Latest Community Reviews
Great Spa Towns of Europe
Tsunami Japan / USA / Europe - 05-Sep-23
I had my bathing suit with me, even though I was visiting Bad Kissingen only for 3 hours between trains around noon in late August.
The first thing you might want to know about Bad Kissingen is that it is located in the state of Bavaria, under whose auspices this town has developed.
From the train station I walked north and first came across Wandelhalle. The main feature of this structure is the 90 meter long space (See Hubert's left photo), part of which also dabbles as a concert hall. To the side of this space in Wandelhalle is Brunnenhalle, with Rakoczy Spring, a spa water drinking facility.Read On
Funerary and memory sites of the First World War
Clyde Malta - 25-Aug-23
I visited several minor Belgian locations and cemeteries of this tWHS over the past years and in May 2023 I focused mainly on the French locations around the Ossuary of Douaumont. The latter visit fully convinced me that this tWHS truly possesses tangible OUV as the area around Verdun is basically one whole cultural/memorial landscape shaped by World War I.
The Douamont Ossuary is managed by a private foundation that clearly underlines that the site is "non-subsidised since 1919 although recognised as promoting the public interest". I tried to keep this in mind when paying the 7 euro ticket for a well-presented overview view video and the chance to visit the "cloister" and climb the 46 metre tower known as the Lantern of the Dead, which contains a 2 tonne bell which is struck at 12 and at 4pm. The tower is given this name as it partly lights the battlefield and the necropolis at night and the panoramic view of the cemetery from the top gives you a better idea of the sheer size and landscape shaped by war. On either side of the entrance to the tower, the 133 metre main gallery is home to 46 cenotaphs in 18 alcovesRead On
Szucs Tamas Hungary - 04-Sep-23
To get to Tigrovaya Balka you need quite a lot of preparation, stamina, private transport ( the closest sizeable city is Bokhtar/Qurghonteppa) , and at least a basic knowledge of Russian/Persian, but - believe me - does not worth the effort. First you need a good local connection/fixer, as you need - as we understood - two type of permits. One from the OVIR (Ministry of Interior), where it is clearly stated which part of the border area you want to visit. A general "border pass" from the OVIR is not enough, Tigrovaya Balka has to be stated on the paper. On the other hand you have to get the permit from the office of the National Parks from Dushzambe (64 Druzhba narodov, near the Orthodox Church)Read On
The mausoleum of Nakhinchevan (T)
Clyde Malta - 25-Aug-23
I visited all 4 locations of this tWHS in 2023. Nakhchivan is a landlocked exclave and autonomous region of Azerbaijan and only reachable by a cheap plane from Baku Domestic Airport Terminal (if you're already visiting Azerbaijan's mainland), as the road border with Armenia is closed.
Car rental is a bit dodgy as there aren't any international companies, so make sure you bring cash (to avoid surprises on your credit card) and report any damages before signing any contract or giving back the keys. However, once you manage to get a car, driving here is a treat compared to Azerbaijan mainland as there's quite a lot of ground to cover and very little traffic, if any, quite a welcome break coming from BakuRead On
Bergecn - 28-Aug-23
It’s now eight years after the 500 year celebrations of Martin Luther’s public display of his 95 theses nailed to the door of the church at the Wittenberg castle. Calm has returned to both Wittenberg and Eisleben where six sites make up the Luther memorial WHS. In both locations the focus is not so much on buildings and architecture as most of the original structures have undergone substantial changes over the centuries, but rather on the work, ideas and lasting impact of Martin Luther and his close companion Philipp Melanchthon.Read On
Naletale Cluster of Dzimbabwes (T)
Els Slots The Netherlands - 27-Aug-23
Don’t be surprised when this remote, small site pops up as a nomination in 2026 or so, because There Have Been Signs. A relatively new Tentative List entry (2018), it has been part of the Upstream Process since 2020 with the aim of getting nomination advice. The World Monuments Fund and the US Ambassadors Fund initiated restoration works in 2014. Also, Solivagant, who has a keen eye for sites like this (think of Marib!), wrote praisingly about it. So although it wasn’t on my initial itinerary I decided to make the detour between Masvingo and Bulawayo and go and see Naletale for myself. My biggest worry was whether I could make it in a non-4WD car.Read On
Brú na Bóinne
Solivagant UK - 27-Aug-23
We visited Brú na Bóinne in June 2022 but didn’t post a review as there are plenty already. However, I now note that no one has yet described the Mound at Dowth and that a couple of the references made about it in earlier reviews are not quite correct so, here goes -
a. Dowth is the 3rd large mound (of similar size to the others) within the Brú na Bóinne complex after the more famous Newgrange and Knowth. Unlike them it has never been “reconstructed” and doesn’t form a part of the tours on offer at the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre. It can however be visited externally independently without paying or booking. I have provided an aerial photo taken from a Visitor Centre video because it gives a better idea than any of my own close ups of what the mound looks like as a wholeRead On
Clyde Malta - 24-Aug-23
I visited the Azeri location closest to Xanbulan in 2023, knowing that this tWHS has great potential of being an easy extension to the already inscribed Iranian WHS this year (the Colchic Forests WHS in Georgia made it as a separate inscription!).
The "rangers' office" of the Hirkan National Park (Hirkan Milli Parki) and the best base for any organised or guided visit of one of the many trails around the 3 locations in Azerbaijan can be found along the main road 2-3km outside Xanbulan proper and the actual locations, not far from the Khanbulan lake. Unless you decide to cover a lot of ground with a multiday hike (on mostly muddy terrain), a guide is not necessary and online or offline (better) GPS maps are sufficient for a day trip from Baku towards the Iranian border. Should you opt for a guided visit, do make sure to call well ahead as the office doesn't seem to have fixed opening hours and supposedly an entrance ticket is charged tooRead On
Els Slots The Netherlands - 12-Sep-23
Mana Pools National Park was the main goal of my 2023 Zimbabwe trip – rarely visited by our community, lacking a full review, but ranked among the best parks in Africa by safari nuts due to its large gatherings of wildlife in a ‘wild’ setting. Lately, Mana Pools is considered to have become ‘busy’ due to the ever-increasing number of camps and the accompanying vehicular traffic and what the IUCN Outlook 2020 describes as "crowding of iconic elephants and predator kills". The connoisseurs now prefer the even wilder Gonarezhou in the east of the country. As far as I have seen, the park shows no indication whatsoever of being a World Heritage Site (no plaque, no logos).Read On
Selous Game Reserve
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 26-Aug-23
One would think I enjoy a nature park with animals and on paper the vast area is extremely impressive. However, there are so many problems with the park.
For one it's now called Nyerere after the Tanzanian hero rather the British big game hunter Selous (Seluuu) although everyone still calls it Selous around here. I also saw a map in the management office that splits up the park so technically Selous Game Hunting area (yes, HUNTING!) is south of the river to the edge of the park. The west side is Nyerere NP whereas the park area you will visit is an extra territory all together.Read On
"Lok-Batan" Mud Cone (T)
Clyde Malta - 21-Aug-23
I visited this tWHS on the way to the Gobustan Rock Art WHS. Even though there is no mobile signal around, and there is a police checkpoint just before reaching the site which is quite notorious for bribery scams, currently the site is free of charge, signposted and very easy to get to. So if you have a rental car, the most popular half-day or day trip from Baku including the Gobustan Rock Art WHS and the Lok-Batan mud cone, is not necessary and you'll be able to spend more time at the sites proper plus make sure you're taken to the most active parts of the mud cone.Read On
Timonator Germany - 23-Aug-23
I had the pleasure to visit Arequipa around its anniversary on the 15th of August and that is of course reason enough to celebrate for a couple of days during the week especially in advance of the actual day of the anniversary. Nevertheless the places of interest were visitable although with reduced hours and on this way I could enjoy the combination of the colonial buildings in the famous "sillar" style (dried volcano ashes) and the colourful and loud celebrations of the recent population. For a good reason one of the main sights in the second biggest city of Peru is the monastery Santa CatalinaRead On
Aqaba Marine Reserve (T)
Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 23-Aug-23
I went scuba diving in the Aqaba Marine Reserve during my trip to Jordan in August 2023, through a local dive center.
