Latest Community Reviews

Dinosaur Provincial Park

J_neveryes Canada - 11-Feb-24

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Travellers who visit the province of Alberta, understandably flock to the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, e.g., Banff and Jasper.  Many may not realize that Alberta is graced with a varied landscape and that southern Alberta has a different type of natural beauty than the Rockies.  Dinosaur Provincial Park, located in the badlands, is a highlight of this region.  The park is immense, looks like another planet, and the views are fantastic.

A word of warning that while a small portion of the the Dinosaur [...]

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Wooden Churches of Maramures

Clyde Malta - 13-Feb-24

Wooden Churches of Maramures

I visited all 8 locations of this WHS in 2023. Unlike the Painted Churches of Moldavia, the 8 locations are not that easy to cover as a loop. I used Desesti and Baia Mare as my base and covered Ieud, Poienile Izei, Barsana, Budesti and Desesti (in that order) after an early departure from Suceava, and Rogoz and the 2 wooden churches of Sisesti the following day from Baia Mare. Make sure to save the churches' names and locations on Google Maps as finding their entrances and/or small parking spaces/lots sometimes can be quite challenging and not always that obvious due to similar but newer churches built close to them. Data roaming or a Romanian sim is a must to be able to contact the "holders of the key" in most locations

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Blue and John Crow Mountains

Els Slots The Netherlands - 16-Feb-24

Blue and John Crow Mountains

68 people so far claim to have visited this WHS, but this has resulted in only one generic review and a (since replaced) funny main site photo of a marker essentially saying “You’re in the National Park but not in the WHS core zone”.

It’s hard to visit Jamaica and not ‘see’ the Blue Mountains in some way, but is that enough to ‘tick’ this site? Let me share what is possible to visit and what you should look out for.

The OUV The OUV of both the cultural and natural side of this mixed WHS lies in the rugged, inaccessible terrain. The maroons used it to hide away from colonial oppression, while the island’s native flora managed to survive here while much of the rest of the island was cultivated. These two features don’t mix well, which becomes clear on the official map (best seen in map #4 of the nomination dossier): the descendants of the maroons live in villages that are clearly not in pristine nature and so they’re mostly outside of the National Park (they're considered ‘satellite sites’ by ICOMOS)

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Art and Architecture in the Prehistory of Sardinia. The domus de janas. (T)

Tony0001 - 14-Feb-24

Yesterday and today I visited some sites of the "domus de Janas" sites.

1) Anghelu Ruju near Alghero. This site is rather big with some 40 graves. There is entrance fee, and good explanation. 

2) Su Crucifissu Mannu near Porto Torres. This site is near a farm. You can free visit. No entrance fee, no explanation. Not so many graves.

3) Altar of Monte d' Accoddi between Porto Torres and Sassari. This one is not similar at all to the other ones, but in my opinion most interesting site from the ones I saw. It is build in third millennium before Christ. 

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Churches of Moldavia

Clyde Malta - 13-Feb-24

Churches of Moldavia

I visited all 8 components of this WHS by car in 2023 and if you have the time all are worth a visit for their interior as well as their exterior paintings. Apart from the one in Probota (road was still being paved when I visited), all locations are easily reachable by car on newly paved roads.

The Painted Church of Probota is not visible from outside as it is within a very high fortified monastery so make sure to check the opening hours before you visit

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L'Anse aux Meadows

J_neveryes Canada - 11-Feb-24

L

Even I don't know why I have such an affection for this site, which is really just a number of grassy mounds and depressions on the ground.  Perhaps it is due to nostalgia because I, like most Canadians who grew up with TV rather than internet, watched Heritage Minutes during commercial breaks.  Or perhaps it is due to the idea that near here, two groups of people encountered each other again after migrating away from each other 16,000 to 20,000 years earlier.  Due to L'Anse aux Meadows's remote and wild setting, perhaps one can easily visualize that encounter from these mere mounds and depression.

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Tombs of Buganda Kings

Solivagant UK - 12-Feb-24

Tombs of Buganda Kings

I provide a photo of our visit to the Kasubi tombs taken in 2005 (I.e before the great fire of March 2010) to “support” my “right” to review it!  I can fully understand the somewhat dispiriting experience which Zoe recently ran into. There were elements of it for us and they possibly led to my decision not to do a review at the time. However, the "imminent" reopening (but repeatedly delayed - its last promised date was Dec 2023 and is still only "90% Complete" in Jan 24 - with no promise!) of the tombs, together with Zoe's review, have stimulated me to catch up on the memory of our visit and to fill in some gaps in my "understanding". 

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Everglades

Els Slots The Netherlands - 13-Feb-24

Everglades

In early February I spent a full day exploring the Royal Palm and Flamingo areas of Everglades National Park. It felt like a holiday: it was warm and sunny, signage and interpretation were perfect, no rush, no crowds.

It may be telling that all reviewers so far chose a picture of an alligator or a water bird to accompany their story. Probably that’s because the landscape views aren’t that great. Especially when you have arrived from a flat country covered in wetlands like me, the scenery superficially will be very familiar, including the many egrets and herons. It often reminded me of De Biesbosch National Park in the Netherlands.

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Sian Ka'an

Randi Thomsen Norway - 05-Feb-24

Sian Ka

There are several reviews from this site, but the focus is on daytrips from Tulum. We opted for “the long drive” and an overnight stay at “the end” – at Punta Allen. This turned out to be a great choice. Our plan for the two weeks in Mexico included several dirt roads for instance this one, thus we rented a high clearance car.

The drive from Tulum to Punta Allen turned out to be an interesting one

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Trading Posts and Fortifications on Genoese Trade Routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea (T)

Ilya Burlak USA - 07-Feb-24

Trading Posts and Fortifications on Genoese Trade Routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea (T)

Only Yoros Castle and Galata Tower were included on my itinerary of Istanbul and Marmara in October of 2023. Furthermore, although I stayed literally around the corner from Galata Tower, I never actually set foot in it. There are so many other elevated perspectives that you can find in Istanbul and the lines to enter Galata Tower are so long throughout the day that I expressly decided to skip it. So beyond agreeing that it is a very impressive building - arguably, one of the emblematic sights of Istanbul - I have very little to say about it.

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Mdina (Citta Vecchia) (T)

Alikander99 Spain - 12-Feb-24

Mdina (Citta Vecchia) (T)

I'm gonna go against the current and actually discourage inscription. I know this IS a very popular tentative site and it's indeed a really nice fortified city. My issue is its OUV.

Mdina IS the old capital of malta, and It has been inhabited since the bronze age. Despite this It has little more than its layout to show for Its old age. There's nothing phoenician, or Roman, or islamic and there's only a couple of medieval components in the city (which are not really that remarkable). As such its strong suit IS actually its well preserved fortified baroque ensemble. And that I see as a problem

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Jesuit Missions of Trinidad and Jesus

J_neveryes Canada - 10-Feb-24

Jesuit Missions of Trinidad and Jesus

Poor Paraguay - overlooked by many who visit South America.  It has no world-class sightseeing site, and its only major city - Asuncion - is too gritty and unpolished for many tourists.  Jesuit Missions of Trinidad and Jesús de Tavarangue are probably the highlight of Paraguay's sights, but you will likely have these UNESCO world heritage sites to yourself.

I took a bus from Asuncion to Encarnación for a two-night stay.  Encarnación is a small tranquil city that is best known for its annual Carnival.  There is not much to see in the city itself.  In one museum, the staff took a photo of me and promptly posted on their Facebook page that they had a visitor from Canada.

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Bursa and Cumalikizik

Ilya Burlak USA - 06-Feb-24

Bursa and Cumalikizik

In October of 2023, on a brief road trip from Istanbul, I spent an afternoon and stayed overnight in Bursa, while also visiting Cumalıkızık the next morning.

My time in Bursa allowed me to visit four of the WHS components, the central Orhan Ghazi Külliye, the nearby mausoleum of Orhan Gazi in Tophane Park, and Yesil Külliye and Yildirim Külliye. Visiting other components felt a bit of an overkill, but covering all locations looks possible within a full day or maybe a day and a half; distances are not insurmountable on foot but also not trivial away from the central cluster of sights; taxis are inexpensive.

