Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second largest city and its largest port. Although the ranking has declined steadily over the last few years, Kaohsiung is still the world’s sixth largest cargo-container seaport. The city has high concentrations of heavy industry, including steel production, shipbuilding, and other exports that have led to Kaohsiung’s relatively high levels of air pollution (though the situation has improved substantially in recent years). Unlike Taipei, Kaohsiung is a planned city with wide streets and slightly less traffic congestion than the capital. In recent years the city has made great strides in transforming itself from a primarily industrial city into a modern Asian metropolis, and several areas of the city, such as along the banks of the Love River ,have benefited from major beautification projects under the tenure of former mayor Frank Hsieh. The city is often known as Taiwan’s “Harbor Capital” because of its close connection and heavy reliance on the ocean and maritime transportation.
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper by population in the world. It is one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010.
From Dorf Château-d’Oex (Château-d’Oex Village) the aerial cable car glides over the Saane Valley. A chair lift then takes you to the foot of Rochers du Midi. The gentle landscape of Pays d’Enhaut as well as attractive packages make La Braye a family-friendly excursion destination.
The mountain became famous due to the treasure hunt that followed in the footsteps of the adventurer Mike Horn. The Ant Trail gives insights into the fascinating world of the little six-legged insects. A visit to a farm acquaints visitors with donkeys, cows, chickens and ducks.
A 248-meter Tyrolienne near the valley station located at 1625 meters offers adventurers an unforgettable experience. If you are looking for more adventure, test the downhill scooters (Trottinherbe) on an exciting descent into the valley, or ride a mountain bike and retrace the tracks of the Mountainbike World Cup.
In winter Château-d’Oex / La Braye is a family-friendly, small snow sports area near Gstaad. Children up to age 9 ski for free everywhere in the Vaudois Alps.
The Swiss Alps were dusted with some long-awaited snow overnight on Friday, forecasters said, but it is unlikely to be enough to kick-start the struggling ski season.
The coverage varied from five to 10 centimetres in the Bernese Oberland in the western Bern canton to a maximum of 15 centimetres which fell over neighbouring Fribourg,
Chalong Bay situated a short distance to the south of Phuket Town (approx 7km) is the nerve centre for island hopping, diving, snorkelling and sea fishing tours from Phuket. This bustling hive of activity is the gateway to the islands, dive sites and natural movie sets of the Andaman coast and everyday hundreds of boats filled with tourists leave the bay to explore some of the most spectacular coastline and marine life in the world. The possibilities are staggering, but popular itineraries include tours featuring; Phi Phi Lei (Maya Bay), the fictional setting for the 1994 blockbuster film The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio and James Bond Island, instantly recognisable to those of you that remember Roger Moore duelling with arch villain Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. Whilst it is undoubtedly the wonders available out in the azure seas that entice the tourists, especially the backpacker crowd, there are many activities to be experienced inland close by to Chalong that make this the epicentre for any smart traveller’s trip to Phuket Island.
It would be a misconception to assume the only fun to be had at Chalong leaves from the main pier. In fact, Chalong boasts some of the finest activities on the island and many of these are conveniently located in one place at the Kinnaree Entertainment Complex, which occupy the same grounds as the Phuket Shooting Range. Located just west of Chalong circle on the road to Kata Beach, the Kinaree Entertainment Complex houses the Phuket Monkey School, Cobra Show and Snake Farm which offer daily shows that will delight and entertain the whole family. The Phuket Shooting range actually offers more than just it’s impressive shooting range and activities include; paintballing, archery, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) rides amidst the islands stunning mountain scenery, Clay pigeon shooting and Airsoft BB guns activities (similar to paintballing minus the paint).
Phuket Zoo is close by to Chalong and offers an experience like no other. With beautifully landscaped scenery it is home to a stunning array of animals, wildlife and birds and has daily monkey, elephant and crocodile shows. The Aquarium is particularly noteworthy for its spectacular entrance, where visitors have to walk through a giant crocodile’s mouth to get to the wonders within. Other activities include; a round of golf at the Phunaka Golf Course & Golf Academy on a spectacular floodlit 9-hole course, Elephant Trekking in the hills above Chalong, Muay Thai boxing Shows and training and Thai cookery classes.
When the diving, fishing and island-hopping boats return to the bay of Chalong in the evening, the nightlife really starts to kick off. The action is mostly located around the waterfront and from Chalong Circle stretching along Chalong Pier Road. There are a host of bars and restaurants with a laid back, friendly atmosphere offering good Thai and international cuisine. For a colourful, lively scene visit the bars along Chalong Pier Road, which has a similar atmosphere to that which you will find in many of the busy resorts in Phuket such as Patong and Karon. Many of the bars have beautiful hostesses, stay open late, have pool tables and show major sports events. A quality dining option close to Chalong Circle along the Kata Road is the Green Man Pub. This unique bar and restaurant, in the style of a traditional Tudor English country pub, is especially popular on a Sunday when they serve up a famous English Sunday Roast.
