Borobudur in 36 hours; Shalini Ganendra; Malay Mail

Source: Borobudur in 36 hours | Malay Mail

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The Lonely Castle: Incredible abandoned tomb in the desert; Becky Pemberton; Daily Mail

In the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert is a magnificent single-stone tomb, which has been standing strong since the first century AD. The Lonely Castle is one of 131 tombs in the region.

Read more from source: The Lonely Castle: Incredible abandoned tomb in the desert 

Enchanting spring scenery of Jiuzhaigou; China.org.cn

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Eulogized as a world of magical fairytales, Jiuzhai Valley has for years enchanted tourists with its mountains and luxuriant forests, colorful lakes, gushing waterfalls and abundant wildlife.

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Thousands flock to Mont Saint-Michel for ‘tide of the century’; Chris Kitching; Daily Mail

Curious visitors have crowded historic Mont Saint-Michel and other beauty spots in anticipation of the first giant tide of the millennium following a rare alignment of the sun, moon and Earth.

Source: Thousands flock to Mont Saint-Michel for ‘tide of the century’

The Unesco World Heritage sites you’ll probably NEVER get to see; Natalie Wain & Emily Payne; Daily Mail Online

Afghanistan – Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

 

  • There are 1007 incredible sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Many sites are inaccessible due to conflict while other are simply hard to reach
  • The Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and the ancient city of Aleppo in Syria risk being lost forever
  • You can still see the remains of the Chimu Kingdom in Peru – if you’re quick

Even the more well-travelled among us would struggle to scratch the surface of Unesco’s World Heritage List.

Jaw-dropping scenery, ancient monuments and incredible wildlife are just a few of the 1007 sites earmarked for preservation by the organisation.

But while well-known destinations such as Machu Picchu and the Acropolis in Athens may feature prominently on many intrepid explorers’ ‘to do’ list, there are a number of stunning sites that the majority of us will simply never get to see.

 

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Lasting heritage Tampak Siring; Trisha Sertori; Jakarta Post

Indonesia – Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy

Feeding the nation: The world heritage listed rice fields of Pulagan stretch over 110 hectares producing more than 620 tons of rice annually.

Just a few kilometers north of Ubud is an off-the-beaten-track UNESCO-recognized rice field site that offers visitors an almost solo experience.

Turn right at Tampak Siring’€™s traditional market and head out of the quaint town. About a kilometer away is the 110-hectare protected site of Subak Pulagan. Set against a backdrop of Mount Batur and Mount Agung ‘€” and with fields surrounded by coconut palms Pulagan is a rural paradise.

The area received a UNESCO listing just three years ago, which has saved it from development, says the head of the local subak, or irrigation group, Sang Nyoman Astika.

‘€œFive years ago there was a lot of developers coming here wanting to buy up the land, but we cannot sell the land. This land is from our ancestors and must go down to our descendants. We are really proud to have the world heritage listing,’€ says the 44 year old.

Source: Lasting heritage Tampak Siring

The Boka: A fjord in the Mediterranean that will blow your mind; Anna Norris; Mother Nature Network

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most beautiful waterside settlements in the world.

Source: The Boka: A fjord in the Mediterranean that will blow your mind

Travel to the 7 National Parks in Assam; Manoj Menon; Nativeplanet

India – Kaziranga National Park

It is always refreshing to go to a national park and be one with nature. You will get to see a variety of wildlife and find yourself busy clicking pictures of them. It is a perfect vacation spot to head to with your family as the feeling of adventure lasts all the way through! The state of Assam has many national parks, making it a perfect getaway for the adventurer in you. Other than the many picturesque locales to roam around, these parks serve as the entertainment you need to jazz things up. Here is a look at some of the national parks in Assam.

Kaziranga National Park Kaziranga National Park is the pride of Assam.