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The Archaeological Heritage of Niah National Park’s Caves Complex, Sarawak, Malaysia (T)

Randi Thomsen Norway - 05-Feb-24

The Archaeological Heritage of Niah National Park’s Caves Complex, Sarawak, Malaysia (T)

Having visited the Niah Caves complex same year as Els we have almost “the same story” although with a few differences. The similarities were the Borneo Cultures Museum in Kuching, the Mulu site, the short river crossing with the 3 km hike om the slippery walkway before reaching the Traders Cave and the Great cave, but then some differences.

We rented a car at Miri airport round noon and arrive the visitor center at 1:15

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Gedeo Cultural landscape

Thomas Buechler Switzerland - 07-Feb-24

Chelba-Tututi was the cemetery we visited after reading Woijtek’s recommendations. It is in the tiny village of Koti, about 40 minutes south of Dila. The guide was excellent; only men are buried here under phallus shaped stellas, they were recording 1506 pieces scattered allover, very few have inscriptions. British and a German anthropologist have unearthed in 1994 and 2011 gold bracelets and pottery. For circumcised men, it was customary to be buried with two. 

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Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis

J_neveryes Canada - 10-Feb-24

Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis

I visited Santa Ana and San Ignacio Mini on my way from Posadas to Iguazu Falls.  Posadas, a city across the river from Paraguay, is a fine but unspectacular city, and I used it as a base to explore the worthwhile Parque Nacional Ibera, where you will see oodles of capybaras.

San Ignacio Mini, which sits in middle of the small town, boasts beautiful carvings.  Although San Ignacio Mini is the most popular of the three Argentinian Jesuit missions among the Guaraní sites, I did not find it to be very crowded (July 2019).  The visit itself can be done in an hour, unless  you come across - as I did - a rolling swarm of caterpillars for the first time in your life and squat in middle of the ruins to observe it for longer than most people would.

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Yakushima

Randi Thomsen Norway - 05-Feb-24

Yakushima

Having spent the last three weeks travelling “mainland Japan” we arrived Yakushima mid July 2023. The same means of transport (ferry) as everybody else took us from Kagoshima to Miyanoura Port and we started the visit by renting a small car at the harbour.

We drove immediately towards the Yakasugi Museum close to Anbo harbour. We had already decided that we wanted to do the long hike to Jomon Sugi the next day. At the bus stop close by there was a small kiosk that sold tickets for the hike.

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Fasil Ghebbi

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 26-Jan-24

Fasil Ghebbi

Gondar is the third permanent capital of the Ethiopian Empire (the first was Aksum, the second was Lalibela, after which there was a period in which the capitals changed very often). Finally, Emperor Fasilides, who reigned from 1632 to 1667, moved the capital to the high-lying Gondar and built the first palace there, still named after him today. Subsequent rulers had no less ambitions, each of them added their own palace next to it, of which there are four in the complex of Fasil Ghebbi. In addition, there is a library, a steam sauna and cages of Ethiopian lions, animals that were the symbol of emperors.

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Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

Ralf Rotheimer Germany - 11-Feb-24

As the previous reviews already cover the most relevant facts about visiting the Hypogeum, I would like to focus on the experience of buying the Last Minute tickets and share some tips and observations that might be beneficial to other visitors.

We were visiting Malta over New Year's Eve and as we were not sure yet on which date we could visit the Hypogeum, all of the online tickets were already gone. Worthwhile to note: In the less busy winter season the urge to book weeks or even months in advance did not seem to be that bad. Whenever I was looking up if by chance a ticket slot might open online, you could normally buy entry tickets 2-3 weeks in advance. This timeframe was unfortunately not working for us, as we were staying only slightly more than a week.

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Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town

J_neveryes Canada - 07-Feb-24

Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town

If you spend some time to explore Hebron, you will find a city where its resident do their best to live a life of normalcy despite Israeli military control and restriction on freedom of movement and economic activities.

We visited the city of Hebron by public bus from Jerusalem - you can find the buses that go to the West Bank at a bus station near [...]

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Aksum

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 25-Jan-24

Aksum

Site visited in January 2024. Aksum is well covered by the previous reviewers, but since 8 years have passed since the latest review, I decided to add a new one.

Aksum is treated as the true cradle of Ethiopia, both in terms of state and religious power. State, because it was the first great kingdom in these areas, stretching from today's eastern Sudan to the footholds on the Arabian Peninsula. Religious, because Aksum in the 4th century adopted Christianity, which is still the dominant religion in Ethiopia. Aksum is home to the most important church in Ethiopia - the Church of Our Lady of Zion. In fact, there are two churches of this name - the old one, from the 17th century, and the new one, built on the orders of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1965. The old one is located within the monastery, so only men can enter it. The new one is available for women and men

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Kilifi Caves (Panga Ya Saidi, Mawe Meru and Chasimba Caves) (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 18-Jan-24

Kilifi Caves (Panga Ya Saidi, Mawe Meru and Chasimba Caves) (T)

I visited all three components although Mawe Meru appears to be just the black rocks on top of Chasimba Caves which is even marked so on the map. Also I don't see ANY cave. Maybe 70,000 years ago this was a cave system and has now been eroded to just have rocks. Both cave sites are taken care of by the local family (unofficially?) and they'll be happy to take you on a small tour. By tour it means you walk over sharp karst and maybe fall if you aren't careful - honestly this is so not recommended to visit. My advice is to save you some money (not that it cost a lot to tip them) and just take a picture of the wall rock as you drive past it

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Shirakami-Sanchi

Svein Elias Norway - 04-Feb-24

Shirakami-Sanchi

Our first “mainland” Japanese whs in our Japanese quest July '23 was Shirakami-Sanchi. The shinkansen took us from Hokkaido to Aomori Honshu and a local train further on to Hirosaki where we picked up a rental car and then spent the night. The next morning, we drove the 40-50 min to Shirakami-Sanchi Information Centre near Aqua Village Anmon. The map shows that road 28 could take us somehow into the core zone if we just went far enough, but we assumed correctly that driving was impossible. Road 28 has been totally closed since 2020 – probably due to avalanches and broken-down bridges. The remaining option was the hike to Anmon Falls.

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The Cultural Heritage of Yeha (T)

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 25-Jan-24

The Cultural Heritage of Yeha (T)

Yeha is the remainings of the most ancient kingdom of present Ethiopia, which dates back to the 8th century BC. The Kingdom of Yeha maintained active contacts with Yemen and used the Sabaic language. In Yeha there is the oldest building still standing in Sub-Saharan Africa - the Great Temple once dedicated to Almaqah, the god of the moon (see photo). The temple was destroyed in the 6th century AD, when Christianity already reigned supreme in these areas, which, as we know, until recently did not like competition and actively suppressed it. The Christians did not turn the entire temple into a church, but partially demolished it to build their own place of worship nearby

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Le parc national de la Kibira (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 18-Jan-24

Le parc national de la Kibira (T)

A natural extension to Rwanda’s Nyungwe NP, boasting the same floral and fauna. That park has already got a great review so I won't bump it down with my scribblings. Instead I can focus on the Burundi side which is easier to reach than the loooong drive from Kigali.

I dropped my bag off in town and took a bus from COTEBU market to Bugarama. It's a single road so you can't do much wrong. Just ask the drivers for Bugarama and they'll advice you. My empty bus departed soon and took 90 minutes, costing me 10k francs

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Sacred Landscapes of Tigray (T)

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 24-Jan-24

Sacred Landscapes of Tigray (T)

Of the places proposed by the state party, I visited only one, although probably the most spectacular - Abuna Yemata Guh, part of the Gheralta Sacred Landscape.

The Eastern Churches were fond of building temples in difficult places, but Abuna Yemata Guh was probably the most inaccessible of those I had ever seen (a few hours later I visited Debre Damo, which is even more inaccessible). To get there, you have to climb an almost vertical rock wall. Fortunately, local residents make money by helping visitors and in this case they offered harnesses, rope support and personal assistance in the most difficult parts. Without this help from our family, only I would be able to climb, but I wouldn't feel good without any protection. This is definitely not a place for people afraid of heights, you walk along a narrow ledge where you can't even put two feet next to you, and a false move ends with you falling several meters lower

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Amsterdam Canal Ring

Hubert Austria - 06-Feb-24

Amsterdam Canal Ring

The Netherlands should be praised for limiting its Amsterdam nomination to the most beautiful part of the city, the Canal Ring. It is great fun to walk along the canals and admire the façades and details of the architecture. No two gables look the same. This is of course well known and has already been highlighted by previous reviewers. So why another review? The answer is: just to recommend also taking a look behind the façades of these impressive canal houses.

