A 10-item bucket list from Rough Guide’s 100 best places in 2020
8:42 AM EDT, Fri September 6, 2019
Tokyo, Japan. The city tops Rough Guides editor Helen Fanthorpe's bucket list for 2020. "Tokyo is at once the home of cutting-edge technologies, glassy skyscrapers, alien robot shows, pulsating nightlife and fresh sushi, serene gardens and Buddhist shrines," like this garden at Sensoji Temple. Here are her other picks:
Yellowstone National Park, United States. "I love wildlife and dramatic landscapes, so Yellowstone has got it all," including this herd of Bison in the Hayden Valley, says Fanthorpe.
Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, Mongolia. People traveling on the Trans-Siberian Railway can stop to visit this statue, says Fanthorpe. "The landmark feels totally incongruous with its surroundings but is also a testament to how important Genghis Khan still is for the Mongolian people."
Easter Island. A trip to this remote island "feels like a totally justified 'once-in-a-lifetime-experience' sort of place to me," she says. PIctured is Ahu Tongariki, the Chilean territory's largest stone platform.
Lahaul and Spiti district, India. "Striking, icy and remote, the scenery here is breathtakingly beautiful. Being right next to Tibet, the area's benefited from Tibetan influence, too," says Fanthorpe. This shot is of the famous Chandratal Lake.
St Petersburg, Russia. A "classic" canal city, St. Petersburg has dozens of islands, "beautiful pastel palaces, more than 400 bridges, imposing mansions, churches with colorful onion domes and landscaped gardens and parks," she says. Peterhof Palace (shown here) is really a series of palaces and gardens.
Beirut, Lebanon. While Beirut has spent much of its recent history being defined by the troubles in the Middle East, she says, "in a world where overtourism is becoming more of a problem and where adventurous travelers are seeking out the most interesting places to eat, shop and gallery hop, that just makes Beirut even cooler."
Saxon Switzerland, Germany. "I was surprised to learn that these strange rock formations, surrounded by lush countryside and wooded hills, were actually in Europe," says Fanthorpe. "It's just an extra draw that these landscapes [were] featured in Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel."
The Alhambra, Spain. A "massive fan" of Islamic art, Fanthorpe can't wait to see "one of the most impressive examples of Moorish architecture and ornamentation the world over."
Namibia. "There are plenty of safari destinations in Africa, but Namibia looks particularly special," she says. "You can see lions, elephants, giraffes and oryx, but there are also the arresting landscapes of the oldest desert in the world."