Tourism in United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland(commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. It spans an archipelago including Great Britain, the northeastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border with another sovereign state, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland.[9][10] Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Irish Sea.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state. It is a countryconsisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in the capital city of London. There are three devolved national administrations, with varying powers in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, the capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively. There are three Crown Dependencies and fourteen overseas territories that are not constitutionally part of the UK. These territories are remnants of the British Empire, which at its height in 1922 encompassed almost a quarter of the world’s land surface, the largest empire in history. As a result, British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories.

The UK is a developed country, with the world’s sixth largest economy by nominal GDP and eighth largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world’s first industrialised country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the economic and social cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. The UK nevertheless remains a great power with leading economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state while its military expenditure ranks third or fourth in the world, depending on the method of calculation.[20] It is a Member State of the European Union, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, the Council of Europe and the World Trade Organization.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) west of Amesbury and 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones. It is at the centre of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.

Archaeologists have believed that the iconic stone monument was erected around 2500 BC, as described in the chronology below. One recent theory however, has suggested that the first stones were not erected until 2400-2200 BC, whilst another suggests that bluestones may have been erected at the site as early as 3000 BC (see phase 1 below). The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Avebury Henge monument. It is a national legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage, while the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.

Archaeological evidence found by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2008 indicates that Stonehenge served as a burial ground from its earliest beginnings.The dating of cremated remains found on the site indicate burials from as early as 3000 BC, when the initial ditch and bank were first dug. Burials continued at Stonehenge for at least another 500 years.

York Minster

YorkMinster

York Minster is a Gothic cathedral in York, England and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe alongside Cologne Cathedral. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the cathedral for the Diocese of York; it is run by a dean and chapter under the Dean of York. The formal title of York Minster is The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York. The title “Minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.

The minster has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, a Perpendicular Gothic choir and east end and Early English north and south transepts. The nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338, and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window, (finished in 1408), the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window, each lancet being over 16 metres (52 ft) high. The south transept contains a famous rose window.

York has had a Christian presence from the fourth century. The first church on the site was a wooden structure built hurriedly in 627 to provide a place to baptise Edwin, King of Northumbria. Moves toward a more substantial building began in the 630s. A stone structure was completed in 637 by Oswald and was dedicated to Saint Peter. The church soon fell into disrepair and was dilapidated by 670 when Saint Wilfrid ascended to the see of York. He repaired and renewed the structure. The attached school and library were established and by the 8th century were some of the most substantial in northern Europe.

In 741 the church was destroyed in a fire. It was rebuilt as a more impressive structure containing thirty altars. The church and the entire area then passed through the hands of numerous invaders, and its history is obscure until the 10th century. There was a series of Benedictine archbishops, including Saint Oswald, Wulfstan, and Ealdred, who travelled to Westminster to crown William in 1066. Ealdred died in 1069 and was buried in the church.


Portmeirion

Portmeirion

Portmeirion is a popular tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village and is now owned by a charitable trust.

Portmeirion has served as the location for numerous films and television shows, most famously serving as The Village in the 1960s television show The Prisoner.

Despite repeated claims that it was based on the town of Portofino, Italy, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion’s designer, denied this, stating only that he wanted to pay tribute to the atmosphere of the Mediterranean. He did, however, draw from a love of the Italian village stating, “How should I not have fallen for Portofino? Indeed its image remained with me as an almost perfect example of the man-made adornment and use of an exquisite site…”

Williams-Ellis designed and constructed the village between 1925 and 1975. He incorporated fragments of demolished buildings, including works by a number of other architects. Portmeirion’s architectural bricolage and deliberately fanciful nostalgia have been noted as an influence on the development of postmodernism in architecture in the late 20th century.

The main building of the hotel, and the cottages called “White Horses”, “Mermaid” and “The Salutation” had been a private estate called Aber Iâ (Welsh: Ice estuary), developed in the 1850s, itself on the site of a foundry and boatyard which was active in the late 18th century. Williams-Ellis changed the name, which he interpreted as “frozen mouth”, to Portmeirion – Port to place it on the coast, Meirion from the county of Merioneth / Meirionydd, in which it then lay.. The very minor remains of a mediaeval castle (known variously as Castell Deudraeth, Castell Gwain Goch and Castell Aber Iâ) are in the woods just outside the village, recorded by Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) in 1188.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham and 8 miles (13 km) south west of the county town, Warwick. It is the main town of the District of Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term “on” to indicate that it covers a much larger area than the town itself. Four electoral wards make up the urban town of Stratford; Alveston, Avenue and New Town, Mount Pleasant and Guild and Hathaway. The estimated total population for those wards in 2007 was 25,505.

The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of the playwright and poet William Shakespeare, receiving about three million visitors a year from all over the world.The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre, one of Britain’s most important cultural venues.

The regular large influx of tourists and sightseers is recognised by most of the town’s business operators as being the major source of prosperity. The District Council in 2010 allocated a budget of £298,000 to tourist promotion and supports an official open-top tour bus service. However, in March 2010, the District Council withdrew funding of the Tourist Information Centre, causing it and its parent company; South Warwickshire Tourism Ltd to cease trading. The operation had been jointly funded by the Warwick District Council. Negotiations for the appointment of a liquidator were expected to clear the way for a restructured service.