In June 2023 I had a scientific meeting at Amsterdam University and I was able to extend my stay to the following weekend. I had visited Amsterdam several times before, including the obligatory canal cruise and non-WHS stuff not to be missed like the Rijksmuseum and van Gogh Museum

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Mana Pools

Svein Elias Norway - 04-Feb-24

Mana Pools

Zimbabwe has been on our radar since we started visiting sub-Sahara Africa some years ago. Late September '23 we realized the trip.

Our trip was a road trip starting in Lusaka Zambia southbound and our first goal was (except secondary goal of Chirundu twhs in Zambia) Mana Pools National Park. It’s the site that really drives the cost on this trip. The park is a valley hosting the Zambezi River on the northern border to Zambia and is famous for its dry season wildlife gatherings. The WHS consists of three areas (Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore), but we were told that Mana is by far the best area - for wildlife encounters.

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Forth Bridge

Patrik Netherlands - 30-Jan-24

Forth Bridge

I took a regular 747 stagecoach bus straight from Edinburgh Airport that dropped me at the slip road to the south of old road bridge. I crossed the road under the pedestrian passage and climbed the viewpoint arriving there just after sunset. This is also the site where the Unesco plaque is displayed these days. 

I walked around admiring the bridge from several viewpoints in South Queensferry, then walked accross the old road bridge to the north side. Luckily the railway bridge is illuminated at night so it was still worthwhile to do this in the dark. On the north side one can appreciate the cantilever construction better as on the south side it starts further offshore.

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Belize Barrier Reef

Patrik Netherlands - 30-Jan-24

Belize Barrier Reef

I wanted to point out here one possibility that has not yet turned up in the reviews so far.

I took an afternoon snorkeling excursion from Placensia to the Laughing Bird Caye. The excursion took about 3.5 hours, including a 35 minute choppy boat ride, a short stay on the tiny island and a round of snorkeling and came at a cost of 85 USD.

When our small tour group of three arrived at the tiny island, it was very busy with a big boat moored nearby. It was a strange contrast with the quiet beach in Placensia where we arrived from.

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The Underwater City of Port Royal (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 14-Feb-24

The Underwater City of Port Royal (T)

We saw confirmation in December 2023 that Jamaica planned to submit The Underwater City of Port Royal as its 2025 nomination; whether they did so in time I could not verify. It will be their fourth attempt to get this site inscribed. It was rejected in 1988 (only the terrestrial area, deemed of national importance only), deferred in 2019 (more focus on the 17th century needed and worries about a cruise ship pier) and had an incomplete dossier last year. In 2019 ICOMOS did find some potential OUV though (“a possibly unrivalled illustration of an English colonial town in the 17th century”) and Jamaica may now have taken the right path of approach that will lead to an inscription

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The Historic Town of Gedi (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 19-Jan-24

The Historic Town of Gedi (T)

Gedi is to be nominated very soon and I wouldn't be surprised if it slides through even though the visitor centers are all "Kenyan style" half built and then left forgotten. It can do without so just seeing the ruins is enough.

You arrive at the main gate where you can pick 3 tickets. If you are into snakes and butterflies stolen from the nearby forest then be my guest. They also guilt you into thinking you are supporting the local community this way. What you could do it hire a guide for the Gedi ruins alone. I chose not to because Gedi is like Angkor Wat and you explore overgrown ruins on your own. Zoe Croft was not going to miss out on this one!! (Don't want a sidekick for that!)

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Dreams in Stone - the palaces of King Ludwig II of Bavaria: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee (T)

Hubert Austria - 29-Jan-24

Dreams in Stone - the palaces of King Ludwig II of Bavaria: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee (T)

It seems I'm going to be the party pooper here with my "thumbs down". But now that Palaces of King Ludwig II have been nominated for decision in 2025, one critical view may be appropriate. The nomination was controversial among the local population. In a ballot in the municipality of Schwangau in June 2023, 56% of citizens voted in favour of the nomination (with a turnout of 56%), so not really overwhelming. The residents near Neuschwanstein are mainly concerned about a further increase in visitor numbers. Those in favour of the nomination argue that the number is already 1.5 million per year and that more can hardly be expected.

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Lower Valley of the Awash

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 19-Jan-24

Lower Valley of the Awash

I'm pleased to announce that another blank spot on the review map on this site is being erased. Although this WHS has its reviews, they come from people who have not visited it. Still, they were useful - thanks in particular to Solivagant for the tips.

Seeing the place where Lucy's remains were discovered takes quite an effort. The permit is still necessary, but obtaining it in Semera, according to my guide, is not difficult. Getting to the excavation site is a bit more complicated. To get there, in the village of Eli Wiha, turn towards the Awash River. A local guide is absolutely necessary (they assign him with a policeman at the police checkpoint in Eli Wiha). After exactly 44 kilometers, we reach a place that is about 200 meters from the 'road' paved by 4WD cars. People live in the area, but it is extremely inhospitable. Even in January - the coldest month - it was over 30 degrees and almost no shade

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Moidams (T)

Szucs Tamas Hungary - 21-Jan-24

Moidams  (T)

Assam - and the whole of north-east India - is not only now a fairly remote corner of the subcontinent, it always has been. None of the great Indian empires reached here - neither Asoka nor the great Mughals conquered this region. From the 13th century until the beginning of the British Raj in 1828, the Ahom dynasty ruled over large and small parts of the tea belt.Traditionally and culturally the Ahoms are member of the Great Tai (Tai-Yai) group of peoples. In the year 1215 CE, the Ahoms migrated from Mong-Mao or Mong-Mao-Lung (present Dehong Dai Jingpho autonomous prefecture of South-Western Yunan province of Peoples Republic of China)

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Tombs of Buganda Kings

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 18-Jan-24

Tombs of Buganda Kings

As of 2024 the main building is still under renovation. You arrive in the busy area of Kampala to be taken to a mandatory guide who explains mostly well until you get to the main building. I wasn't really impressed and I find 4 generations of kings hardly an impressive feat in the world. It is mildly interesting to hear how cultures works around here but no way would I recommend it. In fact after the first building, the drum building and the view from the large center one is taken around graveyards and SLUMS that are actually housing of the king's wives

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Bahá'í House of Worship at New Delhi (T)

Carlo Sarion Philippines | New Zealand - 21-Jan-24

Bahá

Despite having the flu that was worsened by the awful smog, I decided to visit the Lotus Temple on the morning of our last day in Delhi in December 2023. I knew that I was going to regret not visiting it since it was close to our hotel (we were staying in Friend's Colony). My visit turned out to be quite wonderful, contrary to what Ralf had unfortunately experienced. Some notes about my visit:

1. The Information Centre - the centre is at the opposite end of the walkway leading to the temple. It contains heaps of information about the Baha'i faith: its origin, contemporary history, basic teachings and philosophy, religious sites around the world, social work, and community service projects

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Harar Jugol

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 18-Jan-24

Harar Jugol

It's been 17 years since Solivagant visited Harar and wrote about it in a review that was so comprehensive that no one added a new one after that. Bowing to the previous reviewer, I will try not to repeat myself and add a few new elements, current as of January 2024.

Not much seems to have changed in these 17 years. We were surprised by the fact that Harar is a very lively urban center, both inside and outside the old city. We were lucky enough to sleep in a traditional Harari house and the scenery was indeed fantastic (see photo #1).

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VIKING MONUMENTS AND SITES / Vestfold Ship Burials and Hyllestad Quernstone Quarries (T)

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Polska - 23-Jan-24

VIKING MONUMENTS AND SITES / Vestfold Ship Burials and Hyllestad Quernstone Quarries (T)

Visited in August, 2023 during long Scandinavian tour (Sweden, Norway, Denmark). Original nomination comprise of 4 components but one of them (Hyllestad Quernstone Quarries) is inconveniently located on the western coastal part of Norway (north of Bergen, more than 500 km from Oslo, including ferry crossing) I decided to focus on 3 other locations that are placed near Oslo.

