Burma takes Gold for Top Country 2013 (Dreamstime)

Wanderlust Travel Awards 2013: WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Who ticked your trip-booking box? Which kit got your pick? And where will be crowned your top travel destinations? You voted in your thousands, so read on to find out…

Back in November and December we asked you – the Wanderlust readers – to tell us about your year in travel. We wanted the highs and the lows. We wanted to know which destinations came top and which cities, countries and tour operators you think are unmissable. The results – as voted for by you – are set out below.

In many categories we asked you to list up to four entries (eg countries visited) and score each one on its merits. The final positions were based on an average score for the entry (converted to a percentage) – so the results are based on satisfaction rather than the number of votes. In categories where no percentage is shown (eg travel gear; TV shows) the results were simply based on number of votes cast. 

Thanks to... Nikon for offering entrants the chance to win a COOLPIX camera, worth a cool £299. Thanks also to everyone who took the time to share their travel highs and lows with us, to give us a true picture of what travellers really think.

Top Country: Myanmar/Burma

Ranking %

1. Myanmar/Burma 96.98

2. Peru 96.58

3. New Zealand 96.25

4. Bhutan 95.63

5. Jordan 95.56

6. Namibia 95.17

7. Chile 94.29

8. Iceland 93.75

9. Vietnam 93.67

=10. Botswana 93.64

=10. Colombia 93.64

We’ve been saying Burma would be a big deal for a while now; you voted it your Top Emerging Destination in 2011… and your travels prove that you agree! Rising from last year’s fourth place, this year the incomparable Burma takes the top spot to be crowned Wanderlust Readers’ Top Country 2013.

Highlights include Yangon’s (Rangoon) grand colonial buildings and the incredible ‘Golden Pagoda’ Shwedagon Paya; Mandalay, a slow-moving, upcountry outpost where bicycles set the pace and every hill is topped with a pagoda; the stupa-studded plains of Bagan, cradled by the Irrawaddy River (Burma's answer to Angkor Wat); and the still waters of Inle Lake where the fishermen propel their narrow dugout canoes by paddling an oar with one leg.

Wanderlust’s co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Lyn Hughes, who visited in 2011, is in full agreement, “Burma is wonderful: atmospheric scenery; talented craftspeople; astonishing temples; great souvenir shopping; yummy food. I didn’t want to leave!”

As well as Burma, New Zealand, Bhutan and Namibia hold on to their top 10 places from last year. Perennial favourite New Zealand remains in third place – for the third year running. Bhutan and 2011 winner Namibia fall from second and fifth respectively.  

You've been everywhere! Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chad all received nominations.

Top Emerging Destination: Nicaragua

1. Nicaragua

2. Greenland

3. Taiwan

4. Albania

5. Sudan

Nicaragua might have had a turbulent past, but its travel-future is looking bright. The hotly tipped Central American is your Top Emerging Destination. Why? Well, there’s colonial history, both Spanish and British (its Corn Islands were once a base for British buccaneers) but the highlight has to be vast Lake Nicaragua, which is dominated by Ometepe Island’s twin volcanoes.

Top City: Hoi An

1. Hoi An, Vietnam 97.18

2. Cusco, Peru 95.76

3. Kyoto, Japan 94.81

4. Bagan, Myanmar/Burma 94.55

5. Copenhagen, Denmark 94.17

6. Udaipur, India 94

7. New York, USA 93.24

8. San Francisco, USA 92.82

9. Venice, Italy 92.56

10. Siem Reap, Cambodia 92.5

With a whopping 98.18% satisfaction rating, Hoi An in Vietnam is your winner this year. Runner-up Cusco, Peru – the gateway to Machu Picchu – is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2009.

You scored over 970 cities! From Bognor to Ouagadougou...

Most Popular Travel Blog:

Kellie Netherwood: '15 tips for responsible travel in Burma'

This category was judged on the quality of web traffic (including page views and time on site) and Kellie Netherwood’s useful and thought-provoking ‘15 tips for responsible travel in Burma’ from her blog Destination Unknown caught your attention and got your clicks. It’s a must-read if you’re planning on visiting Wanderlust Readers' Top Country. 

Travel Blog of the Year:

Gold: Allan Wilson's Guide to Bangkok's best street food

This award was judged by the experts on the Wanderlust web team, who were looking for something informative, inspiring and original. Allan’s post about Bangkok’s best street food, on his blog live-less-ordinary.com, whet our appetite for visiting the Thai capital. Allan’s enthusiasm, as well as the depth of information, impressed the judges.

Silver: Helen Moat's Returning to Belfast

The team also couldn’t resist awarding a Silver honour in this category, to Helen Moat (moathouse-moathouseblogspotcom.blogspot.co.uk) for her post, ‘Returning to Belfast’ – an inspiring read.

Top Tour Operator: Selective Asia

1. Selective Asia 99.79

2. Bamboo Travel 99.65

3. Llama Travel 99.20

4. Travel the Unknown 97.93

5. Audley Travel 97.23

6. Wild Frontiers 97.01

7. TransIndus 96.25

8. Journey Latin America 96.00

9. HF Holidays 95.95

10KE Adventure Travel 95.45

You travelled with 605 different companies this year, and the standard of service is so high that it took 95% in traveller satisfaction to make the top 10 this year; no mean feat! With a whopping 99.79%, Selective Asia takes the crown this year but it’s a close-run between the Asia specialists; Bamboo Travel came a close second with 99.65%. Llama Travel, Travel the Unknown, TransIndus and KE Adventures all storm on to your list after missing out last year.