Stratford is close to the UK’s second largest city, Birmingham, and is easily accessible from junction 15 of the M40 motorway. The 7 miles (11 km) £12 million Stratford Northern Bypass opened in June 1987 as the A422.

Stratford-upon-Avon railway station has good rail links from Birmingham (Snow Hill station, Moor Street station) and from London, with up to seven direct trains a day from London Marylebone.

There are plans for a new railway station north of the town, adjacent to the A46 bypass. It will be called Stratford Parkway railway station.

Tower of London

towerof- london

Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison since at least 1100, although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.

The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle. This was a powerful and trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, and despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a castle fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC, although the nature of early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle here since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. As one of the most important fortresses in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle has been involved in many historical conflicts, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and has been besieged, both successfully and unsuccessfully, on several occasions. From the later 17th century, the castle became a military base, with a large garrison. Its importance as a historic monument was recognised from the 19th century, and various restoration programmes have been carried out since.

Few of the present buildings pre-date the Lang Siege of the 16th century, when the medieval fortifications were largely destroyed by artillery bombardment. The notable exception is St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, which dates from the early 12th century. Among other significant buildings of the castle are the Royal Palace, and the early-16th-century Great Hall. The castle also houses the Scottish National War Memorial, and National War Museum of Scotland.

Although formally owned by the Ministry of Defence, most of the castle is now in the care of Historic Scotland, and it is Scotland’s most-visited tourist attraction. Although the garrison left in the 1920s, there is still a military presence at the castle, largely ceremonial and administrative, and including a number of regimental museums. It is also the backdrop to the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and has become a recognisable symbol of Edinburgh and of Scotland.

Tourism in Dubai

Tourism in Dubai is an important part of the Dubai government’s strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate. Dubai’s lure for tourists is based mainly on shopping, but also on its possession of other ancient and modern attractions. Dubai is the most populous emirate of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates. It is distinct from other members of the UAE in that revenues from petroleum and natural gas account for only 6% of its gross domestic product. A majority of the emirate’s revenues are from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) and now, increasingly, from tourism. Most capitals and other major cities have direct flights to Dubai. More than 120 airlines operate to and from Dubai International Airport to more than 260 destinations, making it one of the world’s busiest. Dubai is also the home base of Emirates Airline, international airline of the UAE, which operates scheduled services to more than 100 destinations. In June 2009 Emirates airline designated a special handling area at departures and arrivals for passengers with special needs. As a result, wheelchair passengers will receive a more personalized service.

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the fourth tallest hotel in the world. The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure whose shape mimics the sail of a ship.

Several features of the hotel required complex engineering feats to achieve. The hotel rests on an artificial island constructed 280 m (920 ft) offshore. To secure a foundation, the builders drove 230 forty-meter (130 ft) long concrete piles into the sand.

Engineers created a surface layer of large rocks, which is circled with a concrete honeycomb pattern, which serves to protect the foundation from erosion. It took three years to reclaim the land from the sea, while it took fewer than three years to construct the building itself. The building contains over 70,000 m3 (92,000 cu yd) of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel.

Inside the building, the atrium is 180 m (590 ft) tall.

Burj Al Arab is the world’s second tallest hotel (not including buildings with mixed use). The structure of the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang North Korea, is 9 m (30 ft) taller than the Burj Al Arab.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is currently the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 828 m (2,717 ft).Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010, and is part of the new 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Dubai at the ‘First Interchange’ along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai’s main business district.

The tower’s architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith (now at his own firm) as chief architect, and Bill Baker as chief structural engineer. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea.

The total cost for the project was about US $1.5 billion; and for the entire “Downtown Dubai” development, US $20 billion. In March 2009, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of the project’s developer, Emaar Properties, said office space pricing at Burj Khalifa reached US $4,000 per sq ft (over US $43,000 per m2) and the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, sold for US $3,500 per sq ft (over US $37,500 per m2).

There are unconfirmed reports of several planned height increases since its inception. Originally proposed as a virtual clone of the 560 m (1,837 ft) Grollo Tower proposal for Melbourne, Australia’s Docklands waterfront development, the tower was redesigned by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM).[35] Marshall Strabala, an SOM architect who worked on the project until 2006, late 2008 said that Burj Khalifa was designed to be 808 m (2,651 ft) tall.

The design architect, Adrian Smith, felt that the uppermost section of the building did not culminate elegantly with the rest of the structure, so he sought and received approval to increase it to the current height It has been explicitly stated that this change did not include any added floors, which is fitting with Smith’s attempts to make the crown more slender.

Wild Wadi Water Park

Wild Wadi Water Park

The Wild Wadi Water Park is situated in Jumeirah, an area in Dubai, United Arab Emirates next to the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The water park is operated by Jumeirah International, a Dubai-based hotelier.

Wild Wadi is an outdoor water park with a heated/cooled wave pool, multiple water slides and two artificial surfing machines. In addition, the park has the largest water slide outside of North America. Another feature of the park is an 18 m (59 ft) waterfall that goes off every ten minutes. The water park also has two gift shops, three restaurants and two snack stands.

