Theme Week Afghanistan

25 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Landscapes of Afghanistan © PD-USGov-USAID - PD-USGov-Military-Army - PD-USGov-Military-Army-USACE

Landscapes of Afghanistan © PD-USGov-USAID – PD-USGov-Military-Army – PD-USGov-Military-Army-USACE

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country in South and Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast. Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, mostly composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, and the country’s strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia. The land has historically been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Mauryas, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviets, and by the United States with allied countries. The land also served as the source from which the Kushans, Hephthalites, Samanids, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khaljis, Mughals, Hotaks, Durranis, and others have risen to form major empires.   read more…

Theme Week Uzbekistan

20 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Old City of Bukhara at sunset © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0

Old City of Bukhara at sunset © flickr.com – Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0

Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia. It is bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Tajikistan to the southeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest. Along with Liechtenstein, it is one of only two doubly landlocked countries. As a sovereign state, Uzbekistan is a secular, unitary constitutional republic. It comprises 12 provinces and one autonomous republic. The capital and largest city of Uzbekistan is Tashkent. The Uzbek economy is in a gradual transition to the market economy, with foreign trade policy being based on import substitution. In September 2017, the country’s currency became fully convertible at market rates. Uzbekistan is a major producer and exporter of cotton. With the gigantic power-generation facilities of the Soviet era and an ample supply of natural gas, Uzbekistan has become the largest electricity producer in Central Asia. Renewable energy constitutes more than 23% of the country’s energy sector, with hydroelectricity and solar energy having 21.4% and 2% respectively. As of late 2018, the republic was given a BB- rating by both Standard and Poor (S&P) and Fitch. Strengths indicated by Brookings Institution include Uzbekistan having large liquid assets, high economic growth, and low public debt. Among the constraints holding the republic back are low GDP per capita, something the government could influence by changing how it accounts for sectors of the economy not currently included.   read more…

Theme Week Vietnam

23 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Nha Trang beach © ntt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nha Trang beach © ntt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Southeast Asian Indochinese Peninsula. With an estimated 95.5 million inhabitants as of 2018, it is the 15th most populous country in the world. Vietnam shares its land borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. It shares its maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia through the South China Sea. Its capital city is Hanoi, while its most populous city is Ho Chi Minh City, also known by its former name of Saigon.   read more…

Theme Week Thailand

24 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Yaowarat Road, the centre of Bangkok's Chinatown © flickr.com - Ninara/cc-by-2.0

Yaowarat Road, the centre of Bangkok’s Chinatown © flickr.com – Ninara/cc-by-2.0

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese Peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km² (198,120 sq mi) and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world’s 50th-largest country by total area and the 22nd-most-populous country. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar 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 Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. It is a unitary state. Although nominally the country is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup, in 2014, established a de facto military dictatorship under a junta. Thailand is an emerging economy and is considered a newly industrialised country. Thailand functions as an anchor economy for the neighbouring developing economies of Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.   read more…

Theme Week Philippines

20 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Boracay Island © panoramio.com - Alexey Komarov/cc-by-3.0

Boracay Island © panoramio.com – Alexey Komarov/cc-by-3.0

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.   read more…

Theme Week Apulia

23 December 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Quartieri Settecenteschi in Foggia © panoramio.com - trolvag/cc-by-sa-3.0

Quartieri Settecenteschi in Foggia © panoramio.com – trolvag/cc-by-sa-3.0

Apulia is a region of Italy, located in the southern peninsular section of the country, bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers (7,469 sq mi), and its population is about four million. It is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, and Basilicata to the southwest. Its capital city is Bari. Apulia’s coastline is longer than that of any other mainland Italian region. In the north, the Gargano promontory extends out into the Adriatic like a ‘sperone’ (“spur”), while in the south, the Salento peninsula forms the ‘tacco’ (“heel”) of Italy’s boot. The highest peak in the region is Mount Cornacchia (1,152 meters above sea level) within the Daunian Mountains, in the north along the Apennines. It is home to two national parks, the Alta Murgia National Park and Gargano National Park. Outside of national parks in the North and West, most of Apulia and particularly Salento is geographically flat with only moderate hills.   read more…

Theme Week Malaysia

25 November 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Fort Cornwallis in Penang, first British colony in what was to become Malaysia © Cmglee/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fort Cornwallis in Penang, first British colony in what was to become Malaysia © Cmglee/cc-by-sa-3.0

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government (List of cities and towns in Malaysia by population). With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world’s 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, home to large numbers of endemic species.   read more…

Theme Week Tibet

21 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Putuo Zongcheng Temple © Gisling/cc-by-sa-4.0

Putuo Zongcheng Temple © Gisling/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tibet is a region covering much of the Tibetan Plateau in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 5,000 m (16,000 ft). The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.   read more…

Theme Week Nepal

23 September 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Terraced rice farming, south of Ghara © flickr.com - Greg Willis/cc-by-sa-2.0

Terraced rice farming, south of Ghara © flickr.com – Greg Willis/cc-by-sa-2.0

Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south, east, and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km (17 mi) of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language.   read more…

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