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2020 - A Year in Review(s)

2020 was the year of closed borders and stay at home orders. It also was the year without a WHC meeting, so no bonus ‘ticks’ for our community members coming from fresh WHS they visited before. Still, we found our ways to travel and keep this website alive.

Border between Belgium and The Netherlands, May 2020

The impact on our travels

Which members of the top 50 have added to their numbers significantly since March, when the WHO called the outbreak a global pandemic?

  • Not too many movements in the Top 10. Probably because most of the people in there are older; also it is hard to add lots of new WHS after you’ve reached a certain threshold. I came out ‘best’, with +9 new WHS divided among 5 countries and 2 continents.
  • Of those ranked numbers 11-20, Luis Filipe Gaspar banked +40, although I suspect this was an administrative catch-up. Fan Yibo had +8 with Chinese WHS, Stanislaw Warwas +14 including Turkey, Szucs Tamas +8 including the Greek Islands.
  • Among the ones ranked 21-50, the following managed to clock 10 or more: Jarek +23 (13 in Spain and Portugal), Clyde +15 (6 in Poland, 4 in Oman), Nan +13 (7 in Greece)
  • Fast tracking Wojciech is now close to the Top 50. He did +45, of which 14 last month in Brazil. He messaged me that he even plans to do one more before Dec 31!

Central Sikhote Alin and Landscapes of Dauria

Memorable reviews

With 528, the number of new reviews has been significantly lower than the 891 of 2019. But I was just glad that we could keep on delivering at least 1 review every day and that I managed to find something to write about once a week. Many travel blogs quit posting altogether or reverted to navel-gazing.

1098 of the 1121 WHS have now been reviewed, 4 more than last year. The new ones were: Central Sikhote Alin and Landscapes of Dauria both by Martina, Island of St. Louis by Jarek and Tassili n’Ajjer by Boj. Here's the list of the 23 still unreviewed.

With so many of the WHS already covered, we are especially looking for reviews that add something extra. For example a report from a different location of a WHS: Jarek did a first on the Russian side of the Curonian Spit. Michael’s 2020 World Tour brought him at a Struve site in Ukraine. And as the first among 8 reviewers, Clyde saw wild bison at Bialowieza NP.

Among the TWHS, previously unreviewed ones have also been covered. The monuments of Crimean Khanate Bakhchysarai were visited by Juha. Guatemala’s Cuenca Mirador was praised by Zoe, who also rewarded China’s Miao Villages and Dong Villages with a thumbs up. The Sagalassos archaeological site in Turkey was covered by Bergecn. Stanislaw ‘did’ the Sigatoka Sand Dunes in Fiji. Astraftis premiered with the Sacred Mountains of Mongolia. And a honourable mention: Svein & Randi checked out all 14 Icelandic turf buildings!

Icelandic Turf Houses

Candidates for the 2020 Tsunami Award for WH travel misadventure include Nan coming to terms with the implications of the Greek word Nea while visiting Bassae, Watkinstravel's "ordeal of flat tires and stress" at the Ouara ruins TWHS and Tsunami himself having an European Spa experience. But the winner is Zos M - who "started a rift between two neighboring guesthouse owners" and was responsible for the dead of a poor chicken while covering Sanqingshan.

Are there any memorable reviews from 2020 that you’d like to put into the spotlight again?

Els - 27 December 2020

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Els Slots 2 January 2021

Oh yeah, that was a classic. Sorry Nan!
(but he won the award last year already...)

Zoë Sheng 2 January 2021

Don't forget about Nan losing all his money at Huangshan, twice! Usually that happens on a visit to Macao! ;)