The ancient temples at Angkor, Cambodia, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Eugene Hoshiko / Associated…)
The 12th-century temples in Angkor, Cambodia, stand as astonishing remnants of the powerful Khmer Empire that once ruled Southeast Asia. The ancient site last week picked up a new accolade: most beloved World Heritage Site.
That assessment comes from travel website TripAdvisor, which partnered with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre to find out which sites travelers would recommend as must-see tourist stops. Nearly 250,000 people over the last year submitted feedback on 789 sites (the list has expanded to 911) identifed by UNESCO as places of natural beauty and rich cultural value.
Here are the sites that travelers most often recommended:
1. Angkor, Cambodia
2. Historic center of Rome
3. Historic center of Florence,Italy
4. Historic areas of Istanbul, Turkey
5. Old and new areas of Edinburgh, Scotland
6. Historic center of Prague, Czech Republic
7. City and lagoon, Venice, Italy
8. Architecture of Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain
9. Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Cathedral, London
10. Historic Center of Vienna
Travelers also ranked the top 10 sites in the best condition (Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and Blenheim Palace in England took top spots) and top 10 sites in need of attention (the Kasbah in Algiers and the historic center of Sao Luis, Brazil, topped that list.)
As part of the partnership, TripAdvisor said it will donate up to $1.5 million to the World Heritage Centre to help preserve the cultural and historic sites.
Check out a profile of sites that made the list a couple of years ago at "New natural & cultural World Heritage Sites from UNESCO."