Top Airline: Singapore Airlines

1. Singapore Airlines 91.56

2. Air New Zealand 91.5

3. Emirates 90.35

4. Qatar Airways 89.81

5. Bangkok Airways 88.75

6. Etihad 88.64

7. Korean Air 85.71

8. Malaysia Airlines 84.91

9. Thai Airways International 84.58

10. Swiss International Air Lines 84.32 

They’ve done it again! Out of over 260 airlines, Singapore Airlines are your number one for the fifth consecutive year. It’s testament to their hospitality, reliability and great onboard experience, that they’ve only been ousted from the top-spot once in Wanderlust's 12 Readers’ Travel Awards. Air New Zealand have come in your top three for five years running; this year they climb to second, possibly thanks to their hilarious Hobbit themed in-flight elf-and-safety video.

Top Worldwide Airport: Singapore Changi

1. Singapore Changi 94.13

2. Seoul Incheon 90.37

3. Hong Kong International 88

4. Vancouver 87.11

5. Amsterdam Schipol 86.78

6. Copenhagen 86.15

7. Kuala Lumpur 83.3

8. Zurich 83.13

9. Tokyo Narita 82.73

10. Siem Reap 82

Singapore’s multi-award winning Changi has never, ever, lost its place as your favourite airport. And out of 558 airports you used this year, that’s quite something. Last year Changi shared the title with Bhutan’s Paro (absent from this year’s top 10) but it’s back in the top spot solo, with an even higher satisfaction rating than before too.

Top UK Airport: London City

1. London City 90

2. Southampton 88.70

3. Inverness 87.14

4. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 87.06

5. Birmingham Int 82.16

6. Humberside 81.67

7. Exeter 80

8. Edinburgh 79.29

9. Bournemouth 78.46

10. Norwich 78.18

London City and Southampton have been fighting it out for the past few years; London City comes out on top as your favourite UK Airport 2013. But, if London Heathrow Terminal 5 was an airport it would have won… and with a few more nominations, Kirkwall in the Orkneys could have taken the crown. Watch out for next year!

Top Guidebook Series: DK

1. Dorling Kindersley 80.52

2. Lonely Planet 79.78

3. Bradt 77.14

4. Rough Guides 76.57

5. Footprint 72.94

6. Insight 72.76

7. Time Out 71.99

8. Blue Guides 65.94

9. AA 65.34

10. Cadogan 60.17

We love DK Eyewitness Travel’s guidebooks (so much we use them for our Travel Icon pocket guide series in Wanderlust magazine) and so do you. ‘The guides that show you what others only tell you’ are back for a second year in the top-spot, with their evocative imagery and useful nuggets of info. The ubiquitous Lonely Planet followed by the ever-informative and pioneering Bradt guides.

Top Equipment Brand: Rohan

1. Rohan

2. North Face

3. Craghoppers

4. Berghaus

5. Paramo

6. Regatta

7. Karrimor

8. Patagonia

9. RAB

10. Columbia

Rohan has an impressive range of products for all you travellers out there, from waterproofs to security… and they have taken the top spo every year bar one.

Rohan aren’t the only winners in this category though, you are too! Wanderlust readers can save 10% on any purchase with the coupon code WL37 at www.rohan.co.uk

Top TV or Radio Programme

1. Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve

2. Brazil with Michael Palin

3. Excess Baggage

4. An Idiot Abroad

5. Great Railway Journeys

6. Downton Abbey

7. Coast

7. Frozen Planet

9. Globetrekker

10. World's most dangerous roads

Homeland came 11th, Strictly Come Dancing came 32nd...

Simon Reeve hit the top spot in 2011 with Tropic of Cancer, and he’s back in winning form this year with his fascinating six-part documentary on the Indian Ocean. The series took him from South Africa to Australia via 16 contrasting countries, exploring their differences and connections with engaging charm and journalistic verve. TV travel legend Michael Palin’s four-part series on Brazil and much-missed radio favourite Excess Baggage got your nod for second and third.

Top Website: Bamboo Travel

1. BambooTravel.co.uk 98.89

2. SelectiveAsia.com 98.40

3. Audleytravel.com 95.48

4. lla

matravel.com 95.47

5. Seat61.com 95.15

6. wildfrontiers.co.u

k 93.33

7. hfholidays.co.uk 90.98

8. ramblersholidays.co.uk 90.20

9. Skyscanner.net 89.82

10. wanderlust.co.uk 89.76

Simple, easy to use and full of all the info you need for planning a trip to Asia… could be either of our deserving top two, but Bamboo Travel just pips Selective Asia to the winning website accolade. We loved their interactive map, the punchy highlights and the need-to-know info on each country page in particular. Out of the 572 websites scored, you also loved Audley and Llama Travel’s websites and the ever-informative Seat61. 

Travel companion: My Wife

1. My Wife

2. Michael Palin

3. My Husband

4. David Attenborough

5. My Partner

6. Simon Reeve

7. Stephen Fry

7. Bear Grylls

9. Julia Bradbury

10. Bruce Parry

Yes, many of you would happily head off for adventures with Michael Palin, David Attenborough or Top TV winner Simon Reeve. But overwhelmingly – and rather encouragingly – your favourite travelling companions are your other halves! ‘My wife’, ‘my husband’ and ‘my partner’ all made the top ten separately, proving you don’t need to bag a celeb to live the travel dream – most of you already are.

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