Being a scuba diving enthusiast, this was the best way for me to experience this TWHS, however, since the marine reserve is located a few kilometers south of downtown Aqaba, near Tala Bay (where most of the beach resorts are located), the site is easily reached by private car as well and it's also a great spot for snorkeling from the shore if you are not a fan of going too deep underwater in areas such as the so-called Japanese garden or Berenice reef.Read On
The Caspian Shore Defensive Constructions (T)
Clyde Malta - 20-Aug-23
I visited this tWHS in 2023 focusing mainly on the 4 locations in the Absheron peninsula closest to Baku, namely Mardakan, Ramana, Nardaran and Sabayil. The other 4 locations are further north towards Siyazan and Shabran on the way to the Azerbaijan-Russia border (close to Derbent).
For starters, the only location of the 4 closest to Baku that is currently still on the Caspian Sea shore is Sabayil, in fact it is now IN the Caspian Sea and its few foundation remains can be seen during low tide from near the Baku Eye waterfront. The other 3 locations are now further inland due to the Caspian Sea shrinking. Nardaran Fortress is the next least interesting site and can be found near the town of Mashtaga, just 25km from Baku. The Shirvanshahs used the fortress for both observation and defense. Its best highlight is the Arabic inscription (seen above in the main photo). The Nardaran Mosque or Rahimakhanim Sanctuary which was built in 1663 is located about 200 metres from the fortress. What's left of the fortress is a square defensive wall around a round towerRead On
Pella (Modern Tabaqat Fahil) (T)
Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 18-Aug-23
Pella is the third Decapolis city TWHS I have visited in northern Jordan after Abila and Gadara in August 2023 and, in terms of quality, it's somewhere between the two. The site is not as well managed as Gadara, but it is not left completely on its own as Abila.
The visitor centre is just off the main road (easy to find on Google maps), on a cliff that overlooks the entire archaeological site, which in fact is not very big. However, the visitor centre is not much more than a ticket booth and what seems to be meant as a small museum that is not ready yet.Read On
Transatlantic Cable Ensemble (C) (T)
Argo France - 20-Aug-23
We visited the cable station in Heart’s Content, Newfoundland, Canada, in August 2023. This was a nice detour of approximately 100km and 1h50 on our way from Gander to Saint John’s. Heart’s Content is a nice village and the station is right along the main road, easy to find and park by. On one side of the road stand the two buildings of the station itself ; opposite side of the road and immediately by the sea, a tiny memorial garden has been set at the very place where the cable was coming on shore. A long plaque with words in both English and morse code shows the way of the cable from the shore to the station. There are a few benches and free flowing potable water – we had a nice picnic there.Read On
Els Slots The Netherlands - 25-Aug-23
The Khami Ruins have not been covered well by the reviews so far, the only two existing ones are short and date from visits in the 1990s. The ruins aren’t visited much by our members in general either, they are ranked #1007 out of 1157 currently. And it isn’t that they’re particularly hard to get to – they are open daily and lie just some 20km outside of the city of Bulawayo, which in itself is an excellent hub for 3 of Zimbabwe’s 5 WHS.
I went there fresh off the plane, having arrived on a direct 1-hour flight from Johannesburg to the international airport of Bulawayo. I picked up a rental car and drove across the sprawling city to the westRead On
Fortifications of Vauban
Hubert Austria - 17-Aug-23
Vauban completed! In June 2023, on my trip to Lombardy and Piedmont, I took the opportunity for a day trip to the French Alps to visit my last two Vauban Fortifications. In my recent review of the Savoy Residences, I complained about serial WHS with too many locations. However, the Vauban Fortifications are, in my opinion, an example of an appropriate number of sub-locations. The twelve fortifications are scattered along the outer borders of present-day France and you can compare how Vauban adapted his construction principles to the different terrain: in the high and low mountains, on flat terrain, on the coast, at an estuary and on islands.At the time of my first review (see below), I had visited six of the locationsRead On
Gadara (Modern Um Qeis or Qays) (T)
Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 17-Aug-23
I visited Gadara during my trip to Jordan in August 2023.
I had a rented car and so it has been relatively easy to drive to the three Decapolis cities that are currently TWHS (Abila, Gadara and Pella) in northern Jordan. Gadara is the largest and best managed of them. There is a small museum, reconstructed buildings, the ruins are quite extensive and there are even underground tunnels that can be visited. Overall, the site is worth a visit even for non-WHS aficionados.
Considering the distance among the cities and the size of these archaeological site, it is quiet easy to visit all of them in one day, especially if driving from Jerash, rather than Amman.Read On
Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
GabLabCebu Philippines - 07-Aug-23
With many recent mixed reviews on this site, I wasn't sure what to expect of Seokguram and Bulguksa. All I knew was that I had to include them on my June 2023 trip to Korea at all costs, as I knew them to be renowned as masterpieces of the great Silla kingdom. I visited them on the morning after a late night exploring Historic Gyeongju, which had tired the rest of my party out, meaning I was to explore this site on my own and be back at 12:00 to join back up and head to Yangdong. With under 4 hours to check both components off my list, I rushed for bus 700 at the central bus station (I think you can also take bus 11, though the route may be different), which passes by Bunhwangsa and Bomun Lake on the approximately 40-minute ride to BulguksaRead On
Residences of the Royal House of Savoy
Hubert Austria - 16-Aug-23
Oh dear! Italy and its serial World Heritage Sites: 14 Savoy Residences, 9 Sacri Monti, 25 Palladio sites, 14 Medici Villas, 7 Longobards locations… Not to mention all the prehistoric and nuragic sites in Sardinia or the countless historic theatres of the Marche region still waiting on the tentative list. Of course it's not just Italy, many countries have this kind of WHS where I would say: Less would be more. But the north-west corner of Italy seems to be a hotspot for this. On my trip through Lombardy and Piedmont in June 2023 I couldn't help but think of our friend Iain and his rule that he doesn't tick off a WHS until he has visited 50% + 1 locations. WHS hunting can be challenging, even in Central EuropeRead On
Primeval Beech Forests
Adrian Turtschi Germany - 16-Aug-23
Kellerwald, August 2023
Kellerwald is situated in a very rural, bucolic area set against gently undulating hills around 90 minutes by bus and / or train to the west of Kassel, the transportation hub on the main north-south German ICE line.
The northern, more accessible part snugs gently against Edersee, a sinuous dammed lake dotted with many sailing boots on sunny week ends. The southern part of the core zone is more difficult to reach and would take more time to explore than I had.
