Tag Archive | UNESCO

The Top Natural Sites In Indonesia

Raja Ampat-IndonesiaAlthough many people tend to think of Indonesia as a relatively small country, it is actually the fourth largest in the world with a territory that covers over 17,000 individual islands.  As you would expect in such a large country, there are many different cultures, languages and unique places to visit in Indonesia, and it has a wealth of natural attractions for visitors to the area.  The country still shows traces of colonial times, but the natural spots in the country remain largely untouched, although some places are under threat from the increasing industry of the country.

Bunaken National Park

One of the most interesting and beautiful natural sites in Indonesia is the tropical area in the BunakenNational Park, where hundreds of species of coral and rare fish and marine life can be found.  Within the park there are five islands that are home to around 35,000 people, but the majority of visitors will want to visit the reefs in the waters around the island to view the coral and the marine life.

Unfortunately, the development of a tourist industry based around diving is actually harmful to the sensitive ecosystem in the park, which is now protected by its UNESCO status and has conservation support from the World Wildlife Fund.  Over seventy per cent of the marine life in this part of the Pacific can actually be found in the national park, including the beautiful Emperor Angelfish and the Bluestripe Snapper.

Raja Ampat

Another of the important sea marine parks in Indonesia is to be found in the waters off the Raja Ampat islands, and the coral population here rivals that to be seen in Bunaken.  The islands themselves are made up of four main islands and around 1,500 smaller isles to be found around the area, and because it is very remote the area is still relatively untouched by human visitors.  Because of the remote and isolated nature of the islands, they are generally occupied by lots of small tribes, with the main industry being fishing.

The area is slowly being opened up as a potential dive spot due to its largely untouched quality, and along with a huge variety of fish there are also massive schools of fish to be found in the area.

Gunung Leuser National Park

Along with the amazing sea-based sites that can be visited in Indonesia, there are also some truly amazing areas on land, and the GunungLeuserNational Park is certainly one of these.  It’s location on the mountainous islands of Sumatra make this National Park one of the most important for its population of native species such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros and the Sumatran Elephant.

Although visiting the area is quite difficult due to the steep mountain landscape and isolated location, one of the real highlights is the Bukit Lawang Orangutan Sanctuary.  There are over 5,000 orangutans to be found across the island, and the sanctuary is a great place to get a better look at these reclusive primates.

 Mount Bromo

One of the most interesting natural visitor attractions in Indonesia is actually a live volcano, although eruptions in 2010 and 2011 have been recorded.  As a part of the BromoTenggerNational Park, this active volcano can be reached by a short hike from a nearby mountain, or there are special excursions by jeep to an observation point.  The volcano is constantly monitored by vulcanologists, and there are sometimes warnings against visiting the area.

Komodo National Park

Another of the important natural locations is the KomodoNational Park, which covers three larger islands and twenty six smaller islands.  The main island of Komodo gave its name to the world’s largest lizard, which is the Komodo Dragon.  It is this reason that has led to the area being declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As well as the population of Komodo Dragons to be found on the islands in the park, there are also significant numbers of marine species to be found in the seas around the islands.  This has led to the national park becoming a popular destination for scuba diving, although there is a big emphasis on maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem in this type of tourism.

The Top Things To Do In Pakistan

pakistan-monument-pakThe country has often been touted as the next popular tourist destination because of its great variety of landscapes and destinations, however this has frequently been disrupted by a turbulent political situation.  For some people this may be off putting, but with many areas of the country stable and safe to visit, Pakistan is a hidden gem for those looking for an alternative destination.  Whether you look towards the imposing mountains of the Himalayas or the lower, warmer climate of the Punjab and Sindh, Pakistan has an awful lot to offer the intrepid visitor.

Explore Ancient Civilizations

One of the most ancient settlements to have been discovered in Asia is that in Mohenjo-daro, which dates from around 4,500 years ago, and is one of the largest settlements of that time to have been discovered.  One of the remarkable features of this city is that it was actually very civilized for the most important in the society, who would live inside the citadel and would have had public baths and drainage.  It is believed that of the total population of around 35,000 in the city, 5,000 of these would have been living within the citadel.  Many exquisite artifacts have also been discovered in the city, which is now an UNESCO world heritage site.

Taxila is an important location which has seen a number of settlements in from the sixth century to the first century BC, and has been significantly excavated.  It is particularly noted as a centre of ancient learning, and because of its tradition is still an important site in Buddhist and Hindu cultures.  Another ancient site is to be found at Takht-i-Bahi, close to the northern city of Mardan.  This large Buddhist monastic complex is important as it dates from the first century BC and shows the development in Buddhism, with several extra sections being added to the construction in the following eight centuries.


Although it may seem a surprising thing to be doing in Pakistan at first thought, when you consider its proximity to the Himalayan mountains, it does have three ski resort at Malam Jabba, Naltar and Kalabagh.  Historically the Malam Jabba area had been inhabited by monks, but is now a modern ski resort boasting a number of runs and chair lifts.  Naltar lies in the Karakoram range near the town of Gilgit, and is the oldest of the resort and also has a ski lift, whilst Kalabagh is at a slightly lower altitude and has easier skiing routes to help visitors to learn the sport.

Explore Lahore

Lahore is the capital of the Punjabi region of Pakistan, and is well known for its wonderful culture as well as for being one of the largest cities in the country.  As the capital of British colonialism in the area, Lahore still has many signs of the British, including the GovernmentCollege, but also has indications of older civilizations, such as the Lahore Fort and the great cannon Zamzama.

Cultural events are particularly popular among visitors to the city, with the Festival of Lamps in March lighting up part of the city, and the Basant Festival being popular due to the tradition of ‘fighting’ kites.

Travel On The Karakoram Highway

Based on an ancient trade route over the Karakoram mountain range between Pakistan and China, today the Karakoram Highway is the highest paved road in the world, and offers some truly remarkable scenery.  As well as being an exceptional trade route that still carries goods back and forth to China today, there are also many historical rock art and petroglyph sites to be found along the route too.  The road is best traversed in the spring or the fall, with snow in the winter and monsoon rains in the summer making it difficult if not impossible to traverse at times.

Visit Lake Saiful Muluk

This lake is known as one of the most tranquil and beautiful spots in the whole of Pakistan, and as well as being over 3,000 meters in altitude, it also boasts some amazing mountain scenery as a backdrop to the lake.  Although the site itself is beautiful by itself, it status in Pakistan was raised by the fairy tale about a prince who fell in love with a fairy princess at the lake written by the famous poet Mian Muhammad Bakhsh.