Monday, June 25, 2007

Places worth visiting - UNESCO World Heritage Sites.




UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places that have been identified, by a consortium of countries, as worthy of preservation from either a cultural or nature perspective. In my opinion, these are places worth seeing. So, no matter what country I travel to, I always check the list to see what UNESCO sites have been inscribed for that particular country and try to plan visits to them. In Peru, it was Cusco, the magnificent Machu Picchu, and the Nazca Lines. In Egypt, it was the Great Pyramids at Giza, unforgettable Abu Simbel, lovely Philae, the majestic Karnak, and St. Catherine's. In Jordan, it was the incomparable Petra.

So what's on the list for this trip?

Starting with India - Agra, Delhi and places in between.
....then it's off to Nepal and the Kathmandu Valley - the entirety of which has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site. I've set aside 4 days to tour the sites - spread across 3 adjacent cities - Kathamandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.

Last but not least, Tibet, China. The only UNESCO site on the list is in Lhasa and that is the Potala Palace Ensemble which includes the Jokhang Temple and the surrounding area of Norbulingka. The Potala is the former winter palace of the Dalai Lama and the Norbulingka, the summer palace. The Dalai Lama is currently living in exile in India so neither palace is occupied by the religious ruler of Tibet.

As with all the other UNESCO World Heritage Sites I've visited on my previous, I'm sure I will be absolutely awe struck by the sight of what I will see in India, Nepal and Tibet.

I can't wait!!