Are These the Nine Coolest Things to Do in 2009?

Rough Guides has come up with this new list of the best things to do in 2009. What do you think?

Created by a team of travel experts and inspired by books like Make the Most of Your Time on Earth and Ultimate Adventures: A Rough Guide to Adventure Travel, Rough Guides has trawled its best travel minds to come up with its top tips for making the most of 2009.

· Soak up Cuba’s cultural legacy before everyone else gets there – Cuba’s era as an island caught in time could be drawing to a close as the US looks to lift visiting restrictions. Experience the motors, mojitos and music before the hordes arrive.

· Volunteering in New Orleans, USA – Immerse yourself in a city coming back to

life by joining up with an aid organization to help rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward and other areas hit hard by the post-Katrina floods.  Then head to the French Quarter to reward your efforts with beignets, jazz and Hurricane cocktails – they’re still served with gusto.

· Chill out in the UNESCO-protected town of Kotor, Montenegro – Climb to the top of the medieval walled town of Kotor for the best views of the world’s second deepest fjord, or try out Montenegro’s largest nightclub, Maximus, hidden away in its backstreets.

· Formula One night racing in Singapore – Live life in the fast lane at the world’s only Formula One night race when it returns to Marina Bay in autumn 2009. Marvel at the hair-pin bends and sweeping curves of the racetrack alongside Singapore’s impressive skyline.

· Discover Ningaloo, the west coast’s Great Barrier Reef, Australia – Escape the crowds on one of the world’s largest fringing coral reefs. If you’ve got the nerve, swim with whale sharks, snorkel and dive the reefs, or wander along the shoreline exploring the crystal clear waters.

· Witness the Granitola festival in Casamaccioli, Corsica – Celebrated in small villages across the island over Easter, the slow, spiralling processions of dozens of hooded penitents from the local monasteries, chanting and singing as they glide past, make it a wonderful place to be at this time of year.

· Break out the kilt for one of the largest clan gatherings in history, Edinburgh, Scotland – 2009 heralds the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, and a year-long celebration of all things Scottish. The Gathering will see clan members from all over the world congregate for a magnificent Highland Games in Holyrood Park:

· The Maulidi festival in Lamu, Kenya – Join in with the all-island party to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday in March. On this coconut island with no cars, where the town dates back to the 14th century, the whole population is caught up in processions, dancing and eating – and visitors are welcome to join in.

· Forget Rio, see the decade out in style in Baranquilla, Colombia – Come December the coastal town of Baranquilla turns into a winter extravaganza of dancing and partying. Round out a visit with a trip to the two neighboring cities: colonial Cartagena and the delightfully run-down seaside town of Santa Marta.