Turkey - Mardin Cultural Landscape

Postcard 1
Mardin,a city in southeastern Turkey, is known for its Arab-style architecture, and for its strategic location on a rocky mountain overlooking the plains of northern Syria. Thanks to Ezgi of Turkey.

Postcard 2
City view of Mardin. Thanks to Kader of Mardin, Turkey.

Laos - Hin Nam No National Protected Area

"Hin Nam No NPA is part of a large, dissected karst plateau which also comprises the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park and Natural World Heritage site across the border in Vietnam. Thus, there are many similarities, but some key differences between the two properties. One of the key differences is the climate on the two sides of the border. On the Vietnam side the prevailing climate is generally moist throughout the year as a result of the influences of the South China Sea and the Truong Son Range, which forms an important divide between the Phong Nha - Ke Bang and Hin Nam No portions of the karst plateau. In comparison, Hin Nam No NPA has a tropical, monsoonal climate with a distinct wet season and a long, hot, dry season. These differences in climate have influenced the vegetation and possibly the geomorphology of the two properties.

In terms of vegetation, habitats and biodiversity (criterion x), Hin Nam No is estimated to be 31% forested, with 20% of dense or mature forest, whereas Phong Nha- Ke Bang is estimated to be 94% forested with 84% of dense or mature forest. Above 700 m elevation, the Phong Nha - Ke Bang side of the plateau supports submontane and tropical moist evergreen forests on limestone karst. The forests in the east of Hin Nam No are the only example of tropical moist evergreen forest on limestone on the Lao PDR side of the plateau. In other areas of Hin Nam No the exposed limestone karst supports a sparse, stunted, open, deciduous forest community of mainly xerophytic species. Hin Nam No generally has lower levels of recorded biodiversity than Phong Nha Ke Bang. For example, Hin Nam No has 452 species of vascular plants, and 377 vertebrate species comprised of 55 mammals, 184 birds, 21 reptiles, 21 amphibians and 96 fish. Corresponding figures for Phong Nha - Ke Bang are 2744 species of vascular plants and 785 vertebrate species comprised of 128 mammals, 314 birds, 117 reptiles, 58 amphibians and 170 fish. However, the 7 primate species recorded for Hin Nam No compare favourably with the 9 primate species recorded for Phong Nha - Ke Bang. lt is unclear to what degree these differences in biodiversity reflect differences in climate or other factors, and how much they may reflect the limited field studies and sampling in Hin Nam No."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Xe Bang Fai River Cave postcard. I bought both postcards in Laos in Luang Prabang and have them cancelled with stamps in Vientiane General Post Office in 2017.

Postcard 1

Postcard 2

Bahamas - Historic Lighthouses of The Bahamas

"1) Elbow Reef, Hope Town, Abaco (collected)
2) Elbow Cay (Cay Sal)
3) Hole in the Wall, Abaco
4) Gun Cay, Bimini
5) San Salvador
6) Great Isaac, Bimini
7) Great Stirrup Cay, Berry Islands
8) Cay Lobos
9) Castle Island
10) Inagua
11) Bird rock, Crooked Island

Being nominated are eleven lighthouses constructed by the British Imperial Lighthouse Service (ILS) between 1836 and 1887. Prior, wrecks abounded throughout The Bahamas in the nineteenth century and concerned shipping interests implored the British to increase navigational aids in the colony. Although designed by Trinity House in England, these lightstations were built and manned by the hands of local British subjects, the ancestors of present-day Bahamians. It has remained their daily job to keep international shipping safely off the reefs and sandbanks. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, the ILS updated all of the lightstations so that each had a Fresnel lens, a Chance Brothers mercury bath turning mechanism, and a mantle burning Hood Petroleum Vapor burner. Semi-annual inspection trips were made to each station by the ILS inspector from his home base in Nassau."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Elbow Reef or Candy striped lighthouse of  Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas. Thanks to Christy for mailing fro Bahamas.

