Shannon O'Donnell Profile

I'm a travel writer on the road since 2008 traveling and sharing stories of responsible tourism. Although I am not on a mission to see every WHS, I do enjoy visiting them in all the places I visit!

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Recent Reviews Shannon O'Donnell


Plitvice Lakes

Shannon O'Donnell USA - 08-Dec-18

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes is undeniably beautiful and the National Park is well managed—both things that would usually earn this five stars, but it's just too popular to be as enjoyable as it could have been. The park uses an elaborate system of boardwalks to lead tourists through the lakes and waterfalls all throughout the area, which means everyone is on virtually the same set path through the park. And if you happen to arrive when a few of the huge tour buses do too, then it can be intense.

But on my first visit I didn't realize that there are hiking paths beyond the 2-3 hour one that most people take—if you have a day you can spend as many as 8 hours hiking through the park, and you would find far fewer people on those other routes, as well as a chance at spotting some of the unique wildlife

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Kathmandu Valley

Shannon O'Donnell USA - 16-Sep-18

Kathmandu Valley

I spent two months in Nepal, and good amount of that time was in the Kathmandu Valley volunteering in the town of Pharping and exploring the Valley outside the of the city. Kathmandu itself just oozes history and although it suffers from some serious air pollution, which leaves buildings and vibes a bit grimy at times, it's also easy to overlook that side since it holds so many historic sites. Although the earthquake damaged some of the main historic sites, they are not gone and the fact that most still stand is a testament to the city's long and rich timeline. 

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Ancient Kyoto

Shannon O'Donnell USA - 16-Sep-18

Ancient Kyoto

No single description or image can encapsulate the sheer beauty of Kyoto's ancient temples. On the one hand, it's a large and fast-paced modern city and that surprised me. I was taken aback when walking through shiny metal buildings and city blocks to find my guesthouse. But once you realize that Kyoto is a modern city with an ancient history preserved within several districts of the city, it's easier to find the fascinating areas and the deep history. 

I spent four full days exploring the city and about 10 hours per day of that was spent just walking and navigating to the many things on offer

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Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments (T)

Shannon O'Donnell USA - 06-Aug-18

Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments (T)

It's nearly impossible to visit Bagan and not find at least one temple or vista awe-inspiring. I traveled with a Burmese family doing an annual pilgrimage to Bagan, and it was interesting to see how their trip differed from some of the more classic ways that tourists tour it: via bicycle and in just a day. We started before dawn, when it was still dark and headed to Mount Popa, where we trucked it up the mountain and began what would be two days of temple hopping. After each visit, we would pile back into the bed of the pickup truck and head with our incense, flowers, and gold leaf to the next spot. 

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Monuments, Sites and Cultural Landscape of Chiang Mai, Capital of Lanna (T)

Shannon O'Donnell USA - 06-Aug-18

Monuments, Sites and Cultural Landscape of Chiang Mai, Capital of Lanna (T)

After just one visit to Chiang Mai, I knew that it was easily one of my favorite places in the entire country. I spent a year in living in there and it truly is the “Rose of the North,” as they like to say. Chiang Mai holds the heartbeat of Lanna Thai culture, which is actually quite different from the culture and food of southern Thailand.

One of the key reasons to visit is for the well-preserved culinary history present that represent all of the influences neighboring regions and countries have had on Thailand over the centuries

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Name
Shannon O'Donnell
Country
USA
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Recently Visited WHS

Update 02.06.18
Rating Stats
Hoi An 5
  1. Ancient cities of Upper Myanmar : Innwa, Amarapura, Sagaing, Mingun, Mandalay (T)
  2. Archaeological Site and Historic Centre of Panamá City (T)
  3. Ayeyawady River Corridor (T)
  4. Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments (T)
  5. Brooklyn Bridge (T)
  6. Cat Tien National Park (T)
  7. Civil Rights Movement Sites (T)
  8. Classical Karst (in Slovene language: Klasicni kras) (T)
  9. Dana Biosphere Reserve (T)
  10. David Gareji Monasteries and Hermitage (T)
  11. Delhi - A Heritage City (T)
  12. Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago (T)
  13. Historical city of Izamal (Izamal, Mayan continuity in an Historical City) (T)
  14. Inle Lake (T)
  15. Jaipur city, Rajasthan India (T)
  16. Jerash Archaeological City (Ancient Meeting Place of East and West) (T)
  17. La Rioja and Rioja Alavesa Vine and Wine Cultural Landscape (T)
  18. Lake Maggiore and Lake D'Orta lakelands (T)
  19. Los Petenes-Ría Celestún (T)
  20. Monuments, Sites and Cultural Landscape of Chiang Mai, Capital of Lanna (T)
  21. Mta-Tusheti (T)
  22. Mujib Nature Reserve (T)
  23. Protected area of Lake Atitlán: multiple use (T)
  24. Qasr Al-Mushatta (T)
  25. Qasr Bshir (a Roman Castellum) (T)
  26. Samtavisi Cathedral (T)
  27. Sarajevo - unique symbol of universal multiculture - continual open city (T)
  28. Silk Roads Sites in Kyrgyzstan (T)
  29. Sites mémoriaux du génocide : Nyamata, Murambi, Bisesero et Gisozi (T)
  30. Tbilisi Historic District (T)
  31. Temples, Shrines and other structures of Ancient Kamakura (T)
  32. That Luang de Vientiane (T)
  33. The African Great Rift Valley - The Maasai Mara (T)
  34. The Burren (T)
  35. The Central Slave and Ivory Trade Route (T)
  36. The city of Bergamo (T)
  37. The Colonial Transisthmian Route of Panamá (Ruta Colonial Transístmica de Panamá) (T)
  38. The Great Rift Valley - The Kenya Lakes System (T)
  39. The Historic City of Dublin (T)
  40. The Royal Sites of Ireland: Cashel, Dún Ailinne, Hill of Uisneach, Rathcroghan Complex, and Tara Complex (T)
  41. Town of Chichicastenango (T)
  42. Wooden Monasteries of Konbaung Period : Ohn Don, Sala, Pakhangyi, Pakhannge, Legaing, Sagu, Shwe-Kyaung (Mandalay) (T)