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| DotMImage=[[File:Piazza della Repubblica.jpg|none|320px]]
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| DotMImage=[[File:HK-Panorama-Lugard Road.jpg|none|320px]]
| DotMBlurb= '''[[Rome]]''' is a famed city of the Roman Empire, the Seven Hills, ''La Dolce Vita'' (the sweet life), the [[Vatican City]] and Three Coins in the Fountain. As a millennium-long center of power, culture and religion, Rome has exerted a huge influence over the world in its c. 2500 years of existence. On '''21 Apr''' the '''city is celebrating its birthday''' so if you're in Rome, watch for festivals, concerts, and special events. There's usually a fireworks display over the Tiber River and gladiator shows around the forum area. <small>([[Rome|more...]])</small>
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| DotMBlurb= '''[[Hong Kong]]''' is a place with multiple personalities, as a result of being both Cantonese Chinese and under a more recent contemporary ex-British influence. It is a '''unique destination that has absorbed people and cultural influences''' from places as diverse as Vietnam and Vancouver and proudly proclaims itself to be ''Asia's World City''. While "legally" part of China, Hong Kong is secluded from mainland China as a dependency with a high degree of autonomy. The former colony has its own constitution which lays out its own government, own laws, separate immigration controls, financial system, own passport and is officially bi-lingual (Cantonese and English). This important East Asian hub offers its visitors lots of attractions. In June the city celebrates '''Dragon Boat Festival''' with colorful dragon boat races and food celebrations. <small>([[Hong Kong|more...]])</small>
  
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| OTBPImage=[[File:StAugustineLighthouseFL.jpg|none|right|230px]]
| OTBPBlurb= '''[[Beppu]]''' (別府), [[Japan]] is a relatively small city, famous for its unique and visually stunning hot springs (aptly named Hells of Beppu), one of Japan's [[Japan's Top 3|Three Great Hot Springs]]. Beppu's top sight is the eight '''hells''' (地獄 ''Jigoku''), multicolored volcanic pits of boiling water and mud, and one geyser. <small>([[Beppu|more...]])</small>
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| OTBPBlurb= '''[[St Augustine]]''', [[Florida]], is a small jewel of a city on the east coast, full of '''romantic ambiance and old world charm'''. It is best known for its remarkable historic streets, Spanish style architecture, and panoramic bay. Do take time to wander down St. George street, a promenade of sorts, and enjoy the art galleries, quaint shops, and restaurants. For those of you don't know, '''St. Augustine is the oldest inhabited European settlement in the U.S.'''. Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, claimed the land now known as Florida in the name of Spain on March 27, 1513. Originally the land was named La Florida, which means "Land of Flowers". The city was founded by Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565. <small>([[St Augustine|more...]])</small>
 