I overnighted in Korbach, a [...]Read On
Els Slots The Netherlands - 27-Aug-23
Whatever the circumstances in Zimbabwe are, Great Zimbabwe National Monument is the country's main cultural attraction. The site saw 120,000 visitors in 1996, then the number dropped to 15,000 in 2008 and then it went back up again to 78,000 in 2018. I visited on a Saturday and encountered mostly Zimbabwean day trippers and even a busload of school children. The site is so big though that I mostly found myself wandering around the ruins alone. The refreshment area at the center was closed and a small troop of monkeys had taken over the picnic benches, probably wondering why no food-spilling people stopped there anymore.Read On
Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries
GabLabCebu Philippines - 08-Aug-23
To me, the Sansa embody the ideal and typical Korean temple. They may not have the historic significance of Bulguksa or the unique library of Haeinsa, but they are much better preserved, containing some of the oldest standing wooden architecture in the peninsula, and some of the most beautiful too. For that, I have to say they are a much-needed WHS, and I had a dilemma on which of the seven to fit into my trip to Korea in June 2023. Upon examining the evaluation file, I found that only four were actually advised for inscription - Tongdosa, Buseoksa, Beopjusa,DaeheungsaRead On
Timonator Germany - 15-Aug-23
The WHS consists of three components of which 2 are almost next to each other and in my opinion could be the same component. I can recommend staying in the hotel "Le petit clos" opposite of the museum and site "Colón 10". In the museum over 40 remainings of the Chinchorro people are displayed. The skeletons were found in 2004 when a hotel was supposed to be constructed in this place. They are over 2000 years old a give some ideas on the burial practices and life of the Chinchorro people. Some skeletons have mussels and sea snails as presents next to their bones. Others have human hair and red colour on hair and bones. There is a very good 28 minute audio guide leading through the excavationRead On
Stone Town of Zanzibar
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 15-Aug-23
I get the charm and it's quite touristy when you arrive by ferry, walk along the cleanish port and enjoy the sunshine and breeze and hey, Freddie Mercury museum!! However, venture deeper and it is dirty, hazardous, on the brink of collapsing (word is the site will be placed on the in-danger list soon). I think the idea of the entire old town being inscribed doesn't quite cut if anymore. Sure there are random houses, doors and windows from the classic ages but they have either been destroyed or replaced with only a few spots being highlights. In its defense it rained the night before and even in the morning I visited so the roads were dirty and zero fun to walk around. There are also motorbikes and some roads allow cars meaning the car-free zone is mainly where the shopping alleys areRead On
Meanders of the Upper Daugava (T)
Els Slots The Netherlands - 07-Aug-23
The Meanders of the Upper Daugava is a fine excuse to visit the remote east of Latvia. Jarek’s review drew me there – as well as the opportunity to see a whole different part of Latvia, away from the mostly Baltic Sea-oriented and western-facing parts. Driving eastward from Jekabpils, orthodox churches started appearing by the roadside and the wide Daugava River is often in sight.
I covered exactly the same route as Jarek. The places of interest are also supported by the local tourism board and signposted from the minor road that follows the river (a detour from the A6).Read On
Abila City (Modern Qweilbeh) (T)
Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 14-Aug-23
I visited Abila in August 2023 during my extensive trip in Jordan. I visited it in combination with the others TWHS in northern Jordan making up the series of the Decapolis cities.
I had some expectation on this site based on other TWHS in Jordan (and on Google reviews and WHC description) but, unfortunately, Abila didn't meet them at all.
But let's start from the beginning.
I used Jerash as a base for the exploration of northern Jordan by rental car, as it seemed the easiest thing to do without the need to go back to Amman at the end of every single day and each TWHS in the area can be reached in about 1 hour from Jerash. Reaching Abila was relatively easy, it's clearly marked in Google Maps, although it isn't clear that the last part of the road is on an unpaved steep dirt road that goes through some crops. Nothing impossible though. My regular small sedan could make it easily. However, once I reached the first ruins of Abila, I realised that the site isn't managed or maintained properly. There is nothing, not even a sign marking the importance of the placeRead On
Preah Vihear Temple
GabLabCebu Philippines - 07-Aug-23
Seeing most photos of Preah Vihear with the clear blue skies, I can't help but wonder if my January 2023 experience visiting this great site might have felt different if the weather had been milder. Arriving at the top of the mountain after a long morning drive from Siem Reap, the fog and light drizzle gave me Machu Picchu vibes, especially as I approached the fifth gopura, the lowest one on the slope (you'll see the five in reverse order as you ascend). This fifth gopura was the least impressive and most ruined; the enchanting atmosphere, especially with the wide road sloping up into the heavens and the opposing stairs down into the fog of Thailand, was what made its appearance so excitingRead On
Stari Grad Plain
Sebasfhb Netherlands - 10-Aug-23
I visited the Stari Grad Plain early August 2023 as part of my Balkans summer tour. I stayed in Split (a WHS) for 6 nights and decided to add a day trip to the island of Hvar and its WHS Stari Grad Plain. Before visiting, I read the reviews on this site on this forum. Previous visitors found this WHS to be quite underwhelming. To be honest, my experience was quite positive and I was pleasantly surprised.
From Split one can take a ferry operated by Jadrolinija. This ferry departs from the Marina, which is conveniently located very close to the city centre, the central bus and train stationRead On
Struve Geodetic Arc
Els Slots The Netherlands - 05-Aug-23
In our extensive coverage of Struve sites, the Latvian locations so far have been underexposed. On my recent road trip across Latvia I used the quirky city of Jekabpils for an overnight stop – it is large enough to have amenities such as a decent hotel, ánd it has a Struve location in the city center.
The marker is located in a small park, renamed “Struve Park” in 1992 after it had been known as Pushkin Park during Soviet times. The ‘shrine’ looks well cared for. From the information panel (upper photo) we learn that this site was measured by Struve and his team in May-June 1826 and that the process to determine the correct astronomical point took 3 weeks.Read On
GabLabCebu Philippines - 06-Aug-23
The Korean nation has been unified by just three powers in its history, the Silla in Gyeongju, the Koryeo in Kaesong, and the Joseon in Seoul. For that, these are probably the three most historically rich and significant cities on the peninsula. The Joseon cultural heritage is the basis for four different WHSs in Seoul (with a fifth one in nearby Suwon), but Gyeongju's Silla heritage has been somewhat strangely divided into two sitesRead On
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
Timonator Germany - 10-Aug-23
Buses leave from opposite Mercado Centenario in Iquique, cost 3.000 Pesos and take 1 hour to Humberstone. Beautiful to see they leave on certain times independant of the amount of passengers after having lost some hours of my life for waiting for trufis to be full in La Paz for going to Tiwuanaku. You get thrown out on the wrong side of the highway but there is a pedestrian bridge over the big street and after 10 minutes more there is the entrance to Humberstone where the tickets for both sites- Humberstone and Santa Laura- are obtained. Currently they cost 6.000 pesos p.P.. There are tours offered in Iquique for 35Read On
Sebasfhb Netherlands - 05-Aug-23
In June, during my trip through the Balkan, I was wandering around Belgrade, Serbia searching for an interesting souvenir. I happened to stumble across a book on the Stecci, published in 1982 and written in Serbo-Croatian (Title: Umetnost na tlu Jugoslavije; Stecci). As a WH traveller I of course immediately recognised the topic as being one of the (relatively close) WHS. Such an interesting find and I bought it without thinking twice; this was the souvenir I had been looking for.
Early August 2023, I visited Mostar (a WHS) in Bosnia & Herzegovina. A review of my visit to Mostar is forthcoming. Of couse, I had added a visit to one of the Stecci sites to my (/our) itineraryRead On
Sambor Prei Kuk
GabLabCebu Philippines - 04-Aug-23
As the capital of the Chenla Empire, Ancient Ishanapura is one of the greatest and most influential ancient cities in Southeast Asia. Today, it, along with all of Cambodia's other ancient ruins, lie in the shadow of the great Angkor; however, I would argue these oldest sites of the Khmer, along with those in Burma, being the oldest in the region, are just as, if not more, important than the greatest Thai, Vietnamese, or Javanese ruins. They are the reason the heights of such sites as Angkor and Bagan could be reached, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Sambor Prei Kuk.Read On
Evaporitic Karst and Caves
Tsunami Japan / USA / Europe - 04-Aug-23
Evaporite karst and caves of Emilia Romagna Region: Messinian Gypsum of Bologna
It was rather difficult to grasp the OUV of this nomination, so I thought there was no better way to recognize it than taking a tour of one of the caves.
The Spipola Cave is one of the two main caves in the core zone of this section of the TWHS. After my two failed attempts to take the tour in June and September 2022, I finally managed to take it in the Sunday morning on May 28, 2023. It was the last day of my 18 days trip through the UK, France and Italy, and indeed I had a flight from Bologna back to Wroclaw, Poland, in that afternoon.Read On
Viking Age Ring Fortresses
Els Slots The Netherlands - 05-Aug-23
We know the Vikings mostly for their formidable sailing and discovery of new worlds, but these five fortresses show them as nation builders and Christianizers of the Danes. I choose Trelleborg for my visit and will describe getting there on public transport and the overall visitor experience as I found it in August 2023. Regarding the question of whether this is WH material, I did some desk research as well.