Next Andaman Islands
Miri ~ Sarawak
Miri is the 2nd largest city in Sarawak and has a population of 300,000 people with a mixture of Chinese, indigineous tribes who have moved down from their native lands that have been logged, and Malays (mostly immigrated to Miri by way of government postings or from forefathers emigrating from Brunei).
Miri is Sarawak and Malaysia’s first Oil producing area. Oil was first officially recorded in 1882 by Claude Champion de Crespigny, the British Resident of the Baram district in Sarawak. The locals had been using this black substance long before, collecting it for medicinal use, for waterproofing of boats and for lighting oil lamps. It was not until 1910 when the first oil company moved in to exploit its wealth.
Sarawak Shell were given the sole rights to mining oil in Miri until 1954 when the onshore oilfields dried out and exploration turned to the rich oil wells located in the seedbeds. Today, the oldest Oil Well in Miri is a reminder of the humble beginnings of Sarawak and more appropriately, Malaysia’s dependence on this commodity that has made the country what it is. The oil well is affectionately called ‘The Grand Old Lady’ and is located on Canada Hill. According to local myth, the hill is named such because of a Canadian who relocated in the early years as a recruitment manager, recruiting local and foreign workers as hands at the oil wells that quickly sprung up around the area.
After a productive run with an estimated 660,000 barrels of oil drawn from the oil well, The Grand Old Lady was shut down in 1972. Next to the Grand Old Lady, the Miri Petroleum Science Museum exhibits the history and technicalities of the industry. Miri has not much else to do and so a visit to this museum would be pretty much the highlight of your stay. Imagine highlighting Curtin University as a major tourist destination in the ‘Visit Miri brochure’, that’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel!
For those interested in parks and gardens, there are a total of 14 such locations around Miri locale. Miri also has their share of music festivals with its International Jazz Festival held May annually.
The other interesting place of visit is the tamu market called Tamu Muhibbah. It’s open daily and is located just a stone’s throw from the Tourist Information Centre. There are 2 sections to the market: the wet section where local and imported vegetable and meat produce are sold and the dry section where you can get local fruits like Buah Salak, durian, lime on sale here. Hill rice from Bario and Ba’Kelalan is also on sale here. The indigenous people bring their produce from the hills and jungles to sell here. However, it’s certainly more noticeable that compared to a decade ago, the variety in jungle produce has reduced greatly. The local people laments that it is not due to the weather conditions (Miri has been encountering strange weather conditions in recent years) but because there really isn’t much of a jungle for them to go to.
Miri is more like a transit point for most tourists or travellers. From this city, travel out to :
Lambir Hills National Park, Niah National Park and Caves, Mulu National Park, Ulu Baram Area, Bario and Ba’Kelalan and Loagan Bunut National Park.
Some 45minutes drive away from the city centre will take you to the bridge connecting Miri with Brunei.
Next .back to Singapore
Situated on the southeast coast of China, Hong Kong’s strategic location on the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea has made it one of the world’s most thriving and cosmopolitan cities.
Hong Kong as we know it today was born when China’s Qing dynasty government was defeated in the First Opium War in 1842, when it ceded Hong Kong Island to Britain. Within 60 years, Kowloon, the New Territories and 235 Outlying Islands were also leased to Britain. However, the history of the more than 1100 square kilometres that Hong Kong now occupies predates the events of the Qing dynasty by more than a thousand years. And, as you explore the city’s colourful heritage, you’ll discover stories of powerful clans, marauding pirates and European traders.
From its earliest days as a British colony, Hong Kong served as a centre of international trade. In the turbulent years of the early 20th century, the city’s population was bolstered by refugees, mostly from China. The arrival of immigrants in large numbers helped launch a new role for Hong Kong as a major manufacturing hub. It also brought economically stimulating energy and industry to the city’s character. In recent decades, as the economy of Mainland China has undergone a process of opening up, Hong Kong has transformed yet again – this time into a service-based economy as well as an important gateway to the world’s largest market.
Under the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997. This arrangement allows the city to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, including retaining its capitalist system, independent judiciary and rule of law, free trade and freedom of speech.
A look at the city’s history could give a strong impression that change is the only constant here. However, despite all its reinventions, Hong Kong’s spirit has never changed. In fact, the same energy and dynamism that turned a group of sleepy fishing villages into a crossroads of international trade is now taking Asia’s world city into the 21st century. Experience that spirit and Hong Kong’s story yourself by exploring the city’s rich culture and heritage.