Off-the-beaten UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites is always underrated for tourism, despite its dependability to the same degree as some guidebooks. The endorsed wonders can be found in every corner of the world, so you could easily find one in any destinations you travel. And here we propose seven off-track world heritage sites that have rarely been drawn to spotlight. Ladies and gents, pack you baggage and be the pioneers!

1# Wadi Rum Protected Area, Jordan

Apart from Jordan’s favourite tourist destination like Petra, the desert landscape of Wadi Rum is also a must-try. Located in the southern Jordan, the site features various gorgeous landforms in the same sandy brown colour, which makes it stand out from other deserts. The protected Rum Village is significant with its preserved culture. There are camps available for the guest to spend an impressive Arabian night under the starlight.

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2# Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, Palau

Palau, an island country in the Western Pacific Ocean, is enchanting with its tranquil, untouched beauty, highlighted with the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon area. The forested limestone islands of volcanic origin with the encompassing clear turquoise lagoon, despite its irresistible charm, is not yet hyped and remains protected. The exceptional variety of marine lives, birds, and hundreds of coral species are the outstanding values that needs to be preserved. Tourists can, however, visit this peaceful site and dive into the crystalline seawater.

3# Xinjiang Tianshan, China

When speaking about China, how many people would think of snow-covered mountains? Located in the Northwest China, the site is a part of the ‘heavenly mountain’ Tianshang range, presenting scenically spectacular contrast between lush green and bluish-white mountains, with glassy lake. This place is an ideal trekking destination for those who love to step out from their comfort zone and to find the peace of mind.

4# Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

The combination of turquoise lakes and vast grayish brown mountains (turning into snowy peaks in winter), as well as active and extinct volcanoes, attracts adventure-seeking tourists from all around the world to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track. Some may consider a more challenging climbing to the summit of Mount Ngauruhoe (2,278 m) and witness the infinite views of New Zealand. The Tongariro National Park has the cultural and religious value for the Maori people, beside its invaluable spectacles. For The Lords of The Rings fans, here is your chance to experience the real-life gloomy Modor, as it is the filming location.

5# Old Tallinn, Estonia

The exceptionally well-preserved medieval city of Talinn, dated back to the 13th century, was originated by the crusading knights as a major trading centre. The capital city of Estonia fortunately survived many past wars and remains quite the same for centuries. Located on the coast of Baltic Sea, this old town is visually appealing, as well as architecturally and historically charming.

6# Valletta, Malta

Malta’s capital city is unalterably associated with the history of one of the greatest military and moral forces of modern Europe – the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, which founded the city back in the 16th century. With the blended mannerist, baroque and neoclassic buildings overlooking the pristine Mediterranean Sea, the city features one of the best sunsets in the world and the nostalgic feeling of architectural timelessness.

7# Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

The Kilimanjaro National Park comprises of the savanna and snow-capped volcanic massif, allowing the site to be considered as a notable superlative natural phenomenon. Numerous endangered species of mammals are also natural habitants of this area. The highest point in Africa – the Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) – is not much frequently visited despite its fame for majesty, due to the trials and tribulations in climbing to the pinnacle. The unforgettably breathtaking view is rewarding enough that many daring trekkers attempt to ascend through the low oxygen at high altitudes.

Text by Pakvipa Rimdusit
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