Des­ti­na­tion Not Found

Be­tween cli­mate change and good old fash­ioned hu­man in­ter­fer­ence, we’re at risk of los­ing out on some of the world’s true won­ders in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture. Head to th­ese spots be­fore they dis­ap­pear—the clock’s tick­ing.

HK Magazine - - TRAVEL -

Taj Ma­hal, In­dia Time left... 5 years

With its white mar­ble dome and sym­met­ri­cal minarets, the Taj Ma­hal seems like a page torn straight from “One Thou­sand and One Nights.” Mughal Em­peror Shah Ja­han’s mon­u­ment to the mem­ory of his Per­sian wife Mum­taz Ma­hal, this bril­liant mau­soleum took 22,000 ar­ti­sans and 1,000 ele­phants some 21 years to as­sem­ble.

The mau­soleum it­self, like the royal cou­ple whose tombs now lie side by side in a shad­owy burial crypt be­neath the in­ner cham­ber, em­bod­ies the mar­riage of Per­sian and early Mughal ar­chi­tec­ture, in­ter­weav­ing mar­ble lat­tice screens with semi­precious gem­stones and lo­tus mo­tifs.

The Threat: Ow­ing to heavy foot traf­fic and poor restora­tion work, air pol­lu­tion has been turn­ing the white stone fa­cade into a shade of dirty yel­low, and the iconic river that runs through the gar­den is get­ting mud­dier by the day. En­trance fee $116. Opens 6am-7pm, closed on Fri­day. Agra, Ut­tar Pradesh, In­dia, (+91) 562-222-6431. tajma­hal.gov.in

Venice, Italy Time left... 90 years

The north­east­ern Ital­ian city of Venice is lauded for its post­card-per­fect fa­cade of gothic ar­chi­tec­ture and gon­do­las skim­ming the sur­face of an in­tri­cate net­work of canals. Plan your trip around the end of Jan­uary to early Fe­bru­ary to catch the Car­ni­val of Venice, a bril­liant con­coc­tion of the­atri­cal per­for­mances and mas­quer­ades, with the ar­ti­sanal masks that have al­ways been part of Venice’s iden­tity. 2017’s car­ni­val runs from Feb 11-28, check out the de­tails at carnevale.venezia.it

The Threat: It’s real: Venice IS sink­ing. The “Float­ing City” has sub­sided by around 23cm over the past cen­tury. While global warm­ing and the in­creas­ing fre­quency of floods have brought sea lev­els brim­ming up over the quays, the pump­ing of ground­wa­ter and heavy boat traf­fic is also dis­solv­ing the low salt marsh is­lands Venice is built upon.

Glacier Na­tional Park, USA Time left... 20 years

Glacier Na­tional Park, a mil­lion-acre moun­tain­ous ter­ri­tory boast­ing more than 1,000 species of flora and fauna, is home to a jum­bled mix of glaciers at least 7,000 years old. The Black­feet and Koote­nai tribes first set foot in the area around 10,000 years ago, and they’re shar­ing their knowl­edge with us still. Check in to one of the five sus­tain­able lodges in the park and wake up to the pic­turesque vista of lakes and hills—just the in­dul­gence you need af­ter a day’s trekking, raft­ing or cross-coun­try ski­ing. You’ll need to make reser­va­tions at least six months in ad­vance, as the lodges fill up quick.

The Threat: There was a time when this stretch of moun­tains tow­er­ing across the CanadaUS bor­der was blan­keted with some 150 glaciers. As a re­sult of global warm­ing, Glacier Na­tional Park has around 24 glaciers now; at this rate, we’ll be lucky to see any ac­tive glaciers at all by 2030. En­trance fee $116. Fly to Glacier Park In­ter­na­tional Air­port or take a train to East Glacier Park Sta­tion. Mon­tana, USA, (+1) 406-888-7800, nps.gov/glac

The Dead Sea, Jor­dan Time left... 50 years

Stay­ing afloat isn’t an is­sue in the Dead Sea, which is ac­tu­ally a lake 429m be­low sea level and 10 times as salty as the ocean—mak­ing it far more buoy­ant, too. You can’t say you’ve done the Dead Sea right with­out per­form­ing the “rit­ual” of read­ing a book while bob­bing on the waves, legs in the air. Af­ter­wards, slap on the min­eral-rich mud along the shore for a free body wrap.

Ex­plore the rest of Jor­dan with G Ad­ven­tures’ 7-day “Ex­plore Jor­dan” tour ($10,115) in con­cert with Na­tional Ge­o­graphic, which takes you from the an­cient stone city of Pe­tra to a four-wheeled drive up the red sand dunes of the Wadi Rum desert to a per­sonal spa in the Dead Sea. Find out more at gad­ven­tures.com

The Threat: Due to the di­ver­sion of in­com­ing wa­ter from the Jor­dan River to the north, the wa­ter level of the Dead Sea is drop­ping at the rate of 1m a year, and its sur­face area is shrink­ing dras­ti­cally.

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