UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES TO VISIT
I've caught the traveling bug! These are a couple of my favorites. Would love any recommendations from this list: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/
- •Hoi An Ancient Town, VietnamI instantly fell in love with Hoi An when I visited in 2003. It's an old Southeast trading port that has retained its traditional wooden architecture. There are also architectural influences from China, Japan, and Europe. The shop lined streets are so quaint! During the Lantern Festivals electric lights and motorized vehicles are turned off and the city is illuminated by a multitude of lanterns. Gorgeous!
- •Palace and Park of Versailles, FranceThe palace is beautiful, but the favorite part of my visit in October was exploring the tall tree-lined grounds by bicycle and walking around Marie Antoinette's le Hameau de la Reine, a rustic little village replica.
- •City center of Brugge, BelgiumI went to this tiny city overnight, and fell in love with it. The canals, the lovely people, the museums were fantastic, and the view from the bell tower is breathtaking (and not just because I got winded walking up all the flights of stairs). Standing in the town square felt like being in the middle of a snow globe—it was that picturesque.
- •Edinburgh, ScotlandI was surprised at how warm, and yet somehow simultaneously mysterious and approachable Edinburgh was, because all of the stonework is so intense and heavy and dark. It's extremely hilly, with views around every corner that really do incite awe. I'm a huge lit and history nerd, but when we went for family/friend vacation, the city had something for literally everyone. Even a Scottish band heavily influenced by American Bluegrass that played at an amazing 100+ year old pub in the "new" city.
- •Palace of Westminster, London, UKThere are so many Unesco sites in England and they are all 💯, but of all the views and places particular to London, this one is my favorite. The first time I saw it, my friend Georgina and I got off the tube right next to Big Ben and she wouldn't let me look up at the Palace until we were across the bridge on the South Bank, and then she let me turn around...and this was the view. I cried.
- •Places and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.Suggested by @jacqueline
- •Hawaii Volcanoes National ParkThis is an amazing national park and contains two active volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Kilauea. At the Jagger Museum, you can see the glow of lava at night from a safe observation area on the crater from. You can also take a four wheel drive vehicle to the top of Mauna Kea, and look down from >14,000 feet to the surrounding landscape, which is full of little pu'u (volcanic hills) and steam vents, which, combined, make it feel like you're on Mars. It's beautiful. At night, visit the observatory.Suggested by @aminam
- •Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto)Old Town is beautiful; to me, more so when you know that 85% of the city & an even higher percentage of Old Town was destroyed during WWII. Afterwards, Poles reconstructed/replicated Old Town based on photos & paintings of what it had looked like before the War. The 1944 Uprising Museum, while not an historical site, is worth visiting for context. A lot of fighting took place in Old Town, and there are Uprising memorials all over the area.Suggested by @nelle
- •Prambanan and Borobudur, IndonesiaTwo different temple sites in Java. Prambanan is a Hindu complex that ha been rebuilt twice after earthquakes. Borobudur (pictured) is a huge Buddhist temple. Both absolutely stunning!
- •Georgetown and Melaka, MalaysiaThese two towns share a UNESCO designation, even though they're not right next to each other. Preserved colonial architecture and a confluence of many different cultures earned them the spot, but the best reason to go? THE FOOD!!! Malaysian food is incredible and these two places have incredible regional specialties (laksa, pineapple cakes, cendol, Nyonya food... I could go on).
- •Angkor Wat (Siem Reap, Cambodia)Archaeological park containing 100s of Khmer-era Hindu and Buddhist temples. Any one of these temples on its own would be a major travel destination, so the sheer concentration is incredible and mind-blowing!