City draws international tourism; Tang Zhihao; China Daily

China – Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area

Travel expo to cast spotlight on natural, historical and cultural wonders, Tang Zhihao reports.

Leshan, a city in the southwest of Sichuan province, is making a name for itself among globaltourists for its rich tourism resources and historical heritage.

Mount Emei is Leshan’s most attractive natural landscape. The mountain, standing at 3,099meters above sea level, is home to over 3,200 types of plants and 2,300 types of animals.Visitors can experience seasonal changes on Mount Emei, because the temperature dropsthe higher up you go.

Not far away, the Jinkou Grand Canyon – 26 kilometers long and 2,600 meters deep – is oneof the most beautiful canyons in China.

Also found near the city is the Heizhugou National Forest Park, which is dubbed the “OrientalBermuda Triangle” because there have been many mysterious phenomena in the region at 30degrees north latitude.

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Join the Proctors on a 15-Day Grand European Tour on the Rivers of Europe; Meridian Magazine

Netherlands – Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout

Come join Scot and Maurine Proctor July 10-24, 2017 on the fantastic Viking River Cruise’s 15-day Grand European Tour. Of all the cruises we have ever done, this was our favorite!  And we want you to come with us.  Our agents at Morris Murdock Travel have reserved the entire boat (168 passengers!) for this journey so it’s a unique trip where you’ll find many friends of your same values and background. This is rare to have the entire rivers of Europe cruise to ourselves. 15 days, 12 guided tours, four of the most picturesque and romantic countries in Europe including The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary. You won’t believe it until you do this.  Even the stunning pictures below do not do justice to this spectacular, never-to-be-forgotten cruise.

Imagine gliding down a river while you pass mountain-top castles, quaint windmills and majestic cathedrals.

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Protecting cultural heritage from combatants promotes human rights and universal values – Ban; UN News Center

Mali – Timbuktu

Safeguarding cultural property that combatants aim to damage encompasses part of larger endeavours to defend human rights and universal values, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling on the international community to intensify efforts to protect such treasures and end their illicit trafficking.

“Combatants that attack cultural treasures want to damage more than artefacts – they aim to tear at the fabric of societies,” the UN chief said in remarks presented by Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at a high-level event entitled “Protecting Cultural Heritage – an Imperative for Humanity: Acting together against the destruction and trafficking of cultural property by terrorist groups and organized crime.”

“And protection is about more than shielding stones and buildings – it is a part of our effort to defend human rights and save people’s lives,” he added.

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Le Boat’s DIY canal-sailing adventure; Patricia Schulz; Travel Weekly

Cité de Carcassonne
France – Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

We were an unlikely trio, meeting in the south of France to collect our rental boat: three female New Yorkers who shared a decades-long friendship and love of adventure, and not an ounce of boating experience among us.

Le Boat, Europe’s largest inland self-drive cruising operation and part of the TUI Group, had assured us that no license was needed and that 60% of their customers have “no experience whatsoever.”

And so, with visions of an idyllic float past sunflower fields and stone villages, we signed on for a one-week rental in early June. With 40 departure points in eight European countries, we chose France’s most popular itinerary: the Canal du Midi, a Unesco World Heritage Site, in the country’s most prolific wine-producing region of Languedoc.

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How Ibn Fadlan helped Bolgar to become a UNESCO World Heritage site; Realnoe Vremya

RUSSIAN FEDERATION – Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex

Every year Tatarstan celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of Islam. Bolgar is in the centre of these events. Although this landmark took place in 922, Allah’s religion appeared on this territory a long time ago. But it became a state religion after Ibn Fadlan’s visit. Information about these events was written down in the chronicles of the Arab traveller. A scientific conference that was held on 20 September in Kazan was dedicated to him and his notes called Risala. A correspondent of Realnoe Vremya attended the forum.

