10 pics that will make you book holiday right now

Got to get out and travel? Go here – 10 amazing spots you’ll be really, really happy to see.
By Alison Mann

From snow monsters to incredible icebergs, here are some more mysterious places that the world has to offer. The planet just keeps on giving us beautiful places to feast our eyes upon, so how could we say no to another stunning line-up?

We’ve put together a selection of fascinating images – a mystical temple perched on a rock, a feature on the sand that dumbfounds scientists and the biggest Buddha in the world. If you like that, you’re sure to like our previous collections, 12 incredible places to set your travel compass and 10 places that really do exist.

See incredible snow monsters

View from Mount Zao in Yamagata, Japan
Serious snow in the snowiest place on earth © Getty Images/The Asahi Shimbun

Yamagata, Japan

Like a scene out of a movie, mammoth white snow monsters trudge across a mountain, with gondolas swinging precariously above. Such a magical scene can only belong to Japan.

Zao Onsen is a top ski resort, situated in the volcanic mountain range at Mount Zao. It also happens to be one of the only places in Japan to feature ‘snow monsters’ – or frozen trees if we are going to break the mystery.

Visit a temple in the ocean

The Tanah Lot Temple, Bali
Tanah Lot temple © Getty Images/Axiom RM

Tanah Lot Temple

Sitting in a gorgeous bay, perched on a lush green island, Tanah Lot Temple makes for a spectacular view. Hopes of a mystical meaning for the word Tanah Lot can stop right here though, as it simply means “small island floating on the sea”.

If it looks a bit like a stage set, you might be closer than you think – one-third of the rock is artificial after the original began to crumble. It’s loved by tourists, but is also important for the Balinese, as one of their most important sea temples.

Visit a tabletop ‘tepui’

The amazing Mount Roraima in Venezuela and Guyana
The famous Mount Roraima © Getty Images/Collection Mix: Subjects RM

Mount Roraima, Guyana

If you’re looking for a lost world, then Mount Roraima is right up your street. Visitors can marvel at huge waterfalls, maze-like stone pinnacles, crystal-covered valleys and quite wild vegetation.
From the air, it is possible to see the unusual flat top of the mountain, locally known as Tepui – meaning “house of the gods”.

It was shrouded in mystery amongst the native Pemon, who dared not venture to the summit in fear of reprisal from the gods, and strange creatures living in the clouds.

Want to see more of Mount Roraima? Check out climber Stefan Glowacz' expedition in this photogallery.

Take a dip in Turkey

Travertine Pools at Pamukkale hot springs
Travertine Pools at Pamukkale hot springs © Getty Images/Flickr RF

The Travertine Pools, Pamukkale

It looks like it has been crafted out of cotton, or an icy haven – it is a true Turkish paradise. The cascading white terraces are of course not made from cotton, but not from ice either. They are formed when water from thermal springs, containing calcium carbonate, pours into the terraces.

Initially, they are very soft but eventually harden and are an inviting place for tourists to relax in the delightful 35.6ºC water. Bliss.

Say a prayer with the biggest Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha, which at 71m. or 233ft, is the largest stone Buddha in the world
This 71m buddha head is the biggest on the planet © Getty Images/age fotostock RM

The Leshan Giant Buddha, China

You can never go wrong with a giant Buddha when it comes to mysterious places and the Leshan Giant Buddha is no exception. The huge statue looks over the confluence of three rivers – the Min, Qingyi and Dadu.

Work began on the statue in the year 713 and was not finished until 803 – taking more than 90 years to carve. All that work wasn’t for nothing – it’s still the biggest stone Buddha in the world! It stands around 71 metres tall and his fingers are three metres long.

Fly a balloon over a winter wonderland

Hot air balloons fly over Cappadocia, a historical region in Central Anatolia
Balloons over Cappadocia in winter © Anadolu Agency

Cappadocia, Turkey, in winter

A fairytale landscape that can only be described as an oddity – a geological one that is. The honeycomb-like structures are scattered over the Anatolian plains and are the result of some complicated natural wonders.

The tall structures are made of a soft stone so historically, local people began building cities underground, and inside them. Underground is just as fascinating as above in Cappadocia, as there is a maze of tunnels and rooms.

Pretend you’re James Bond in Japan


Hashima Island off Nagasaki, Japan
The infamous Warship Island © Getty Images/The Asahi Shimbun

Hashima Island off Nagasaki, Japan

You know it from the Bond flick Skyfall. This now-uninhabited island 15km from Nagasaki, Japan, once housed workers who clocked in at underwater coalmines; when that industry disappeared in 1974, so did the population. In 2009, the spot opened to tourist day boats.

If you did want to pretend to b Bond, you’d have to avoid being noticed by the daily three-hour tours – but these same tours could provide medical evac, should you slip on broken glass shards, or fall from loose balconies or other hazards.

See terraforming in action

A volcano takes over an island in Japan
This is world-building, the old-fashioned way © Getty Images/The Asahi Shimbun

Volcanic island in the Ogasawara Chain, Japan

That little speck of brown on the right side of the picture? That's the island of Nishinoshima – but it's quickly being swallowed up by the volcanic eruption, which began in November, 2013. The newly-formed land mass now has an area of 1.58 square kilometers. Impressive? Only when you realise it's eight times the size it was before.

Walk through a forest of stone

The Tsingy of Bermaha
A forest of stone in Madagascar © Olivier Grunewald

Tsingy de Bemaraha, Madagascar

Photographer Olivier Grunewald loves to travel to unique places – that's why he's been to Madagascar three separate times. This time it was to photograph the Tsingy de Bemaraha, or the Forest of Stone as it's sometimes known. It's a labryinth of sharp stone pinnacles and intertwining canyons and crevices.

Stay tuned to the Redbull.com Skate Channel to see upcoming four-wheeled adventure in Madagascar – where some of the world's skaters ditch the city to skate stone.

Visit a Tibetan temple

Key Gompa – Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Spiti
Key Monastery, Tibet © Getty Images/Moment RF

Key Gompa, Spiti, Tibet

This Tibetan Buddhist monastery rests nearly 4,200m above sea level near the Spiti River. Founded in the 11th century, it's been a home for monks ever since and was visited by the Dalai Lama during a millenial celebration in 2000. While it's still a function monastery, visitors are welcome – provided they're willing to deal with the 210km bus ride from Manali to Kali.

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