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Completing Countries by WHS

 
 
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Author winterkjm
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 4 Jul 2016 10:25 
After hearing that Els has completed Germany, I reflected on how completing a specific countries WHS is so rewarding within itself.

Perhaps here we can share any countries we completed in terms of WHS? Have you visited most or all of its tentative list as well?

I have only one.

South Korea
Total WHS: 12 (several more than once)
Tentative List: 12 of 15
Upcoming Nominations: No possible inscription between now and 2021 that I have not visited

I am certainly pursuing the US WHS sites, but it will take time!

Author Colvin
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 4 Jul 2016 11:21 | Edited by: Colvin 
Good observation. There is certainly a feeling of accomplishment in visiting all of the WHS in a country, particularly when the number is so large, like Germany (congratulations to Els and others who have done it) or South Korea (congratulations, winterkjm).

Other than low-hanging fruit (Vatican City, San Marino, U.A.E., Singapore), the only country I've completed has been Jordan.

Jordan
Total WHS: 5
Tentative List: 1 of 14
Upcoming Nominations: As Salt in 2017 and Um el-Jimal in 2020 might do me in

When I spent a week in Jordan in spring 2015, I had ample time to visit all four sites that had already been inscribed. I also added a visit to Bethany by the Jordan, which was then on the tentative list, but was inscribed later in 2015. The only other site I saw from the tentative list was Jerash (as well as a quick view of both Azraq Wetland Reserve and the Dana Biosphere Reserve, but I wouldn't count them). Jerash was well worth the visit, and I'd love to see it inscribed some day. I didn't have time to add in As Salt or Um el-Jimal, so it looks like Jordan may be incomplete for me again as soon as next year.

Good luck on the US WHS sites. I'm working them off, too, slowly but surely. I probably won't get there for a while, but I think Papahânaumokuâkea may end up the most rewarding because of its level of difficulty.

Author elsslots
Admin
#3 | Posted: 4 Jul 2016 11:47 | Edited by: elsslots 
I've now finished 42 (!) countries. 9 of them with 5 WHS or more.
During the same weekend as Germany, I also rounded up Switzerland. Other countries with larger numbers that I have completely covered are Belgium, Finland, Jordan, Lebanon, Austria, Romania and Slovakia.

It does give a sense of fulfillment indeed (especially for a country the size of Germany). Personally, I think the best approach is to try and cover them all in one trip (at least with small and mid-size countries). When you have to keep going back over and over again, it gets boring (especially when the leftovers aren't particularly enticing (thinking of the Parforce hunting landscape I still have to tick-off to complete Denmark)). Norway is also a particular difficult country to cover I feel. For Spain and Portugal I have visited all mainland sites, but miss out on the islands (Azores, Ibiza, Mallorca).

Author clyde
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 4 Jul 2016 13:35 
It certainly gives quite a complete panoramic picture of what the country in question has to offer. I completed Andorra, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, mainland France, FYROM, Germany, Holy See, Ireland, Jordan, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, continental Netherlands, Palestine, Portugal, San Marino Slovenia, Switzerland and UAE. By the end of the year I plan to complete the 3 Baltic States and continental Denmark. Completing bigger countries though is quite difficult in single trips and in a way it's a positive thing as you get to revisit special sites while visiting new omes.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 4 Jul 2016 13:36 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Have just done a quick calculation and discover that there are 53 countries which I have "completed" in WHS terms. A lot of them of course with just 1 or 2 sites but also Germany, Turkey, NL and territories, Israel, Pakistan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Austria with somewhat more.

I claim no particular "merit" from this as I have been "at it" rather longer than most of you and I also try hard (not always successfully!!) to avoid being "imprisoned" by "completist" considerations when planning my travels! But one aspect regarding my personal lengthy road to reach this point arises from my having started the "journey" so long ago!! This is the large number of WHS I have visited BEFORE they were inscribed - and hence before the countries involved either had a list at all or a list anywhere near what they currently have. I have never got round to making a calculation for this figure but, in my case it is significant - and it is rather difficult to hit a "hidden target"! I know that some WHS travellers only count visits AFTER a site has been inscribed. In fact I regard any visit to a site before it became a WHS as having particular "value" as it shows a degree of "discernment" in choosing to make such a visit without the stimulus of "adding a tick"! (and in some cases even before the country was covered by a Lonely Planet or similar!!) Not of course the Romes and Sevilles of this world which anyone would have visited whether or not they were WHS, but rather the Gambian Stone Circles, the Gobustan Rock Art, the Brimstone Fortress, the Blue/John Crow Mountains etc which took some effort and planning and all without any hope of a psychological reward in the form of a "tick"! It has been nice to know that UNESCO has "caught up"!

