NEED some travel bucket and inspiration? How about taking a trip to the vast yet intricate Forbidden City in Beijing, taking to the roads that follow the rugged shore on the Pacific Coast Highway or exploring Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital?

They're all locations listed in a brand new book by Rough Guides called ''The Rough Guide to the 100 best places on Earth''.

It features the destinations Rough Guides team of authors and editors believe are unmissable, understated up-and coming or back on the tourist map.

The book says, 'Taking in exhilarating mountain scenery, dazzling cityscapes, pristine tropical islands, atmospheric ruins and sweeping savannas, this book reaches every corner of the globe in the search for 2020's most spectacular spots.'

The Gorges du Verdon in Provence is hailed by the book as having ''breakthrough beauty and majesty''. It is peppered with 'spectacular viewpoints, plunging crevices up to 700m deep and glorious azure-blue lakes'. 'The tome adds : ''This area of Provence in France is absolutely irresistible'

The world-famous temples of Angkor dot the Cambodian countryside rising out of the enveloping forest like the classic lost-in-the jungle ancient ruins of Hollywood filmmaker's widest dreams, Angkor Watt, itself, is made up of five soaring towers hemmed in by a moat.

It was built around 113 and 1150 by Suryavarman II. The book says : ''Stunning from a distance, its intricacies become apparent as you approach, with every surface covered in fine detail. Throughout the day the colour of its stone changes with the light.'

Tucked away in Italy's Basilcata region, the guide says there aren't enough superlatives to describe Matera. The city is carved out of rock and its cave dwellings were inhabited from the Paleolithic Age until 60 years ago.

The book adds : 'Be sure to make time to explore a Case Grotte, a reconstructed traditional cave, to gain a fascinating insight into the beating pulse of Matera, past and present. Zigzag through the sloping streets, pausing at Santa Lucia alle Malve and the Crypt of the original Sin to take in extraordinary eighth and 13th-century frescoes'.

The Forbidden City or the Imperial Palace lies in the heart of Beijing and according to the book is among China's finest monuments. It is encased by a moat and composed of 11 south facing Halls or Gates, which are described as 'exquisite and ornate'.

Branching from this are 800 buildings that have imperial red walls and yellow roof tiles. Elsewhere, jade green, gold and azure blue decorate the woodwork, archways and balconies

According to the book, for many visitors. it's the side rooms, with their displays of the more 'intimate accoutrements' that bring home the realities of the court life for its inhabitants'.

The Pacific Coast Highway following highways 1 and 101 and runs from the sunny beaches of San Diego to the redwood forests of Northern California. Highway 1 was closed for than one year in 2017 due to massive landslides but has now re-opened following a $54 million reconstruction.

The guide says : 'Hugging the cliffs, the road winds high above the rugged shore, giving dramatic views of white-capped surf pounding against the rocks below and sprinkled waves stretching out across the horizon'.

Madagascar is the world's fourth-largest island and lies over 300 miles off the coast of Africa. It is one of the most isolated landmasses of comparable proportions anywhere in the tropics.

Its primary attraction is its 'postcard perfect beaches, turquoise lagoons, whispering palm plantations, craggy islets and snorkel-friendly coral reefs'.
The book adds : 'For adventurous travelers, however, Madagascar really comes into its own away from the beaches.

This immense tropical island is sometimes referred to as the Eighth Continent on account of its unique biodiversity, which incorporates an estimated 10,000 animals and plant species found nowhere else in the world.

The Honor and serving of the latest writing on World's Greatest tourism spots, continues. The World Students Society thanks Daily Mail.


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