What is the 8th Wonder of the World?
During our travels we’ve come across some pretty fantastic places, many of which claim to carry the status of “8th Wonder of the World”. A while back, we did a post on the NEW Seven Wonders of the World because, to be honest, we had no clue what made the elite list.
We thought it would be interesting to hear from the experienced travel blog community to get their thoughts on what deserves the title of 8th Wonder.
We purposely left it wide open, which created some interesting debate. Most contributors wanted guidance on what we were looking for. Natural wonder? Man-made Wonder? Ancient wonder? Technological wonder? We were deliberately vague, hoping to get a variety of unique recommendations.
It was quite refreshing to see that the responses were extremely diverse, with only a handful of world wonders getting multiple votes.
The results are in!
Let’s take a look at what top travel bloggers have to say…
Who? Marcello @ Wandering Trader
What? Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Why? Angkor is an incredible temple complex that was lost for hundreds of years, and the fact that it was built by a culture that we know very little about.
Who? Norbert @ GloboTreks
What? Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Why? Even though I haven’t been there, Angkor Wat and its other temples in the circle are one of the reasons I want to go to Cambodia. They look so impressive, mystical, and captivating. It’s almost impossible to avoid wanting to go there. Its stone carved creatures, its enormous size, and its aged temples are definitely a marvel worth visiting and preserving
Who? Caz and Craig @ yTravel Blog
What? Mount Bromo, Java, Indonesia
Why? If a wonder of the world means that your mouth gapes open in sheer awe and delight by what you are witnessing, then the sunrise over Mt Bromo in Java would be the 8th Wonder. As the sun slowly rises above the horizon and the full moon sinks below it on the opposite side, a most wondrous site is unveiled. Sitting on a shrouded bed of wispy clouds, Mt Semera puffs smoke from her cone. Lying in front of her is Mt Bromo also letting out steam and 3 other craters. It was the most magical sunrise I have ever had the pleasure of waking up at 3am for.
Who? Andi @ My Beautiful Adventures
What? The Moai of Easter Island
Why? Between the mystery of their existence and their breathtaking beauty, they definitely deserve to be the 8th Wonder of the World.
Who? Keith Jenkins @ Velvet Escape
What? The Moai of Easter Island
Why? It’s still pretty much a mystery as to how and why the statues were built. Nevertheless, it remains an incredible feat for a primitive society living in one of the most remote places on Earth.
Who? JoAnna @ Kaleidoscopic Wandering
What? The Moai of Easter Island
Why? If I had to add an eighth wonder of the world, it would definitely be the Moai on Easter Island. Though I haven’t seen them myself, I’ve read that some of the carved human figures weigh several tons. I can’t imagine how they were made, let alone moved across several miles and placed upright. That alone makes them worthy of the title of the eighth Wonder of the World.
Who? Matt @ Nomadic Matt
What? The Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala
Why? Though a very famous site to begin with, what I love about Tikal is that during the early morning or late afternoon hours, after all the big tour groups leave, the place is a ghost town. It’s just you, monkeys, nature, and ruins. It makes me feel like Indiana Jones and since the ruins are pretty overgrown, it’s like you are discovering them for the first time.
Who? Deb and Dave @ The Planet D
What? The Mayan Ruins in Tikal, Guatemala
Why? Tikal is the greatest ruin on earth. This fascinating Mayan complex is hidden in the middle of the Guatemalan rain forest. Stone pyramids tower over the jungle canopy while others are engulfed by Mother Nature. As you explore the complex while listening to the roar of the howler monkey you realize that the giant mounds of earth surrounding you are actually ancient pyramids. Many of Tikal’s ruins are left unexcavated only adding to its mystique and wonder.
Who? Earl @ Wandering Earl
What? Bagan, Myanmar
Why? The sight of a seemingly infinite number of exotic Buddhist temples, stupas and other structures rising out of the mysterious, dusty plains is one of the most extraordinary sights anywhere. With a rich 1,500 year history and over 2,200 structures still standing, the ancient city of Bagan impresses from every angle, whether it be a sunset view from the upper terrace of Shwesandaw Pagoda, standing at the grand entrance to the Sulamani Temple or sitting speechless in front of a 9.5 meter tall standing Buddha statue inside of the Ananda Temple. With significantly less visitors than other sites in Southeast Asia, Bagan maintains a timeless and powerful atmosphere that only a few places on the planet offer.
Who? Todd @ Todd’s Wanderings
What? The Ancient City of Bagan, Myanmar
Why? This is equally as beautiful and impressive as Angkor Wat or any of the other ancient cities, but is less well known because of the restrictions placed on visiting the country. Visiting the hundreds of temples on dirt track by horse cart is one of my favorite travel memories.
Who? Anil @ foXnoMad
What? Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) in Istanbul, Turkey
Why? From church to mosque to museum, it’s literally layered history – in a city that’s a living example of that itself! Plus, you can book cheap flights to Turkey from virtually any major European city, making this incredible 8th Wonder very attainable.