The Gokstad Mound (Gokstadhaugen, different name: Kongshaugen) lies on the outskirts of Sandefjord, google coordinates 59.14027233638874, 10.253360500311365. It is a big burial tumulus (5 meters high, 50 meters in diameter) where one of Viking kings / chieftains was buried together with his boat and other equipment. The ship was constructed in late IX century and discovered in late XIX century during excavations. Tumulus seemed to be plundered in ancient times as no gold or silver artefacts were found but still archaeologists discovered remnants of riding equipment, sledge, tent as well as human and animal bones. The site currently is open free of charge, fenced and looked as well maintained

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Jingkieng jri: Living Root Bridge Cultural Landscapes (T)

Szucs Tamas Hungary - 21-Jan-24

Jingkieng jri: Living Root Bridge Cultural Landscapes (T)

Although our tour operator first suggested the Double Decker bridge, it became clear to me that the seven-hour round-trip trek, which reviewers usually describe as "gruelling", "steep" or even "moderately difficult", was probably unfeasible for me. The two options left besides Cherrapunjee are the semi-destroyed bridge, which can be accessed by a concrete road, and the one in the village of Riwai. We chose the latter and did well. I don't know how to get to the bridge by public transport - but in India, this is not really an issue, I don't think there are any tourists who want to travel around North-East India by public transport

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Rwenzori Mountains

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 16-Jan-24

Rwenzori Mountains

I can't add much new to this site. I did even less hiking than Els doing only 4.75km to the first camp and then back to the main gate. It is easy to add this to any itinerary but not usually offered by your agencies by default as they don't expect tourists wanting to visit. The road from Kasese is long and rough though. You won't experience anything special on your hike as the exclusive flora is deep in the range which means a 7 day trek is required. It's mainly done by hardcore trekkers. The camps will be cold, no shower, tough hiking if it's raining. The best part of my journey was the scenery around me. Surrounded by lush forest butterflies, birds, a monkey here and there is good, but the peaks in the near distance make you believe this is Jurassic Park. No road, people in sight

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Dirre Sheik Hussein (T)

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 18-Jan-24

Dirre Sheik Hussein (T)

When planning a family trip to Ethiopia (January 2024), I wanted to see as many places from the tentative list as possible. Dire Sheikh Hussein seemed like the perfect stop on the way from the Bale Mountains to Harar. In practice, however, something different turned out. The town is located in the middle of nowhere, but it has the mausoleum of Sheikh Hussein, the 13th-century scholar from Somalia who introduced Islam to eastern Ethiopia and founded the Bale Sultanate. The mausoleum is considered one of the most important sites for Muslims in Ethiopia and is a pilgrimage site commemorating the day of Sheikh Husein's birth and death.

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Archaeological site of Ancient Messene (T)

Geo.Mav - 21-Jan-24

I live in the area. I have to say that the Ancient Messene Archeological Site is the equivalent of what you would like to visit and see in Ancient Sparta. The monuments from Spartans have been destroyed or stolen during the centuries. Now there's almost nothing left in Sparta. On the other hand, the Messinians have not been "famous" like Spartans, so there is much to see. The poor people of Messinia had to endure the constant wars with Spartans. So, instead of visiting Sparta you can visit the Archeological site of Ancient Messene and learn both for Spartans and Messinians. The Archeological Site has many ancient buildings (theaters, stadium, etc). The site is a 20-30 minutes drive from the small Kalamata International Airport or 40 minutes drive from Kalamata.

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Maasai Mara Game Reserve (T)

Solivagant UK - 20-Jan-24

Maasai Mara Game Reserve (T)

Wildebeest crossing the Mara River......  Undoubtedly one of the great “mass gathering” wild-life “experiences” of the World, up there with e.g the butterflies of Mexico and the penguins of S Georgia. I use the word “experiences” because it is so much more than a mere “sight” - I particularly remember the chaos and noise! The Maasai Mara Game Reserve (MMGR) offers fine wildlife viewing in other ways too with all those animals out on the plains and the resulting very visible carnivore population

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Nyandarua Mountains (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 11-Jan-24

Nyandarua Mountains (T)

The site is still called Aberdares Range no matter what the description says. It could be be that only certain mountains are to be inscribed but the waterfalls are definitely the highlight of your trip through the range 

I entered at the Mutubio West Gate which isn't far from Lake Nakuru although the road can be a bit tough. It gets surprisingly better as you get closer to the gate. Ensure you have your eCitizen ticket ready because there is no data connection in the range.

Your first stop from here will be Karuru Waterfall which is a bumpy ride but well wirh it. From the parking lot you walk a few minutes for spectacular views across the valley and down the falls. It's a triple stage drop that is best scene from the right side. If your route is like mine and another group I met here then you should enjoy it a bit longer. The rest of the range won't be as good

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Bale Mountains National Park

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 15-Jan-24

Bale Mountains National Park

Site visited in January 2024.

It took almost 45 years to finally inscribe this place on the list and I am wondering why. After my visit I think the site definitely has OUV. Anyway, the park administration is so happy with the inscription that already 4 months later there are new billboards advertising Bale as a world heritage site. There is no commemorative plaque or UNESCO logo, or at least I couldn’t find it.

The park is in many respects unique and important for three countries - rivers starting here supply water to Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. And they have something to power them with, because the rainy season here lasts 9 months.

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Íznik (T)

Ilya Burlak USA - 18-Jan-24

Íznik (T)

I spent a bit over three hours in Íznik in October of 2023. That was enough time to stop by three of the town's gates, explore several mosques, peruse the museum collection at the historic soup kitchen building, stroll around the central town a bit, and glance at the Roman theater from behind the fence. I also initially planned to go to the Tile Museum, but that was curtailed due to the amount of time I spent on breakfast in the morning.

Of the gates, the Lefke on the eastern side is the most interesting to explore, while Yenişehir on the southern edge is the most fortress-like

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Saint Catherine Area

Philipp Peterer Switzerland - 18-Jan-24

Saint Catherine Area

Most has been mentioned about the monastery itself, so I won’t go into details. According to their website, the monastery is closed on Friday and Sunday, so I picked Saturday to go there. Further the museum and church closed at 11:30 that day, so better early if you want to visit them. We also skipped visiting the mountain. If you are not religious, there is in my opinion little incentive to climb such a mountain.

I went to the monastery from Sharm El Sheikh by rental car and apart from the usual [...]

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

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 10-Jan-24

I disagree this is a site for world heritage. It is already an INTANGIBLE site on the list and the rest of the place isn't what it was back in the day. Sacred sites are indeed on the WHS list and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets added but while the field may be sacred, the houses are traditional style and the performances are quite enjoyable, it's 85% intangible drumming and dancing. Also if you come alone they won't perform unless I pay a lot but worse is that it would feel strange to be the only guest, but they said I could wait for another group they expect later. Another hour later they did indeed show up and I only had to chip in for the total costs. The group also offered me to drive back on the Route 2 which saved me some bus journey time

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Les paysages naturels sacrés de Muramvya, de Mpotsa et de Nkiko-Mugamba (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 10-Jan-24

Les paysages naturels sacrés de Muramvya, de Mpotsa et de Nkiko-Mugamba (T)

This entry is just odd and I don't even want to try and understand what exactly wants to be inscribed. There is a "mansion" house (look like from the 60s and hardly special) with a neat broken tomb and somehow there is a museum nearby. Does the tribal houses museum belong to the entry? Also the building at Muramwvya is shut, abandoned and not used in decades. This is the easiest site to visit. For the second one would need some more effort by bus, perhaps private car on the small road if you dare, and the third is off-road so I don't think it's possible to visit at all. Or maybe it just means the fields in that area overall - well guess what they are not special..

