Latest Community Reviews

Gombe National Park (T)

Michael Novins United States - 04-Oct-19

Gombe National Park (T)

In September 2019, I flew from Bujumbura to Kigoma on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania. My first stop was the Livingstone Memorial in Ujiji, which marks the spot where Henry Morton Stanley found David Livingstone, who had completely lost contact with the outside world for six years, in 1871 and greeted him with the four most well-known words in the history of African exploration: ”Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"  The next morning I traveled by boat for two hours northbound on Lake Tanganyika, the world's longest freshwater lake, from Kigoma to Gombe National Park, which was put on the map by Jane Goodall and her decades-long study of chimpanzees

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Žatec – the Hops Town (T)

Clyde Malta - 11-Oct-19

Žatec – the Hops Town (T)

I visited this tentative WHS in Summer 2019 as a convenient stopover on my way to the newly inscribed Erzgebirge WHS.

Zatec has really made the most out of the regional and EU funds to exploit its main raw material for tourism. I'm glad I visited as I wouldn't have believed any information online that as much as seven fully-blown and rather large 'attractions' were linked to Zatec's hops, namely the Museum of Homolupolus, the Renaissance Malt-House Gallery, the Temple of Hops and Beer, the Peculiar Tramway Project, the Hops Astronomical Clock, the Hops Lighthouse and the Microbrewery U Orloje. Moreover, several house and building walls have been painted with hops motifs.

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Jeju

GabLabCebu Philippines - 07-Oct-19

Jeju

WHS#2

In April 2012, My family and I joined a cruise from Shanghai to Tokyo. Our first stop was Jeju, where we took a half-day tour of the island. Unfortunately, the cruise being full of mostly elderly people or families with children, like myself at the time, the tour didn't include a visit to the lava caves. At the time, having not been the family travel researcher, I didn't know what to expect of the tour, so I simply enjoyed the cultural village excursion, where we saw some nice lava statues and tried horse bones. Now with all these statues, we must've been near a volcano, and indeed, the last stop of the day was Seongsan Ilchulbong. 

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Telc

Clyde Malta - 11-Oct-19

Telc

I visited this WHS in Summer 2019 and spent 2 nights here using it as a convenient base after visiting the inscribed castles and gardens of Czechia and before heading towards Trebic, the Tugendhat Villa and the Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk.

It turned out to be a great choice for dining options and a lively atmosphere all day [...]

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Meteora

Daniel Chazad Germany - 09-Oct-19

Meteora

Stunning place!

I visited Meteora on a Friday in early October 2019. After a night and morning of heavy rainfall, the air was clear, allowing for some great views. The WHS fulfills five of the ten selection criteria, both cultural and natural. And indeed the monasteries are architectural and technological masterpieces of human creative genius in an area of exceptional natural beauty.

One should beat the (bus) crowds by arriving here early. I highly recommend staying in the area for one or two nights (Kastraki is nicer than Kalampaka, and even the locals go to Kastraki for dining). And I would avoid the peak season in summer. Parking is free but quite limited given the huge crowds. The monasteries of Varlaam and St. Stephen’s have the most parking spots.

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Saint-Savin sur Gartempe

Claire Bradshaw - 08-Oct-19

I actually visited the Abbey at St-Savin twice, on consecutive days.  The first visit was on a Sunday in October when the Abbey is only open in the afternoon.  Unfortunately I had managed to pick a day when the Parish Council were holding an event in the Church, meaning the Church was also closed during the afternoon.  The lovely staff in the visitor centre suggested that we visit the museum aspect of the Abbey for a reduced rate of EUR 8 per person.  When we explained that we were really there to see the paintings in the church, they offered to let us pay the full price of EUR 10 each and access the museum on the Sunday and then the Church on the Monday, once it had re-opened.  This seemed reasonable so we paid our EUR 20 and entered the museum.

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Virunga National Park

Michael Novins United States - 04-Oct-19

Virunga National Park

In September 2019, I took a bus from Kigali to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu, where I spent the night at the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, and in the morning crossed into the DRC at the Grande Barriere border crossing.  I met up with the team from Virunga NP, who have an office in the same building as DRC passport control, and made the hourlong drive to Kibumba Tented Camp in Virunga NP.  The next morning, we climbed up the slippery slopes of Mount Mikeno, a dormant volcano in Virunga National Park, and after two hours met up with a group of 44 habituated mountain gorillas. We left them after an hour, all that visitors are permitted to spend with the great apes.

