The doomsayer’s travel guide

THE world as we know it could end on December 21, just a few days away. So if there are things you want to get done before the end of the world, here’s your last chance to write a travel bucket list.

This top 10 list should get your travel juices going, and if of course the world doesn’t end soon, there’s plenty of time to tick some of these off in 2013.

1. Go around the world in 80 hours

The classic adventure novelist Jules Verne wrote about doing this in 80 days back in 1873. He probably never thought it’s possible to do in 80 hours now, or even a lot less. If you’ve always wanted to do a round the world trip there’s still plenty of time to fit this in before December 21.

2. Go epic

There’s also still time to tick off that ultimate tourist attraction you’ve always wanted to see: the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, Sydney harbour, Great Ocean Road, Uluru, the Gobi desert, the Terracotta Warriors, Great Wall of China etc.

3. Visit Middle Earth

If you’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand plus see the world of Tolkien come to life, now is the time. New Zealand is not far from anywhere in Asia. Sights to see include the jaw dropping Milford Sound, the beauties of lakes like Wanaka and Wakatipu, wonderful day hikes like the Tongariro Crossing and more. READ MORE: The real Middle Earth: Five locations from The Hobbit

Milford Sound, New Zealand. Pic: Joanne Lane,

4. Cruise the Three Gorges Dam

You don’t have time to cruise the entire Yangtze River but there’s plenty of time for the impressive Three Gorges Dam. The Yangtze is the third largest river in the world, but the largest in Asia while the dam project is the largest in the world.

5. See Sydney Harbour

CNN recently rated it 12th on its list of things to see before you die so it must be good! And it is. Take a ferry ride to Manly taking in the bridge, the opera house and the Sydney heads. Superb. READ MORE: Things to do in Sydney you won’t find in your guidebook

6. Go ancient

See some of Asia’s most ancient sites: the temples of Angkor Wat, Indonesia’s famed Borobodur, the wonderful temple plain of Bagan in Myanmar, India’s monument to love the Taj Mahal, the forts of Rajasthan…

Bagan temple plain, Myanmar/Burma. Pic: Joanne Lane,

7. Go rail

Undertake that epic rail journey you’ve always wanted before it’s too late. There’s the Trans Mongolian from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar or you could undertake an outback sojourn across the dead centre from Adelaide to Darwin, or Sydney to Perth. READ MORE: 5 great Asian train journeys

8. Dive the Great Barrier Reef

Hang with the fishes at one of the world’s most remarkable natural wonders. There’s plenty to see and do above or below the water.

9. Get to high altitude and see the world’s highest peaks

Time is running out for a summit of Everest but you could do a fly or drive past! Get your high altitude highs in other parts of Asia also such as the peaks of the Annapurna range in Nepal, India’s Karakoram or K2 on the border of Pakistan and China. Alternatively simply head to places like Tibet and Mongolia with some of the highest natural steppe in the world. READ MORE: Trekking in Nepal: Poon Hill – Ghandruk 

K2. Pic: Svy123, Creative Commons.

10. December 21

Make your plans for doomsday. If you’re in Russia, this might involve buying an apocalypse kit that includes a bottle of vodka.  Or you may just want to hang with friends in your favourite place at home. There are also plenty of festivities taking place around the world, the most notable ones in the Mayan heartland itself.

Got a travel bucket list to tick off before December 21? Add yours here.