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<div style="margin:0;background:#f7d4e0;font-family:sans-serif;font-size:120%;font-weight:bold;border:1px solid #de8ca7;text-align:left;color:#000;padding-left:0.4em;padding-top:0.2em;padding-bottom:0.2em;">[[Travel news|Travel Alerts]]</div>
{{newsitem| General strike in Bangladesh |17-18 Apr 2013| Strikes and protests have been taking place across the country in response to the trials of alleged war criminals. Hefajat-e-Islam called a country-wide programme of protests and demonstrations followed by a two day hartal (general strike) from Wednesday, 17 April to Thursday, 18 April 2013. [http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangladesh] }}
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{{newsitem| Philadelphia building collapse  |6 Jun 2013| A vacant building being demolished collapsed onto a thrift store in Philadelphia, trapping more than a dozen people under the rubble, some for hours, city officials said. Mayor Michael Nutter later said officials don't know for certain if anyone else was trapped. Twelve people rescued earlier were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. Philadelphia Police described the collapse as an "industrial accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been told it was an accident at a demolition site, and it has investigators on the way. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/us/pennsylvania-philadelphia-building-collapse/index.html] }}
{{newsitem| China to open disputed islands to tourism |12 Apr 2013| Sightseeing cruises to China's newest city, Sansha, located on a disputed island in the South China Sea, are set to commence this month, according to a Chinese official. The move is certain to add to the dispute over sovereignty claims to the area. Woody Island, known as Yongxing Island in Chinese, has a population of about a thousand, including military personnel. It's located 300 kilometers southeast of [[Hainan]] and was established as China's latest prefecture in June 2012. The city of Sansha has the smallest land area, but the largest sea area in China. Sansha's government has been set up to administer the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands), the Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha Islands) and the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands), which include Woody Island. The islands are partly claimed by [[Vietnam]], [[Malaysia]], the [[Philippines]], [[Brunei]] and [[Taiwan]]. [http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/08/travel/china-island-tourism/index.html] }}
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{{newsitem| Floods sweep through Central Europe |6 Jun 2013| Surging rivers in the [[Czech Republic]], [[Germany]] and [[Slovakia]] caused widespread flooding in the region. Heavy rains had swelled the Elbe, Danube and Vltava rivers, along with smaller rivers and tributaries. The flooding prompted the evacuation of about 25,000 people in Germany and about 20,000 in the Czech Republic, where about half of the country's regions were under a state of emergency, officials said. Eight people have died as a result of the floods in the Czech Republic, fire service spokeswoman Nicole Zaoralova said. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/world/europe/europe-flood/]}}
{{newsitem| Syrian Troops Widen Offensive in Border Areas |12 Apr 2013| Syrian soldiers backed by warplanes battled rebels for control of strategic hilltop villages near the Lebanese border, as government troops step up counterattacks against opposition forces threatening regime supply lines on the country's frontiers. Bomb blasts and shots fired into the air to mourn a fallen Syrian government soldier could be heard on the Lebanese side of the border as fighting raged around Qusair, a contested central Syrian town near a key highway between [[Damascus]] and the coast. The battles there came as government forces launched a second offensive against rebels in the province of Daraa on the [[Jordan]]ian border, where the opposition has been making steady advances in recent weeks. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/syrian-troops-widen-offensive-border-areas-18942813#.UWh9NlesnX8]}}
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{{newsitem| Overly aggressive vendors near Egypt Pyramids |4 Jun 2013| A warning has been issued by the U.S. Embassy about the increasing number of incidents that have occurred in the area surrounding the pyramids, as vendors try to cope with difficult economic times. Some of the vendors are approaching criminal conduct, according to the embassy. The ancient pyramid complex is located approximately an hour outside of [[Cairo]]. Visitors are experiencing Egyptians vendors who surround tourist vehicles and pound on them, in what the embassy calls an effort to pressure visitors to ride in their horse-drawn carriages. Some more extreme situations have involved angry vendors trying to force the vehicle doors open, which frightens visitors. The minister of antiquities for Egypt, Ahmed Eissa, insists that the [[Giza]] pyramid complex is still safe for visitors, saying that his office hasn't received any complaints, and neither have the tourism police, according to Egyptian newspaper reports. [http://www.travelerstoday.com/articles/6483/20130604/egypt-pyramids-warning-u-s-embassy-warns-tourists-overly-aggressive.htm] }}
{{newsitem| South Sudan border to be opened |12 Apr 2013| President Omar al-Bashir of [[Sudan]] has ordered the border with [[South Sudan]] to be opened. He announced the move on a first visit to the South since its independence. Speaking alongside his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir, Mr Bashir also called for peace and normal relations. Tensions between the two countries, strained after they came to the brink of war last year, have eased recently, but disagreements over oil and territory remain. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22119556]}}
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{{newsitem| Protests in Turkey |3 Jun 2013| Protesters seething over their treatment by security forces hurled rocks at riot police in [[Ankara]]'s Kizilay Square, the latest in a string of violent clashes that have punctuated massive anti-government demonstrations spreading across [[Turkey]]- leaving thousands injured and at least one dead in the past two days alone. The protests united demonstrators from across the political spectrum against a common foe: security forces who unleashed tear gas and water cannons on them in response to what had been largely peaceful protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/03/world/europe/turkey-protests/index.html] }}