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Central Karakorum National Park (T)

Solivagant UK - 11-Jan-24

Central Karakorum National Park (T)

I commence this “review” of the "Central Karakorum National Park" (CKKNP) by stating that I am somewhat shame-faced to proffer a report of such a “puny” visit to this magnificent natural T List site. I do so purely to contribute to the “Community objective” of having as many T List sites reviewed here as possible and not from any suggestion that we, in any way, fully visited and appreciated it

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Danube Delta

Clyde Malta - 15-Jan-24

Danube Delta

I visited this WHS using Tulcea as my base for a couple of days. I took a private tour with one of the several companies, with a certified birder/guide on board, for a full day exploring just a few highlights of this vast WHS. When dealing with the company, make sure to opt for the earliest departure time possible, as most bird activity happens around sunrise and again around sunset. I paid a bit extra to make sure to cover both periods of the day, without any lunch stops and it was worth it.

Make sure to turn off your data roaming already from Tulcea as Ukraine is really close by and [...]

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Los Petenes-Ría Celestún (T)

Can SARICA Turkey - Canada - 13-Jan-24

Los Petenes-Ría Celestún (T)

I am quite surprised that there are no reviews about this delightful place, and only a small number of community members have explored this popular tourist spot that is easily accessible. Our visit coincided with our journey from another WHS, Campeche, to Merida. The main roads in Yucatan are modern and well-maintained. We covered two-thirds of the journey on the highway and the rest through picturesque villages, encountering only one police check. Such moments in Mexico can be nerve-wracking, given past experiences of being asked for bribes by the police for unknown and irrelevant reasons. Nevertheless, we reached the boat departure area, Parador Turístico Flamingos Boating Celestún, located just 5 minutes inland from the main beach, without any issues.

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Guanajuato

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 08-Jan-24

Guanajuato

Clearly, based on the reviews thus far there is no need to go into the magic of Guanajuato! The music of the Callejoneada, the beautiful plazas (personal favorite, Plaza de San Fernando), Teatro Juarez, and the University steps each offer their own reward. The numerous historic Churches are noteworthy, though I would highlight Templo de San Francisco and the surrounding small streets 'Manuel Doblado' and 'Del Campanero' as particularly worthwhile areas to explore. Based on the glowing reviews here, I determined 4 days in Guanajuato would be ideal, considering there would be some closures on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The festive holidays only added to the city's beauty

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Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs Marine Protected Area (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 06-Jan-24

First off sorry there's no pictures. It is hard to spot good stuff from above the water and even when one does it will be hard to photograph. From the boat and shore most of the time I only saw the common jellyfish anyway.

I figure this isn't going to be combined with the adjacent Gwaii Haanas NP due to it being mixed culture/nature focus rather than just marine biology. We are talking about a large area between the park and the lower mainland that is considered. The waters here are quite shallow and having brought in the minerals from the ocean the hotspot here thrives. Even the ferry across has to take a specific route to have deep waters to get through. 

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Gedeo Cultural landscape

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 15-Jan-24

Gedeo Cultural landscape

Site visited in January 2024 as a family trip.

The Gedeo cultural landscape is a recent entry on the UNESCO list, located in a very fertile place, on the slopes of the Rift Valley. The area is green even in the dry season, almost everything is grown here - from coffee to tropical fruits to potatoes and grain.

The area is inhabited by the Gedeo people, who are said to have created unique rules for coexistence and use of natural resources. It's hard to tell when you're there, because the place is currently completely neglected when it comes to serving visitors. Fortunately, the state party provided a comprehensive map of places of interest, so we had a starting point. And on the main road from Hawassa to the Kenyan border there are signs to specific places of interest.

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Syracuse

Alikander99 Spain - 16-Jan-24

I just realised no one here has actually gone to the neapolis archaelogical park, which is one of the 3 main components of the site so...i'll give my impression.

The archaelogical site IS unfortunately nothing too impressive. I recall a Big greek theatre, a small Roman aphiteatre (both in a somewhat patchy state especially for Italy) and the ancient limestone quarries. Mostly I just walked around the ruins. It's not bad but I would say selinunte or agrigento are much better places to get a feel of the greek past of the island.

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Villages with Fortified Churches

Clyde Malta - 11-Jan-24

Villages with Fortified Churches

I visited all locations of this WHS by car except the one in Darjiu using Sibiu and Brasov as my bases. Although most of these villages with fortified churches were quite remote, all have very good roads leading to them except for the last couple of metres of some of them which were unpaved so I parked my car and used this as an excellent excuse to explore the old colourful villages before most of their fortified churches. The horse-drawn wooden carts were still in use in 2023 although are being quickly replaced by cars.

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Ring of cenotes of Chicxulub Crater, Yucatan (T)

Can SARICA Turkey - Canada - 13-Jan-24

Ring of cenotes of Chicxulub Crater, Yucatan (T)

After a delightful morning exploring the charming city of Izamal, our journey to Uxmal took us through the captivating Zona de Cenotes. This not only added another tick to our UNESCO travel list but also posed the enticing question: What better way to spend the afternoon than immersing ourselves in the tranquil embrace of a cenote? However, this enchanting opportunity came with the challenge of selecting the perfect one from the hundreds in the peninsula, with 99 specifically shortlisted for consideration.

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Coastal Forests of Kenya (Arabuko Sokoke Forest and Shimba Hills National Reserve) (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 10-Jan-24

Coastal Forests of Kenya (Arabuko Sokoke Forest and Shimba Hills National Reserve) (T)

"Thin elephant red soil", the translation for Arabuko Sokoke Forest, is in my top 3 sites in all of Kenya, and Kenya has a lot of sites/parks!! Arabuko actually means nothing but was taken from a hunter's tribe language that came through and must have seen thin elephants. Red soil is the soil you will see in the park beyond the gate. I spent a full day here and I highly recommend you do the same. I did not visit the small Shima Hills as it was not my way.

The park opens at 6am and if you are interested in birds that's when you want to head in. Stay at the Mida Creek camps for quick access

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Fort Jesus

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 06-Jan-24

Fort Jesus

Oh jeez, they named a fort after Jesus? Well unlike the prophet the fort is not special, at all. So the unique points are that it was numero uno European (Portuguese) fort in the area of this style, second being that it was taken over by the Omanis. You can get around the entire fort within 20 minutes as it's so small. If you want to hire a guide they will approach you as you get to the entrance already and the ticket check lady asked me again as I entered. I think there are only two places that they would be useful. 1. The great wall painting and I would say that IS the best about the fort if not for it being remade in the 60s. Here there would be explanations to appreciate it more

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Lamu Old Town

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 06-Jan-24

Lamu Old Town

Ignore my pictures.I tried to get the collage to do LAMU but that didn't work after all so now it's like a Central America facade every town spells out. It should really be "LAME" though.

I flew in from Nairobi which is almost daily. You can also fly from Mombasa and Malindi, with a few other smaller towns as less frequent opens. I was originally going to drive up to see things on the way but the mainland town won't be safe for your car and you'll waste money hiring it for that long anyway, not to mention then drive back down south to return the car. When you arrive by plane you get on a ferry (public is 200sh at 2024 rate) or a private boat for 500 especially necessary if you staying at Shela. Usually a hotel will arrange meetup. Staying at Lamu has several choices. The seafront hotels are a safe bet and they have restaurants too. I stayed at a smaller one that was still clean and spacious. I am not sure I want to recommend staying in Lamu though

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Tomb of Ahi Evran (T)

Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 08-Jan-24

Tomb of Ahi Evran (T)

Visited November 2023

I do not even know what to write about this site… And I do not wonder that till now no reviews of this site.

Kırshehir, where in the real centre of the city the small complex with the tomb of Ahi Evran is located – but we are not sure if this is the exact place and the exact tomb belonging to him – can be easily visited while traveling between Ankara and Cappadocia. (There’s also another tWHS in the city, one of the Seljuk madrassas.) The tombs itself is nothing special and the mosque where it is located shows no any unique features for a non-Turkish traveller. Its T shape as a uniqueness does not convince me…

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Stari Ras and Sopocani

Westwards Germany - 10-Jan-24

Stari Ras and Sopocani

We visited all four sites of the Stari Ras and Sopocani cluster in October 2023, by public transport with two nights in Novi Pasar. As we had stayed in Studenica the night before we made it to Novi Pasar by the early afternoon (on three different busses) and saw St Peter’s already from the bus going into town. After checking into our accommodation there was time to walk out to St Peter’s and back (about 30 minutes each way). Later, we checked out the busses for Sopocani.

