Lonely Planet Writer

Top 5 dream destinations

KarnakIf you could pick five dream destinations, places you've always fantasized about visiting but never have, what would you choose? Don't allow yourself to be constrained by reality: push safety, politics, money and all other factors out of your mind and pick your top five. This question was posed to the community recently on the Thorn Tree forum and many jumped at the chance to share their personal lists.

[Photo: Karnak, Luxor, Egypt - by alh1]

The results are interesting and initially a bit surprising. Of the ~150 votes we've tallied so far, three destinations are tied for first place with only five votes: China/Tibet, Cuba, and Egypt. The predominant pattern that is emerging from the responses is one of breadth: nearly every corner of the globe was touched upon, the more offbeat the better.

In fact responders mostly eschewed the predictable, perhaps because they had already visited the most popular tourist destinations around the world (or possibly because they didn't want to seem boring, but let's go with the first explanation). Thailand, a perennial favourite amongst the Lonely Planet community, received no votes at all, while Iran and Antarctica both received four nods. Traditionally popular tourist destinations like England, France, Spain, Costa Rica and Australia all received one vote, in a dead heat with some unlikely competitors: São Tomé & Príncipe, Tajikistan, and a destination yet to be covered by a Lonely Planet guidebook, the Moon.

The Top 11 Dream Destinations:

  1. China/Tibet - 5
  2. Cuba - 5
  3. Egypt - 5
  4. Antarctica - 4
  5. Canada - 4
  6. Czech Republic - 4
  7. Iran - 4
  8. Mexico - 4
  9. New Zealand - 4
  10. Peru - 4
  11. Russia - 4

While many went for the unusual and exotic in their lists, there was clearly a range of reasons for the choices: a theatre geek from the Philippines wants to visit New York for the shows, a New Zealand resident dreams of skiing North America, and one responder wants to see Luxembourg simply because of the cute name.

Aurora borealis

If you haven't come up with your own top five dream destinations, here's your chance: join in the discussion on the Thorn Tree thread or add your comments below, and let us know why you picked some of your choices.

So where's it going to be? Do you dream of heading way up north to see the aurora borealis? Exploring the otherwordly landscape of Suqutra? Walking a knife-edge ridge in Rarotonga? Or something completely different?

[Photo: Aurora borealis, Yellow Knife, Canada - by yhaoi]