Who? Kent & Caanan @ No Vacation Required
What? The Internet
Why? Without it, we could not live the life we do, see the world like we do or even respond to this question. It is borderless and very egalitarian. You don’t have to fly to Rio or Egypt to experience the other wonders of the world. Is it the same, no. But it offers the entire world an opportunity to see things that previously were reserved for a select few (and locals, of course). Finally, it is the single greatest thing that has happened to travel since the airplane. Can you imagine planning a trip without the internet?
Who? Christy @ Ordinary Traveler
What? Zion National Park in Utah, USA
Why? Zion National Park’s dramatic landscape of sculptured canyons and soaring cliffs was known to Pioneers as a place of refuge. The unique geography of this park stretches 229 square miles and is home to the world’s largest arch (Kolob Arch) which spans 310 feet. Another natural wonder that lies in Zion is a deep gorge with almost vertical walls that was cut through rocks by the North Fork Virgin river. This canyon is so deep and narrow that sunlight cannot reach the bottom.
Who? Laurel @ Expat in Germany
What? Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in SW Alberta
Why? The site has been used for 6000 years by aboriginals who would round up the buffalo, get them going really fast, and then have them jump over a cliff, which by the time the buffalo saw was too to stop. It sounds simple but required extensive planning and knowledge about buffalo in order for the buffalo jump to be successful. I’ve yet to meet a European who has heard of it and they’re always appalled when I tell them about it, so that’s one good reason it should be included, but also because it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best preserved buffalo jumps in the world.
Who? Audrey @ Uncorned Market
What? Great Wall of China
Why? I never thought much about the Great Wall of China until I saw it firsthand. It is truly amazing how the wall seems to almost glide across the hills and landscape. And the vast size of it blows your mind away. Photos and videos of it just don’t do it justice.
Who? Laurence @ Finding the Universe
What? The Great Wall of China
Why? Seriously, this thing is immense. When I stood on it, I just couldn’t quite get my head around how a labour force with no access to things like trucks and diggers was able to stick up a wall that covers an 8,000km long distance. I think even with trucks and diggers we’d struggle to build something like that today (well, I guess a billion Chinese people could do a metre each or something, that might do it).
Who? Keith Savage @ Traveling Savage
What? Skara Brae in Scotland’s Orkney
Why? Skara Brae is a nearly perfectly preserved Neolithic village. It’s about 5,000 years old (older than the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge) and it provides incredible insights to what life was like on this windy and northerly island. There used to be trees on Orkney! It’s truly the type of place to leave you speechless.
Who? Jill @ Jack and Jill Travel
What? Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California
Why? I know it sounds cheesy, but it was the most beautiful thing we have ever seen. As the morning sun warms up the dusting snow on the massive granites, it slowly disappears into wisps of vapour against bright blue sky.
Who? David @ Malaysia Asia
What? Komodo Island, Indonesia
Why? It is only here that you can find the amazing Komodo Dragon, which resembles a prehistoric creature. They are fascinating animals that are very high on the endangered list. If you ever have the chance to visit Indonesia, you must visit the Komodo Islands.
Who? Kim @ To Uncertainty & Beyond
What? The Goreme Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey
Why? The beautiful fairy chimneys are otherworldly. The little villages are very peaceful and you can find lots of tours, hiking paths, and hot-air balloon rides. You can sleep in a cave, climb around in underground whole cities that were built underground, and zip around on a scooter to find the best views. While I’m not sure I would quite put it put it up there with Petra or the Coliseum, it is still very beautiful. Nothing beats viewing the sunrise high up in a hot-air balloon!
Who? Lauren @ Globe Trooper
What? The Poles of the Arctic and Antarctica
Why? The two Poles represent a level of remoteness found nowhere else on this planet. The allure is a result of their isolation and frigidness. What surprises most people is that the average temperature in Antarctica is a frosty -37°. That’s pretty wonderous to me.
Who? Simon @ Wild About Travel
What? Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Spain
Why? Not only is it one of the finest examples of Modernism (also known as ‘Art Nouveau’ or ‘Liberty’), it was financed by a choral society, the Orfeó Català, and the wealthy citizens of Barcelona, as an expression of the Catalan cultural movement. Its awesome decorations are the work of local artisans and craftsmen who deployed their creativity while using local building materials and techniques, making the ‘Palau’ not only a breathtaking work of art but also the symbol of the ‘Catalan Renaissance’.
Who? Melvin @ Travel Dudes
What? Uluru in Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Why? It’s such an amazing place, even if it’s completely touristy nowadays.
Who? Tom @ Top Backpacking Destinations
What? Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina
Why? It took my breath away when I went, and the area remains unspoiled by human influence. It seems to go on forever into the distance and watching bits fall off and crash into the sea sends shivers down your spine. It was also possible to sit and take it all in without being disturbed by anyone – it isn’t overrun like many potential wonders and still feels as though it is in its natural environment rather than being turned into a theme park. Plus it’s one of very few (if any?) glaciers in the world that is still growing!
