Sunday, Sep 21, 2014Sunday, Sep 21, 2014
 

Travellers pick top landmarks, parks in the world

Published on Jun 17, 2014 9:41 PM
 

For the second straight year, travellers the world over have made their voices heard through TripAdvisor's Traveller's Choice Awards for Attractions to highlight what they think are the top parks and landmarks in the world.

"TripAdvisor travellers have helped identify some of the best attractions around the globe," said Ms Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "These award-winning landmarks and parks are an ideal starting point for taking in the world's must-see sights."

The TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards honour top travel spots worldwide based on millions of reviews and opinions from travellers using the travel website. "Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for landmark and park attractions worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period," TripAdvisor said.

Here are the top five parks and landmarks in Asia and in the world:

Top 5 Asia parks

1. Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore

This 74ha park is home to many "celebrity orchids", with flowers named after the likes of Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana and even Jackie Chan. It is also Singapore's first Unesco World Heritage Site nominee.

2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan

This is the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on Aug 6, 1945.

3. Nan Lian Garden, Hong Kong, China

This 3.5ha park is built in the classical style of the Tang Dynasty and opened in 2006. 

4. Lumpini Park, Bangkok, Thailand

Known as the "green lung of Bangkok", Lumpini Park was named after the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal and showcases a varity of flora and fauna. 

5. Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Japan

The garden's name means "having six factors", taking after the six attributes of its design: spaciousness, tranquility, artifice, antiquity, water courses, and magnificent view from the garden.

Top 5 landmarks in Asia

1. Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Taj Mahal is among the most iconic structures in the world. It is a mausoleum made of white marble built between 1631 and 1648 under the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife. 

2. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat was built in the first half of the 12th century, and construction was said to have taken 30 years. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-east Asia. 

3. Bayon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The temple is situated just north of Angkor Wat, and is known for its huge stone faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

4. Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar

The 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda houses strands of Buddha's hair and other holy relics. 

5. Great Wall at Mutianyu, Beijing, China

The Mutianyu part of the Great Wall covers a 2.5km stretch. It is about 60km outside of Beijing and features 22 watchtowers. 

Top 5 world parks

1. Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada

The Stanley Park is Vancouver's first and largest urban park, and North America's third biggest urban park. It welcomes about eight million visitors annually. 

2. Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, United States

This landmark has towering sandstone formations, hiking paths, and a living history museum, among other features. 

3. Central Park, New York City, US

The 341ha park was established in the 1850s with the understanding that "a great public park would improve public health and contribute greatly to the formation of a civil society". 

4. Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois

The Millenium Park was once an industrial wasteland. Today, it is a state-of-the-art urban park. 

5. High Line, New York City, US

Built in the 1930s, the High Line was built to get freight trains off the busy Manhattan streets to 9m above ground. Trains stopped running on the High Line in 1980. In 1999, when it was facing demolition, a community-based group worked to preserve the structure and turn it into an elevated public park.

Top 5 world landmarks

1. Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu in Peru is located 2,430m above sea level, lying on the eastern slopes of the Andes. 

2. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is at the entrance to Abu Dhabi City Island, and is visible from the three main bridges connecting the island to the main land. Its location is said to symbolise "the emotional connection the Mosque has in the hearts of all UAE citizens particularly because the burial place of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, first President of the UAE, is located beside the mosque". 

3. Taj Mahal, Agra, India

4. Great Cathedral and Mosque, Cordoba, Spain

This structure standing at the historic centre of Cordoba is among the grandest specimens of Muslim art in Spain. It was built in the year 785 and a cathedral was built inside it after the Christian conquest in 1523. 

5. St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Italy

The largest basilica of the Christian religion was built around 320AD and was expanded over the centuries. It stands in the area where Saint Peter and other Christians had been martyrised.