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Asia's UNESCO World Heritage sites less traveled [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-2-15 10:25:22 |Display all floors
Asia’s long history and rich cultures have produced nearly 150 UNESCO World Heritage sites, with a long list of monuments waiting to join them in the application pipeline. “Once a site is on the list, it's important. 172 out of 192 countries have signed an international treaty to protect these sites. Individual countries are obliged to answer to the international community on how its sights are managed. These sites are the responsibility of everybody; they are important to the whole of humanity,” says Timothy Curtis, program specialist for culture in UNESCO’s Bangkok office.

Everybody knows the Great Wall or the Taj Mahal. Here are 10 of Asia’s sites less traveled.

1. Lushan National Park
Location: Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province, China

As Beatrice Kaldun, program officer at UNESCO’s Beijing office, explains, “Lushan tells the history of China”. Its captivating scenery has inspired much Chinese culture, its Western villas speak to the presence of international colonial powers, and Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong both had houses here. It is also an important site for Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Mercedes-Benz is a major donor to the site. Kaldun stresses the importance of private sector involvement in heritage conservation.
Lushan_National_Park.jpg

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Post time 2012-2-15 10:25:58 |Display all floors
2. Ancient city of Ping Yao
Location: Ping Yao County, Shanxi Province, China

Ping Yao was China’s banking center in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since the Ming Dynasty, Ping Yao had been a trade hub, but in 1823, the first remittance shop, Rishengchang Exchange House, was set-up to take deposits, and to loan and remit money. At one point, more than 50 percent of China’s remittance shops were headquartered within Ping Yao’s ancient city walls. Rishengchang collapsed in 1932, but its former headquarters have been restored as a museum.
Ping_Yao.jpg

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Post time 2012-2-15 10:26:42 |Display all floors
3. Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System
Location: Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province, China

Mount Qingcheng was the birthplace of Taoism, and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System is a technological and engineering feat dating back to the second century that still takes the waters from Minjiang River to irrigate the Chengdu plains. These sites were at the epicenter of the 2008 earthquake, and sustained substantial damage. Since then, the UNESCO World Heritage Center has mobilized international resources for the sites’ restoration.

The birthplace of Taoism.

The birthplace of Taoism.

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Post time 2012-2-15 10:27:24 |Display all floors
4. Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape
Location: Orkhon-Kharkorin Region, Mongolia

A relatively easy six-hour drive from Ulaan Baatar, Orkhon Valley encompasses nearly 122,000 hectares of land on both sides of the Orkhon River. Within the site are the ruins of Kharkhorum, the capital of Genghis Khan’s empire. Other archaeological sites date back to the sixth century. Visitors can also experience the nomadic existence of Mongolians.

Ruins of nomadic empires past

Ruins of nomadic empires past

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Post time 2012-2-15 10:28:10 |Display all floors
5. Mountain Railways of India
Location: India

Five railways constructed from the late 19th to early 20th centuries are included in this listing. Three of these railways -- Darjeeling Himalayan, Kalka-Shimla, and Kangra Valley -- run through North India’s rugged Himalayas. The other two, Nilgiri Mountain and Matheran Hill, are in the south. Today, these classic railways, relics of British colonial rule, are still operated by India Railways, and offer exhilarating rides over India’s most scenic mountain trails.

Rails with exhilarating views.

Rails with exhilarating views.

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6. Ellora Caves
Location: Verul Village, Maharashtra State, India

These 34 cave monasteries and temples are stunning architectural marvels. Carved out of the Charanandri hill walls, these monuments to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism date back to the 7th to 11th centuries, and are a testament to India’s history of religious tolerance.

Sculpted architecture

Sculpted architecture

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Post time 2012-2-15 10:29:50 |Display all floors
7. Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries
Location: Kanchanaburi, Tak and Uthai Thani provinces, Thailand

This wildlife sanctuary is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in Southeast Asia, containing 77 percent of large mammal species. Here, you’ll spot tiger, leopard, Asiatic elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros and hog deer among the 120 mammal species represented in this natural sanctuary along the Myanmar border.

Tigers are among the highlights of the sanctuary.

Tigers are among the highlights of the sanctuary.

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