Exhibition is over, exhibits go back to museum

A round-table talk dedicated to Ibn Fadlan’s book, his era and archaeological collections took place in Hermitage-Kazan on 20 September. The forum closed the exhibition Ibn Fadlan’s trip: Volga journey from Baghdad to Bolgar.

Let me say a couple of words about the exhibition.

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Unesco and the Rampal power plant; Prothom Alo

Bangladesh – The Sundarbans

The third letter issued by Unesco regarding the proposed Rampal coal-fired power plant should be given due consideration.

The government had dismissed the protests within the country against the plant as a foreign conspiracy, but that stand no longer is plausible. The government’s policymakers must analyse the issue carefully. After all, if for any reason Unesco declares the Sundarbans as an endangered world heritage site, that means there are serious risks involved that can have far-reaching impact.

Bangladesh is one of the countries hit hardest by climate change. There are apprehensions of this resulting in a multitude of refugees. It is imperative for Bangladesh to prove itself to the rest of the world as sensitive and responsible when it comes to protecting the environment and ecology.

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Smokers not welcome in Hoi An; Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit; TTR Weekly

Viet Nam – Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An City People’s Committee says its campaign to stop residents and tourists from smoking in the town is making headway.

Local media reported that since the smoke-free programme was launched in 2011, the number of smokers in Hoi An city has reduced dramatically, especially in tourism and hospitality services.

The message is clear for smokers; go elsewhere.

When the law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms was enforced in 2013, the city established a campaign to offer only smoke-free hotels and restaurants.

So far 102 out of 209 hotels and guesthouses have banned smoking.

The city people’s committee vice chairman, Nguyen Van Son, said smoking is strictly banned in public places such as hospitals, schools and near heritage monuments.

Overall, the city’s policy is to discourage smoking in the world heritage town.

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Top 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Rajasthan; Anil Rana; Tour My India

India – Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is one of the most vibrant and colorful states in India with its rich culture and traditions since ancient times. It is known as the land of warriors and beautiful princess who even chose to die for saving their chastity and had a great affinity with their motherland. Whether it is the cuisine or the dress sense everything is unique about Rajasthan’s culture. There are many famous forts and palaces along with wildlife sanctuaries and other monuments which has attracted thousands of visitors and some of them have become a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. The famous sites are described in this blog which is good for the history lovers and for those people who want to explore more about the diversity of Rajasthan.

Chittorgarh Fort

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Researchers Uncover New Clues About Everyday Life in Ancient Rome; Manuela Mesco; Wall Street Journal

Villa Adriana (Tivoli)

Summer digs at Hadrian’s villa in Italy are ‘opening a window’ on the dynamics of a center of power in the second century


With its opulent fountains, theater and large thermal baths, Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli, Italy, was a fitting setting for the second-century Roman emperor to welcome guests, host parties and commemorate battle victories.

Centuries later, it’s the mundane—not the magnificent—details of the 300-acre complex causing a stir, as Columbia University researchers and students digging on the Unesco World Heritage site uncover new sections of the villa that offer a rare glimpse of ordinary life in ancient Rome.

“There’s a social layer that has always been completely inaccessible,” says Francesco de Angelis, leader of the excavation project and an associate professor at Columbia, where he directs the Advanced Program of Ancient History and Art.

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Doñana National Park threatened by river dredging scheme; Birdwatch

Spain – Doñana National Park

The famous Doñana National Park World Heritage site in southern Spain could be devastated by a project to dredge the Guadalquivir River which forms one of its borders.

The park provides habitats for more than six million migratory birds each year, as well as the world’s rarest cat, Iberian Lynx, but since the beginning of the 20th century, Doñana has lost over 80 per cent of its natural marshes. Already exploited for the once-abundant water of its wetlands – notably by the presence of more than 1,000 illegal wells used by strawberry growers – this precious ecosystem is in immediate danger from plans to dredge the river, a highly destructive activity. The Spanish Government has until 1 December to cancel these plans.

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