Iceland - Vatnajokull National Park

"Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland, is situated in the eastern part of the country and stretches coast to coast from south to north. It is the largest national park in Europe, covering a total area of 12,850 km2 or almost 13% of Iceland. Key features are Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap by volume in Europe, and several highly active volcanic systems within and outside of the ice cap. The volcanism is connected both to a tectonic rift zone that traverses the park from southwest to northeast and the Iceland mantle plume (geological hot spot), which is located directly beneath it. The interplay of ice and fire has created in one place a huge range of volcanic-, geothermal- and geomorphological features, unparalleled in any other place in the world. Within the park boundaries are also numerous cultural heritage sites..."
Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
Glacier cave of Vatnajokull. Thanks to Patrik of Estonia who was visiting Iceland.

Postcard 2
Svartofoss Waterfall in Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland. Thanks to Marie who was on holiday in Iceland.

China - Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton)

“Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton)” is a serial nomination of the representative monuments and sites of Quanzhou (Zayton) - an important port city in China in the prosperous period of the Maritime Silk Roads. A total of 16 monuments and sites are nominated, categorised into “historical sites and relics of navigation and trade”, “historical sites and relics of multiculture” and “historical sites and relics of urban construction and land transport”, representing the prosperity of Quanzhou in the Song (960-1279 AD) and Yuan (1271-1368 AD) dynasties as an important hub of the Maritime Silk Roads from multiple perspectives."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Quanzhou was once the largest maritime post in China before the Ming Dynasty. Thanks to Phoebe  of Hong Kong.

Oman - Ancient City of Qalhat

"Qalhat is a manifestation of a developed medieval city port of complex trade links with the interior of Oman and beyond the Indian Ocean. Certainly Near Eastern, Arabian, and Far Eastern influences and artifacts are mixed here. Qalhat had a great political influence until its destruction in 1508. The second, third, forth, and fifth criteria are clearly met by this ancient city, its environment and monuments."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

View of Bibi Mariyam Tomb of Qulhat - Galhat, Oman. Thanks to Nathalie of France who sent from Oman.

Myanmar - Inle Lake

"A large mountain lake in a well preserved landscape. Several ethnic groups use the lake and its shores as their central landmark. The cultural traditions of numerous villages around it focus on the lake and have distinctive features: - internal navigation, fishing and commerce; - floating vegetable gardens installed on artificial rafts. - distinctive housing shapes and types. - annual Buddhist fezstival on the lake. The symbiosis and ecology of the lake, its shores and its villagers constitute a genuine instance of cultural landscape." Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
Inta fishermen standing at the stern on a slender boat, rowing with one leg on Inle Lake, located in the heart of Shan State, 1500m. Thanks to Gowan from South Korea who visited Myanmar.

Postcard 2
Inle Lake - famous for unique leg-rowers, sprawling lake, floating villages and floating vegetable gardens. Postcard mailed in an envelope from Myanmar.

Postcard 3
Fisherman in Inle Lake. Thanks to Ray of Hong Kong.

Cambodia - Koh Ker

I bought this set of 10 postcards of Koh Ker at Siem Reap National Museum. Anyone interested to swap one of these postcards, please email me.

Cambodia - Kulen Waterways

Kbal Spean. I bought this postcard in Siem Reap in March 2017.

Cambodia - Beng Melea

I bought this rather expensive postcard of Beng Melea in Siem Reap, Cambodia on March 2017.

Spain - Greek Archaeological ensemble in Empúries, l'Escala, Girona

"The Greco-Roman city of Empuries is located in the municipality of L'Escala, in the region of Alt Empordà, in the province of Girona (Girona), northeast of the Iberian Peninsula (Costa Brava). Empuries is the only archaeological site on the Iberian Peninsula where the remains of a Greek city (Emporion) and those of a Roman city (Emporiae) are combined."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Greek archaelogical site of Empuries, Costa Brava in Northeasterbn Catalonia. Thanks to Josep and Assumpta of Spain.