The [...]Read On
Archaeological Site of Delphi
Squiffy UK - 03-Aug-23
Suddenly we were alone. The last of the tour buses charged back towards Athens. Looking down over the theatre and the standing columns of the great temple of Apollo I could not see a single other soul. The ever-present drone of the cicadas was our only company. So, on the one hand, after 2pm seemed a perfect time to be visiting Delphi without the crowds. However, I thought as I drained the last of my water bottle, after 2pm in July in the middle of a Mediterranean heatwave when half of Greece appeared to be on fire was also a monumentally stupid time to be visiting Delphi. And I didn’t need an oracle to tell me that!Read On
Warren193 - 29-Jul-23
I've been to seven of these eight sites, and I've been to four of them (Mound City, Fort Ancient, Seip Mound and Newark Earthworks) more than once. They never cease to fill me with a sense of awe. They are immense and at the same time remarkably precise; the circular earthworks are almost perfectly round, while several of the earthworks have almost perfect astronomical alignments. I particularly like that the people who constructed the earthworks lived in tiny hamlets in a society that was, so far as anyone can tell, remarkably egalitarian. These sites are a sixteen hundred year old testimony to the skill, passion, knowledge and ability to cooperate of the Native Americans who made themRead On
Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands
Nan Germany - 18-Jul-23
Travelling in Georgia you get used to checking the daily weather forecast. Georgia in summer is hot and humid from the Black Sea and has high mountains: All the ingredients you need for subtropical (= heavy) rains and heavy thunderstorms, specifically at the coast. In Batumi it rains roughly 2.100mm each year. This has created a unique subtropical landscape along the coast, breaking down into two types of location as the site's name suggests:
Flat wetlands around Poti. Subtropical rainforests in the mountains north-east of BatumiRead On
Primeval Beech Forests
Adrian Turtschi Germany - 25-Jul-23
Jizera Mountains, July 2023
Giant boulders dot the landscape of Jizerské Hory, the Isergebirge of lore, making for rather spectacular hiking across an impressive landscape located in northern Bohemia, close the Czech-Polish-German tripoint
I’ve spent the night in Hejnice, a small town well-connected by hourly trains to lively Liberec, the nearest transportation hub. Hejnice lives off tourism and maybe the odd pilgrim visiting the rather grand church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, with an old Franciscan monastery attached next to it. Sadly, the monks are long gone, but the monastery offers basic but absolutely acceptable accommodation in a peaceful setting, save maybe for the quarter-hourly ringing of the bells which I did not mind at all. In the old refectorium tasty local cuisine is being served. The hostel has a very useful free map of the area with all the trails, a blow up of the official 1:25000 map which is also sold in local bookstores and the main tourist office back in LiberecRead On
National Park (Taman Negara) of Peninsular Malaysia (T)
Nafis N Malaysia - 15-Jul-23
I visited Taman Negara (literally translates to "National Park" in English) twice: one in August 2008 via Sungai ("sungai" translates to "river" in English) Relau and another in May 2012 via Kuala Tahan.
First Trip via Sungai Relau (the climb to Mount Tahan, Peninsular Malaysia's tallest peak)
Sungai Relau was the entry point if you want to climb the tallest peak in Peninsular Malaysia, Mount Tahan (2,187m). That's what my friends and I did back in 2008. The hike to Mount Tahan began from the Sungai Relau park HQ in the morning. Then, it was followed-up by an off-road drive through the jungle into Sungai Juram where we continued by foot. The first day involved little elevation, and the hike took from the morning till late afternoon when we arrived to the campsite for the night, Kem Kor. Unlike the Pinnacles hike in Gunung Mulu National Park or Mount Kinabalu climb in Gunung Kinabalu National Park, the facilities were very minimalRead On
Timonator Germany - 23-Jul-23
I find it hard to review the sites independant from the bad travel experience I had. Therefore first of all the circumstances and second of all the experience on site. I tried to visit Tiwuanaku twice (!) from La Paz by public transport. The first time failed unfortunately. After a nice walk over La Paz cemetery I reached the closeby spot where trufis go to Tiwuanaku when full. It was the Friday before the La Paz Anniversary at about 9 a.m. Some other tourists and locals waited there slready half an hour. The office was closed. After nothing happened for another 30 minutes we decieded to go up to El Alto Terminal Interprovincial. Big mistake not to take the efficient téleferico but a taxiRead On
Archaeological Site of Aigai
Matthewsharris UK - 01-Aug-23
Update on the photography policy as at 01 August 2023. Photography is now allowed in the Tomb without flash.
There is non EU discrimination on entry for kids in that it is free for children from the EU but 1/2 price for kids from elsewhere. Although the kind ticket lady insisted that our 6 year old daughter was 5 and therefore free (which everyone found amusing except, of course, for the 6 year old)
MoPython Switzerland - 21-Jul-23
We visited Sintra as the last of 10 WHS in Portugal, on our varied trip between Porto and Lisbon this July.
What can I say about Sintra that hasn't already been mentioned in the 14 reviews below?
Should I mention that it has way too many people especially in the summer high season? Yes, it's like that, at times in the Pena Palace you feel like you're standing in an endless queue at Disneyland.
Should I mention that it's still incredibly beautiful? Yes, it is, especially the combination of gardens and palaces really excited us.
Haghpat and Sanahin
Nan Germany - 12-Jul-23
As a stopover between Tblisi and Dilijan and Yerevan, we visited Haghpat monastery and Sanahin Bridge. Both are medieval monuments (10-12th century) belonging to the Kingdom of Lori, a 10th century offshoot of the Kingdom of Armenia. The key element is the unique masonry, that also sets it apart from Georgian churches of the same period.
Our plan had been to first visit Akhtala (not on the list), then Haghpat, then Sanahin and continue towards Dilijan for the nightRead On
Els Slots The Netherlands - 02-Aug-23
I visited Kuldiga in early August 2023, just after it became known that it got a positive recommendation from ICOMOS and will almost surely be inscribed in September 2023.
Although I’d wanted to go there from Riga by public transport, there are no direct buses and connections seem infrequent. So I rented a car from the airport and drove there easily in 1.5 hours. Kuldiga lies deep in the countryside, and it certainly looks like you’re arriving at something important. One enters town via the large new stone bridge (a one-way street), and there is even a parking lot for tour buses. The streets were also filled with parked cars – this is really a popular destination for Latvian daytrippers.Read On
Nafis N Malaysia - 14-Jul-23
I visited Kinabalu Park back in September 2022 with my wife, and we decided to climb Mount Kinabalu as part of our visit. The cheapest climbing option was to book directly via the official site (sabahparks) for the climbing permit and accommodation booking. It's worth pointing out that the climbing permit is limited and always in high demand, especially outside the rainy season (basically avoid Nov - Feb), and the permit booking slots are open in a 6-month window. So, if you're planning to climb the mountain, be on the lookout for the announcement once the booking window is open. The safest bet is to follow Sabah Parks official FB page. They will have a set allocation for independent visitors (booking done through sabahparksRead On
Grottes de Dimba et Ngovo (T)
Thomas Buechler Switzerland - 16-Jul-23
Ceramics and tools were found in this cave about 18,000 years ago, attesting human settlement during the Stone Age in a region relatively close to the sea and the Congo river in Bas-Congo.
Mbanza-Ngungu is a town about 4 hours drive SW of Kinshasa, and it is here where the adventure starts. There are signposts leading to the narrow gravel road (Grottes Ngovo&Finzolua) off the N1 highway. From here it takes you at least 45 minutes on a road (best with 4wheel drive) with very little traffic, luckily, as two cars can not pass in the same time. You see school buildings that you can not miss, hundreds of children there, some try to hang on to the car, drive carefully. A further few kilometers, you come to a local village where you find the guides, there is no shortage of them. We walked with 10 villages boys to the caves, this trek takes about 1 hour return, there is a kind of path, at places overgrown with plants. Steep stairs lead down to the caveRead On
Kokoro Germany - 11-Jul-23
I visited Zeche Zollverein in September. Since there are so many detailed reviews on content etc. I focus on the "post-corona" update and some organizational hints.