It was featured in The Amazing Race 5 and The Amazing Race Asia 1, in which teams had to slide down a 21 m (69 ft) drop.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a district in the heart of what has become known as “new Dubai” in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai Marina is a canal city, carved along a two mile (3 km) stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline. When the entire development is complete, it will accommodate more than 120,000 people in residential towers and villas. It is located at 25°4′52.86″N 55°8′38.67″E / 25.08135°N 55.144075°E on Interchange 5 between Jebel Ali Port and the area which hosts Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, and the American University in Dubai. The first phase of this project has been completed. Dubai Marina was inspired by and designed to model the highly successful Concord Pacific Place development along False Creek in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

In order to create the man-made marina, the developers brought the waters of the Persian Gulf into the site of Dubai marina, creating a new waterfront. Another key factor in the design of Dubai Marina is a large central waterway, excavated from the desert and running the length of the 3 km site.More than 12% of the total land area on the site has been given over to this central public space. Although much of this area is occupied by the marina water surface, it also includes almost 8 km of landscaped public walkways.

The marina is entirely man-made and has been developed by the real estate development firm Emaar Properties of the United Arab Emirates and designed by HOK Canada. Upon completion, it is claimed to be the world’s largest man-made marina. The current largest man-made marina in the world is Marina del Rey in California, USA. Unlike other parts of Dubai, there is a publicly accessible foreshoreway around the marina and some sections of public oceanway along the beach with views to Palm Jumeriah.

Mall of the Emirates

Mall of the Emirates

The Mall of the Emirates is a shopping mall in the Al Barsha district of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was developed by Majid Al Futtaim Properties under the leadership of its CEO, Peter Walichnowski, who was also the developer of “Bluewater” near London, Europe’s most successful shopping mall. The mall was designed by the American architectural firm, F+A Architects. Prior to the opening of the Dubai Mall (the world’s largest mall), the Mall of the Emirates was the second largest shopping mall in the Middle East, slightly smaller than City Stars mall.

It contains approximately 2.4E+6 square feet (223,000 m2) of shops and the entire mall forms a total of approximately 6,500,000 square feet (604,000 m2). on September 1, 2010 the new extension to the mall will open, adding more than 40 luxury stores.In a global perspective, the World’s second largest shopping mall, the South China Mall in Dongguan, China, contains approximately 7.1E+6 square feet (660,000 m2) of shopping space in a complex that totals approximately 9.6E+6 square feet (892,000 m2).

Although it features the usual amenities for a mall (a fourteen-screen movie theatre, a gaming arena, a typical variety of stores, and a drama theatre), its biggest claim to fame is the Middle East’s first indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai. With the ski area, one of the largest in the world, the Mall of the Emirates seeks to differentiate itself from the dozen or so other newly completed malls in Dubai and the surrounding emirates. Half of the mall opened in September 2005, then officially opened in late November 2005 with the inauguration of the ski area, although it had already been in operation for several weeks.

Dune bashing

Dune bashing

Dune bashing, also known as desert safari is a form of off-roading, using an off-road vehicle to explore sand dunes. Whilst in some parts of the world, such as the fragile coastal dunes of Australia, it is illegal, in others such as the Middle East; it is a booming attraction for tourists. In the United States, there are a couple of areas as well, most notably the Silver Lake area in Mears, Michigan and portions of the Glamis Dunes in California.

Although most four-wheel drive vehicles are capable of dune bashing, the smaller, lower vehicles like most mini SUVs and compact SUVs are not used because they have a higher risk of getting stuck. Larger sport utility vehicles such as the Toyota Land Cruiser are more common. The vehicles used for this activity are usually equipped with a roll cage to prevent the roof from caving in on passengers in the case of an overturn.

Tourism in the People’s Republic of China

Tourism in China has greatly expanded over the last few decades since the beginning of reform and opening. The emergence of a newly rich middle class and an easing of restrictions on movement by the Chinese authorities are both fueling this travel boom. China has become one of the world’s most-watched and hottest outbound tourist markets. The world is on the cusp of a sustained Chinese outbound tourism boom.

China is the world’s third most visited country in the world. The number of overseas tourists was 55.98 million in 2010.This figure is limited to only mainland China and does not include Hong Kong (16.9 million visitors in 2009) and Macau (10.4 million in 2009) or Taiwan (4.4 million). Foreign exchange income was 41.9 billion U.S. dollars, the world’s fifth largest in 2009. The number of domestic tourist visits totaled 1.61 billion, with a total income of 777.1 billion yuan.

According to the WTO, in 2020, China will become the largest tourist country and the fourth largest for overseas travel. In terms of total outbound travel spending, China is currently ranked fifth and is expected to be the fastest growing in the world from 2006 to 2015, jumping into the number two slot for total travel spending by 2015.

The Bund

The Bund

The Bund is an area of Huangpu District in central Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The area centres on a section of Zhongshan Road (East-1 Zhongshan Road) within the former Shanghai International Settlement, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River, facing Pudong, in the eastern part of Huangpu District. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent areas. The Bund is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai. Building heights are restricted in this area.

The Shanghai Bund has dozens of historical buildings, lining the Huangpu River, that once housed numerous banks and trading houses from the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, Russia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the consulates of Russia and Britain, a newspaper, the Shanghai Club and the Masonic Club. The Bund lies north of the old, walled city of Shanghai. This was initially a British settlement; later the British and American settlements were combined in the International Settlement. A building boom at the end of 19th century and beginning of 20th century led to the Bund becoming a major financial hub of East Asia. The former French Bund, east of the walled city was formerly more a working harbourside.

