Sacred Mountains of China

8 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Sacred Mountains of China © Pufacz/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sacred Mountains of China © Pufacz/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Sacred Mountains of China are divided into several groups. The Five Great Mountains refers to five of the most renowned mountains in Chinese history, and they were the subjects of imperial pilgrimage by emperors throughout ages. They are associated with the supreme God of Heaven and the five main cosmic deities of Chinese traditional religion. The group associated with Buddhism is referred to as the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism, and the group associated with Taoism is referred to as the Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism. The sacred mountains have all been important destinations for pilgrimage, the Chinese expression for pilgrimage being a shortened version of an expression which means “paying respect to a holy mountain“.   read more…

Babylon in Iraq

6 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Ishtar Gate in Babylon © Ali Kareem Yousif/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ishtar Gate in Babylon © Ali Kareem Yousif/cc-by-sa-4.0

Babylon was the capital city of the ancient Babylonian empire, which itself is a term referring to either of two separate empires in the Mesopotamian area in antiquity. These two empires achieved regional dominance between the 19th and 15th centuries BC, and again between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. The city, built along both banks of the Euphrates river, had steep embankments to contain the river’s seasonal floods. The earliest known mention of Babylon as a small town appears on a clay tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334–2279 BC) of the Akkadian Empire. The site of the ancient city lies just south of present-day Baghdad. UNESCO inscribed Babylon as a World Heritage Site in 2019.   read more…

The Maharajas’ Express

27 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Jenniferknott/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Jenniferknott/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Maharajas’ Expres is a luxury tourist train owned and operated by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation(IRCTC). It runs on 4 routes covering more than 12 destinations across North-West and Central India, mainly centered on Rajasthan between the months of October and April.   read more…

Yungang Grottoes in China

26 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Cave 12 © G41rn8/cc-by-sa-4.0

Cave 12 © G41rn8/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Yungang Grottoes, formerly the Wuzhoushan Grottoes, are ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes near the city of Datong in the province of Shanxi. They are excellent examples of rock-cut architecture and one of the three most famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China. The others are Longmen and Mogao.   read more…

Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

24 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© panoramio.com - lienyuan lee/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – lienyuan lee/cc-by-3.0

Sun Moon Lake is a lake in Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan. It is the largest body of water in Taiwan. The area around the lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake surrounds a tiny island called Lalu. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name. Sun Moon Lake is located 748 m (2,454 ft) above sea level. It is 27 m (89 ft) deep and has a surface area of approximately 7.93 km² (3.06 sq mi). The area surrounding the lake has many trails for hiking.   read more…

Orchard Road in Singapore

6 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

ION Orchard Shopping Mall © flickr.com - Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0

ION Orchard Shopping Mall © flickr.com – Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0

Orchard Road, often known colloquially as Orchard, is a major 2.5 km (1.6 mi)–long road in the Central Area of Singapore. A famous tourist attraction, it is an upscale shopping area of Singapore, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. Orchard Road got its name from the nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards or the plantations that the road once led to. Such plantations were common in the area in the 19th century. The Orchard Planning Area is a planning area as specified by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It is part of the Central Area located within the Central Region. Orchard is bordered by Newton in the east and north, Tanglin in the west, River Valley in the south and Museum to the southeast.   read more…

Theme Week Bhutan – Thimphu

31 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Tashichho Dzong © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tashichho Dzong © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. It is situated in the western central part of Bhutan, and the surrounding valley is one of Bhutan’s dzongkhags, the Thimphu District. The ancient capital city of Punakha was replaced as capital by Thimphu in 1955, and in 1961 Thimphu was declared as the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan by the 3rd Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.   read more…

Theme Week Bhutan – Paro

30 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Taktsang Monastery © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Taktsang Monastery © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Paro is a town and seat of Paro District, in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. It is a historic town with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered throughout the area. It is also home to Paro Airport, Bhutan’s sole international airport. The main street has many examples of traditionally decorated buildings. Paro is home to Bhutan’s tallest building, the Ta-Dzhong, which is 22 meters (72 feet) high, and has 6 floors. It was completed in 1649.   read more…

Theme Week Bhutan – Trongsa

29 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

Trongsa © flickr.com - Thomas Wanhoff/cc-by-sa-2.0

Trongsa © flickr.com – Thomas Wanhoff/cc-by-sa-2.0

Trongsa, previously Tongsa, is a Thromde or town, and the capital of Trongsa District in central Bhutan. The name means “new village” in Dzongkha. The first temple was built in 1543 by the Drukpa lama Ngagi Wangchuck, who was the great-grandfather of Ngawang Namgyal, Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the unifier of Bhutan.   read more…

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