WH Travel & Passports
On October the 1st I got myself a new passport. Not that the old one had expired (it was still good for 6 more years), but the visa pages had run out. Within a week I had a new one. In the Netherlands you have to apply at your city hall – the application process takes a few minutes and costs 71.35 EUR. They gave me a so-called ‘Business Passport’ this time – it has 64 visa pages instead of the regular 32. I also considered to try for a second passport, but it isn’t really necessary (I use an ID card to travel within the Schengen area on the odd occasion that my proper passport lies at an embassy).
What's a good passport to have?
One would think that any EU passport has the same privileges. But according to the ‘Henley Passport Index’ (“the most rigorous and sophisticated measure of global access”), the Dutch passport is 5th on the global ranking but ‘less’ worthy than the German one. Our neighbors can get into Pakistan, Vietnam and Turkey visa free, while the Dutch can’t. Holders of a passport of Japan (no visa needed for China!) and Singapore are the luckiest overall by the way.
So far on my travels – spanning 114 countries – I have never encountered a particularly difficult visa to get. Also, I have never had a visa denied. Nauru, South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea seem especially hard to enter, but fortunately these 3 countries don’t have WHS (yet).
WHS displayed on/in Passports
A real WH traveler would of course be very pleased with having an image of a WHS displayed on his or her passport. We even have a connection for that: On Passports. According to that (somewhat older) list, Swiss and UK passport holders seem to be the luckiest: theirs have 3 WHS each!
I found a couple more to add to this connection:
- The US passport includes the Statue of Liberty on page 26 and Independence Hall on pages 8 and 9.
- Norway features a design impression of Geirangerfjord.
- The Great Wall brightens up from the Chinese passport when seen under ultraviolet rays.
- And the Phillipines apparently show the Ifugao Rice Terraces.
- Japan's new passport - to be released in 2020 - will have artists impressions of the 36 views of Mt. Fuji.
- The Bangladesh passport covers all 3 WHS: Paharpur Vihara, and Bagerhat (Shat Gombuj mosque) and the Sundarbans.
- Britain launches a new design every five years. The latest one (2015) shows the Houses of Parliament at Westminster and the Royal Observatory at Maritime Greenwich.
While researching this connection, it proved to be not easy to spot these pages on internet searches. I would have loved to browse through an Iranian passport for example, wondering whether Persepolis or Pasargadae are there. Governments probably aren't too keen giving away many details to the fake passport industry.
Can you look into your passport and see whether there is anything WHS related in it?
Els - 1 December 2019
Kbecq 1 December 2019
The Belgian one has pictures of the city halls of the provinces' capital cities, so 3 WHS (Belfries, Bruges and Brussels)
Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero 1 December 2019
My new Philippine passport features four: Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (properly represented by Batad -- notice, our 20 pesos bill eroneously labeled the Banaue rice terraces as WHS when it is not), the Underground River of Puerto Princesa, and Vigan.
Zoë Sheng 1 December 2019
Chinese passport has a page per province (including city states and special admin like HK).
Beijing -> Forbidden City
Hebei -> Great Wall (Shanhai Pass)
Jiangsu -> Suzhou Gardens
Zhejiang -> West Lake
Anhui -> Huangshan
Fujian -> Wuyishan
Special Middle Section 2-page Great Wall
Shandong -> Taishan
Henan -> Longmen Grottos
Hunan -> Zhangjiajie
Guangdong -> Danxia
Sichuan -> Dujiangyan
Yunan -> Shilin Stone Forest
Tibet -> Potala Palace
Shaanxi -> Terracotta Warriors
Gansu -> Dunhuang
Xinjiang -> Silk Road
Extra page Temple of Heaven
Great Wall is also featured on the reverse of the hard cover
Special 2-page Tiananmen Square (T)
Hunan -> Yangtze Gorges Scenic Spot (T) (well it actually has the Yangtze Damn)
Guangxi -> Lijiang River (T)
Chongqing also has a Yangtze River spot
Guizhou -> Huangguoshu (T)
Qinghai has a the Qinghai-Tibet Railway which passes through Qinghai Hoh Xil
There is a page for Taiwan (Sun Moon Lake) *cough cough*
Macao places the new bridge across the bay rather than the old town...lame
Els Slots 1 December 2019
Oh, the Portuguese ones (upto December 2015) are really nice! See https://www.pep.pt/inside/?lang=en
Khuft 1 December 2019
The current Portuguese passports feature all WHS of the country (as well as the Intangible heritage).
Zos M 1 December 2019
Vigan and Puerto Pricessa Sub Terranean River is also on PH passport
Tsunami 1 December 2019
My US passport, which I renewed in March this year, has Ms. Liberty on page 24 and 44 and the Liberty Bell and the Indie Hall on page 8&9 and 30&31, but the Liberty Bell on page 8 is covered by my Russian visa!
Els Slots 1 December 2019
Thanks. I'll add it to the connection. Even found a photo of it: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/photos/historical-watermarks-on-new-canadian-passports-slideshow/canadian-passport-7-photo--1643267550.html
Watkinstravel 1 December 2019
Pages 24+25 of the Canadian passport have a photo of Quebec City :)