{{newsitem| Bomb attacks on mosques in Iraq |12 Apr 2013| At least 11 people have died and more than 30 wounded in bomb attacks at mosques in Iraq's capital [[Baghdad]] and in the province of Diyala. The highest casualty toll occurred in Kanaan, Diyala, some 75km (47 miles) north-east of Baghdad. The bomb went off as Sunni worshippers were leaving Friday prayers at the Omar Bin Abdul-Aziz mosque. The attacks come ahead of Iraq's provincial elections on 20 April; the first in the country since 2010. Tensions are high between Iraq's Sunni and Shia, amid claims by the majority Sunni Muslim communities that they are being marginalised by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Shia-led government. Sunni Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda have attempted to destabilise the government by stepping up attacks, mainly on Shia but also Sunni targets this year. In recent weeks more than 11 election candidates have been shot dead [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22128070] }}
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{{newsitem| Venezuelans Face Shortages |31 May 2013| In the past weeks, Venezuelans have struggled to find goods such as toilet paper and staple food items like milk, sugar and cooking oil. Economists say the shortages stem from the socialist government's controls on the prices of some goods and on foreign currency, which makes it hard for producers to pay for things they need to import. President Nicolas Maduro blames the shortages on hoarding and says anti-government forces are trying to destabilize the country. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/church-venezuelans-face-shortages-19298755#.Uaj-Qpxc0UM] }}
{{newsitem| Venezuela election: massive rallies mark campaign end |12 Apr 2013| The main Venezuelan presidential hopefuls ended their campaigns with massive rallies, ahead of Sunday's election of a successor to President Hugo Chavez, who died last month. Hundreds of thousands of acting president, Nicolas Maduro's, supporters took to the streets of [[Caracas]]. Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles spoke to another large crowd in the northern city of [[Acarigua]]. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22118683] }}
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{{newsitem| Ethiopian protesters take to streets |3 Jun 2013| Thousands of protesters have demonstrated in the Ethiopian capital to demand the release of jailed journalists and activists. It is the first major demonstration on the streets of [[Addis Ababa]] since 2005 when hundreds of protesters were killed in violence. Demonstrators shouted slogans calling for freedom and justice. Ethiopia's governing party, the EPRDF, maintains strict control over public life in the East African country. The protests were organised by the opposition Semayawi (blue) party. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22748834] }}
{{newsitem| Brazilian state of Acre in illegal immigration alert |12 Apr 2013| The Brazilian state of Acre has declared a state of emergency after a surge of illegal immigrants from neighboring [[Bolivia]] and [[Peru]]. Officials said most of the immigrants originally came from [[Haiti]] but others had come from as far afield as [[Bangladesh]], [[Senegal]] and [[Nigeria]]. They said about 1,700 illegal migrants had arrived during the past two weeks. Acre, in the Amazon region, has asked for additional funding from the federal government to cope with the influx. More than 5,000 Haitians have arrived in Acre since 2010, but in recent months there has been an increase in immigration from Senegal, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh. Officials say the routes through Peru and Bolivia have become popular with people smugglers because dense vegetation makes it difficult for border police to patrol them. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22106284]}}
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{{newsitem| Biarritz battles beach pollution |31 May 2013| Local authorities have recently forbidden bathing and nautical activities due to dangerously high levels of pollution. May has been unusually wet, stormy and cold for the southwest of [[France]]. Heavy rainfall in the middle of the month has already caused flooding in parts of the Bearn region, inland of Biarritz, and the French meteorological agency has issued flood warnings for the whole area in the upcoming days. This river and rain runoff, combined with strong onshore winds, has led to high levels of sea pollution. The current order affects all the beaches in the suburb of Anglet, which are the most popular with locals, tourists and surfers. For the moment there is no indication how long the ruling will remain in place, but with rain forecast until the start of next week, anyone planning a beach holiday to the Biarritz area should look elsewhere. [http://www.bbc.com/travel/blog]}}
{{newsitem| Samoa Air starts charging overweight passengers more|4 Apr 2013| Samoa Air has become the world's first airline to implement "pay as you weigh" flights, meaning overweight passengers pay more for their seats. Under the new system, Samoa Air passengers must type in their weight and the weight of their baggage into the online booking section of the airline's website. The rates vary depending on the distance flown: from $1 per kilogram on the airline's shortest domestic route to about $4.16 per kilogram for travel between [[Samoa]] and [[American Samoa]]. Passengers are then weighed again on scales at the airport, to check that they weren't fibbing online. [http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/airline-to-charge-overweight-passengers-more-20130402-2h495.html] }}
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{{newsitem| Police move in on Kyrgyz protesters  |31 May 2013| About 1,000 people have been camped out for days calling for a bigger share of the profits from the Kumtor mine, owned by Canada's Centerra Gold group. The government has now declared a state of emergency around the gold mine. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22726891] }}
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<div style="margin:0;background:#f7d4e0;font-family:sans-serif;font-size:120%;font-weight:bold;border:1px solid #de8ca7;text-align:left;color:#000;padding-left:0.4em;padding-top:0.2em;padding-bottom:0.2em;">[[Events News|Current and upcoming events]]</div>
