santa!

I am participating in secret santa at my work this week, and we are not supposed to spend too much moola on gifts, but make them from the “heart”.

For one idea, I cut up recipe cards and wrote up about 15 different cold-weather treats to try this winter.

This is the second idea me thinks I will try for tomorrow:

Gingerbread Cookies in a Jar


3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 gingerbread boy-shaped cookie cutter

Use a clean 1 quart jar and press each layer down firmly. Put in half of the flour along with the baking powder and baking soda. Add the spices and the remaining flour. Add the brown sugar last. Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar and attach the cookie cutter and the directions below.

Attach these directions to the jar:

Gingerbread Cookies
Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Mix in 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup molasses and 1 egg. Mix until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes. Place cookies on lightly greased cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Decorate with icing.

Still…I would love to see this place

North Korea. Very difficult, traveling here, it is. Note to self: DO NOT attempt to be spontaneous in North Korea.


From Time Magazine

Looking for somewhere different for your next vacation? North Korea — crassly dubbed part of an “axis of evil” by President George W. Bush in 2002 — is allowing an increasing number of foreigners to visit, as ruler Kim Jong Il gets desperate for new revenue following years of biting sanctions as punishment for the country’s nuclear weapons program.

This, however, is no ordinary holiday, according to a reporter with the Washington Post, who joined a recent tour group from the Chinese city of Harbin. An excursion to this secretive northeast Asian country comes with a host of Orwellian restrictions which you breach at your own peril. So if you do make the trip to the hermit kingdom, be sure to follow NewsFeed’s essential tourist survival guide.

1) Leave behind all means of communication with the outside world. A visit to North Korea will begin at a Chinese airport, where you’ll be told to dump cellphones, BlackBerrys, MP3 players and any other portable device in a clear plastic bag to be retrieved upon your return. Sneaking in your iPhone to keep up with Facebook is probably not worth the risk of being sent to a forced labor camp.

2) Do not attempt spontaneity of any kind, particularly random interactions with locals. Ever-present government minders will helpfully insist that North Koreans do not feel comfortable in the company of foreigners.

3) Limit your photography to scenic mountain and tour group shots. According to those exceptionally intuitive regime minders, average people do not appreciate being the focus of Western amateur photographers’ lenses. Same goes for taking pictures of construction sites, as you’ll undoubtedly be eager to do. Apparently they could be used for propaganda purposes.

4) Do not stray from your hotel in Pyongyang. When not being shunted between tourist sites and monuments the paranoid regime keeps visitors to the capital marooned on a river island, with all meals at the hotel buffet and shopping at the one and only gift shop. Resistance is futile, as the Chinese visitors who asked to eat noodles at a locals’ restaurant and visit a department store learned. The blunt answer: “not allowed.”