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Live it up in Liverpool; Priyadarshini Paitandy; The Hindu

Priyadarshini Paitandy walks you through the best of the city’s entertainment…

Source: Live it up in Liverpool

Visiting “The True Japan”: A Quiet Escape to Snow Country; Pico Iyer; CN Traveler

Japan – Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

A little more than five hours from neon-buzzed Tokyo lies a very different Japan, one of thatched-roof houses and black nights illuminated by lantern light. Pico Iyer travels to the country’s snowy western region to explore two villages untouched by modernity—and alive with their own quiet magic.

I might almost be staying in Hobbitland. The minute darkness descends and the paper windows under the thatched roofs all around me begin to glow, turning high walls into eerie faces, most of the day’s few visitors gone. Lanterns cast reflections on the rice paddy at the center of the 20-house village, and the sign warning of nearby bears grows indecipherable in the pitch black. Wandering between A-shaped houses with their steep 60-degree straw roofs—*gassho zukuri,*or “praying hands” in Japanese, though they also look like giant open books—I might be walking through a Christmas card of occasional lights and tree-trunk seats gathered around a mushroom-shaped low table.

Source: Visiting “The True Japan”: A Quiet Escape to Snow Country

Kotor Cruise Port; David G Molyneaux; Cruise Critic

Cruising to Kotor cruise port? Find out what to do in the port of Kotor and get other tips from our expert reviewers at Cruise Critic.

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A Call to Save a 12th-Century Minaret, Heard Far and Wide; Rod Nordland; The New York Times

Afghanistan – Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

JAM, Afghanistan — It is the place that launched a thousand postcards, back in the day when tourists still came in any numbers to Afghanistan: the Minaret of Jam.

Even then, few ever actually saw it, tucked into a gorge 12 hours of rough jeep track from anywhere, in a part of the country notorious for its brigandry, Ghor Province in the west-central highlands.

Now, that road passes through Taliban territory as well, and reaching it has become even harder. The track ends at Jam, and in spring and summer the river is too high to cross to the side where the minaret is.

Officials from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization were finally able to revisit the site on Nov. 18, for the first time since 2006.

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Amazing images capture the harsh beauty of Perito Moreno Glacier; Michael Gadd; Daily Mail

Argentina – Los Glaciares National Park

 

  • Perito Moreno Glacier can be found in Los Glaciares National Park, which is Unesco World Heritage-listed
  • Visitors can trek on the surface of the epic glacier which ruptures every four to five years
  • The glacier, which covers 97 square miles and is 19 miles long, is 48 miles from the city of El Calafate 

Beautiful and brutal in equal parts is the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia’s Unesco World Heritage-listed Los Glaciares National Park.

The stunning expanse of ice on Lake Argentina covers about 97 square miles, the equivalent of 35,000 football pitches, but is constantly growing and ruptures every year.

The 19 mile-long glacier is just 48 miles from the lakeside city of El Calafate and is becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction, with day trips offered by a number of tour companies.

 

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Preserving Son Doong, ‘the biggest cave in the world’; Andy McKenzie; Stuff.co.nz

Viet Nam – Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

In places it was hard to tell where jungle stopped and the incredibly beautiful cave began.

People often ask me why I go caving. It’s dark, tight, claustrophobic, cold and dangerous and you might get lost – why would anyone want to do this? And for fun?

There are a lot of misconceptions about caving, it isn’t really dangerous – well, it is if you don’t know what you’re doing and if you don’t risk assess; it is if you push beyond your risk assessments, if you compromise on your equipment or don’t plan and train for rescue, but generally it is a safe sport.

Contrary to popular assumption it really isn’t easy to get lost underground.

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Exploring Polands primeval forest and unearthing the amazing story behind Zubrowka Vodka; Bella Brennan; Daily Mail

Poland – Białowieża Forest

At five foot nada, I’m often cautious when it comes to drinking spirits.

Despite being a party pocket rocket if I try and keep up with my longer-limbed pals, before I know it I’m That Girl on the dance floor cutting moves like Beyonce (in my mind) but looking more like Benes (As in Elaine, of Seinfeld fame) and demanding my boyfriend fetch me a chicken burrito, stat.