The next day we took the bus towards Bacica at 10.30 – the first one would have been around 6 am. The bus passes first Stari Ras, then Sopocani, and returns an hour later. So we got off at Sopocani, notified the driver that we would go back with him, and indeed caught the same bus going back after our Sopocani visit. Only for 10 minutes or so, when we got off at Stari Ras

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San Miguel de Allende

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 06-Jan-24

San Miguel de Allende

One does wonder walking in San Miguel de Allende if each gallery and restaurant is trying to outdo the other to impress potential customers. The ambience, the decor, the presentation is often impeccable. Yes, the "upmarket" vibe in San Miguel is certainly felt and on full display. Yet, during the holidays families were filling up Jardín Allende and Plaza Civica, usually with an ice cream or snack in hand from a street vendor. There is a little bit of everything here to satisfy a wide range of travelers. Sometimes referred to as 'El Corazon' (the fiercely beating bohemian heart of Mexico), one can see an overabundance of charm, culture, and art throughout the town.

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Los Petenes-Ría Celestún (T)

Frédéric M Canada - 06-Jan-24

Los Petenes-Ría Celestún (T)

I visited Los Petenes-Ría Celestún during a trip to Yucatán in November 2023. The Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestún and the Reserva de la Biósfera Los Petenes cover the north-western part of the Yucatán peninsula, straddling the states of Yucatán and Campeche. The easiest point of access is the village of Celestún. It is possible to stay overnight, but a day trip may be sufficient.

In addition to private cars, there are several ways to get there, with Mérida being the most convenient starting point. Most of the city's tour operators and hotels offer excursions to Celestún. In November, this package cost MXN$1,650 per person and included transport to Celestún, boat trip, guide, and dinner, departing at 8AM and returning at 4:30PM. It is also possible to reach the village by public transport. Buses supposedly depart from Terminal Oriente. Departures were posted on the wall, but no one was at the counter when we tried to get information. Most of these buses would make a detour via Hunucmá, taking over three hours to reach their destination. So we opted for a collectivo. However, we had trouble finding the stop (it's here: 20

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Hell’s Gate National Park (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 05-Jan-24

Hell’s Gate National Park (T)

This park is a dream come true. No more being locked into your safari vehicle for hours, no more having to follow your tour guide, you roam free! Yes, self-drive you can do that too but wait for it: you can cycle through this park!! A large area of the park just screams biking and you should get into the spirit.

First off you should stay at the Lake Naivasha accomodations to get an early start. The lake happens to be a UNESCO site too but without getting too much into it, the lake is quite cut off from a casual visit and requires staying at specific lodges or doing a boat cruise to see the hippos. You want to stay here for convenience although it's only a 90min drive from Nairobi.

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Antigua Guatemala

Santiago Lafuente Guatemala - 05-Jan-24

Antigua Guatemala

Located in a beautiful valley in the heart of Guatemala, its architecture, cultural landscape, history and contributions to the cultural development of Central America are unmatched. Its perfect climate allowed the construction of wide streets unlike other colonial cities that were built with narrow streets due to the hot climate. Its low and robust architecture is the product of the ingenuity mainly of the Guatemalan architect Diego de Porres who developed Barroco Sísmico after the earthquakes of 1717, a style that can be seen in the church of La Merced, Palacio de Ayuntamiento and Arco de Santa Catalina to name a few examples

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Humayun's Tomb

Carlo Sarion Philippines | New Zealand - 08-Jan-24

Humayun

My visit to Delhi in December 2023 was part of my mission of retracing my steps back in 2013, when I first travelled to India and missed visiting two of the three inscribed sites in Delhi, namely Humayun's Tomb and Qutb Minar. That was the time when I didn't care much about UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and my travel companion had a set itinerary I didn't want to deviate from. I therefore made sure that I would visit these sites on my return to Delhi.

The inscribed property refers to a complex comprising one main tomb (Humayun's tomb itself) and several other smaller tombs. Note that this complex of tombs is just one of the many tombs that are scattered across Nizamuddin neighbourhood and the greater Delhi. As my friend would call it, Delhi is both a metropolis and a massive graveyard.

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Ichkeul National Park

Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 05-Jan-24

Ichkeul National Park

Visited December 2023

O! I see I was lucky enough to see some birds. And lucky enough to get inside the park when it was officially closed because of the reason that I was not able to understand although the man at the gate did his best to explain it to me in French when I was leaving the park… yes, when I was leaving the park after spending inside of the park many hours…

How to get to the park from Tunis? It seems to be a bit complicated, but it is not. From the northern bus station in Tunis (close to Bab Saadoun) take a louage (minibus share taxi) to Mateur (12 km from the entrance to the park) or to Manzel Bourguiba (14 km from the entrance to the park); from each of the cities you can take a taxi to the park (around 15 TD; the road from Mateur is in a very bad condition) or catch another louage that goes between these two cities and ask the driver to stop in Zarour; from Zarour you can walk to the gate of the park (6 km) but don’t forget that from the entrance to the lake and the ‘ecological museum’ (permanently closed) it is still more than 4 km

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Noel Kempff Mercado National Park

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 02-Jan-24

Noel Kempff (NK from now on) is a unique savannah but also has rainforest area - but no, you won't get stuck in a jungle and whack through the thick bush with machetes. You still get plenty of rain, mosquitoes, malaria, ants and the lot. The reason is that NK is quite wild and forgotten, not even the tours go there anymore. I went there 5 years ago with Ruta Verde and since then they stopped doing that, or at least I think they did because last time I asked for a custom tour for a small group and they just declined. The lodges, more or less walls with bedsheets inside, were not nice to begin with and Covid probably killed off the little market there was anyway.

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Great Barrier Reef

TravelWorldOnline Germany - 05-Jan-24

My visit was quite a touristy experience, since I visited the Great Barrier Reef several times over the years on tourist boats, that started in Townsville. I would recommend a visit for people, who want to snorkel to see the reef up close. Also, they should be prepared for high swells, when going out in the small boats. On the boat you will get an introduction to the reef as well as to the danger of extinction it is exposed to. 

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The Ancient Waterfront Towns in the South of Yangtze River (T)

Bluewonder310 United States - 05-Jan-24

The Ancient Waterfront Towns in the South of Yangtze River (T)

I actually grew up in that region, but had never been to any of these renowned tourism spots.  In the summer of 2023, I brought my family back, and picked Zhouzhuang (one of the four towns in this site) to visit. 

Zhouzhuang is a little town in the prefecture of Suzhou, who also houses the WH site of Classical Gardens of Suzhou, which we also visited.  My parents drove us to Zhouzhuang and spent a good half-day.  The town is a network of rivers and canals with numerous traditional residential buildings that are at least 200 years old.  In fact a lot of people are still living in those buildings, but some chose to rent them out to shops and restaurants and live in the modern parts of the town.

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Elephanta Caves

Carlo Sarion Philippines | New Zealand - 04-Jan-24

Elephanta Caves

The previous reviews pretty much described what to expect from a visit to the Elephanta Caves, a collection of rock-cut cave temples dedicated to Shiva. Here are some observations and updated info from my visit to the island on the second day of January 2024. 

1. Logistics - the experience of getting to the caves remains the same, of course: you get on a ferry from the Gate of India, sail for about an hour, catch the toy train upon arrival, walk uphill and dodge eager vendors, and pay the entrance tickets. Unless I missed it, there didn't seem to be an option for "luxury" ferry anymore, as everyone got one type of ticket at INR 260 return, with an option to pay extra INR 10 for a seat on the upper deck. I took the toy train (INR 18) and paid INR 5 for the local tax (or 'village' entry fee). I also decided not to buy a guide booklet being sold for INR 180 as I've had internet connection and knew that there would be info panels at the caves

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Îles volcaniques de Sao Tomé et Principe (T)

GerhardM Austria - 04-Jan-24

We visited Sao Tome in 2021, during Covid Time. We did not visit the sister island of Principe.

We spent there one week.

Our journey took place via Lisboa and Ghana/Accra by TAP Airways. For the last leg of our journey from Accra to Sao Tome the flight takes about one hour and twenty minutes.

The airport of the capital Sao Tome (same name as the state) is a small airport with a couple of flights per day. 