With her Parforce Landscape "gap", Els is already beginning to face the problem of inscriptions made after that "try and cover them all in one trip" visit! When I first started using the inscribed list to "inform" travel plans the T List either didn't exist, wasn't easily accessible pre-Web or was very thin. So, I have a long list of countries with single or 2 site gaps which could easily have been visited at the time but weren't then inscribed or on any T List - e.g Um er-Rasas in Jordan, Syrian Ancient Villages, Kernave in Lithuania, Bru na Boine in Ireland etc etc!!

Can I really work up the enthusiasm to go back to those countries (and others) to fill those gaps?? The answer must be - not unless I feel that the missing site is really worth visiting in its own right. My "bar" on that is quite high. Soon Turkey is likely to inscribe Ani and will be lost from my "complete country" list. I passed near by Ani without visiting as long ago as 1964 (!!!) and have already seen the Armenian churches (both inscribed and some excellent ones not even on Armenia's T List) in both Armenia and Iran. Turkey's "completeness" is not going to drag me back to North East Turkey again I am afraid!!

If As Salt and Um el-Jimal get inscribed would I consider going back to Jordan for a 4th time to pick up them and Um er-Rasas? I don't think so. None of them would figure in my personal "Top 200 missing" list and I don't feel that my understanding of "Jordan" is being significantly degraded by not having visited them!! The general rules must be - pick them up while you are in the area and use the T List to inform your planning

Author clyde
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 4 Jul 2016 17:41 
I really agree with your reasoning. That is why I compiled my personal top 100 list in the first place! I won't be visiting places like Bam, Palmyra now, or As Salt any time soon either. I consider myself very lucky to have visited over 300 WHS by the age of 30 and although I will surely be visiting as much as I can, I'm sure there will be some point where my must sees will be less and less and I will most likely opt to revisit some of the best WHS I will have already seen.

Completing Turkey and Pakistan though are is not easy and I would totally agree that no future addition would probably be worth a separate visit.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 4 Jul 2016 20:25 
For me, since I visit S. Korea on average once ever 3-5 years, my visits can put me about 5 years ahead of nominations. So at least in terms of Korea, I will almost certainly have visited future inscriptions for quite some time.

That being said, I still have't gotten the urge to go visit the Hwasun Dolmen cluster or Yangdong Village, perhaps on a future trip. I have almost completed the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty WHS, which took some effort, I think I stand at 14/18 serial components. However, Mt. Namsan in Gyeongju does deserve more of my time. So my 12 WHS visits in Korea could be even more complete. Some sites deserved repeat visits, Changdeokgung X5, Jongmyo 2008 and 2016, Namhansanseong 2011 and 2016, Royal Tombs 2008 + 2011 + 2016, Gyeongju X2, Seokguram/Bulguksa X2.

The US is active these days, making the completeness check just a bit more challenging. Papahânaumokuâkea is an obvious difficulty, but Alaska only has 1 WHS, Puerto Rico only 1 WHS, and even the newly inscribed Poverty Point is located 4 hrs drive North of New Orleans! Mexico might actually be easier, and in fact far more cheaper.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 4 Jul 2016 22:59 
clyde:
Completing bigger countries though is quite difficult in single trips and in a way it's a positive thing as you get to revisit special sites while visiting new omes.

I definitely agree with this sentiment. I will likely not complete my remaining sites in Germany, Italy, Spain, or France all in one visit, which will allow me the opportunity to go back and visit some of the cities and regions I've enjoyed from past trips. There are some countries I am fairly certain I will never complete because of the number of inscriptions, the level of activity, and the large geographic area between sites -- I'd put China and India in those categories (even though I still have yet to visit either). For other countries, I consider it a challenge to complete them (such as Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.), which makes trip planning fun.

winterkjm:
The US is active these days, making the completeness check just a bit more challenging.

I'm glad to see that, and thanks for posting all the updates on the tentative list! I'm looking forward to seeing what the U.S. puts forward later this year. I'm glad a lot of the current U.S. World Heritage Sites are national parks, since I am also making it a point to visit as many of those as I can. That's one of the advantages you have to living out West! Incidentally, if you ever consider visiting Caribbean World Heritage Sites, there are some cruises that allow the opportunity to see between 4 and 5 sites on different islands, including La Fortaleza in San Juan. Similarly, many Alaska cruises offer trips to Glacier Bay (unfortunately I've been to Alaska twice and still haven't made it there, since I haven't gone on a cruise; I have been able to see some great sites across the state, though -- it's a beautiful place!).

