Ten Must-See Places for 2009

If you were asked to name ten places on the planet that would be on your “must-see” list, what would make the cut? That’s exactly the dilemma that travel writer Susan Spanos faced when compiling just such a list for the Los Angeles Times, who were putting together their Ultimate Guide to the World 2009.

The resulting list has some pretty amazing places, some of which might come as surprise. The author notes that some of them are “old favorites”, while others have snuck onto the list thanks to economic conditions forcing travel services to reduce prices, making them affordable for the first time.

Amongst those “old favorites” are Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska gets high marks for it’s breathtaking scenery, and wide array of activities available. 2009 also happens to be the 50 year anniversary of its induction into the Union. Hawaii is, as you would expected, also lauded for its scenery that includes the 13,796-foot tall Mauna Kea. Travel deals have made visiting the Big Island more accessible than ever as well, and they look to continue throughout the year.

Some of the surprise additions include a visit to the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, where a decade of political unrest has recently come to an end with the Maoists taking power. The unlikely destination of Syria also makes an appearance in the top ten with its rich history, culture, and cusine.

Of course, this is just one travel writer’s opinion. I’m sure many of the Gadling readers have their own personal list of places that they’ve already visited or intend to in the future. What makes the cut on your top ten must-see places?

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