By the 1940s the Bund housed the headquarters of many, if not most, of the major financial institutions operating in China, including the “big four” national banks in the Republic of China era. However, with the Communist victory in the Chinese civil war, many of the financial institutions were moved out gradually in the 1950s, and the hotels and clubs closed or converted to other uses. The statues of colonial figures and foreign worthies which had dotted the riverside were also removed.

Caohai Lake

Caohai Lake

Caohai Lake is a natural water-body situated in the Northwest Guizhou Province, of Southwest China. The lake is situated on the Weining Mountain, at the outskirt of Weining County. Caohai Village lies directly at the edge of the wetland. Since 1985, the area around the lake constitutes a nature reserve (Caohai Nature Reserve) at provincial level, and since 1992, at national level.

The lake’s original area was 4,666.2 square kilometres (1,801.6 sq mi). However as a result of drainage, cultivation and climate changes during the last decades, the lake area has shrunk to only 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi). Its average depth is of 2 m (6 ft 7 in) and its altitude 2,200 m (7,200 ft) above sea level. The whole reserve area is 120 km2 (46 sq mi).

Changbai Mountains

Changbai Mountains

The Changbai Mountains or Baekdu Mountains (also called Ohnan Mountains) are a mountain range on the border between China and North Korea (41°41′ to 42°51’N; 127°43′ to 128°16’E). The range extends from the Northeast Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning to the North Korean provinces of Ryanggang and Chagang. Most peaks exceed 2,000 metres in height, with the highest mountain being Baekdu Mountain (Changbai Mountain).

The range represents the mythical birthplace of Bukūri Yongšon, ancestor of Nurhaci and the Aisin Gioro Imperial family, who were the founders of the Manchu state and the Chinese Qing Dynasty. The name literally means “Perpetually White Mountain Region” in Mandarin Chinese.

Changbaishan Nature Reserve, established in 1960, was involved in the UNESCO’s “Man and Biosphere” program in 1980 and becomes part of the world’s biosphere reserves. Approved by the State Council in 1986, it becomes a State-level reserve.

The highest mountain is Baekdu Mountain (2,745 m), a volcano which is also known as Changbai Mountain. Baekdu mountain is the source of the Songhua, Tumen (Tuman) and Yalu (Amnok) rivers. Many tributaries of the Liao He also originate from the Changbai Mountains.

The climate in the mountains is very cold during winter, with absolute minima on the highest peaks in January as low as −45°C (−49°F), but reaching 17°C (62°F) in July. Precipitation is low in the winter but in the higher parts very high in the summer, with annual averages reaching as high as 1,150 mm (45 inches) and over 300 mm (12 inches) in July alone. The dry winters mean there are no glaciers even on the highest and wettest peaks, but permafrost extends down to 1,800 metres (5,900 feet) and is continuous on the highest peaks.

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five hundred years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.

Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 m2 (7,800,000 sq ft). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture,and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum’s former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War.

The name “Zijin Cheng” is a name with significance on many levels. Zi, or “Purple”, refers to the North Star, which in ancient China was called the Ziwei Star, and in traditional Chinese astrology was the abode of the Celestial Emperor. The surrounding celestial region, the Ziwei Enclosure, was the realm of the Celestial Emperor and his family. The Forbidden City, as the residence of the terrestrial emperor, was its earthly counterpart. Jin, or “Forbidden”, referred to the fact that no-one could enter or leave the palace without the emperor’s permission. Cheng means a walled city.

Grand Canal (China)

Grand Canal (China)

The Grand Canal in China, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is the longest canal or artificial river in the world. Starting at Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou. The oldest parts of the canal date back to the 5th century BC, although the various sections were finally combined during the Sui Dynasty (581–618 CE).

The total length of the Grand Canal is 1,776 km (1,103 miles). Its greatest height is reached in the mountains of Shandong, at a summit of 42 m (138 ft). Ships in Chinese canals did not have trouble reaching higher elevations after the pound lock was invented in the 10th century (during the Song Dynasty). The canal’s size and grandeur won it the admiration of many throughout history, including the Japanese monk Ennin (794–864), the Persian historian Rashid al-Din (1247–1318), the Korean official Choe Bu (1454–1504) and the Italian missionary Matteo Ricci (1552–1610).

Historically, periodic flooding of the adjacent Yellow River threatened the safety and functioning of the canal. During wartime the high dikes of the Yellow River were sometimes deliberately broken in order to flood advancing enemy troops. This caused disaster and prolonged economic hardships. Despite temporary periods of desolation and disuse, the Grand Canal furthered an indigenous and growing economic market in China’s urban centers through all the ages since the Sui period.

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups. Several walls have been built since the 5th century BC that are referred to collectively as the Great Wall, which has been rebuilt and maintained from the 5th century BC through the 16th century. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains; the majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The most comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the entire Great Wall, with all of its branches, stretches for 8,851.8 km (5,500.3 mi). This is made up of 6,259.6 km (3,889.5 mi) sections of actual wall, 359.7 km (223.5 mi) of trenches and 2,232.5 km (1,387.2 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.