Sao Tome and Principe is the second smallest African state.  with only about 220.000 inhabitants, but the number is fast growing like in other African countries. 

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Town of Chichicastenango (T)

Santiago Lafuente Guatemala - 05-Jan-24

Town of Chichicastenango (T)

I visited Santo Tomás Chichicastenango for the first time on market day in the summer of 2021 and recently in winter of 2023 on a regular day. I am proudly Guatemalan and I have lived my entire life in this beautiful country, so since I was a child I have heard about Chichicastenango, because it is a cultural and historical milestone among us chapines. It is from there that many of the finest and oldest crafts and embroideries come from, many of which are later sold in the towns of Lake Atitlán and in Antigua Guatemala. This little town also stands out for being the largest indigenous market in America where the 86 cantons (districts) of the area meet to trade every Thursday and Saturday, many of these made up of families of different Mayan ethnic groups.

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Oasis de Gabes (T)

Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 05-Jan-24

Oasis de Gabes (T)

Visited December 2023

Gabès’s got the Palme d’or for being the most dirty and polluted city in Tunisia! And there’s nothing to add ☹ I am just wondering what the municipality of Gabès would do if one day its oasis is nominated for world heritage list… How they bring ICOMOS members to the oasis without showing them tons of plastic and any other kind of litter covering every sing square meter of the city and every second square meter of its oasis…

When you look at old maps and compare them with the new ones, you’ll see that most of the so unusual and unique (whatever is hidden behind ‘unique’ in this case) maritime oasis is long gone due to the development of chemical oriented industries; there are still some fields, let’s say, 200 m from the Mediterranean coast north of the city, but they do not seem too impressive. To lose yourself in the oasis itself, you should head to the west of the city, and the entrance and road (paved) that I took starts just at the main bus station – just ignore the garbage on both sides of the road and under your feet and walk

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St. Paul Church, St. Pauls Well and surrounding historic quarters (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 01-Jan-24

St. Paul Church, St. Pauls Well and surrounding historic quarters (T)

The church is named after Paul Newman and his blue eyes who once fell into the well. There are frescoes all over including the one with a basket of eggs which is a homage to Cool Hand Luke. Wait, what?! Awww I must have gone to the church of my dreams! The actual St. Paul Church is not something you have to urge and visit. Perhaps I made the mistake of blindly going directly to the St. Paul Church and just having a look at that instead of the "surrounding historic quarter" and the museum. It all seems too religious to me, the frescoes are not important (rather mediocre in my opinion), the church is rather modern for churches and definitely nothing special apart from perhaps some exterior sections (and the door) and that the entire town looks like a random Turkish place

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Querétaro

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 02-Jan-24

Querétaro

Querétaro does not exhibit the type of intact historic core as experienced in San Miguel de Allende and therefore is rightly or wrongly judged as inferior. As a visitor, I also preferred San Miguel de Allende overall, but I noticed something odd while reviewing pictures. I took a lot more pictures in Querétaro, because there are way MORE historic sites or monuments in Querétaro (258 ha) than compared with the relatively small historic centre of San Miguel de Allende (43 ha). More of something rarely means quality, but then I think of the Museo de Arte de Querétaro, the Aqueduct, and Santa Rosa de Viterbo Church, and more. Are these sites inferior to what I experienced in San Miguel de Allende? These are monumental, impressive historic properties

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Sites of Saytagrah (T)

Carlo Sarion Philippines | New Zealand - 01-Jan-24

Sites of Saytagrah (T)

First TWHS review of 2024? If so, yay! :D 

I did not give much attention to this TWHS simply because it was overshadowed by all other outstanding WHS and TWHS in my itinerary. Yes, a UNESCO WHS is not about superlatives, grandness, or exceptional experiences, but it is natural for us to set aside those that are not as flashy. However, this serial nomination represents an important part of modern Indian history and a movement/ideology/philosophy founded by Mohandas Gandhi--the satyagraha. During my visit to Ahmedabad and India post-Christmas December 2023, I spent some time exploring the following four properties listed in this serial nomination. 

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Bukhara

Nan Germany - 28-Dec-23

Bukhara

In the trifecta of great Uzbek Islamic silk road cities (Xiva, Bukhara, Samarkand), I think there are arguments for either city being the greatest. Samarkand is the biggest city and has the largest sites, but the historic sites are dispersed across a modern city. Xiva has a real old town, enclosed by historic walls, but doesn't have the one stellar site to shine. Bukhara's appeal is that it still has a charming old town feeling (but way less than Xiva) and undoubtedly plenty of stellar sites, most notably the square around Kalon minaret.

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Thessalonika

Hubert Austria - 30-Dec-23

Thessalonika

The city of Thessaloniki is not nice. The Byzantine churches are.Most of the churches in the lower town are squeezed between ugly modern buildings. I liked the upper town better. Some of the old Ottoman architecture has been preserved in the narrow streets and steep staircases. The frescoes there are among the most beautiful in Thessaloniki, but the monasteries are rather inconspicuous from the outside. I walked past the entrance to the Latomou monastery twice before I finally found it.Assif wrote in his review that it is impossible to find out the opening hours of the churches. This has not changed until today. You can‘t rely on the information provided on the Thessaloniki tourism website or on Google Maps

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Ahmadabad

Carlo Sarion Philippines | New Zealand - 30-Dec-23

Ahmadabad

Immediately after visiting the dusty cities that make up the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur), arriving in Ahmedabad seemed to be a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. Yes, the classic mayhem and modern urban problems typical of Indian cities are all present in Ahmedabad. However, its RELATIVELY cleaner air, a well-maintained airport, gentrified riverfront, and less touristy feel made the city a rather nice place to travel to. Such observation is quite contrary to previous reviews, but a lot has happened since—according to a hotel staff I talked to, there has been a rapid development in Ahmedabad in the past several years, and he felt this beginning in 2022. The gentrification was of course limited to certain parts of the city, but somehow it worked

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Mapungubwe

Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero The Philippines - 28-Dec-23

Mapungubwe

Mpungubwe is located far away along the border of South Africa with Botswana and Zimbabwe, and at one of the viewpoints you can see the convergence of the three countries. Prior to the visit, we made it a point to visit the Dzata ruins in the Southspanberg (a World Biosphere Reserve) to serve as a reference and comparison site. Its connections with Mpungubwe and Great Zimbab are quite strong and evident, and it enriches the understanding of the culture from that corner of the globe. In terms of chronology, Mpungubwe preceded Great Zimbab and Dzata came in later using stones from Zimbabwe. 

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Cueva de las Manos

Frédéric M Canada - 29-Dec-23

Cueva de las Manos

I visited the Cueva de las Manos in February 2022. My base for this visit was the uninteresting little town of Perito Moreno (which, it should be remembered, has nothing to do with the famous glacier of the same name). I arrived there in the evening after several hours on the bus from Esquel (an ideal base for visiting Los Alerces). I had booked an excursion via WhatsApp with Chelenco Tours. Our guide was really friendly and the tour was well organized. I can therefore recommend this agency without any problem.

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Ancient Jericho

Nan Germany - 28-Dec-23

Ancient Jericho

Jericho supposedly is the world's oldest and/or longest and/or fortified inhabited city. Or one of them. In the pre-Neolithic things get a bit fuzzy.

While Els general comment holds (oldest till they find something older), I think there can be little doubt that Jericho belongs on the list, offering ample historical and archaeological remains ranging from pre-Neolithic times to 500 BCE. Humans settled here permanently after the Ice Age had ended, somewhere between 10.000-9.000 BCE. The location had two things going for it. There is a spring, Ein as-Sultan. And the low altitude (at -250m Jericho is the lowest city in the world) meant it was a bit warmer.

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The broader region of Mount Olympus (T)

Hubert Austria - 29-Dec-23

The broader region of Mount Olympus (T)

I would have loved to start this review with the words: I climbed the Seat of the Gods! But that wouldn’t be entirely true. The truth ist that I did not make it to Mytikas, the highest peak of Mount Olympus.