{{eventsitem| Hue Festival, Vietnam|7-15 Apr 2013| The Hue Festival is an extraordinary cultural extravaganza of Vietnam which involves a collection of events and activities. The festival attracts millions of visitors every year making it an ideal platform for a grand social milieu. Some of its art and cultural activities are traditional concerts, dance and theatrical performances, art and calligraphy exhibitions, games, and special tour programmes to close by sites for tourists. One of the old traditions of Vietnam is ‘Kite flying’, which has been rejuvenated in the Hue Festival. Traditional kites of intricate shapes and designs fly in the sky, making the Hue City beautiful and joyful. Some people visit temples and make offerings, where traditional dances are also performed. The Hue Festival more often concludes with fireworks show. [http://www.journeymart.com/holidays-ideas/festivals/hue-festival-vietnam.aspx] }}
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{{eventsitem| Dragon Boat Festival, Hong Kong|12 Jun 2013| The fifth day of the fifth moon of the lunar calendar is the day the Chinese celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival or Double Fifth Festival! The festival combines traditional elements of a religious occasion with the drama and glory of a sporting event. The event takes place every year in [[Hong Kong]]. [http://www.journeymart.com/holidays-ideas/festivals/dragon-boat-festival.aspx]}}
{{eventsitem| Butterfly Jungle exhibit, San Diego Zoo| 9 Apr- 8 May 2013| During this yearly event guests will be completely immersed by thousands of butterflies as they walk through the Zoo Safari Park’s Hidden Jungle aviary. The 30 species of butterflies highlighted this year will hail from [[Africa]], [[Asia]] and Central and South [[America]] and include the zebra longwing, orange-barred tiger and Grecian shoemaker. [http://media.sandiegozoo.org/2013/03/01/butterfly-jungle-on-its-way/] }}
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{{eventsitem| Whale Shark Festival, Isla Mujeres, Mexico |12-16 Jun 2013|Tons of fun await visitors to [[Cancun]] and [[Isla Mujeres]], [[Mexico]], when the sixth annual Whale Shark Festival gets underway. The event, rescheduled from July to June 21-23, celebrates the bus-size creatures, which range from 15 to 50 feet and weigh up to 15 tons. More than  1,400 of the giant sharks — considered the biggest fish in the sea — pass through the waters near Isla Mujeres during the season, which runs May through September. The main activity during the event is swimming with the whale sharks, called dominoes locally.  Luckily they aren't meat eaters. According to a scientific tracking project, the animals move between Central America, Mexico and southern U.S. waters, driven more by the availability of food than by a strictly defined migratory route. [http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-mexico-whale-shark-festival-cancun-isla-mujeres-20130610,0,5584988.story]}}
{{eventsitem| Rijksmuseum set for grand reopening in Amsterdam|13 Apr 2013| The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and other Dutch Golden Age masters, has been closed for a decade. Housed in an eccentric building designed by Pierre Cuypers, it closed in 2003 for a makeover. On 13 Apr the Rijksmuseum is finally set to reopen to the public, after a renovation that took five years longer than expected and cost nearly $500 million, tens of millions over its original budget. [http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/amsterdams-rijksmuseum-to-reopen-after-375-million-revamp-with-rembrandt-pride-of-place-8559428.html] }}
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{{eventsitem| 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice|1 Jun- 24 Nov 2013| The title chosen by curator Massimiliano Gioni for the 55th International Art Exhibition is Il Palazzo Enciclopedico / The Encyclopedic Palace. Massimiliano Gioni introduced the choice of theme evoking the Italo-American self-taught artist Marino Auriti who “on November 16, 1955 filed a design with the US Patent office depicting his Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), an imaginary museum that was meant to house all worldly knowledge, bringing together the greatest discoveries of the human race, from the wheel to the satellite. Auriti’s plan was never carried out, of course, but the dream of universal, all-embracing knowledge crops up throughout history, as one that eccentrics like Auriti share with many other artists, writers, scientists, and prophets who have tried - often in vain - to fashion an image of the world that will capture its infinite variety and richness." [http://www.labiennale.org/en/art/exhibition/]}}
{{eventsitem|Chithrai Festival, Madurai, India | 14 Apr 2013| Millions pour into the city for the carnival, during the Hindu month of Chithrai. [http://www.madurai.com/chithira.htm]}}
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{{eventsitem| SAIL Den Helder, Netherlands|20- 23 Jun 2013| On Thursday the many Tall ships will arrive again in [[Den Helder]]. From the Sedov from [[Russia]] to the Sagres III from [[Portugal]], they will all be there. Many of the vessels can be visited during those days and there will be many activities in and around the port of [[Den Helder]] full program [http://www.saildenhelder.nl]}}
{{eventsitem| Seville April Fair (Feria de Abril)|15-21 Apr 2013| A release after the somberness of ''Semana Santa''. To say this is a huge party is an understatement. Most if not all of Seville takes a weeks holiday and they plan for the Fair months in advance. The fair is close to the river and covers a huge area and contains hundreds of private and public "casetas" which are laid out to form streets. Casetas are small marquees and you can only get into the private ones if invited. The public ones are large but just as much fun. The day is naturally split in two and between noon and 8PM the streets of the fair throng with horses as riders and carriages strut their stuff dressed in traditional Spanish robes. After 8 the streets are cleared and "Calle del Inferno" comes to life which is one of the best funfairs in Europe. The Fair appeals to everything that's great about Spain - Traditional dress,Flamenco dancing, guitars, Fino, great tapas and men, women and children who dance with gusto and eat and drink the day and night away. [http://wikitravel.org/en/Seville#Do] }}
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Revision as of 18:16, 18 June 2013