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Kathmandu Valley

Alex Marcean Romania - 06-Oct-19

Kathmandu Valley

The opportunity of visiting a WHS made up of seven amazing locations makes the journey to Kathmandu a special treat for any WHS enthusiast. Best explored at a slow pace within a week or so, the sites can also be "ticked off" in 3 days as the following tour plan shows. Buying a self-guided tour book from some of the local shops will add more flavor to your journey.

Day 1

Make your way on foot from the tourist district of Thamel to "Kathmandu Durbar Square" in order to get used to the city vibes. Allow around 1hr to get to the square and anywhere between 2 to 4 hours to explore all its buildings and museums. End your day at some rooftop cafe overlooking the square near Freak Street.

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Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

GabLabCebu Philippines - 06-Oct-19

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

WHS#71

In the Philippines, you grow up hearing about them; seeing pictures of them; memorizing them for your Social Studies or Araling Panlipunan quiz; even having them in your wallet (on the opposite side from President Quezon's face). The Ifugao Rice Terraces! And if there's one thing that unites Pinoys, it's rice. The crop is grown all around the country in the iconic Asian rice paddies. And what happens when you live in the mountains where there's no flat land to make paddies? Well, most would just move to better grounds, but for the people of the Philippine Cordilleras, they created terraces. Now, as an avid traveler, agricultural terraces weren't exactly new to me, and, I'm guessing, for many of you reading this as well

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The historic ensemble of Orchha (T)

Ralf Regele Germany - 08-Oct-19

The historic ensemble of Orchha (T)

When making travel plans, Orchha might seem to be one of the lesser sightseeing spots of northern India - more temples and another palace of a dubious princely state. However, the lesser interest is actually the strongest point of Orchha - this is a place that is not yet overrun by tourist hordes, and still exhibits some of the old charm of India. The settlement at Orchha is more of a village than a city, despite the size of the ancient buildings. You can still rent a shaky bike and drive around the village streets, climb around in crumbling ruins of giant palaces, and watch the villagers wash their clothes in the river (and yes, probably your clothes, too, if you gave them away for washing at the hotel)

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Gasumo, la source la plus méridionale du Nil (T)

Michael Novins United States - 04-Oct-19

Gasumo, la source la plus méridionale du Nil (T)

In September 2019, I visited the tentative site with the least likely chance of being elevated to the list of World Heritage Sites.  While driving around central Burundi, we made a brief stop at what purports to be the southernmost source of the Nile, once permitted to flow freely and naturally, but recently tiled and made to look like a bathtub.

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Tugendhat Villa

Clyde Malta - 01-Oct-19

Tugendhat Villa

I visited this WHS in Summer 2019. I knew that I needed to book in advance to secure a spot to visit the interior. That said, since the villa is privately owned and poorly managed by young unwelcoming staff who have no clue what customer care is, don't be surprised if your visit get's cancelled as late as one day before simply to accomodate a private company or a private function. This is what happened on the day I was supposed to visit.

Basically, while I was [...]

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Baroque Churches

GabLabCebu Philippines - 04-Oct-19

Baroque Churches

WHS#70

Here in the Philippines, colonial churches are the pinnacle of heritage architecture. The vast majority of cities and towns are completely composed of buildings that did not exist 100 years ago, except for these ancient treasures. However, not all of these churches were made equal, and not all were kept equally preserved, either. That's why the Philippines has its own list of National Cultural Treasures, and it is from this list that 4 churches were chosen to be the very 1st WHS in the country. 2 churches are in the northern Ilocos region, 1 in the center of Manila (the capital city), and 1 in Iloilo in the Visayas

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La résidence royale du Burundi: Le cas de Gishora (T)

Michael Novins United States - 04-Oct-19

La résidence royale du Burundi: Le cas de Gishora (T)

In September 2019, I apparently commissioned Burundi's most famous drum site, the Gishora Drum Sanctuary, for an hourlong performance for an audience consisting of me and dozens of local children who saw me arriving, so decided to watch the show.

