1. Where you can experience the midnight sun
In the summertime, many northern European countries such as Sweden enjoy seemingly endless light-filled days. If you venture far enough north, you’ll get to experience their pinnacle – the midnight sun, when night never falls and the beginning of a new day on the clock simply sees the sun dip briefly to the horizon before rising once again. Visitors can choose to join a tour of Swedish Lapland, where bright yellow skies take on dusky orange hues over 24 hours. Other places to observe this include Norway, Iceland and Russia.
2. Where you can see colourful trees
You may be used to observing leaves changing colour as the seasons pass, but a native tree in the Philippines goes one better. Commonly known as the rainbow tree, the Eucalyptus deglupta is a unique variety of gum tree whose exterior peels back to reveal multi-coloured inner bark, in shades ranging from yellow to purple, orange, green and blue. Growing up to 75m high and two metres in diameter, these stripy giants can be spotted on the islands of Mindanao and Negros.
3. Where you can think pink
Australia’s natural assets are plentiful, from the Great Barrier Reef to the dramatic red centre in the Outback. But one of the most surprising has to be Lake Hillier, located in the Recherche Archipelago around eight hours from Perth. Fringed by verdant grass, white sands and the azure ocean, the lake itself is a stark, bright pink. It’s believed the water owes its colour to extreme levels of salinity, even though that theory hasn’t been proven. Whatever the reason for its flamingo-pink shade, the 600m-wide lake is worth a visit.
4. Where you can witness glowing seas
Forget the night sky – in the Maldives, you can see a whole beach of stars. On Vaadhoo Island in Raa Atoll, 140km from the capital Male, you could be lucky enough to see the nighttime shore aglow with thousands of bioluminescent phytoplankton. This rare sight occurs due to the presence of a variety called dinoflagellates, which shine neon blue when the water is disturbed by oxygen. That means the tiny creatures light up the beach like something from a sci-fi film.
5. Where you can walk across a lake of frozen bubbles
Considered the world’s greatest railway journey, the Trans-Siberian Express takes in spectacular views throughout Russia, from Moscow’s architectural grandeur to the mighty Ural Mountains. But one of its most unusual sights comes from a stop at the deepest lake in the world: Lake Baikal. Not only does this 1,642m-deep lake hold 20% of the world’s fresh water, but in the winter, it’s also home to a rare spectacle thanks to the frozen bubbles of methane gas which sit suspended in its otherwise inky blue depths. The result is a beautiful polka-dot effect.
6. Where you can mix fire and water
Located within Chestnut Ridge Park in Buffalo, New York, USA, is the romantically named Eternal Flame Falls. Pretty as it is, it’s not the small waterfall itself that’s remarkable – it’s the fact that behind the cascading water is a burning flame. Seeming to appear as if by magic, it flickers its way 20cm in the air. It remains alight thanks to a small but steady leak of natural gas emitted from the shale bedrock, creating a glowing grotto behind the curtain of water.
Illustration by Nathalie Lees
To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
This article was originally published in the March 2020 issue of SilverKris magazine