Monday, February 1, 2016

UNESCO recently announced four newcomers to their (sadly) growing list of endangered sites: Peru's Machu Picchu; the towns of Omari, Japan and Lijiang, China; and Mont Saint Michel in France.

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: there are some time-sensitive bucket list destinations you need to put higher on your must-see list. UNESCO recently announced four newcomers to their (sadly) growing list of endangered sites: Peru's Machu Picchu; the towns of Omari, Japan and Lijiang, China; and Mont Saint Michel in France. This new status change is mostly due to environmental wear and the huge influx of tourist traffic that comes with being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 48 destinations on the endangered list, including Timbuktu, Everglades National Park, and the rainforests of the Atsinanana in Madagascar (among many others).

So what can you do as a worldly and aware traveler visiting these sites? Follow all of the rules—stick to designated paths and trails, don't climb anything, keep your hands to yourself, and, please for the love of all that is holy, do not run your drone into anything important. In fact, if someone were to follow Angkor Wat's lead and come up with a series of conduct video how-tos for all of the World Heritage sites, the world might be a slightly better place.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

UNESCO recently announced four newcomers to their (sadly) growing list of endangered sites: Peru's Machu Picchu; the towns of Omari, Japan and Lijiang, China; and Mont Saint Michel in France.

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