But first things first.I arrived in Litochoro in the early afternoon and started my visit with the Olympus National Park Information Centre, located just outside the town. The exhibition there is relatively new and provides a good introduction to the park. The flora and fauna of the vegetation zones are presented on several levels, from the foothills to the highest peak.I spent the night in Litochoro and started my two-day tour to Mount Olympus the next morning. It's about 20 kilometres from Litochoro to the Prionia car park, the highest point you can reach by car

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Jodrell Bank Observatory

Jay T USA - 30-Dec-23

Jodrell Bank Observatory

I couldn't very well leave 2023 on an odd number of World Heritage Sites, so I took my car out for a two and a half hour drive today to the nearest World Heritage Site I had yet to visit: Jodrell Bank Observatory. The United Kingdom is replete with astronomical-associated World Heritage Sites, with perhaps the most complete range across history of any country, from Stonehenge and Avebury in the Neolithic, to Maritime Greenwich's Royal Observatory in the 18th and 19th centuries, to Jodrell Bank Observatory covering the mid to late 20th century. But the history of the site has been well-documented in other reviews, so I won't repeat it here. What's new is the visitor center, which opened in 2022, so I'll speak to that.

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Jodrell Bank Observatory

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 28-Dec-23

Jodrell Bank Observatory

Can understand the low rating. I feel the place has changed since the early days and people reviewing it lowly is because nowadays you get to see and learn A LOT of stuff. There is a requirement to have your phone in flight mode when visiting - interested, but it's not really enforced or reminded again upon parking. You can also see the huge Lovell Telescope from the parking lot so if that's all you want to see you can just take a photo and save the entry fee ;) However, there's more!

Honestly you can book ahead because ever since COVID there have been timed entries but I totally missed my slot and the nice lady at the booth just let us in anyway - I don't think the observatory gets enough visitor's to have you miss out and worst case maybe you need to wait a bit until the mass tourist bus (which don't come here) are gone

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Sangha Trinational

Els Slots The Netherlands - 19-Jan-24

Sangha Trinational

These natural clearings filled with wildlife from the Congo Basin are the holy grail among mammal watchers. For me, Dzanga Ndoki (the Central African Republic part of this transnational site) was to be a splurge visit in March 2020 – but it became my Covid travel disaster. After the park reopened, I still wanted to go but the prices rose beyond belief. Fortunately, I found a group tour operator wanting to do it for much less by entering overland from Cameroon.

This site also had been unreviewed so far on this website

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Sighisoara

Clyde Malta - 26-Dec-23

Sighisoara

I visited this WHS as a day trip from Sibiu. When planning my road trip in Romania I was undecided whether to use Sighisoara or Sibiu as my base for the surrounding WHS and tWHS. I opted for the latter mostly because the hotel included private parking, but overall I must say it was a very fortunate choice. I really enjoyed Sibiu not only for its many attractions but also because it really is a lively and liveable city. In contrast, I found Sighisoara to be too much of a museum city geared solely at tourism.

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Yogyakarta

Frédéric M Canada - 27-Dec-23

Yogyakarta

We spent four days and four nights in Yogyakarta in February 2023. We arrived in the evening, having spent the day on trains from Bogor (Kebun Raya Bogor TWHS).

Our first day was spent visiting the Kraton complex and the surrounding area. We got in just on time for an impressive traditional percussion show. Their music is captivating and quite unique. This was followed by a boring puppet show that we didn't watch until the end. The Kraton is very large and rather pretty. However, it's a little difficult to understand what you're visiting, as there's very little interpretation. There is a museum on site, but it's only in Indonesian and seems to focus more on the life of the sultan (they even display his kitchen utensils), than on Javanese architecture.

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Sinharaja Forest

Nan Germany - 27-Dec-23

Sinharaja Forest

When showing my Sri Lanka pictures to friends & family, Sinharaja tends to impress the most, especially for kids. While we didn't venture too deep into the jungle, we still saw plenty of amazing wildlife. A chameleon, flesh eating fish, a poisonous snake, a centipede, ... Sinharaja, even on its outskirts, is full of life.

We entered from the South (Lankagama) and hiked up a set of cascades. After a few meters, the trail turned pretty rough. We were happy to have a ranger accompany us to show us the wildlife and help with the hike.

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Studley Royal Park

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 27-Dec-23

Studley Royal Park

Some of our community members pride themselves with reviewing EVERY site they visit and I think for the UK there is no reason to do so, and in fact I'm not sure I want to review any of them unless I ever make it those uninhabited islands in the middle of nowhere...though I now pride myself with having reviewed ONE of the country's site (Bermuda is still an easy candidate that hasn't been added recently and IF you count it as being park of the UKas it is actually British overseas territory) and with Studley Royal Park it's also been years since the last review. Well, not that this place changes in ANY way.

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Upper Svaneti

Nan Germany - 08-Aug-23

Upper Svaneti

Upper Svaneti... For a long time, I had a hard time recalling what a WHS this is and where it's located. Then I read Els' review and wanted to go myself.

As pointed out by Els, the Svan are a people, Svaneti is the region in Georgia's Northwest where they settle and Upper Svaneti refers to the most mountainous part thereof. The access to Upper Svaneti is limited to a river valley and well protected, both naturally as well as with the renowned tower houses. As such the Svan were able to protect their distinct identity for centuries against many invaders.

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Roșia Montană

Clyde Malta - 20-Dec-23

Roșia Montană

I visited this WHS by car in 2023. To make sure not to miss out, this WHS requires an advance booking by calling at least a number of days before: 1) to make sure the mine is open and accessible on the day you intend to visit, 2) to make sure that a tour in English is available, 3) to make up your mind whether you want to pay for 5 guided tour tickets + the entrance fee (highly recommended to visit alone and have the guide to yourself) or if there is a particular day with other people prebooked to share costs.

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Tak'alik Ab'aj

Frédéric M Canada - 27-Dec-23

Tak

I visited Tak'alik Ab'aj during a trip to Guatemala in November 2021, my first trip abroad after the Covid-19 outbreak. I chose to visit this archaeological site on a day trip from Panajachel, a good choice as a base for visiting the Lake Atitlan TWHS. After numerous visits to travel agencies in town, I finally found someone who could take me there at an affordable price, and I was off the next day for the visit.

Only one other car was in the parking lot when we arrived. Several guides were also waiting at the entrance to accompany visitors. One of them was assigned to me free of charge

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Rohtas Fort

Els Slots The Netherlands - 18-Dec-23

Rohtas Fort

Rohtas Fort has been mostly known on this website for the large number of locals who came out in its support in the reviews, but I never had a clear image of it other than “a large fort”. On the long drive from Lahore to Peshawar via the Grand Trunk Road, I was happy to find that my tour group managed to fit in a comprehensive visit taking 2.5 hours.

First surprise is the town that has developed in its interior – I was expecting some poor people who had taken shelter in here, but this is an average Pakistani town with shops, a school, a mosque, solid houses and people owning cars

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National History Park

Jacob Choi United States of America - 27-Dec-23

National History Park

N.B. I typically don't do reviews, but after being nudged by others-and the fact that it has been over 10 years since the last review, I decided to give in and write something.

When I was a young child I would go on this website in its early days and look up the reviews of Solivagant. I read/re-read those reviews and my heart would swoon thinking that I too would want to go to those places when I am older... So, are the ruins and the citadel any different? Has the visiting experience changed 23 or 11 years later? At the time of my visit in early Dec 2023, the border between the DR and Haiti was closed due to a canal dispute. This made the option of heading there by bus not available at the time, meaning that I would have to fly into Cap-Haïtien from Fort Lauderdale and catch another flight to Santo Domingo (leaving from Fort Lauderdale)

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Monastery of Horezu

Clyde Malta - 20-Dec-23

Monastery of Horezu

I visited this WHS in 2023 as a half day trip together with the 2 nearby culas (tWHS). Knowing that the site was free of charge, I obeyed the sign stating that no authorised vehicles should enter beyond the sign, meaning an extra kilometre or so of walking from the main gate to the walls surrounding the monastery. On my way back, being the only tourist around, I noticed that practically all the locals disregarded this sign and parked just before the gate giving direct access to the monastery.

The monastery is still an active one, and apart from the usual daily activities done by the nuns, such as praying, washing clothes, gardening, cleaning, etc, I also witnessed them milking the few cows grazing around the monastery [...]

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