Since 2003, Wikitravel is the original free, complete, up-to-date and reliable worldwide travel guide, and is the premier travel wiki on the Internet. So far we have 98,351 English-language pages written and edited by our 145,735 registered Wikitravellers from around the globe, and thousands more in other languages. Check out the quick contribution guide to see how you can edit any page, right now!

HK-Panorama-Lugard Road.jpg

Hong Kong is a place with multiple personalities, as a result of being both Cantonese Chinese and under a more recent contemporary ex-British influence. It is a unique destination that has absorbed people and cultural influences from places as diverse as Vietnam and Vancouver and proudly proclaims itself to be Asia's World City. While "legally" part of China, Hong Kong is secluded from mainland China as a dependency with a high degree of autonomy. The former colony has its own constitution which lays out its own government, own laws, separate immigration controls, financial system, own passport and is officially bi-lingual (Cantonese and English). This important East Asian hub offers its visitors lots of attractions. In June the city celebrates Dragon Boat Festival with colorful dragon boat races and food celebrations. (more...)

StAugustineLighthouseFL.jpg

St Augustine, Florida, is a small jewel of a city on the east coast, full of romantic ambiance and old world charm. It is best known for its remarkable historic streets, Spanish style architecture, and panoramic bay. Do take time to wander down St. George street, a promenade of sorts, and enjoy the art galleries, quaint shops, and restaurants. For those of you don't know, St. Augustine is the oldest inhabited European settlement in the U.S.. Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, claimed the land now known as Florida in the name of Spain on March 27, 1513. Originally the land was named La Florida, which means "Land of Flowers". The city was founded by Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565. (more...)














HK-Dragonboat Racing.jpg


800px-Cuba yank tank.jpg




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