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Tourism in Thailand

Thailand is a country that lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
The country is a kingdom, a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who has reigned since 1946, making him the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.[7] The king is officially titled Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all Faiths. The largest city in Thailand is Bangkok, the capital, which is also the country’s center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities.

Bangkok

bangkok

Bangkok is the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, or กรุงเทพฯ Krung Thep meaning “city of angels” for short, it was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It came to the forefront of Siam when it was given the status as the capital city in 1768 after the burning of Ayutthaya. However, the current Rattanakosin Kingdom did not begin until 1782 when the capital was moved across the river by Rama I after the death of King Taksin. The Rattanakosin capital is now more formally called “Phra Nakhon” (Thai: พระนคร), pertaining to the ancient boundaries in the metropolis’ core and the name Bangkok now incorporates the urban build-up since the 18th century which has its own public administration and governor.

Kanchanaburi

kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is a town (thesaban mueang) in the west of Thailand and the capital of Kanchanaburi province. In 2006 it had a population of 31,327. The town covers the complete tambon Ban Nuea and Ban Tai and parts of Pak Phraek and Tha Makham, all of Mueang Kanchanaburi district, and parts of the tambon Tha Lo of Tha Muang district.

Kanchanaburi, which is located where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge into the Mae Klong river, spans the northern banks of the river and is a popular spot for travelers, its location at the edge of a mountain range keeping it much cooler than the other provinces of central Thailand. The city has two major commercial districts: the downtown area consists of a grid of several streets with office buildings, shop fronts, and a shopping mall; and the riverfront area businesses are mostly located further west along River Kwai Road. Once a year a carnival comes to town and is set up in the area next to the bridge. At night there is a small pyrotechnics display that re-enacts the wartime bombing of the bridge.

Nakhon Pathom

Nakhon Pathom

Nakhon Pathom is a city (thesaban nakhon) in central Thailand, capital of the Nakhon Pathom Province. The one of the most important landmark is the giant Phra Pathom Chedi. The city is also home to Thailand’s only Bhikkhuni temple Wat Song Thammakanlayani (วัดทรงธรรมกัลยาณี), which is also open to women from abroad.

Nakhon Pathom also houses a campus of Silpakorn University within the Sanam Chan Palace.

Rayong

Rayong

Rayong is a city (thesaban nakhon) located on the shore of the Gulf of Thailand, in the east coast region of Thailand. It is the capital of Rayong Province, and covers the tambon Tha Pradu and Pak Nam and parts of tambon Choeng Noen and Noen Phra, all within Mueang Rayong district. As of 2005 the population was 54,641.

Main industry is fishing, and it is the main producer of Thailand’s fish sauce. It is also a center for the chemicals and auto industries.

Chiang Rai City

Chiang Rai City

Mueang Chiang Rai is a city in Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, Changwat Chiang Rai, a northernmost Changwat of Thailand.

The city was founded by King Mangrai in 1262 and became the capital of the Mangrai dynasty. However, it lost this status soon after to a new city built by Mangrai at Chiang Mai. Subsequently, Chiang Rai was conquered by Burma and remained under Burmese rule for several hundred years. It was not until 1786 that Chiang Rai became Chiang Mai vassal. After Siam or Thailand annexed Chiang Mai in 1899 Chiang Rai was proclaimed a province of Thailand in 1933.

In 1432 during the reign of King Sam Fang Kaen of Mangrai dynasty (1402–1441) the Phra Kaeo, or Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha statue, was discovered in Chiang Rai when an earthquake split the Chedi at Wat Phra Kaeo of Chiang Rai City. The beautiful jade figure was then seen concealed within.

In 1992, the City Pillar was moved from Wat Klang Wiang to Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong, where it is known as Sadue Mueang the Navel or Omphalos of the City.

Trang

Trang

Trang is the capital of Trang Province, Thailand. The city (thesaban nakhon) has a population of 59,637 (2005) and covers the whole tambon Thap Thiang of Mueang Trang district

Tourism in United States

The United States of America (also referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, or America) is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to the east and Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also possesses several territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) and with over 308 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and the third largest both by land area and population. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The U.S. economy is the world’s largest national economy, with an estimated 2009 GDP of $14.3 trillion (24% of nominal global GDP and 20% of global GDP at purchasing power parity).

Times Square

Times Square

Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. The extended Times Square area, also called the Theatre District, consists of the blocks between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from east to west, and West 40th and West 53rd Streets from south to north, making up the western part of the commercial area of Midtown Manhattan. Formerly named Long acre Square, Times Square was renamed in April 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building, which is now called One Times Square and is the site of the annual ball drop on New Year’s Eve. Times Square, nicknamed “The Crossroads of the World” and “The Great White Way,” has achieved the status of an iconic world landmark and is a symbol of New York City and the United States.

Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately 4.2-mile (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South in Clark County, Nevada. The Strip lies in the unincorporated areas of Paradise and Winchester. Most of “the Strip” has been designated an All-American Road.

