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What Are the World's Top 10 Best Places to Visit?

What is the single most amazing sight in the world? The Taj Mahal? The Grand Canyon? Stonehenge?
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What is the single most amazing sight in the world? The Taj Mahal? The Grand Canyon? Stonehenge?

Now, we have the answer. Ultimate Travel: Our List of the Best Places to See...Ranked is the definitive bucket list of the world's greatest places on the planet as voted on by Lonely Planet's team of travel experts.

When the votes were counted, the number one sight - the Temples of Angkor - won by a landslide. There were 27 places in the USA that made the 500 list, including the Grand Canyon (#6), Yosemite National Park (#21), Yellowstone National Park (#61), Redwood National Park (#77), Metropolitan Museum of Art (#80), Monument Valley (#84), Big Sur (#97) and the Golden Gate Bridge (#101).

Here are the ultimate top 10 sights in the world to see:

1. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
When the votes were counted, the number one sight won by a landslide. Cambodia’s most iconic temple, the magnificent monument of Angkor Wat is only the crowning glory in a complex of more than 1000 awe-inspiring temples, shrines and tombs reclaimed by the jungle over centuries.
2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Stretching more than 1860 miles up the northeastern coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is home to the world’s largest network of coral reefs and thousands of species of fish and marine life.
3. Machu Picchu, Peru
It’s not the outrageously dramatic Andean setting, nor the way that the city clings to impossibly precipitous slopes that makes Machu Picchu so mind-blowing – it’s the fact that no-one really knows what happened here.
4. Great Wall of China
It’s a myth that it can be seen from space, but the Great Wall, a maze of walls and fortifications stretching for an astonishing 5500 miles, feels both infinite and indestructible.
5. Taj Mahal, India
Acres of shimmering white marble, a few thousand semiprecious stones, all in perfect symmetry – the Taj Mahal, a breathtaking mausoleum, is architectural perfection.
6. Grand Canyon National Park, USA
Look down at two-billion years of geologic time and you’ll see why the Grand Canyon, the mile-deep, 277-mile-long phenomenon, is nature’s cathedral.
7. Colosseum, Italy
This massive 50,000-seat amphitheater is Rome’s most thrilling sight, and a monument to raw, merciless power which can still be felt today.
8. Iguazú Falls, Brazil - Argentina
The Guaraní name for them is a huge understatement: Big Water. The Iguazú Falls are so enormous, tour boats in the foaming pools below look like matchsticks to viewers from the boardwalks above.
9. Alhambra, Spain
Sheer red walls set against a mountain backdrop, Alhambra, the palace complex dominating Granada’s skyline, is perhaps the most refined example of Islamic art anywhere in the world.
10. Aya Sofya, Turkey
Church, mosque and museum in one, Istanbul’s Aya Sofya defies easy categorization. It was when Byzantine Emperor Justinian I demanded a cathedral that would mimic the majesty of the heavens on earth and eclipse the wonders of Rome.
For more information on the 500 best places to see in the world, check out Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travel book, available in stores now.

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