Mt. Fuji is Japan was not a UNESCO World Heritage Site until last week. A surprise to me.
UNESCO’s annual meeting brought 19 additions to the World Heritage Site List:
- Al Zubarah Archaeological Site (Qatar)
- Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora (Ukraine)
- Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (Germany)
- Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces (China)
- Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration (Japan)
- Golestan Palace (Iran)
- Hill Forts of Rajasthan (India)
- Historic Centre of Agadez (Niger)
- Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong (DPRK – North Korea)
- Levuka Historical Port Town (Fiji)
- Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (Italy)
- Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (Canada)
- University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia (Portugal)
- Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine (Poland, Ukraine)
- El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve (Mexico)
- Mount Etna (Italy)
- Namib Sand Sea (Namibia)
- Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs) (Tajikistan)
- Xinjiang Tianshan (China)
- Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines (Poland)
- Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)
- Maloti Drakensberg Tranboundary World Heritage Site (South Africa)
The process is surely as fraught as any at the UN, however I find the list fun and useful in trip planning. I try to visit sites whenever possible and there have been many good surprises and none that I felt were not interesting for some aspect of the journey to reach them. As a moving target it is not realistic to try to keep pace. I have traveled every province of China yet they constantly add sites.
Of the new crop I have been to:
- Golestan Palace, Iran, a palace in Tehran.
- Kaesong, North Korea, so-so town and historic sites part of any North Korea tour to the DMZ.
- Xinjiang Tianshan, a great stop on a Silk Road trip, though heavily, heavily touristed.
You can locate and track sites at Wandering Aramean’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Readers, have you been to any of the new sites? Your take?