Many of the largest hotel, casino and resort properties in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip. Nineteen of the world’s 25 largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 67,000 rooms. One of the 19, the Las Vegas Hilton, is an “off-Strip” property but is located less than 0.5 miles (0.80 km) east of the Strip. One of the most visible aspects of Las Vegas’ cityscape is its use of dramatic architecture. The modernization of hotels, casinos, restaurants, and residential high-rises on the Strip has established the city as one of the most popular destinations for tourists.

National Mall and Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C.

National Mall

The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service (NPS), and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit. The term “National Mall” commonly includes areas that are officially part of West Potomac Park and Constitution Gardens to the west, and often is taken to refer to the entire area between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol, with the Washington Monument providing a division slightly west of the center. The National Mall receives approximately 24 million visitors each year. On October 15, 1966, the National Mall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1981, the NPS prepared a National Register nomination form that documented the Mall’s historical significance. More recently, the 108th United States Congress enacted the Commemorative Works Clarification and Revision Act of 2003, which prohibits the sitting of new commemorative works and visitor centers in a designated reserve area within the cross-axis of the Mall.

Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall located near the waterfront and today’s Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts, has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain, and is now part of Boston National Historical Park and a well known stop on the Freedom Trail. It is sometimes referred to as “the Cradle of Liberty”. Faneuil Hall is now part of a larger festival marketplace, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which includes three long granite buildings called North Market, Quincy Market, and South Market, and which now operates as an indoor/outdoor mall and food eatery. It was designed by Benjamin Thompson and Associates and managed by The Rouse Company; its success in the late 1970s led to the emergence of similar marketplaces in other U.S. cities.

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort located near Orlando, Florida. The first park built at the resort, Magic Kingdom opened October 1, 1971. Designed and built by WED Enterprises, the park’s layout and attractions are similar to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. In 2009, the park saw an estimated 17.2 million visitors, making it the most visited theme park in the world. Instead of being a replica of a small Midwestern American town, Main Street at Magic Kingdom features some stylistic influences from around the country. Taking its inspiration from New England to Missouri, this design is most noticeable in the four corners area in the middle of Main Street, where each of the four corner buildings represents a different architectural style. There is also no Opera House on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street as there is at Disneyland; instead, there is the Exposition Hall. Most windows on Main Street bear the name of people who were influential at Walt Disney World or other Disney parks. An example of a classic Main Street, U.S.A. attraction is the Walt Disney World Railroad, which transports guest throughout the park, making stops at Frontierland and Mickey’s Toontown Fair.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls is voluminous waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and York. Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections separated by Goat Island: the Horseshoe Falls, which today is entirely on the Canadian side of the border, and the American Falls on the American side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciations (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls is very wide. More than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of waterfalls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.

Kerala- God’s Own Country

Kerala

Kerala, a state situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Named as one of the ten paradises of the world by the National Geographic Traveler, Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives. Its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, has made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Growing at a rate of 13.31%, the tourism industry is a major contributor to the state’s economy

Alappuzha

Alappuzha

Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the one of the places known as “Venice of the East” by Marco Polo (1292). It is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District. Alappuzha is bordered by Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts to the east, Kollam district to the south, Ernakulam district to the north and the Arabian Sea to the west.

Alleppey Coastal Plains are formed of Quaternary sediments. A series of dunes and ridges marking the repeated regressional and transgressional events characterize this coastal plain.

Munnar

Munnar

Munnar is one of the most popular hill-resort towns in Kerala and in southern India. Munnar is located on the Western Ghats, situated in the Idukki district.

The name Munnar is believed to be derived from the Malayalam/Tamil words Munu (three) and aaru (river), referring to the town’s strategic location at the confluence of the Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.

The Munnar panchayat in the Devikulam block is the largest panchayat in the Idukki district having an area measuring nearly 557 km².

Thekkady

thekkady

Thekkady (Idukki district) is the location of the Periyar National Park, which is an important tourist attraction in the Kerala state of India. Periyar National Park.The Thekkady lake as seen from Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Periyar National Park is spread over an area of about 777 km² and comprises a thick evergreen forest with exotic wild life. The sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve sometime in 1978. It has an artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam, built in 1895 across the Periyar river.Murikkady-This place consists of spice and coffee plantations. It is about 5 km from Thekkady.

Varkala

varkala

Varkala is a coastal town and municipality in Thiruvananthapuram district situated in the Indian state of Kerala. It is located 50 kilometres (approx. 32 miles) north-west of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and 37 km south-west of Kollam.

Varkala is the only place in southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea.These tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs are a unique geological feature on the otherwise flat Kerala coast, and is known among geologists as Varkala Formation and a geological monument as declared by the Geological Survey of India. There are numerous water spouts and spas on the sides of these cliffs. Another major landmark in Varkala is the Sivagiri Mutt, established by the social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. The hill-top mausoleum of Sree Narayana Guru is one of the most famous monuments in Kerala. Varkala is a well-known tourist destination. The town has excellent telecommunication facilities, an average-rated water supply system, fire station, several post offices and police station. The town boasts of government-run modern medicine, ayurveda,and nature cure hospital in addition to over 10 private hospitals, clinics and some dental clinics.