Who? Juno Kim @ Runaway Juno
What? Social Media and the Internet
Why? The greatest invention of the 20th century is the World Wide Web, and I couldn’t agree more. Korea is well known for its fast internet speed and early development, and I am still a total computer and science geek. It affected me to have a strong and unique sense of social media. I recently wrote a post about saying good bye during travel and social media. We now have new meaning of ‘friend’, ‘good bye’ and it’s all because of social media. It’s no wonder the movie social network got so many awards; it’s projected our lives!
Who? Mark @ Migrationology
What? Batad Rice Terraces in the Philippines
Why? The 116 rice terraces of Batad that are carved into the mountain side is a mind blowing display of human creativity and resourcefulness. I spent about a week hiking around the Cordillera Ifugao rice terrace region of the Philippines and had one of the most incredible times of my life.
Who? Sherry @ Ottsworld
What? Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines
Why? Everyone goes to the Philippines and head straight for the beaches – but you’ll be surprised at what you are missing up north. The terraces in and around Banaue are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These rice terraces in the mountains created were created 2,000 years ago and are still farmed today. Great photo collection here – Banaue Rice Terraces
Who? Bessie and Kyle @ On Our Own Path
What? Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Why? The salt flats and the areas around it are like being on a different planet where the scenery comes from the imagination of a science fiction writer. On top of that, there are wild llamas and flamingos running around.
Who? Shannon @ A Little Adrift
What? The Internet
Why? Though the Wonders are traditionally structures or nature, the internet has overcome the obstacle of physical tangibility and yet is the single largest identifiable catalyst for change in hundreds of years. Vicarious travel, daily doses of sheer wonderment, news, community and information are endlessly available through the Internet.
Who? Nellie @ Wild Junket
What? Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain
Why? My pick as the 8th Wonder of the World is the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. I live in Granada, and I never tire of the gorgeous sight of the Moorish Palace stacked high above the city centre. The palace adorns sandy-colored walls and Muslim carvings, back-dropped by a stunning view of the snow-peaked Sierra Nevada.
Who? Matt Long @ Landlopers
What? The Dead Sea, Jordan / Israel
Why? The Dead Sea is a remarkable phenomenon, it is the lowest point on the surface of the planet and the high salt content makes anyone ultra-buoyant. It has also had an important role in history serving as the background to countless benchmarks in the formation of Western Civilization.
Who? Amar @ Gap Year Escape
What? Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia
Why? Sailing the Whitsundays is a must for any world traveller. The Whitsundays is home to one of the best beaches in the world; Whitehaven. There is also incredible access to the Great Barrier Reef, the worlds largest reef system.
Who? Andy @ Sharing Travel Experiences
What? The South Island of New Zealand
Why? Well, it is unorthodox, but my vote is for the South Island of New Zealand. It’s so geologically unique – in a small space you have beaches, you have glaciers, and all sorts of stuff in between. Top that off with great food, local hospitality and you get an experience akin to one of the ancient wonders of the world, but only a (long) flight away!
Who? Jeremy @ Living the Dream
What? Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Why? Angkor Wat is a massive complex full of dozens of temples built throughout Cambodia’s history. Like the real wonder of the world Petra, Angkor Wat seems to extend out forever, and is quite larger than any of the pictures and instances in movies let on. So when you go, give yourself 2, if not 3 days there to see the full extent of it all!
Who? Michael aka Mobile Lawyer @ GoSeeWrite.com
What? Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Why? The vast scope of the whole area of temples is amazing and totally surprised me. It is worth 4-5 days of biking around and soaking the whole atmosphere in and should be on everyone’s must-do list.
Who? Ayngelina @ Bacon is Magic
What? Oaxacan Cuisine in Mexico
Why? The food in Oaxaca is as complex and as much as masterpiece as any historical structure around the world. Its legacy has lasted for centuries and continues to be a inspiration.
Congratulations – You’ve made it to the end!
As you can see, quite a diverse selection of answers! It’s quite evident that even the most experienced travelers cannot agree on what deserves the title of 8th Wonder of the World. This is a very good outcome, proving that our world is simply too extraordinary to be defined into such a small group.
That said, the clear winner in this poll is Angkor Wat in Cambodia, followed by the mysterious Moai of Easter Island in the South Pacific. I was surprised that there weren’t any votes for the Galapagos Islands, the Acropolis in Greece, the well preserved ruins of Ephesus in Izmir Turkey, Adam’s peak in Sri Lanka, the Sydney Opera House in Australia or even Mount Everest in Nepal.
Great question! No surprise, we also had differing opinions. Cam voted for Easter Island and Nicole voted for the Dead Sea in Jordan/Israel. But we both agree that the Galapagos Islands is a close second.
For those that didn’t make the list, we still want to hear from you!
Leave us your pick below and give a brief explanation as to why.