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The Prambanan Temple, or Candi Prambanan, located in Central Java, is one of the best-known religious sites of Indonesia. A collection of towering spires resplendently embellished with intricate finials, rich carvings and statues, the temple is striking in its complexity and grand proportions. Established sometime during the 9th Century, little is known about the early history of this monumental Hindu temple, although it is believed that its construction spanned the reigns of both Rakai Pikatan and Rakai Balitung. The complex comprises the remains of 244 temples neatly arranged across the outer compound, while the central courtyard consists of eight main and eight minor temples. The central shrine towers to a height of about 47 meters (154.19 feet) and as such, it is the largest temple of its kind in Indonesia, and one of the finest in South Asia. Dedicated to Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Preserver) and Mahesh (The Destroyer), collectively known as Trimurti in Hindu mythology, the Prambanan Temple is lavishly ornamented with stonework, sculptures, and reliefs that draw heavily from the Hindu epic of Ramayana. After years of careful restoration, the interiors of the main shrine are accessible once more. The compound was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in the year 1991.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, also known as Ayers Rock, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its red sandstone monolith. The massive landmark towers at 348 meters (1,142 feet) and features many inscriptions from the area's aboriginal ancestors. The site is under dual management by the Australian government and local Anangu tribe. Visitors must definitely visit the cultural center to learn about the history of this iconic monolith and the people that have called it home for centuries. They can also bushwalk, bird watch, and catch incredible sunsets at this breathtaking site. Climbing Uluru is permitted but discouraged by the region's aboriginal overseers.
Spread across 144,000 acres of land, John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the official working facility for spacecraft launches at Florida. Due to its sensitive work operations and critical data storage, the center is not entirely available to access for tours. A visitors’ complex on the center grounds serves for tourist information and operate bus tours through all the accessible facilities and some educational programs. Apart from the visitors’ complex, the center houses a spacecraft factory, an assembly building, spacecraft launch control center, astronauts dormitories, and a spacecraft landing facility.
A game reserve located in Kenya, the Samburu National Reserve is straddled by the Buffalo Springs National Reserve on one side and flanked by the Ewaso Ng'iro river on the other side. Encompassing about 165 square kilometers of land area, the park features thick riverine forests and doum palm groves. One of the 56 protected areas in the country, this national reserve is home to a number of game species such as the Gerenuk, Gravy's zebra, oryx and the reticulated giraffe. Besides, one can also spot the magnificent Masai lion here, along with the Tanzanian cheetah and Kamunyak, a lioness who is known for adopting oryx calves. In addition to animals, this park is the habitat of over 450 indigenous bird species, reptiles and aquatic species. Among these, the sunbirds, storks, eagles, vultures and crocodiles can be found traversing their respective habitats.
Surrounded by a dense rainforest tracing back several centuries, Tikal National Park is found on one of the most prominent sites established during the Mayan civilization. The site was occupied from as early as 6th Century, and the historical landmark is home to well-preserved palaces and temples, along with ruins of ancient houses dispersed across the vast countryside. The national park also incorporates the gigantic Maya Biosphere Reserve, which was established to safeguard the green cover of Peten. Tikal National Park provides a thriving habitat to a number of wildlife species, including the ocellated turkey, keel-billed toucan, howler monkey, and jaguar. Local guides are available to help visitors explore the various areas of this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Permeated with a primeval aura, the enchanting Domica Cave is one of the most significant and salient features of the Slovak Karst National Park. Studded along the frontiers of the Silicka planina Plateau, this cave is one of the finest representations of a crisscrossing cave nexus which is unique to the Košice Region. Steeped in great historical, geological and archaeological significance, this cave is where jet-black bats hover over seemingly stacked-up stalagmites, and past needle-like stalactites. Further on, the cave is home to some enigmatic rock formations which lie nestled along sinuous limestone passages carved out by underground streams. Having been home to numerous scientific and archaeological explorations, the cave also harbors traces and remnants of human settlement which dates back to the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages. Having been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unrivaled geological beauty, this cave shelters a sepulchral room in its underbelly, an expanse which once served as the ground of several ceremonial gatherings. As if this was not enough to render the cave a sheer marvel, it also shelters naturally-formed pools of transparent waters which lie stacked atop each other, resembling a pre-historic bathhouse. Rich with gaping mesmerism, the Domica Cave complex is one of the most distinct natural landmarks of Slovakia.
