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World Heritage Site

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Recent Community Reviews

1034 of 1073 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

Forts and Castles Gold Coast Chris W., Netherlands 18.01.18

I visited all 11 castles that are on the list during my week road trip along the coast of Ghana. Driving yourself is straightforward (international drivers license is needed and enforced). Google Maps is your friend by finding the castles. A short summary and some tips if you plan to visit them all too:

If yuo have just a day these 3 are a must see. Cape Coast is "best" as the guided tour has lots of information and there are some small expositions. Elmina can be done without guide I think then but ELmina is nice with local fish market. Do go there with guide so they can show you more and do make the walk up to St Jago too! Worth it.

- Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast

- Elmina Castle, Elmina

- Fort St. Jago (Fort Conraadsburg), Elmina

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Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Zos M, Philippines/China 16.01.18

Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art

[Visited Ningming Cluster on Jan. 13, 2018]

English information on Hanoi-Nanning train route is limited. But coming from Hanoi, the MR1 train actually stops at Ningming Country. Hotels in Hanoi can book train tickets – mine costs $35 USD to Pingxiang Border and I bought Pingxiang-Ningming at the station for 11 RMB. The train leaves Hanoi at 9:15 PM and arrives Ningming at 7:00 AM.

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Abu Mena Stanislaw Warwas, Poland 15.01.18

Visited in November 2017. Whatever they tell you at the branch of Ministry of Tourism in Alexandria (at the SW corner of Saad Zaghloul Sqaure), there is no direct public transport from the city to the archaeological site and the new monastery. The best way is to hire a taxi and have a good map because taxi drivers are not even aware that there’s a site like this not very far from the city – agree on the price before heading off, we paid 40 USD for six-hour trip. If you really want to get there by public transportation, take a bus to Borg el Arab International Airport and ask the driver to leave you at the junction to New Borg el Arab city. Then you have to wave for the passing cars, although hitchhiking is not recommended. If you’re lucky, you can get to New Borg el Arab, and you’ll still have almost 6 km to walk.

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Coron Island Natural Biotic Area (T) Boj, Philippines & China 14.01.18

Coron Island Natural Biotic Area (T)

The property is currently the Philippines' only mixed cultural and natural site in the tentative list, and one that has most potential for inscription.

On surface level, most tourists would be quick to compare Coron with El Nido (another property in the tentative list) in terms of natural landscape, beauty and biodiverity. Hence, there is a need to promote how the culture of the Calamian Tagbanuas - the indigenous group living in Coron - is intimately intertwined with landscape and seascape management of the island, its surrounding reefs and islets. See uploaded photo describing the vast expanse of the property.

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Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (T) Joel Baldwin, Australia 13.01.18

Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (T)

My wife and I visited Ivrea in January 2018 on a sunny winter's afternoon. It's an easy one hour train ride from Turin's two main stations, and trains leave about every hour. The (proposed) World Heritage area is adjacent to the train station, and everywhere is fully walkable.

There's a nice trail of information signs, talking about the Olivetti company and its eponymous founders - the main employers for the town in the 20th century. The large factory building is very impressive and reminded us quite a bit of the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam.

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Blog: WHS #652: Cape Floral Region

The Cape Floral Region is one of the few WHS solely focused on flora. ‘Fynbos’ is the key subject here: a diverse shrubland and heathland vegetation with many endemic species. It comes for example in the variation of ‘rooibos’, that is used for the eponymous tea. Although plants aren’t my specific area of interest, I managed to visit Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens and the Table Mountain National Park during my 4 days in Cape Town. These cover only 1 of the 13 inscribed clusters – the other 12 are located in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces.

A bit of fynbos

My explorations started at Kirstenbosch gardens. I was staying at a Bed&Breakfast in Klaassens Road, next to Gate no. 3 of the gardens. This whole area is incredibly lush – and wealthy. Properties sell easily for over 1 million EUR. Entering Kirstenbosch via this upper gate leads you directly to the fynbos and the proteas, both almost only to be found in the Cape Floral Region. With the Table Mountain directly in the background, it’s all very pleasing to the eye. The lower part, near main entrance no. 1, is a bit more like a landscape garden and hosted lots of picnickers when I was visiting on a Saturday afternoon.

We’ve discussed before on this website whether it is more important to preserve an iconic and large fauna species such as the giant panda or the mountain gorilla, than for example a mouse or even an ant. This also applies to the flora: we have the giant trees of Redwood and the double ‘coco de mer’ coconut of Vallée de Mai. The Cape Flora Region’s main claim to fame is its fynbos – which essentially is a low and unassuming shrub. I have tried and tried to find anything to love about it, but I can’t.

Sugarbird at a protea

I spent 3 hours in Kirstenbosch, which is a pleasure to walk in. Kirstenbosch also has a (rather lame) canopy walkway, a new addition to our connection. More extreme activities can be done from Table Mountain. Getting there involves stepping into a spectacular cable car that rotates 360 degrees during the ride. From the top you can try abseiling, or just watch other people do it.

The remarkable thing about the top surface of the Table Mountain is that it is covered by a great variety of plants. Somehow you would just expect a rocky platform. There are trails to explore the 3km width of the mountain, and it is recommended to go as far from the cable car station as you can – only there you will find some peace and quiet to enjoy the landscape. Yes, Table Mountain is one of our ‘one million visitors or more’ sites.

Floral diversity on top of Table Mountain

Kirstenbosch and Table Mountain are two of the obligatory stops on any trip to Cape Town, and they were well worth a visit. They attract lots of people, both locals and tourists: a bit too many for my taste. The diversity in plant life is easy to grasp and certainly a strong point of these two locations. Unfortunately I was too late in season for the blooming of the flowers, so I had to look at a lot of green shrubs.

Published 19 January 2018

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