mytouristmaps.com: travel and tourist maps, tips and utilities

mytouristmaps.com: travel and tourist maps, tips and utilities

Fanjingshan, China

Fanjingshan
© Nathan Ackley

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Fanjingshan, also known as Mount Fanjing is a stunning mountain area located in the Wuling Mountains, in the Guizhou province of China.

The mountain site is formed by three peaks: the Mushroom Rock (2.318 m), the Old Golden Peak (2.474 m) and the spectacular Red Cloud Golden Peak (2.336 m) on whose top, onto a 100 meters high rock pinnacle, the Mile Temple and the Shijia Temple are connected by a bridge above the rift that splits the peak into two parts. Visitors can reach the two temples by the whole walking trail (8.888 steps, 5-6 hours), or by cable car and a shorter trail of about 2.300 steps.
Fanjingshan is a sacred Buddhist mountain, a pilgrimage destination for thousands of worshipers every year.

The whole Wuling Mountains area has plentiful biodiversity with more than two thousand species of plants and endemic endangered animals like the grey snub-nosed monkey, the Chinese giant salamander and the forest musk deer.

Mount Fanjing can be reached from the city of Tongren by a two hours bus drive and the best period to visit it is from March to November.

For any further information visit the Fanjingshan Official Website.

Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

Rio Sucuri, Bonito Mato Grosso do Sul
© Lucas Cordeiro Barbosa Dijigow

The area surrounding the municipality of Bonito is one of the best natural attractions in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, in the South-Western part of Brazil.

One of the best sightseeing from Bonito is the Rio da Prata and Rio Sucuri / Rio Formoso, where floating guided tours allows to snorkel and dive into the crystal-clear water: a unique scenery created by the water flowing onto the limestone rocks.

About 20 km West from Bonito other striking natural formations are the Abismo Anhumas (Anhumas Abyss), an underground lake 70 meters below the ceiling of  an enchanted cave with underwater stalagmites, (among the biggest in the world, up to almost 20 metres high) and thGruta do Lago Azul Natural Monument, one of the biggest flooded caves in the world, were  prehistoric large mammals fossils of giant sloth, sabre-toothed cat and giant armadillo have been found

Abismo Anhumas, Bonito Mato Grosso do Sul
© Edmilson Sanches


50 km South of Bonito, the Buraco das Ararasa massive sandstone crater,  hosts hundreds of aracari toucans and red/green macaws.

Mada'in Saleh, Saudi Arabia

Mada'in Saleh, Saudi Arabia
Qaṣr Al-Farīd tomb © Ahmad AlHasanat

Also known as Al-Ḥijr or Hegra, this impressive archaeological site belonged in the first century AD to the kingdom of Nabatean, a nomadic Bedouin tribe of the northern Arabian peninsula, whose capital was Raqmu, now known as the famous Petra (Jordan).

According to the Quran, it is believed that this is a cursed place, owing to the punishment with natural disasters given from Allah to the Thamud people (8th century BCE) for their idol worshipping.

The outstanding location consists of 131 rock-cut monumental tombs and was the first Arabian proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

Mada'in SalehThe site is reachable by car from the nearest towns with flight connections: al-Wajh (100 km) and al-Ula (20 km).

All visitors need a permit to visit Mada'in Saleh (you can easily obtain the permission in the Hotels near the site).

Northern Ireland's Peace Walls, U.K.

peace walls, Belfast
Peace Wall in Cupar Way, Belfast

Some of the Northern Ireland's neighbourhoods are still divided by walls: the Peace Walls (or Peace Lines) separate the nationalists/Catholics/Irish from the loyalists/Protestants/British people.

Most of them are in Belfast, others are also existing in Portadown, Derry and Lurgan, with a total length of around 34 km; some of them have gates which are opened only during daylight.

The walls were initially built as a temporary structure to avoid the violence episodes; the first peace line is dating back to 1969 in Belfast after the riot that had involved nationalists, loyalists and police that caused more than 150 homes destroyed, almost two thousand families evacuated, 8 killed and more than 700 injured people.

The number of the walls have raised from less than 20 in the early 1990s to more than one hundred nowadays; there was also an increase after the Irish-British Good Friday Agreement of the 10th April 1998.

According to the public local opinion, the walls are still necessary to maintain the peace and avoid the violence in those areas: the majority of the people still think that more time is needed to change the mentality that has caused lots of conflicts in the past.

In September 2017, the Northern Ireland Department of Justice published its Interface Programme, which intention is removing all the structures by 2023.

Reading the messages of thousands of people marked on the Peace Walls, it is evident that the thought of the people, with or without walls, is still aimed at peace.