With Chinese New Year comes the re-emergence of frenzied zodiac readings and auspicious Feng Shui guides for luck and happiness. As Chinese elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, and Metal) are believed to be important to our everyday interactions with the world, they’ve been paired with unique picturesque destinations that embody each one. Take a leap of luck into these spots of wanderlust:
Destination: Northern Territory, Australia
The Northern Territory is home to miles of natural lands, boasting ageless Indigenous culture and breathtaking earthy landscapes. Apart from tropical climatic Kakadu with its bio diverse nature reserves and wetlands, stop by the heart of the Red Centre in Alice Springs, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Explore icons such as the ancient monolith, Uluru – thought to have started forming over 550 million years ago, or the Kata Tjuta – large prehistoric rock formations sacred to the Anangu Aboriginal people. Marvel at the natural wonders of this Australian gem, a true embodiment of Earth.
Talk about white-sand beaches and crystal azure waters teeming with tropical fish, and Maldives may spring to mind. This ornate archipelago of over a thousand islands is a beach lover’s dream with its idyllic coasts, and an aquatic lover’s paradise. Below the luxury resorts dotting the shores lie an abundance of marine life with alluring coral reefs on display. Popular among diving enthusiasts, many flock to these waters to swim with manta rays and sharks. These ocean giants, backed by terraces of corals, wrecks, and other interesting marine life, make this the perfect Water destination!
Destination: New York, U.S.A
Famed city metropolis New York makes it mark across the world with its hold on business, fashion, culture, and having numerous renowned architecturally-acclaimed landmarks. Flaunting metal mammoths such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center, these architecture marvels juxtapose buildings from earlier time periods. Let’s not forget two other wonders – the grand and looming Brooklyn Bridge and its beloved city skyline, seen in countless movies and TV shows.
While you would think Iceland is just about, well, ice, it actually has a lot of affinity with fire – volcanoes. Home to almost 200 volcanoes, one is colossal Hvannadalshnúkur, the highest peak of Öræfajökull, an ice-covered volcano. Towering over everything in its wake, a concentration of active and dormant volcanoes alike provide a booming tourism with sites of warm lava and newly-created craters. Off the beaten track, you’ll find hidden valleys of hot volcanoes amidst glaciers – showing us that fire always burns.
Destination: Ubud, Bali
Ubud is known for its traditional Balinese dance, arts and crafts. Amidst natively-dressed locals and sweeping fields of rice paddies, traditional wood carvings and paintings are seen everywhere which tell of the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia. Wander out to Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest, a sacred temple site and lush nature reserve. Long-tailed macaques also call this place home, alongside the acres of over a hundred species of majestic trees. Wood is truly at the heart of this interesting destination.