Iran - The Historical–Cultural Axis of Fin, Sialk, Kashan

"Soleymanieh Spring in Fin (Kashan) is the origin of life in this region and generated civilizations like Sialk that belong to 6th millennium BC and other instances onward. This spring generated Garden of Fin, the most prominent Iranian garden. The historical region of Kashan is an especial example of civilization from early Islamic period onward. This region contains several properties like mosques, bazaar, tekyehes (a place where Shiite Moslems mourn the martyrdom of an Imam), houses and industrial units."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Postcard 1
Brojerdiha House, Kashan. From postcard set of Iran the Ancient Sun - thanks to Fadli of Malaysia.

Postcard 2
Ameriha House, Kashan. From postcard set of Iran the Ancient Sun - thanks to Fadli.

Iran - Taq-e Bostan

"This complex consists of a series of properties from prehistoric to historical periods such as Morad-Hassel Tepe, an ancient village, a Parthian graveyard and a Sassanid hunting ground. The most significant property of the complex belongs to the Sassanid one which comprises of two porticos (large and small Ivans) as well as outstanding bas-reliefs from the same period."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Taq-e Bustan, Kermanshah, Iran. From postcard set of Iran the Ancient Sun. Thanks to Fadli of Malaysia who bought it from Iran.

Iran - Kerman Historical-Cultural Structure

"One of the most important reasons for establishment of Kerman City is its location as a cross road. From long long ago, this city has been one of the important locations that connect West to East and North to South. Such a specification has had a remarkable influence on construction and development of bazaar, in a way that the commercial zones of the city have been expanded to the outskirts of Kerman. As a result, the commercial axis and city plan have been designed based on the main commercial lines. The south-north line begins from Old Bazaar (Bazaar Kohneh) to Bazaar Aziz i.e. starting from Rigabad Gate to the surroundings of Gabri Gate and the east-west line of Kerman Bazaar that begins from Mosque gate and ends to Arg Square. Such a plan proves its important role and makes the architectural plan of the commercial axis as a cross-shaped intersection which led to be one of the most beautiful Iranian bazaars. Additionally, it provides the most accessibility between the bazaar and the old quarters of the city."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Ganjali Khan Square, Kerman, Iran. From postcard set of Iran the Ancient Sun. Thanks to Fadli of Malaysia.

India - Bahá'í House of Worship at New Delhi

"The Baha’i House of Worship in New Delhi is the Mother Temple of Baha’i faith in the Indian subcontinent. It is an edifice eminently and elegantly distinctive in its design, and uniquely inspirational in its purpose: to represent the Oneness of God, the Oneness of all Religions, and the Oneness of Mankind, the guiding tenets of Baha’i faith.

Expressionist in style and spectacular in its architectural and structural and ingenuity, the House of Worship takes its inspiration from the exquisite lotus flower - a symbol of beauty, purity and divinity intimately associated with worship and a common strand running through the symbolism of many religions in India as well as their international sects and manifestations.

The nine-sided , House of Worship Composed from 45 petals of white exposed concrete “Shell Structure” soaring to a height of more than 34 meters and adorned with shimmering white marble external cladding, sits majestically on 27 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, located in southern New Delhi. Designed by Iranian-Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba, the House of Worship (popularly called the Lotus Temple), consists of five sets of leaves or petals (3 external and 2 internal sets) each set consisting of 9 thin cast-in-place-jointless concrete shells. The outermost set of nine petals, called the entrance leaves, opens outwards and forms the nine entrances all around the outer hall. The next set of nine petals, or outer leaves, points inwards. The entrance and outer leaves together cover the outer hall. The third set of nine petals, called the inner leaves, appears to be partly closed. Only the tips open out, somewhat like a partly opened bud. This portion, which rises above the rest, forms the main structure housing the 2 sets of nine petals each thin shell structures called interior dome which houses central prayer hall, which seats 1,300.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

I visited this awesome Baha'i House of Worship during my trip to New Delhi in November, 2106. Bought this postcard in New Delhi.