Access: Very easy from downtown Essen by public transport in 24 minutes, and even from Düsseldorf main station it only takes less than an hour. But also by car it is easy and parking is available. Nearest bus/tram stations are: „Zollverein“ (Tram 107), „Zollverein-Nord“ (Tram 107, Bus 170, Bus 183 oder Train RB32) or bus stations „Kokerei Zollverein“ or „Kohlenwäsche“ (Bus 183).Read On
Ujung Kulon National Park
Nafis N Malaysia - 14-Jul-23
I visited Anak Krakatau (a part of Ujung Kulon National Park) in January 2011 with my brother, my dad, and my uncle. We took a 2D1N tour package that includes a day-trip to Anak Krakatau, a stop at the Anak Krakatau's monitoring office near Carita, and a visit to the historic Dutch lighthouse called Cikoneng on the way back to Jakarta.
We flew to Jakarta from KL one evening and were immediately greeted by our guide (from krakatau-tour.com) and his driver who took us to a nice little hotel in Carita that same evening. Carita was a very small town and not at all touristy at that time. I'm not sure how it is today, but I remember we had to walk quite far from our hotel just to get to the nearest restaurant for dinner.Read On
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 06-Jul-23
Also called the Bonin Islands but that won't get you far with the locals, has 30 islands but you will only visit two of them tops. You will always arrive at Chichi-jima (Father Island) by ferry and it continues to Haha-jima (Mother Island) before returning the same way. This ferry goes twice a week most of the year and takes 24h from Tokyo. There is no faster way to get here and returning will only be after at least 3 days on the island. You will not want to leave as the islands are lovely but you MAY want to leave because it's quite off the beaten path and expensive tooRead On
Primeval Beech Forests
Adrian Turtschi Germany - 09-Jul-23
Jasmund Beech Forest, June 2023
Jasmund National Park Beech Forest is situated on the homonymous peninsula on the north-eastern coast of the island of Rügen, facing the Baltic Sea. Jasmund is known for its ancient beech trees - some of these trees are estimated to be around 700 years old and reach heights of up to 40 meters - stunning natural scenery, and rich biodiversity.
What makes the landscape so extraordinarily beautiful and uniquely attractive are the famous (Caspar David Friedrich!) white chalk cliffs of Rügen, rising dramatically from the Baltic Sea, with the beech forest located on a plateau some 100-150 meters towering above, extending right to the very edge of the cliffs, with various intermittent viewing points offering breathtaking vistas of the Baltic Sea.Read On
Szucs Tamas Hungary - 03-Jul-23
My expectations were low - the site was not really appealing, but I wanted to bag it anyway. It seemed to ba an easy tick as this - besides Maropeng - tihs is the other WHS that can be done from Jo'burg in a daytrip. Parys, the starting point for the trip is only 1hour 15 mins from Jo'burg on the motorway. I do not know anything about the public transport - but I seriously doubt that any foreign tourist wouzld dare using public transport in and near Jo'burg. From the previous reviews and the general description of the site I understood, that although it is totally possible to explore the area on your own, as there are some tar roads and more dirt ones through te core zone it is more advisable to do it with a guideRead On
Former M-13 prison/ Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (former S-21)/ Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre (former Execution Site of S-21) (T)
GabLabCebu Philippines - 01-Jul-23
It's not often that a major city, especially a national capital, has genocide memorials as its most famous and important tourist attraction, but for all Phnom Penh has to offer, this is exactly the case. I flew into Phnom Penh to start my tour of Cambodia in January 2023, and Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng were definitely the top priorities of my first day there. The Cambodian capital is unfortunately deficient in public transport, so I had the hotel call us a taxi which took us around the city for the whole dayRead On
Raja Ampat Islands (T)
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 04-Jul-23
Highly recommended even for non-divers. Obviously the main draw is diving and even snorkeling is popular at the resorts but you'll be missing a lot of the area just looking at the lush-green karst and trying your luck to see a special bird, or any bird really. The obvious choice of coming here is a liveaboard but resorts have their own transportation so staying on one and doing day trips is a good option, and you can even get a public ferry of sorts if you want to go budget (not recommended). So I went with the liveaboards for ~2 weeks and the price was higher than most places around the world but I wouldn't want to compare this to a budget safari on the red sea - you get a lot more out here and the distances are quite far so fuel costs are something to keep in mindRead On
ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape
Szucs Tamas Hungary - 03-Jul-23
Most rewivers complained about the missed cultural element of the site, so while planning my visit to South Africa I deliberately wanted to find some kind of clue how not to miss it. Finally I found a website - www.khomanisan.com - where - though there is absolutely no reference to the World Heritage status, I assumed, I can fulfil my desire. The site is maintained by the bushman council, so if anybody knows what the sam cultural landscape is about, they are surely the ones. The comunication with the admins war painstaikingly slow. After some weeks I got an aswer from the tour operator appointed by the council, Vinkie von der Westhiuzen, an email, that, yes, she is the one who is in charge and once she would send me some more informationRead On
Kokoro Germany - 11-Jul-23
I visited this place in May 2022 and think it was wonderful. It seems that older reviewers could not benefit from the excellent exhibition in the museum which is really great as it explains in a very good didactic way (explanations, exhibits, reconstructions) the life of the first immigrant policy in the world. Mauritius is the site of the first large-scale use of indentured labour in the modern world. Between 1830 and 1910 more than 462,000 people arrived in Mauritius. Appr. 70% of modern Mauritians are descendants of these workers. Really impressive. The mueseums shows a lot of very illustrative items, e.g. the way the new arrivals were registered and how and where they waited to be allocated to workRead On
Michael Turtle Australia - 28-Jun-23
In some ways, Epidaurus can be viewed as two different sites in one - the sanctuary and the theatre.
The history of the sanctuary is fascinating and I found it really interesting to see how some of the principles of medicine that we take for granted these days were being used thousands of years ago - but within a religious framework. There is not much to see of the original buildings, but the general layout is here and the small museum has a decent collection of artefacts, so you can piece it all together.Read On
Phnom Kulen: Archeological Site/Ancient Site of Mahendraparvata (T)
GabLabCebu Philippines - 27-Jun-23
Phnom Kulen was never on my plans for my trip to Cambodia in January 2023. All that I'd known about it was that there was a mini-version of Kbal Spean, a waterfall, and a reclining Buddha; I had no idea that it was also the site of the former capital of the Khmer or that there are a lot of remains of that time left behind. Instead, I'd set my eyes on Kbal Spean itself. Our driver-guide, on the other hand, didn't like the idea as much and recommended Phnom Kulen instead, and because I was traveling with my aunt who was having foot and knee problems, I caved and followed his suggestion. I'm actually quite glad I did, though I hope I'll see Kbal Spean one day, perhaps with better hiking companyRead On
Les « coules » de Petite Valachie (T)
Ralf Regele Germany - 30-Jun-23
Some reviewers have already noted that the 'coules de petite valachie' TWHS is quite close to the already inscribed Horezu monastry WHS. So is this just a minor sidestep on the way to something more worthwhile, or can it stand on its own ? My initial reaction was indeed "Ah, it is so close, might as well spend a couple of minutes there". However, the site at Maldaresti is actually quite a nice heritage area, with two of the mysterious 'cula', an old church, a little heritage house and some nice green surroundings. The culas itself are interesting, too, being a mixture of a country house and a fortress from a time when the area was seemingly so dangerous that everything needed to be fortified - castles, villages, churches, housesRead On
Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos
Timonator Germany - 30-Jun-23
From Santa Cruz we took the 11 o'clock flota (big bus) from terminal bimodal to San José. On thursdays there is also a train service for this route. In San José I can recommand to stay at the hotel Las Charapas a bit outside the center, which is run by Johan who is super nice and caring for his guests. Also the place is beautifully clean with a pool behind which a lot of tucans are living in this time of the year. We got a double room for 235 BOB a night. At the church next to the big plaza in San José we met Oseas after the service who was educated as priest but now is the gatekeeper of the church. He happily shows you around the church if you ask for himRead On
Mughal and Colonial Temples of Bangladesh (T)
Els Slots The Netherlands - 29-Jun-23
In my Profile section on this website, I’ve had ‘Puthia’ for a long time as one of my proposals for a new WHS. To my surprise, several monuments in Puthia were added to the Bangladeshi Tentative List last month as part of the ‘Mughal and Colonial Temples of Bangladesh’. So let me be the first to review it.
