GLOSS Issue 5 ( Jan / Feb 2018 ) - Page 89

January is a time for making new resolutions – and even more importantly, planning out your precious vacation days. This time though, why not forego the recycled hits of every year, visiting Rome for The Colosseum or Paris for its Eiffel Tower, for hidden gems or extraordinary experiences? Luckily, GLOSS is ready with its top 7 picks of must-visits to help you make the most of your free time this year. Countryside Charms China’s Sichuan is best known for its Tibetan villages, multi-level waterfalls, colourful lakes that let you see straight to the bottom, and its cuisine – widely known throughout China for being spicy, hot, fresh and fragrant. Lots of interesting and unusual sights also await tourists in Sichuan from a 233-foot tall Buddha (Da Fo) carved in a mountainside to the 36-peak Mount Qingcheng, considered to be one of the birthplaces of Taoism. Other must-see spots include the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Xiongmao Jidi and the Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve which is a network of valleys. For historical hot spots, check out Jinli Pedestrian Street and the museum Du Fu Cottage. Bang For Your Buck Barcelona is a great choice if you are looking for a wallet-friendly stay in Europe. This Catalonian city offers some of the best museums in the world – Museu Picasso anyone? – and endless sightseeing opportunities. Its street life and architecture are irresistible and any tourist worth their salt will want as expansive a view as possible. So ditch the cable car ride across the harbour if you are looking to save cash and instead head over to El Turó de la Rovira, a civil war gun emplacement on a hill near Park Güell – free to climb. At the top, you can look out across the city to the sea, up the coast towards France and back to the Pyrenees. The city is also known for its vibrant street art scene as well, so sign up for a walking Barcelona Street Style Tour – also free but you will be asked to donate – for a gander at some of the city’s most popular as well as hidden street art. You can learn all about the emergence of the street art and graffiti movement. Besides this, Barcelona is also home to stylish stays, an abundance of green spaces, alfresco cinemas, famed beaches as well as food trends described as “sweeping through Barcelona faster than a pickpocket down the Ramblas.”