8 mins

5 places you MUST see before you die

Patricia Schultz spent eight years researching 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. We asked her to cut her list to just five

5 places to see before you die

1. Rio De Janeiro

I was there ten days ago and I can’t believe that city. It’s one of the most stunningly sited cities in the world. With 45 miles of beach. Can you say that about any other city in the world?

The Olympics are coming to Rio in 2016, so it’ll be interesting to see how the city evolves. I suggest visiting now, before it gets too varnished, too sanitised, and before they relocate all the favelas.

2. Laos

Not just a place or a park or a waterfall. The entire country. It’s small and navigable and still very exotic. The people are very welcoming. It’s very safe. And it’s so rich with complexity and Luang Prabang is such a special place.

It’s changing. So get there soon.

3. An African safari

More an experience than a place, so it doesn't really matter where you make it happen. It’s something you'll remember for the rest of your life.

There are any number of places you could go. I love the Okavango Delta in Botswana. But I also loved the Serengeti in Tanzania. I even loved Kruger, which is somewhat commercialised, but offers incredible wildlife viewing, particularly of the Big Five.

But really, no matter where you go on an African safari it’s an experience that’s unparalleled.

4. Papua New Guinea

The Sing Sing that happens there every August is one of the most surreal things that I have been privileged to witness, ever. Very Stone-Age-meets-the-21st-century. Actually, mostly Stone Age, but with an occasional glimpse of the 21st century.

I’d wanted to go to PNG ever since I was 12 and it didn't disappoint. The incredible primary colours –the reds, whites, yellows and blues. The Bird of Paradise feathers. The pierced noses. They wear drinking straws in their noses! I’m not sure what that’s all about. It was much more impressive to me as an American when it was a pig tusk or a feather.

PNG is definitely off most people’s radar. And I’m not sure I’d suggest anyone see Papua New Guinea alone. Maybe go on an escorted tour.

5. New York, New York

As predictable as it may be, I’ve got to nominate my home town, New York. I feel so lucky to live there. I come home from every trip and it’s always new and exhilarating to me. We’re only half kidding when we say New York is the centre of the universe.

There’s a great quote that I often use by an old film actress, Myrna Loy. She said if you’re bored in New York, it’s your own fault. I’ve never, ever, ever been bored. You can go out at 2 o’clock in the morning to buy milk and you come back with stories to tell.

I love New York. I could start singing and dancing, but that would be bad.

Patricia Shultz's visit to the UK was sponsored by Trafalgar Tours. Trafalgar offer tours to over 400 of the places listed in Patricia's book and pride themselves on giving the customers a deeper understanding of the places they visit. For more details, visit their website.

1,000 PlacesThe second edition of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die is available now and can be ordered on Amazon.


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