UNESCO’s World Heritage List is like a treasure map for adventurous travelers. Each dot represents either an important piece of human history, an amazing natural landscape, or both. This year, 25 new sites have been added so far. Just in case you need a reason to apply for your passport renewal, here’s a rundown of some of the most interesting:
Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe: For centuries, the powerful Kushite empire ruled from the island of Meroe. At one point, they even managed to take over ancient Egypt, ruling it for close to 100 years. When you visit this World Heritage site, you can see the remains of their kingdom.
Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia: Welcome to the heartland of Colombian coffee! UNESCO says that this site is an “exceptional example of a sustainable and productive cultural landscape that is unique and representative of a tradition that is a strong symbol for coffee growing areas worldwide.” Take in the rugged mountain landscape, the ancient villages and the coffee plantations while sipping a cup of the delicious local beverage.
Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land, Japan: Consisting of the remains of ancient temples, government buildings and sacred gardens, this site is absolutely breathtaking. UNESCO says that “It represented the pure land of Buddha that people aspire to after death, as well as peace of mind in this life…Pure Land Buddhism developed a concept of planning and garden design that was unique to Japan.”
West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, China: Here, the Chinese took what was already an incredible landscape along the Yangtze River, and over the years sculpted it to make it even more magnificent. UNESCO says that “the West Lake has influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries and bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of improving landscapes to create a series of vistas reflecting an idealised fusion between humans and nature.”
To visit any of these sites, you’ll need a valid passport. Apply for a new passport or a passport renewal at least 6 weeks before your departure date, and even earlier if possible. Passport renewals take at least 6 weeks to process unless you select expedited processing, in which case you’re looking at three weeks, more or less.
If you need faster service, RushMyPassport is the most convenient option available. We personally deliver your passport application to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours, with no need to make an appointment or travel to visit a passport agency office.