How to pick the most memorable places to visit…

Last week when I met up with a friend and his wife in Singapore, I asked them where I should go next time I am back in Asia. The first word out of their mouths: Angkor. Everything I have ever read about this place sounds magical. In fact, the National Geographic that comes to mind when I think of that magazine is the one with Angkor on the cover. Unfortunately I just booked my tickets to Bangkok and Krabi and won’t have much time to get out to Cambodia. Next time. But even more valuable than the Angkor suggestion was the general tip to keep in mind for finding the best places to see. They reminded me about the UNESCO World Heritage list. Of course!!! This is a fantastic list of now 812 places around the world that the World Heritage Committee at the UN consider to have outstanding universal value.

I have already done quite a bit of traveling so I expected to find a few places on the list I have already been to. Unfortunately my number is quite low, 34 or about 4%. Here is where I have been so far. Have you done better?

  1. Belize Barrier Reef System
  2. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
  3. Palace and Park of Versailles, Paris
  4. Banks of the Seine, Paris
  5. Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco, Mexico
  6. Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan, Mexico
  7. Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
  8. Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curacao Netherlands Antilles
  9. Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments, Russia
  10. Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow, Russia
  11. Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings, Russia
  12. Durham Castle and Cathedral, UK
  13. Ironbridge Gorge, UK
  14. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, UK
  15. Blenheim Palace, UK
  16. City of Bath, UK
  17. Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Church, UK
  18. Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church, UK
  19. Tower of London, UK
  20. Old and News Towns of Edinburgh, UK
  21. Maritime Greenwich, UK
  22. Dorset and East Devon Coast, UK
  23. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK
  24. Everglades National Park, US
  25. Grand Canyon National Park, US
  26. Independence Hall, US
  27. Glacier Bay, Alaska, US
  28. Redwood National Park, California, US
  29. Olympic National Park, Washington, US
  30. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, US
  31. La Fortaleza and San Juan Historic Site in Puerto Rico
  32. Statue of Liberty, US
  33. Yosemite National Park, US
  34. Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, US

Today I will make it 35 when I visit the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens here in Melbourne, Australia. Only 777 places to go. Hopefully they all make it before I get there.