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 5 Jul 2016 00:50 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Am I right to understand Germany is the only country over 40 WHS that anyone has completed amongst our community here? No Spain, Italy, France, or China? I would feel pretty satisfied to complete mainland France though!

Brazil, Japan, Australia, or Canada would be something fairly difficult as well based on their size and geographical spread through the country.

Belgium and Netherlands are 2 countries I would love to complete in one trip. Excluding Curacao off course, though living in LA makes this "tick" easier for Caribbean WHS.

Author clyde
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 5 Jul 2016 01:31 
I visited all sites of mainland France although I haven't visited all its tentative sites and certainly not all the components of its serial inscriptions. This week I'll visit Ile de Roi (Vauban), a couple of other minor sites on the Route to Santiago in France, the megalithic alignments of Carnac and hopefully the Corouan lighthouse. I'm glad that completing both France and Italy is a continuous exercise (both inscribe new sites quite frequently) as I keep visiting both by car every other weekend and I keep enjoying most of the new places I visit. Chances are next year I'll finally complete Italy with a long road trip to Campania and a weekend break to Sardinia, while I'll complete mainland Spain too by finally visiting Andalucia (I haven't visited Seville and Granada or Pompeii and Amalfi; I tend to keep the most touristy as the cherry on the cake).

In Europe, Romania's quite difficult to visit in one trip too because of the distances (surely needs more than a week).

Author GaryArndt
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 5 Jul 2016 04:23 
I had been to all the German sites....then they made more of them. There are now 3 I haven't visited.

I've been to all the sites in the US except for Papahanaumokuakea, which is almost impossible to visit. (I have something up my sleeve to visit Midway Island, but that might take time for it to pan out)

I've been to all the Australian sites which are actually in the country (excluding Herd & Macdonald Islands and the Subantarctic Islands)

I've also been to all the sites in Canada.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 5 Jul 2016 04:34 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
winterkjm:
Am I right to understand Germany is the only country over 40 WHS that anyone has completed amongst our community here? No Spain, Italy, France, or China?

kintante has completed Italy, no mean feat.

There is a certain satisfaction in completing a country, I still reckon Belgium could be completed in a day, and I almost feel like I want to give that a shot at some stage.

I know I am never going to complete my home country as it includes two sites that are just completely off my radar (Henderson & Gough) so that relieves any pressure I may feel, but I felt a sense of achievement in having completed the island of Britain.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 5 Jul 2016 04:54 | Edited by: Solivagant 
winterkjm:
Am I right to understand Germany is the only country over 40 WHS that anyone has completed amongst our community here? No Spain,

Have visited all of Spain , Iberic and insular, except Donana. I can't see myself bothering to go back for that other than the fact that my wife hasn't ever been to Andalucia so might give her that "treat" some day! Even the inscription of Antequera can't provide an impetus as I visited it long long ago in pre WHS (and pre "wife"!) days.
Somehow the visit experience offered at Donana looks very unsatisfactory and doesn't attract, even though we both like bird watching, and I certainly wouldn't go just to "complete" Spain (which would in any case soon become "incomplete" again given Spain's rate of inscription - e.g Gran Canaria - though that does look interesting).

Author elsslots
Admin
#14 | Posted: 5 Jul 2016 05:29 
Colvin:
Papahânaumokuâkea may end up the most rewarding because of its level of difficulty

Colvin and Gary pointed out that Papahanaumokuakea is very difficult to visit. It seems totally off-limits for the moment (including Midway Atoll), see http://www.papahanaumokuakea.gov/access/

I think I have to move it to the Connection 'Not open to tourists'
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/tags/tag.php?id=458

Author Colvin
Partaker
#15 | Posted: 5 Jul 2016 07:20 
GaryArndt:
I've also been to all the sites in Canada.

That's no mean feat in itself, given the geographic spread of the sites, as well as the cost and time required to visit sites such as SG̱ang Gwaay and Nahanni National Park.

elsslots:
Colvin and Gary pointed out that Papahanaumokuakea is very difficult to visit.

There's a slim possibility there will be a flight to Midway Atoll to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, but I haven't seen anything definite. Papahânaumokuâkea remains a challenge!

winterkjm:
Brazil, Japan, Australia, or Canada would be something fairly difficult as well

I saw Gary has also finished all of Australia save for the Heard and Macdonald Islands and Macquarie Island. Has anyone completed Brazil or Japan?

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 Completing Countries by WHS

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