What’s more, I’ve long wondered if there’s a vodka that actually exists that doesn’t have that ouchy, burnie after-taste. Too many times, I’ve been left reeling after a potent hit of the stuff. So approach with caution has always been my mantra.

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5 free things to see and do in Edinburgh; Paul Kelbie; AP

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scotland has made headlines lately with voters rejecting independence and choosing instead to remain part of the United Kingdom. Visitors will naturally be curious about the centuries of history that led to Scotland’s distinct culture. And a visit to the country’s capital, Edinburgh, with its historic 16th century tenements and grandiose 19th century town houses, is a tale of two cities in one.

Source: 5 free things to see and do in Edinburgh

Afghan historic minaret of Jam ‘in danger of collapse’; Mohammad Qazizada & Daud Qarizadah; BBC News

Afghanistan – Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

One of Afghanistan’s architectural marvels, the minaret of Jam, is in danger of collapse, officials warn.

Centuries of neglect and frequent floods are threatening the 800-year-old structure in remote Ghor province.

The 65m (213-foot) monument – thought to be the world’s second-tallest brick minaret – is already on the UN list of world heritage sites in danger.

But officials have told the BBC that there is not enough money to protect it and more flooding could bring it down.

The biggest threat to the Jam minaret is posed by its position in a river valley among high mountains.

Officials say that last year’s floods caused major damage to the base.

They say a new supporting wall has been built and other stabilisation work has been carried out, but not enough to secure the site.

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15 of the best natural bridges around the world; Katia Hetter; CNN

Algeria – Tassili n’Ajjer

Don’t try to drive over these bridges.

These rocky natural spans were formed over millennia by the flowing waters of a stream or other water source, which slowly eroded away the rock to create the shape of a bridge.
But are they arches or bridges?
The Natural Arch and Bridge Society, whose Indiana Jones-like members go hunting for these rock formations around the world, makes this distinction: A natural arch is made of rock, with a hole formed by natural forces, they say. A natural bridge is a type of arch, where water is the natural force making the hole.
Erosion created these magnificent structures, and erosion will eventually take them down. One such wonder was Aruba’s Natural Bridge, which was first formed by pounding surf eroding its coral limestone. The 100-foot-span gave way and collapsed in 2005. (The smaller Baby Bridge is still standing nearby.)

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Thailand: Kingdom of Ayutthaya (UNESCO World Heritage Site); Jojie Alcantara

Thailand – Historic City of Ayutthaya

The historic City of Ayutthaya (1351-1767), was the second capital of a flourishing Siamese Kingdom (Thailand’s old name). For 417 years from the 14th to the 18th centuries, it grew to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a most important center of global diplomacy and commerce during its time. It was said to be beautiful, luxurious and fabulous… think wild Paris of ancient history.

Ayutthaya was strategically located on an island in the midst of three rivers connecting to the sea. Based on ancient maps and historical records, the prosperous kingdom was laid out according to a systematic and rigid city planning grid consisting of roads, canals, and moats around its principal structures. It had a technologically advanced hydraulic system for water management which was unique in the world. It developed into a major rice farming area.

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Belovezhskaya Pushcha status on UNESCO World Heritage List modified; Belta

Belarus – Białowieża Forest

Belovezhskaya Pushcha which is located on the border of Belarus and Poland became the transboundary site on the UNESCO World Heritage, BelTA learnt from the scientific department of the National Park.

The World Heritage Committee approved the extension of the transboundary site in Poland and Belarus at the 38th session in Doha on 23 June. The transboundary object is now called Bialowieza Forest (Belovezhskaya Pushcha) with a total area of 141,885 hectares, of which 81,000 are in Belarus. Together with the buffer zone the area of the forest is 308,583 hectares.

The committee also adopted a proposal for the new nomination criteria that better reflect the exceptional value of the Europe oldest forest. Earlier Belovezhskaya Pushcha was on the world heritage list under criterion VII, which implies the possession of an outstanding aesthetic value. Now the natural complex is nominated under the more appropriate criteria IX and X.

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