This serial site has 29 locations, of which I visited about nine during my Bangladesh trip in late December 2006 / early January 2007: one in Kantanagar and the others in Puthia (although I did not note down all their names, I've probably seen all in the cluster there). The proposal considers Hindu and Buddhist monuments that were built during the Mughal period in the 16th-19th centuries.Read On
Changdeokgung Palace Complex
Michael Turtle Australia - 27-Jun-23
There are five royal palaces in Seoul and, although Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest and most visited, it's Changdeokgung Palace that has been listed as the World Heritage Site. That's primarily because of its authenticity, as the one that is in the most original form and the first to be restored (by 1609) after being razed in the Japanese invasion. It was the seat of government for 270 years until the very end of the Joseon Dynasty.
My sense is that it's actually hard to tell the difference between the centuries-old restoration here at Changdeokgung and the more modern work at the other palacesRead On
GabLabCebu Philippines - 26-Jun-23
Despite the low number of reviews, I would say Namhansanseong is covered pretty well by its earlier visitors, and I don't have all that much to add. In June 2023, I came the same way everyone seems to come (including all the elderly hikers that filled the bus to the brim) and walked the commonly covered stretch between the Northern Gate and Western Command Post, and short of a couple of highlights, the overall experience seems to be the same for everyone. This is a mountain fortress, nothing more and nothing less. It's honestly an impressive one at that; for its size and the terrain it covers, Namhansanseong was definitely no easy feat. That being said, you'll mostly be admiring the views and the nature much more often than the structures of the actual fortressRead On
Patzcuaro, Site of Humanistic Memory and Cultural Confluence (T)
Solivagant UK - 25-Jun-23
Our visit to Patzcuaro was somewhat fortuitous. It was early in our 2008 trip driving round Central Mexico picking up as many inscribed and T List sites as we could in 17 days. It wasn’t planned as a WHS-related objective and I wasn’t aware that “The Lake Patzcuaro Cultural Zone” was a former T List site, let alone that it had been nominated in 1987 and deferred before being removedRead On
Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa Dolmen
GabLabCebu Philippines - 25-Jun-23
Dolmens have always interested me, at least ever since I found out about them. In fact, I first encountered them on the List, reading about the newly inscribed Antequera Dolmens back in 2016 and then trying unsuccessfully to visit them the following year. Preparing for my trip to Korea in June 2023, I tried my very best to research on how to see them the best way, and especially with the website as a major source, I decided that Gochang would be the best place to experience this site. Staying the night in Jeonju, Gochang would be a 1:40-long bus ride away and 40 minutes away from Gwangju, from which I took the next bus to Suncheon as there was no direct one from Gochang, so there was no time to spareRead On
Berat and Gjirokastra
Kokoro Germany - 11-Jul-23
I visited both cities in May 2023 and will not add anything regarding architecture and history - since there are many very qualified reviews. However I would like to give an actual update of situation and how to get there.
How to get there:
Berat is very easily accessible by car or bus, just 1 hour drive from Alabania´s capital Tirana.
Heavily visited and crowded, but also easy to visit (but not wheelchair accessible since streets are very steep).Read On
Ancien site industriel de Mantasoa (T)
Els Slots The Netherlands - 23-Jun-23
The old industrial site of Mantasoa covers the remains of a revolutionary development in Madagascar in the 1830s. The first Malagasy Queen, Ranavalona, wanted to become more independent of European powers and especially produce her own modern weaponry. To accomplish this, she enlisted the Frenchman Jean Laborde who had been shipwrecked off Madagascar and had engineering experience. The forced labour of 20,000 Malagasy men was used to develop the site, and later 1,200 men found employment at the factories. The site was only used between 1841 and 1855 until Laborde fell out of grace and went into exile.Read On
Primeval Beech Forests
Adrian Turtschi Germany - 23-Jun-23
Hainich Beech Forest, June 2023
A bear! – I was stopped dead in my tracks this early morning in June suddenly spotting a rather large dark animal some 5 meters up a beech tree close to the trail, apparently looking at me. I somewhat panicked and proceeded to quickly leave the scene. What at this moment appeared to be a small bear must have been, of course, reflecting on the encounter a bit later in more calmness, just a racoon, its white stripes obscured by the dimness of the forest in the early hours. Small vindication, then, that at least in the German language a racoon is called a Waschbär, hence, at least lexicologically, a kind of bear.Read On
Michael Turtle Australia - 21-Jun-23
I initially found the description of this as a 'fortress' a bit misleading until I did a bit more research into what that means in Korea. Rather than a single castle, for example, or even a complex of buildings atop a hill, it really means a small city surrounded by a defensive wall. With that perspective, it was a bit easier to plan the best way to visit Hwaseong Fortress at Suwon, where what's left of the fortress is now mixed in amongst a modern urban sprawl.
For anyone planning this day trip from Seoul, I would suggest doing two thingsRead On
The Maritime Heritage of Dragør Old Town and Harbour - A ‘skipper-town’ from the era of the great tall ships in the 18th and 19th centuries (T)
Alikander99 - 23-Jun-23
Dragør is a quaint town around 10km south of copenhagen in the island of Amager (which locals pronounce ama). it's actually just a few km away from the airport, so even from the harbour you can still hear the constant air traffic. The reasoning denmark has put forward for inscription basically boils down to preservation. the state argues that there are few towns which showcase the advent of globalisation in the 18th century as well as dragør. Denmark was for a long time a maritime power and it only stopped being so in the 19th century when their fleet was sunk in the war against britain, so hypothetically it would be one of the places to look for this suposedly missing link. The truth however is that dragør is nothing to write home aboutRead On
The Historic and Marine Landscape of the Banda Islands (T)
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 20-Jun-23
Banda is magical. It features so much and while it's not for everyone, the people who were there had already visited multiple times over the decades and want to stay as long as the visa allows. I suppose you can get addicted to the relaxed style. If you only want to come for a couple of days then this isn't really the place to fit into a tight, fixed schedule.
Side panel: the Indo visa issue is that you have to extend after 1 month and you need to return to an immigration office which would be in Ambon but you have to wait several working days to get your passport back and the ferry/flights aren't often enough to make [...]Read On
Tsunami Japan / USA / Europe - 14-Jun-23
I was back in the Bordeaux area to visit the Cordouan Lighthouse and decided to swing by the Vezere Valley for the third time. The first time was for Lascoux in 2004 and the second time was for Font-de-Gaume in 2009. My initial motivation to go back was to visit the National Museum of Prehistory, as it was closed on the day I visited Font-de-Gaume in 2009.
But then, by staying overnight in Les Eyzies, I managed to visit three more components of this august WHS: Abri de Cro-Magnon, Les Combarelles, and La Madeleine.
Hahoe and Yangdong
GabLabCebu Philippines - 14-Jun-23
Hahoe and Yangdong are known and advertised as villages with a lot to them - they're clan villages that have been perfectly preserved to demonstrate rural life over 5 centuries of habitation and growth; "in their siting, planning, and building traditions, the two villages are an exceptional testimony to the Confucianism of the Joseon dynasty." Thus, the divisions of the historic houses into servants', women's, and men's quarters, as well as the layout of the villages with houses of the clan leaders behind the hills while the houses of the lower class are closer to the entrance, all of these principles in practice are things I kept in mind to observe as I made my way towards Yangdong in June 2023Read On
Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae
Michael Turtle Australia - 18-Jun-23
It may well be one of the best preserved monuments of Ancient Greece, but the projects to protect the Temple of Apollo Epicurius both help and hinder your ability to appreciate it. Covered by some kind of tent since 1987, you unfortunately can't get a wider vista of the temple, and you also can't see how it fits in with the broader landscapes up here in the mountains (which is particularly disappointing because that was presumably a big factor in why it was built in such a remote location).