Wayanad

wayanad

Wayanad in the north-east of Kerala, India, was formed on November 1, 1980 as the 12th district by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts. Kalpetta is the district headquarters as well as the only municipal town in the district. The region was known as Mayakshetra (Maya’s land) in the earliest records. Mayakshetra evolved into Mayanad and finally to Wayanad. The Folk etymology of the word says it is a combination of Vayal (paddy field) and Naad (land), making it ‘The Land of Paddy Fields’. According to archaeological evidence, the Wayanad(Vayal+nadu(Tamil/Malayalam)) forests have been inhabited for more than three thousand years. Wayanad was originally ruled by Vedar kings. However, after a Kshatriya Prince (Raja of Kumbala), was captured and held hostage in Tirunelli by the Vedars, it was invaded and annexed by a combined force lead by the Raja of Kottayam and the Raja of Kurumbranad.

Tourism in Australia

Tourism in Australia is a large sector of the economy. In 2003/04, the tourism industry represented 3.9% of Australia’s GDP at a value of approximately A$32 billion to the national economy. Tourism’s share of GDP has been slightly decreasing over recent years. 1.1% of total exports of goods and services.
Sydney

Sydney
Sydney

Sydney  is the largest and most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, comprising a cosmopolitan and international population of people from numerous places around the world.

The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet as a penal colony. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are featured prominently. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach. Within the city are many notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Cairns, Queensland

Cairns, Queensland
Cairns

Cairns  is a regional city in Far North Queensland, Australia. The city was named after William Wellington Cairns (then Governor of Queensland). It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but experienced a decline when an easier route was discovered from Port Douglas. It later developed into a railhead and major port for exporting sugar cane, gold and other metals, minerals and agricultural products from surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland region.

The city is rapidly expanding, with a population of 122,731 at the 2006 census. Tourism is the largest income producer for the region, followed closely by the sugar industry. An intercensal estimate for the resident population of the Local Government Area as of June 2008 was 158,700.

Gold Coast, Queensland

Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast

Gold Coast is a city in southeast Queensland, Australia. With a population exceeding 400,000 (2006), it is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and also the most populous non-capital city in Australia. Gold Coast is known as a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, nightlife and rainforest hinterland.

Gold Coast City is situated in the southeast corner of Queensland, to the south of Brisbane, the state capital. It is separated from Logan City, a suburban area of Brisbane by the Albert River. There the Gold Coast City stretches from Beenleigh and Russell Island to the border with New South Wales approximately 56 km (35 miles) south, and extends west to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in World Heritage listed Lamington National Park.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island
Fraser Island

Fraser Island, is an island located along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Brisbane. Its length is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi).It was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1992. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 km². It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s sixth largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia.

The island has rain forests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. It is made up of sand that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment which is carried on strong offshore current northwards along the coast. Unlike many sand dunes, plant life is abundant due to the naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi present in the sand, which release nutrients in a form that can be absorbed by the plants

Uluru

Uluru
Uluru

Uluru , also known as ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs; 450 km (280 mi) by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area. It has many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognisable natural icons. The world-renowned sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high (863 m/2,831 ft above sea level) with most of its bulk below the ground, and measures 9.4 km (5.8 mi) in circumference. Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta have great cultural significance for the Aṉangu Traditional landowners, who led walking tours to inform visitors about the local flora and fauna, bush foods and the Aboriginal dreamtime stories of the area.

Ukraine Tourism

Ukraine attracts more than 20 million foreign citizens every year (23.1 million in 2007).[1] Visitors primarily come from Eastern Europe, but also from Western Europe (6.3 million) and USA and also Canada.[2] The country is the 8th most popular tourism destination in the world.

Ukraine is a destination on the crossroads between central and eastern Europe, between north and south. It borders Russia and is not far from Turkey. It has mountain ranges – the Carpathian Mountains suitable for skiing, hiking, fishing and hunting. The coastline on the Black Sea is a popular summer destination for vacationers. Ukraine has vineyards where they produce native wines, ruins of ancient castles, historical parks, Orthodox and Catholic churches as well as a few mosques and synagogues.

Lviv

lviv
lviv

Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today’s Ukraine and historically also for Ukraine’s neighbour, Poland, as the city before WWII and the following population transfers was the second most important Polish cultural centre. The historical heart of Lviv with its old buildings and cobblestone roads has survived World War II and ensuing Soviet presence largely unscathed.

Lviv is located on the edge of the Roztochia Upland, approximately 70 km from the Polish border and 160 km (100 miles) from the eastern Carpathian Mountains. The average altitude of Lviv is 296 m (971.13 ft) above sea level. Its highest point is the Vysokyi Zamok (High Castle), 409 m (1,341.86 ft) above sea level. This castle has a commanding view of the historic city centre with its distinctive green-domed churches and intricate architecture.

Odessa

Odessa
Odessa

Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast (province) located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 (as of the 2001 census).

The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement, was founded by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea, in 1240 and originally named after him as “Hacıbey”. After a period of Lithuanian control, it passed into the domain of the Ottoman Sultan in 1529 and remained in Ottoman hands until the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792.

Odessa is a warm water port, but militarily it is of limited value. Turkey’s control of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus has enabled NATO to control water traffic between Odessa and the Mediterranean Sea. The city of Odessa hosts two important ports: Odessa itself and Yuzhne (also an internationally important oil terminal), situated in the city’s suburbs. Another important port, Illichivs’k, is located in the same oblast, to the south-west of Odessa.