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Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape

Clyde Malta - 30-Sep-19

Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape

I visited both locations of this WHS in Summer 2019. Having read previous reviews and some chunks of the nomination dossier, I decided to combine both these locations and the flower garden in Kromeriz as a full day trip of pleasure gardens and flower gardens if the weather was sunny or a full day trip of castle interiors if the weather was wet. I was lucky weather-wise and so I was very happy not to endure yet another bunch of castle interiors.

The location of both Valtice and Lednice close to Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia doesn't help this WHS

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La réserve naturelle de la Rusizi (T)

Michael Novins United States - 04-Oct-19

La réserve naturelle de la Rusizi (T)

In September 2019, I hired a small boat to cruise along the Rusizi River, which flows through Rusizi National Park in Burundi. I went looking for Gustave, a large Nile crocodile, who is suspected of having killed as many as 300 people along the banks of the river.  My search for Gustave was unsuccessful, but that could be because he hasn’t been seen in a few years and is rumored to be dead, but no one is certain.  But, I encountered several pods of hippopotamuses, which kill more people than any other African animal, other than mosquitos, and are estimated to kill more people each year than the combined total of lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and black rhinos, the Big Five.

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Schokland

Tsunami Japan / USA / Poland - 03-Oct-19

Schokland

The Netherlands was hit by a non-hazardous Tsunami in mid-September 2019. 

I based myself in Lelystad to visit 2 WHSs in northern Netherlands, as Amsterdam (or even Emmeloord) was too expensive to stay over weekends. 

From Lelystad on a Saturday I took a bus with a regional bus company ("OV Regio IJsselmond") to Emmeloord and took another bus to Ens to get closer to Schokland in the afternoon. You can buy an all-day bus ticket for 11.5 Euros. 

(From Emmeloord I had taken yet another bus with a different bus company ("Arriva, a DB company") to visit Ir. D. F. Woudagemaal WHS in Lemmer in the morning.  So this bus ride was not included in the all-day bus ticket.)

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Kladruby nad Labem

Clyde Malta - 30-Sep-19

Kladruby nad Labem

I visited this recently inscribed WHS in Summer 2019. Once a settlement for “timber logging” (in Czech klady rubaji), Kladruby provided ideal conditions for horse breeding, thanks to the cut-down floodplain forest. 

At the time of Charles IV, the village of loggers, horse breeders and traders, administered by monasteries, flourished and a rectory and church were founded. The loggers gradually became squires, and their coat of arms from the early 15th century in fact shows a horseshoe. Yet this growth didn't last for long, as both the rectory and the church were destroyed during the Hussite Wars. By 1500, after a period of frequent changes of owners, Kladruby was bough by William of Pernstein and consequently attached to the large Pernstein dominion of Pardubice. The Pernstein family maintained the local tradition of horse breeding and founded a horse sanctuary, as documented in 1522, where horses were bred half-wild

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Lumbini

Alex Marcean Romania - 04-Oct-19

Lumbini

Lumbini can be reached by flight from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa, which is a larger town close to India border. The accommodation options around are pretty basic, but there is at least one resort with all the ammenities of modern leisure tourism. Front desk arranged a driver for us - pretty overpriced for Nepal at 70USD / 8 hrs, but with the good attitude required to brave the rural traffic and dusty roads...and find all the places he was not really familiar with.

1. Maya Devi 

After taking the parking permit from the tourist info center, the driver can go inside the park and leave you close to [...]

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Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 04-Oct-19

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

There was some confusion about where the places are until I checked the official map, and even now there is confusion. China news outlets reported the Dafeng Milu Nature Reserve to be included but actually it is not. There is an interesting history about that deer park (deer got eaten to extinction!!) and you do get to see many, many birds there but I am very sure it is not part of the inscription. My friend's family owns an eco lodge in a similar forest reserve in Jiangsu and you see many birds there of this caliber but they are obviously also not inscribed. To add to this, the entire "Yancheng Coast" is a bird paradise including several islands that are famous birdwatching destinations

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