Kyushu Island in Japan

October 16th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Kyushu Food Booth © Ominae/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kyushu Food Booth © Ominae/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kyushu or Kiushu is the third biggest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternative ancient names include Kyūkoku, Chinzei, and Tsukushi-no-shima. The historical regional name Saikaidō referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands. As of 2016, Kyushu has a population of 13 million and covers 36,782 square kilometres (14,202 sq mi). The island is mountainous, and Japan’s most active volcano, Mount Aso at 1,591 metres (5,220 ft), is on Kyushu. There are many other signs of tectonic activity, including numerous areas of hot springs. The most famous of these are in Beppu, on the east shore, and around Mt. Aso, in central Kyushu. The island is separated from Honshu by the Kanmon Straits. Today’s Kyushu Region is a politically defined region that consists of the seven prefectures on the island of Kyushu (which also includes the former Tsushima and Iki as part of Nagasaki), plus Okinawa Prefecture to the south. The region, without the Okinawa Prefecture, includes 2159 islands with a total area of 5450 km².   read more…

Jakarta in Indonesia

October 4th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Jalan Jenderal Sudirman © Ecal saputra/cc-by-sa-4.0

Jalan Jenderal Sudirman © Ecal saputra/cc-by-sa-4.0

Jakarta, officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, is the capital and most populous city of Indonesia. Located on the northwest coast of the world’s most populous island of Java, the city is the center of economics, culture and politics of Indonesia, with a population of 10.2 million. Greater Jakarta metropolitan area, which is known as Jabodetabek (a name formed by combining the initial syllables of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi), is the second largest urban agglomeration in the world, with a population of 30.4 million inhabitants. Jakarta’s business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over Indonesian archipelago, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures. Established in the fourth century as Sunda Kelapa, the city became an important trading port for the Kingdom of Sunda. It was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies, which was known as Batavia at that time. As the economic and political capital of Indonesia with so many different languages and ethnic groups, it is difficult to describe or define a common culture for Jakarta, as the city attracts many native immigrants, from the vast and diverse Indonesian archipelago, who also bring their various languages, dialects, foods (Indonesian cuisine and Betawi cuisine) and customs.This diversity of origins and languages leads to differences in regard to religion, traditions and linguistic and all in all culture. However ethnic Betawi are considered as the indigenous people of Jakarta. Jakarta consists of five Kota Administratif (Administrative city/municipality), each headed by a mayor – and a Kabupaten Administratif (Administrative regency). Each city and regency again is divided into districts/Kecamatan. The administrative cities/municipalities of Jakarta are:   read more…

The Lotte World Tower in South Korea

October 1st, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month |

© Neroson/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Neroson/cc-by-sa-4.0

Lotte World Tower is a 123-floor, 555-metre (1,821 ft) supertall skyscraper located in Seoul in South Korea. It opened to the public on April 3, 2017 and is currently the tallest building in the OECD, and is the 5th tallest building in the world. After 13 years of planning and site preparation, the tower gained final approval to start construction by the government in November 2010 and the first groundbreaking activities of piling and frame assembly were observed at the construction site in March 2011. At New Year 2016 the LED-pixels of the facade showed “2016”. On April 2, 2017, Lotte shot off fireworks to celebrate its official opening. The Building is part of Lotte World recreation complex. The opening of the tower took place on April, 3rd 2017, the 50th birthday of Lotte Confectionery Co., Ltd. The company got it’s name after the character Lotte (“Charlotte”) from the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.   read more…

The Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

September 25th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage |

Ha Long Bay © Arianos

Ha Long Bay © Arianos

Hạ Long Bay (Vietnamese: Vịnh Hạ Long) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. Administratively, the bay belongs to Hạ Long City, Cẩm Phả town, bordered on the south and southeast by the Gulf of Tonkin, on the north by China, and is a part of Vân Đồn District. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. Hạ Long Bay is a center of a larger zone which includes Bái Tử Long Bay to the northeast, and Cát Bà Island to the southwest. These larger zones share a similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate and cultural characters. Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km², including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km² with a high density of 775 islets. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. The geo-diversity of the environment in the area has created biodiversity, including a tropical evergreen biosystem, oceanic and sea shore biosystem. Hạ Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.   read more…

Nusa Lembongan in Indonesia

September 18th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Mushroom Beach © fotopedia.com - Jean-Marie Hullot/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mushroom Beach © fotopedia.com – Jean-Marie Hullot/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nusa Lembongan is an island located southeast of Bali in Indonesia. It is part of a group of three islands that make up the Nusa Penida district, of which it is the most famous. This island group in turn is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Administratively, the island is part of a subdistrict of Klungkung Regency. Nusa Lembongan is one of three small offshore islands which make up a sub-regency of Klungkung, the others being: Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan. Nusa Lembongan has the vast majority of the tourist infrastructure within the sub-regency and is a popular side destination for visitors to mainland Bali.   read more…

Kolkata in India

September 4th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

South City Mall © Kolkatan/cc-by-sa-3.0

South City Mall © Kolkatan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, the official name until 2001, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India’s oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. In 2011, the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Kolkata Metropolitan Area‘s economy has been estimated at up to $150 billion (GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity) making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.   read more…

Kyoto in Japan

August 11th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, UNESCO World Heritage |

Kyoto City Hall © Tomomarusan/cc-by-2.5

Kyoto City Hall © Tomomarusan/cc-by-2.5

Kyoto is a city located in the central part of the island of Honshu in Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, it is now the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture located in the Kansai region, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. Kyoto is also known as the thousand-year capital. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference that resulted in the protocol on greenhouse gas emissions that bears the city’s name. Home to 37 institutions of higher education, Kyoto is one of the academic centers in Japan. Kyoto University is considered to be one of the top national universities nationwide. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang’an (present-day Xi’an). The Imperial Palace faced south, resulting in Ukyō (the right sector of the capital) being on the west while Sakyō (the left sector) is on the east. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, and Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a far greener feel. Surrounding areas do not follow the same grid pattern as the center of the city, though streets throughout Kyoto share the distinction of having names.   read more…

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