However, I found that being forced to stand close to the temple created a sense of intimacy that I haven't found at other ancient sites in Greece. With the tent around us, I felt even closer to the monument and it seemed larger than it might have otherwise, the columns looming aboveRead On
Pitons Management Area
Clyde Malta - 17-Jun-23
I visited this WHS in January 2023 as our last minute honeymoon getaway. Saint Lucia has no tWHS and "only" this WHS, but it really is a special WHS and possibly one of the best and most iconic the Caribbean has to offer. Travelling by plane instead of cruises means you'll most probably land on the opposite side of the island and a tour, taxi or rental car will be necessary.
We opted for the latter to explore as we please and were very lucky to find an SUV available from our first hotel close to the airport. There aren't many cars available for rent and although I usually always opt for a small car, having more clearance(and full insurance) turned out to be a godsend as the road to the Pitons is literally full of hairpins and never-ending potholes. Most tourists who were given smaller cars, ended up with a puncture, and half way through the area is quite rough and dodgy full of stoned rastas with machetes, not the ideal place to get strandedRead On
Frédéric M Canada - 17-Jun-23
Kinabalu Park is included on the World Heritage List mainly because of the extraordinary plant diversity resulting from its particular topography. In fact, Mount Kinabalu creates a gradient of climatic and edaphic conditions enabling an incredible number of plants to thrive. The isolation of certain populations resulting from this topography has also favoured the emergence of a large number of endemic species. The best way to visit the park, as described in some of the reviews here, is therefore to reach the summit and tackle this climatic and topographical gradient yourself. Unfortunately, although I'm quite the target audience for such an attraction, the staggering cost of the excursion put me off and I won't be describing a trip to the summit to youRead On
Getbol, Korean Tidal Flat
GabLabCebu Philippines - 14-Jun-23
Here to give the Getbol its first review on this site since inscription, I've included it on my June 2023 trip to Korea. I originally did not think much of these mudflats... there are already so many Eurasian migratory bird sites, I'd already seen the little mudflats in Mont Saint Michel and Itsukushima, and if the tidal variation were the star of the show, I would've much rather wanted to see the Bay of Fundy. Well, the pictures of Suncheon Bay did really look quite pretty, and as every reviewer here so far has given nothing but praise to this field of reeds, I figured it was worth fitting into my tripRead On
Via Appia 'Regina Viarum' (T)
Matejicek Czechia - 17-Jun-23
Though I visited Rome several times, it was still not enough to visit all the interesting places in Rome, not to mention the places around. In May 2023, I traveled to Salento region in the Southern Italy, so I took opportunity and did a stop in Brindisi. This place was the end of extended Via Appia, and the reason why Brindisi was connected to Rome was a possibility to travel to Greece and the East by sailing from the local port.
Brindisi is now important port and tourist spot. One can find however several interesting monuments spanning two millennia in the relatively small and rather unassuming historical core. The only site related to Via Appia that could be seen is its "official" end marked by giant two columns (PHOTO)Read On
Eric Lurio USA - 27-Jun-23
I went there last week, as we were on a different tour and had some time, we stopped by and we had enough people to get a discount.
As cathedrals go, this is okay, the art is all over the place, from brilliant to downright awful. As to the architecture, it's standard, nothing to write home about, but it is a major stop on the Camino, so that's why it probably got inscribed.
Does it actually DESERVE to get an inscription, probably not, but it's an old cathedral and UNESCO likes that sort of thing.Read On
La Haute Ville d’Antananarivo (T)
Els Slots The Netherlands - 13-Jun-23
The Upper Town of the Malagasy capital Antananarivo (Tana) is an architectural mix of Asian and European influences, following the tastes of the country’s royal and political elite during the 19th century. It lies on top of the highest hill of Tana, a daunting city with millions of inhabitants that developed like an inverted La Paz. Here the ‘important’ people started living uphill, and the further you go down the poorer it gets. It felt perfectly safe to walk around in the Upper Town by myself. Only near the Rova (the Queen’s palace) I encountered some wannabe guides, but they quickly gave up offering their services when I ignored them.Read On
Seowon, Neo-Confucian Academies
GabLabCebu Philippines - 12-Jun-23
Going into my June 2023 trip to Korea, I definitely had in mind the prospect of checking out each of the 15 mainland World Heritage Sites (including Gaya Tumuli, which is set to be inscribed this year if all goes as expected) in the 9 days I had, but I did definitely question if it was worth filling up and rushing through the little time I had just to tick each box when, as far as I could see previously, many of the Korean WHS did not seem all that interesting from an outsider's perspective. You've got to admit there is quite a selection of tomb sites, and Joseon sites seem to cover every bit of their daily life, from palaces, shrines, and tombs to fortresses, villages, and schoolsRead On
Clyde Malta - 16-Jun-23
I visited this WHS in January 2023. I wasn't expecting much but for one of my first Caribbean WHS, overall I was pleasantly surprised. Apart from the passage of time, extreme weather conditions and modernisation, the main threat to this and other similar Caribbean WHS is by far the huge impact of cruiseliner touch-and-go tourism. Very close to the core zone of this WHS there's the cruiseliner terminal which is a considerable hub and departure/arrival point for cruises.
With that in mind, I made sure to check the main cruiseliner companies' schedule and visited early mornings before the bigger arrivals or on the day of bigger departures. This might prove more difficult closer to the Xmas/New Year holiday period but it really worked fine towards the end of January. On our swimming days, we could easily see the countless numbered minivans and coaches unloading the equivalent of a small town's population, all pretty much doing the same all-inclusive rapid itinerary, precisely the reason why I always wanted to visit such places by plane. The core zone in fact is bigger than you would expect, and I covered quite a good number of kilometres on footRead On
Salento and the Barocco Leccese (T)
Matejicek Czechia - 13-Jun-23
I spent Pentecost Holidays (late May of 2023) in Lecce and it was my second visit of this place. Besides Lecce, I did a half-day trip to Nardo, and also did a stop in Ostuni during my return to Bari (I enjoyed direct flights between Prague and Bari!). Together with my 2018 visit of the Salento region (visiting of Lecce and Gallipoli), I could see almost all components mentioned on the worldheritagesite webpages. However, I did a small research and no explicit list of components are provided on official UNESCO pages and anywhere at all, maybe with an exception of Basilica di Santa Croce and Cattedrale di Lecce including Piazza del Duomo, which are absolute highlights of this TWHSRead On
Andrefana Dry Forests
Els Slots The Netherlands - 22-Jun-23
Although it has decent tourist facilities, the Tsingy de Bemaraha is only for the hardened traveller as realistically there is no easy way to reach this park on the west coast of Madagascar. The property is so poorly accessible from the nearest city or commercial airport that it almost fits into our ‘Takes more than 5 days’-connection: a return trip takes at least 5 days from Tana. To make matters worse, it nowadays should be visited as part of an armed convoy due to safety concerns as there have been robberies along the route. There is no public transport to the site, all has to be done by 4WD, although the very wealthy could charter a bush plane and land on an airstrip that lies some 8km from Grand Tsingy.Read On
Baekje Historic Areas
GabLabCebu Philippines - 11-Jun-23
On a sunny June day in 2023, I arrived at Iksan station (conveniently right next to the intercity bus station) to see the Mireuksa Temple Site. All you have to do from here is go straight (crossing one road) and look for the nearest bus stop on the right side (bus direction: away from the station), and you can take city bus #41 from there to the site in just under an hour. As one may already expect from previous reviews, there is not so much to the site, but really, one may take up to an hour taking things slow and thoroughly appreciating all the little details (there are several markers to read too) as the distances in the vast open space with beautiful natural surroundings can be deceptively long; even more time would be needed to check out the museumRead On
El Fuerte de Samaipata
Timonator Germany - 10-Jun-23
To get to Samaipata from Sucre was a bit of a pain. All flotas (big buses) leave in the evening and we arrived at 01:30 a.m. in the middle of hjeavy rain in the darkness. Very unpleasant. From Samaipata we took a taxi the next day for 50 BOB to the Fuerte de Samaipata. Mototaxis are cheaper but another traveller that used it was a bit frightened by the ride in combination with the street quality. On site we decided to take a guided tour through the fortress, which is not what the Spanish have named it for. It was never used for military purposes. The entrance fee is 50 BOB and the guided tour 100 BOB for up to 5 people. Even though the tour was in Spanish we could communicate well with our guide as she patiently described anything we didn´t understand with other wordsRead On
The Cultural Landscape of Civita di Bagnoregio (T)
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 06-Jun-23
March 2023 - Bagnoregio was on our way south. Not only a promising tentative site but also nominated for this year, we definitely put it on our itinerary. We arrived in the evening and parked our camper on the Public parking lot. Next morning before the tourist masses would appear we walked our way to the Bridge, had the best Cappuccino of the whole trip in a random Café on the main street to Civita.