Yalta

Yalta

Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea. The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black Sea, surrounded by wooded mountains. It enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with many vineyards and orchards in the vicinity.

The term “The Greater Yalta” is used to designate a part of the Crimean southern coast spanning from Foros in the west to Gurzuf in the east and including the city of Yalta and multiple adjacent urban settlements

Sevastopol

Sevastopol

Sevastopol (Ukrainian and Russian: Севастополь; Crimean Tatar: Aqyar) (see pronunciation below) is a port city in Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 (2001). The city, formerly the home of the Russian then Soviet Black Sea Fleet, is now home to a Ukrainian naval base and a Russian naval base in facilities leased by the Russian Navy.

After World War II, Sevastopol was entirely rebuilt. Many top architects and civil engineers from Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and other cities and thousands of workers from all parts of the USSR took part in the rebuilding process which was mostly finished by the mid-1950s. The downtown core situated on a peninsula between two narrow inlets, South Bay and Artillery Bay, features mostly Mediterranean-style, three-story residential buildings with columned balconies and Venetian-style arches, with retail and commercial spaces occupying the ground level.

Visiting the attractions in France

France attracted 78.95 million foreign tourists in 2010, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world. France offers mountain ranges, coastlines such as in Brittany or along the Mediterranean Sea, cities with a rich cultural heritage, châteaux (castles) like Versailles, and vineyards. Tourism is accountable for 6% of the country’s income (4% from French tourists travelling inside France and 2% from foreign tourists), and contributes significantly to the balance of payments.

Disneyland Park (Paris)

disneyland

Disneyland Park  is a theme park at Disneyland Paris, a resort complex just outside of Paris, in the new town of Marne-la-Vallée, France. The first of two parks built at the resort, it opened as Euro Disneyland on April 12, 1992. Operated by the French company Euro Disney S.C.A., the park was designed and built by Walt Disney Imagineering and the park’s layout and attractions are similar to Disneyland in Anaheim, California and the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower

The Eiffel Tower, nickname La dame de fer, (the iron lady) is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest building in Parisand the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named for its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair.

The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. Upon its completion, it surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France after the 2004 Millau Viaduct.

The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by elevator. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.

Centre Georges Pompidou

center george

Centre Georges Pompidou  also known as the Pompidou Centre in English) is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais. It was designed in the style of high-tech architecture.

It houses the Bibliothèque publique d’information, a vast public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research. Because of its location, the Centre is known locally as Beaubourg. It is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who decided its creation, and was officially opened on 31 January 1977 by then-French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. The Centre Pompidou has had over 150 million visitors since 1977.

Musée d’Orsay

musee-d-orsay-

The Musée d’Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the left bank of the Seine, housed in the former railway station, the Gare d’Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts edifice built between 1898 and 1900. It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography, and is probably best known for its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces (the largest in the world) by such painters such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986.

Tourism in Brazil

Tourism in Brazil is a growing sector and key to the economy of several regions of the country. The country had 4.8 million visitors in 2009, ranking as the fourth largest tourist destination in the Americas, the main destination in South America, and second in Latin America after Mexico, in terms of the international tourist arrivals. Revenues from international tourists reached US$5.3 billion in 2009. Both arrivals and revenues fell in 2009 as compared to the previous year due to the effects of the 2008-2009 economic crisis

São Paulo

 

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere, and the world’s 7th largest metropolitan area. The city is the capital of the state of São Paulo, the most populous Brazilian state. The name of the city honors Saint Paul. São Paulo exerts strong regional influence in commerce and finance as well as arts and entertainment. São Paulo is considered an Alpha – World City
The city has many landmarks, such as the Paulista Museum, the neo-gothic Metropolitan Sé Cathedral, the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), the Monumento às Bandeiras (Monument to the Bandeiras) and Niemeyer’s Ibirapuera Bienal Complex; and more recently the Octávio Frias de Oliveira Bridge (Estaiada Bridge) in the South Side. Paulista Avenue, in Midtown, is the city´s most important financial center.

Rio de Janeiro

commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America,6th largest in the Americas, and 26th in the world

Rio de Janeiro represents the second largest GDP in the country(and 30th largest in the world), estimated at about 201 billion reais (IBGE/2010), and is the headquarters of two major Brazilian companies – Petrobras and Vale, and major oil companies and telephony in Brazil, besides the largest conglomerate of media and communications companies in South America, the Globo Organizations. The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific production – according to 2005 data.

THE AMAZON FOREST

The Amazon Rainforest is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. This basin encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), of which five and a half million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres) are covered by the rainforest. This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, and with minor amounts in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. States or departments in four nations bear the name Amazonas after it. The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.

IGUASSU FALLS

Iguazu Falls located on the border of the Brazilian State of Paraná and the Argentine Province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River starts at the city of Curitiba and runs for the most part of the course in Brazil and at the end at the border of Brazil and Argentina. The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi) of the Iguazu River. Some of the individual falls are up to 82 metres (269 ft) in height, though the majority are about 64 metres (210 ft). The Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo in Spanish or Garganta do Diabo in Portuguese), a U-shaped, 82-meter-high, 150-meter-wide and 700-meter-long (490 by 2300 feet) cataract, is the most impressive of all, and marks the border between Argentina and Brazil.