Where’s the best place you’ve ever been? It’s one of those slightly annoying questions that’s impossible to answer, like being asked to choose between wine and chocolate.
While 100 travellers would likely suggest 100 different landmarks as their all-time favourite, a clever algorithm has combed through millions of ratings on the TripAdvisor website to reveal the best-rated attraction over the past year.
Coming in at number one (and proving you don’t have to be young to win a popularity contest) is Cambodia’s 12th-century Angkor Wat. The UNESCO-listed cluster of temples beating a long roll call of classic sights to win the gong.
Some of the “losers” that made the top 10 were the Great Wall of China (number seven), India’s Taj Mahal (number five) and the Sheikh Zayad Mosque in Abu Dhabi (number two), which is a new place of worship that opened in 2007 and can handle 40,000 frothing pilgrims at a time.
It was beyond my imagination. That it has weathered the weather, civil war, and still stands proud today is even more incredible.
Spiritually was a common theme throughout the list this year, with Angkor Wat being the largest religious monument in the world. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire and gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple, this is no abandoned relic, like Machu Picchu or the Parthenon. Unlike the famous ruins that peppered the results, Angkor Wat has been used pretty much since it was built and is the best-preserved temple in Cambodia – which is something for a country that’s estimated to have over 4,000 ancient sites.
They say you shouldn’t ever read online comments, but with over 33,000 reviews and 81 percent of them giving it five stars, Angkor Wat has created a unique corner on the internet where positivity and delight rule. Take a recent post from the user SnowInTheSahara for example: “It was beyond my imagination. That it has weathered the weather, civil war, and still stands proud today is even more incredible. Definitely worth the visit.”
Like to see the world’s best landmark for yourself? TripADeal are offering a 15-day tour of Vietnam & Cambodia that includes a tour of Angkor Wat for just $2699, including return international flights. Click here for more details.
Image: Wat you lookin’ at? Spread over 402 acres, or roughly 160 city blocks, you could explore Angkor Wat for days.