Already in the morning we had to pay 5€ to climb up the steep bridge to the towns entrance. The town was completely deserted at first, except for a few cats enjoying the sunshine. The Restaurants and souvenir Shops were still to be opened. We enjoyed the scenery visible from the few viewpoints, which is part of the nomination, as well as the many planters embellishing the facadesRead On
GabLabCebu Philippines - 11-Jun-23
Daesong-dong Gobungun (+ surprise Jisan-dong Gobungun drive-by), June 2023
With an already packed Korea trip, I carelessly dismissed most Gaya Tumuli sites as too inaccessible to squeeze into the itinerary; reading through the (two) reviews on this website, I decided that Daesong-dong was easily my best bet to check this site and see the Gaya remains for myself. Daesong-dong is located in the center of Gimhae, a satellite city of Busan and connected by metro (a very scenic light rail line, to be specific!), the closest stop being Gimhae National Museum. This turned out to be about 1.5 hours one-way transit from Busan Train Station. Gimhae seems to be extremely proud of their Gaya heritage, as the center of the Geumgwan Gaya, among the most influential of the Gaya ConfederacyRead On
Primeval Beech Forests
Adrian Turtschi Germany - 07-Jun-23
Serrahn Beech Forest, June 2023
Serrahn is a small beech forest, UNESCO-inscribed in 2011, which forms part of the larger Müritz National Park in Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, around 90 minutes north of Berlin. The wider area, dubbed by the local tourist board as "the land of a thousand lakes", centered around lake Müritz, the largest inland water body in Germany, is partly hilly but mostly flat, shaped by the last Ice Age, sparsely populated and mainly covered by forests, lakes and marshes, and these days popular for all kind of recreational activities, including hiking in the woods.Read On
The Porticoes of Bologna
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 31-May-23
In 2016 we made a short stopover in Bologna and walked around the center not knowing yet which parts will belong to the WHS. Now in March 2023 we arrived around 10.a.m., parked outside the center and chose a Tour between the different Clusters of porticoes. Our first cluster was via Zamboni from there to the Strada Maggiore. Our daughter enjoyed Bologna strolling around the flat terrazzo with her scooter.Around noon we arrived at the Via Stefano, where we missed Tickets for the Torre Asinelli, but had perfect Pasta al ragout at Sfoglia Rina. I really can recommend lunch there, although it is a Instagram hyped place. After lunch we still strolled around San Petronio before we took resumed our travels to south eastern Parco dei Gessi Bolognesi. Bologna is a wonderful cityRead On
Deosai National Park (T)
Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 01-Jun-23
Visited April 2022
I can tell you that I was there… So, if one day Deosai NP – one of the highest plateau and the habitat of the endangered Himalayan brown bear – is inscribed, I will have it ticked already! But I can tell you I have not appreciated landscape, animals, plains… And seen nothing but snow all around. Why? Because at the end of April it still snowed and the layers of snow covered the only road going through the park linking Skardu with Astore Valley Road. The owner of the guesthouse in Skardu where I stayed for four nights was trying to convince me that it did not make any sense to even try to get to the plains. But I was stubborn. So… off we went in a Toyota PradaRead On
The Scotland District of Barbados (T)
Sebasfhb Netherlands - 31-May-23
I visited the Scotland District in August 2022. Well, what we WH travellers know as the Scotland District at least. To most people in and from Barbados, the Scotland District is unknown. Show it on a map, show a picture, and they will recognise it as Mount Hillaby, the highest point in Barbados. When you just drive through this sparsely-populated part of Barbados, there is nothing that catches the eye. Most people will tick this TWHS off on the way to more popular tourist destinations and other TWHS locations, such as St. Nicholas’ Abbey. Having read the previous review of the Scotland District TWHS, I was not particularly excited to go out of my way and visit.
The Scotland District of Barbados (T)
Clyde Malta - 31-May-23
I visited this tWHS in January 2023 by rental car which at least at the moment is necessary to cover as much ground as possible by getting to different viewpoints and to try to explore the area on foot (when at all possible).
When in Barbados the Scotland District is only sparsely signposted at StRead On
Nan Germany - 08-May-23
Sarazm in Tajikistan is one of the oldest settlements in Central Asia, dating back over 5,000 years. Excavations in the 1970s revealed a thriving Bronze Age urban centre engaged in agriculture, trade and metallurgy. The Zerafshan valley had many mines, especially for tin, which was needed to make bronze in the Bronze Age. The area was therefore an early trading centre.
As is often the case with Bronze Age sites, there isn't much left. The foundations of several houses can be found, sheltered under tin roofs. The paths are covered in thorny grass, so bring long trousers. Although the surroundings are rather barren, the views of the mountain range are stunning.Read On
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 24-May-23
March 2023 - so far we had missed Ferrara on our trips. This time it was on the itinerary, as we wanted to complete Italy's WHS list. After we had lunch in Vicenza we drove partly Highway, partly on smaller roads towards our next Stop. South of the old town there is a large parking lot at the mura ferrara where we also spent the night in our campervan.
It was only a few minutes walk to the Castello and the Cattedrale. This evening we still had Gelato and Pizza on the hand and made a short walk through the old town. However, as it was Friday night, the bars filled up with more and more people, thus we decided to return to the Camper. I woke up at 6 next morning and decided to take another Walk through the center. Garbagemen were tyding up squeky clean.Read On
Els Slots The Netherlands - 13-Jun-23
The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga is a fortified hill with great historical and symbolic value for the people of Madagascar. It is a wonderful site to visit as it is in good condition and has so many layers: the first unified Malagasy kingdom, the start of its interaction with the outside world just before colonial times, and a contemporary place of worship. I spent 3 hours there on a guided tour of the palace complex and a forest walk.
Although it lies only 20km away from the Madagascar capital Antananarivo, it will take the best part of an hour to get there by carRead On
Villages with Fortified Churches
Sebasfhb Netherlands - 30-May-23
In February 2022, I visited the fortified church in Prejmer on a day trip from Romania’s capital, Bucharest. If you want to stay within Romania, Prejmer is actually the closest World Heritage site from Bucharest (although Srebarna Nature Reserve, the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo and the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari are located closer to Bucharest on the Bulgarian side of the border). I stayed a week in Bucharest with my family and convinced my fellow-travellers, who are not interested in ticking off obscure World Heritage sites at all, to rent a car for a day and make the 3-hour drive to PrejmerRead On
Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 29-May-23
Visited in April 2023
Wondering why this site is not on the list yet… It represents many centuries of the history of territories located south of Greater Caucasus, their relations with the northern cultures, Greek civilization and also those from the east and south…
Most of ancient Vani (we do not know how it was called back in the ancient times, although there are some documents that let us assume it was called Surium or/and Leucothea by the Greek) is buried under the modern village and fields to the west of the centre and the main bazaar. And only around 10% of the site has been excavated till now. Local farmers and local authorities do not allow any farther investigations, so probably for the next decades we won’t know anything more about its extent and architectural/economical/social features. It is really a pity… Who knows – maybe after the heavy rains will another part of the uncovered site appear as it did in 1876 after the landslide when the history of Vani as a Colchian culture representative startedRead On