For the ultimate travel bucket list, look no further than the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). With 1,052 sites across the world (we’ve got six right here in the Philippines!), ticking them off one by one is the best way to see the best of what our beautiful world can offer. Learn about 10 of the newest additions to the list below!
1) Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, China
Here, you’ll find intricate drawings depicting the life of the Luoyue people scattered across 38 different sites. The drawings date from the 500 BCE to 200 CE, and it’s the only evidence of this ancient people’s culture at present.
HOW TO GET HERE: Several airlines offer flights to Nanning, the city closest to the Nonggang Nature Reserve where the rock art is located. The Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art is around three hours away via car from Nanning.
2) Archaeological Site of Philippi, Greece
If you loved Pompeii, you’ll also love Philippi. This ancient walled city, which was founded way back in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, lies along an ancient trade route called the Via Egnatia, which goes from Istanbul to Rome. Spend an afternoon here and explore the many ruins this historic site has to offer!
HOW TO GET HERE: There are flights from Manila going to Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece. From there, Philippi is just a few hours’ drive away.
3) The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier, whose real name is Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, was a pioneer of modern architecture. His buildings can be seen in Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, and Switzerland, and his influence can be seen in a lot of buildings today. All of Le Corbusier’s buildings are pretty much outstanding, but if you can only see one, visit the Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, which is one of his most iconic works.
HOW TO GET HERE: Fly to Zurich, as Ronchamp is located near the border of France and Switzerland. From there, Ronchamp is just a train ride away!
4) Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara, India
Nalanda holds the distinction of being the most ancient university on the entire Indian Subcontinent, attracting students from all over Asia from 500 CE to 1200 CE. It’s an archaeological treasure trove of well-preserved monasteries, statues, and temples, all situated within a 12-hectare area.
HOW TO GET HERE: Fly to the Indian city of Gaya, which is also a must-see spot for its cultural and historical significance. From there, Nalanda Mahavihara is around an hour’s drive away.
5) Archipiélago de Revillagigedo, Mexico
We’ll always be partial to our very own Philippine beaches, but we’ll make an exception for the remote Revillagigedo Islands. This archipelago is comprised of four islands: San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida, and Clarión, all surrounded by clear blue waters and teeming with abundant wildlife. It’s basically a water lover’s dream come true!
HOW TO GET HERE: Your best bet would be to fly one of Mexico’s coastal cities facing the Pacific Ocean—Cabo San Lucas is probably the best option—and charter a boat to the Revillagigedo Islands.
6) Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park, Sudan
A beach junkie’s paradise, these two separate areas abound with tranquil beaches, pristine coral reefs, lush mangroves and seagrass beds, and picture-perfect islets. Several kinds of marine wildlife have made this gorgeous underwater paradise their home, from seabirds and manta rays to turtles and dugongs.
HOW TO GET HERE: Fly to Port Sudan and sail to the marine park of your choice, both of which are located on the Red Sea.
7) Antigua Naval Dockyard and Related Archaeological Sites, Antigua and Barbuda
You’re probably wondering why a dockyard is in the list, but make no mistake: This isn’t your usual dockyard. This pre-nup shoot-worthy site was built by the British navy during the 18th century, and it boasts of Georgian-style buildings, picture-perfect boats, and unforgettable views all around.
HOW TO GET HERE: Brace yourself (and your wallet) for a long, stopover-filled flight to this Caribbean paradise. Once you arrive at the V. C. Bird International Airport, everything’s just a brief drive away.
8) Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia, Federated States of Micronesia
Think of the Nan Madol as a sort of coastal Angkor Wat, with 99 man-made islets, all built on top of a coral reef, filled with the ruins of stone temples, palaces, tombs, and homes dating back to 1200 and 1500 CE. These ancient structures bore witness to the Saudeleur dynasty, an important period in Micronesian history.
HOW TO GET THERE: Getting here will cost you an arm and a leg as there’s only one airline that flies to Pohnpei, the jump-off point to Nan Madol. If you have the money though, we say go for it!
9) Stecci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards
Stecci is actually the plural for Stecak, which is the term for the medieval tombstones in 30 graveyards located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia. The Stecci are usually carved from limestone, and they feature inscriptions, ornate engravings, and traditional motifs.
HOW TO GET THERE: Bosnia and Herzegovina has the most number of Stecci, so it’s best to fly to its capital, Sarajevo, and make your way to the graveyards from there. You can also go the easy route by checking out the Stecci in the National Museum in Sarajevo.
10) Khangchendzonga National Park, India and Nepal
Kangchendzonga means “five treasures of snow,” and true enough, this Himalayan paradise offers a wealth of valleys, plains, lakes, glaciers, forests, and mountains sure to satisfy any outdoorsman. Test your mettle by climbing the five-peaked Mount Khangchendzonga, the highest mountain in India at 28,169 feet and the third-highest peak in the world.
HOW TO GET THERE: From the Philippines, it’s easier to make your way to Khangchendzonga from Nepal. It’s a bit of a drive from Kathmandu to Khangchendzonga, so make sure your butt is ready!