A man-made marvel awaits your arrival at the famous Gardens by the Bay. Aptly called the Cloud Forest, this wonderful attraction has an environment that transports you into a tropical forest. The cool temperature here is controlled using air conditioners and mist is sprayed artificially at regular intervals to create an illusion of being amidst the clouds. The mountain itself towers over 40 meters (131 feet) with an elevator placed inside it for visitors to scale the gigantic structure. A waterfall gushes down the mountain from a height of over 30 meters (98 feet). Visitors standing at the extended observation desks can feel the sprinkles from the waterfall while breathing in the tropical scents of the many ferns that are artificially grown here.
One of the biggest islands in Queensland to have a dedicated commercial airport, Hamilton Island is a popular tourist destination, hosting a variety of competitive sailing and yachting races, competitions, and festivals throughout the year. Home to a series of scenic white sand beaches, this is a tropical paradise, that allows visitors to take a break from their stressful lives to spend a few days in tranquility. Also a sought-after wedding venue, the island provides some of the most breathtaking locations to take your vows.
The snow-clad crown of the Himalayan Range, Mount Everest straddles the border between China and Nepal, its skyscraping summit unmatched at a height of 8,848 meters (29,029 feet). Revered by the locals, the ethereal beauty of the majestic mountain is one that is impossible to escape, especially when set ablaze by the radiant glow of the setting sun and the soft golden rays of dawn. The path to the summit of the world's highest mountain is laden with obstacles and challenges; a daunting journey riddled with deep crevices, unpredictable weather, and the ever-present danger of avalanches, altitude sickness, and frostbite. Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary hold the distinction of being the first to officially summit Mount Everest, an honor that had until then eluded even the world's most skilled mountaineers. Many have since succeeded in their quest to scale Mount Everest while even more have failed. A haunting vision surrounded by glorious tales of triumph and heart-rending stories of tragedy, Mount Everest is the pinnacle of the world and a symbol of the unyielding spirit of humanity.
Tumbling ferociously down the edge of a steep basalt cliff, the thundering Victoria Falls reverberate through the entire expanse of its wild surrounds. The falls plummet down seemingly unfathomable depths and meet the gorge below, a deep chasm carved by the untamed Zambezi River. Spilling as many as five million cubic meters of water during high monsoon, the falls miraculously separate the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe with its sparkling veil. The native Kololo tribe describe the falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, as 'Mosi-oa-Tunya', a name that translates into 'The Smoke That Thunders'. While the height and width of the falls are rivaled by the mighty Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil, Victoria Falls is classified as featuring the largest cascade, spanning a combined width of 1,708 meters (5,604 feet). Such is the sheer force of the falls, that the rainforest-cloaked basalt cliff opposite the waterfall is perennially soaked in the falls' mist and spray.
Featuring a landscape dominated by karst topography, Guilin is a treasure trove of historical and cultural gems scattered around the city proper as well as its surroundings. It is rooted in history, attracting a multitude of tourists from all over the world. Undulating fields and verdant mountains roll away into the distance, with the city's very tapestry woven with scenic landmarks like the culturally significant Elephant Trunk Hill and Jingjiang Princes' City. Tourists can also visit stunning caves like the Reed Flute Cave or stroll around the serene and tranquil Yangshuo county which paints a vivid picture of nature with its towering crags and splendid caves. Other popular attractions include the picturesque Li River, Seven Star Park and Longsheng Rice Terraces.