Old growth, new life; Leisa Tyler; Traveller

Leisa Tyler walks in the vast Tarkine wilderness in the state’s north-west, among some of the oldest forests on earth.

Source: Old growth, new life

Day Trip from Delhi: Taj Mahal and the Red Fort of Agra; Mary Spierling; San Diego Reader

Photo: San Diego Reader

Source: Day Trip from Delhi: Taj Mahal and the Red Fort of Agra

Falling for Victoria Falls; Sam Bradley; IOL

Photo: IOL

A trip to this World Heritage Site promises more than just smoke and thunder, writes Sam Bradley.

Source: Falling for Victoria Falls

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 10 – Living at the feet of Buddha); Zan Azlee; Fatbidin.com

Afghanistan – Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley

This week is part 10 of Zan Azlee multimedia documentary, Guide To Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite, which includes video, still photos and text. As you would know, this is concurrent with the 10-part feature on The Malaysian Insider website, of which you can view part 10:

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Daily Daydream: Fraser Island, Australia; Caroline Morse Teel; Smarter Travel

Photo: Smarter Travel

Take a whale-watching tour, head into a rainforest, snorkel in the ocean, swim in a freshwater lake, or explore the sand cliffs—you’ll never run out of things to do on this island!

Source: Daily Daydream: Fraser Island, Australia

Retreat to rainforest; Cameron Wilson; Traveller

Photo: Traveller

Cameron Wilson explores Lamington National Park’s forests and birdlife along its extensive network of walking tracks.

Source: Retreat to rainforest

Zebras, rhinos and close encounters of a Zambian kind; Errol Barnett; CNN

Photo: Errol Barnett/CNN

“Stop the car, stop the car! There’s a bull elephant in the road!” Words Errol Barnett listened to closely as they’re being shouted by a man sitting next to him clutching an AK-47.

Source: Zebras, rhinos and close encounters of a Zambian kind

The Pergamon Museum; Ino Manalo; Inquirer Lifestyle

A friend from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization once told Ino Manalo that his organization’s famous World Heritage List generally excludes museums. Ino Manalo suppose this may have to do with the fact that museums are very obviously heritage sites. As such, they do not need a Unesco declaration to be accorded recognition and protection.

Source: The Pergamon Museum | Inquirer Lifestyle

Masada, Herod’s desert fortress; Hello Magazine

Photo: Hello Magazine

The scene of scores of biblical stories, home to monks and hermits, symbol of Jewish resistance, location for film and opera… there are reasons aplenty to visit this remarkable isolated mountain in the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea. The view from its summit gives things a different perspective.

Source: Masada, Herod’s desert fortress

Pilgrimage to Robben Island; Okello Ogwang; The Observer

On Friday December 16, 2011, Okello Ogwang finally got the much longed-for opportunity for a pilgrimage to South Africa’s Robben Island, once apartheid’s infamous fortress of incarceration.

Source: Cover story: Pilgrimage to Robben Island

Evolution World Tour: Wadi Hitan, Egypt; Abigail Tucker; Smithsonian Magazine

Egypt – Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley)

In Egypt’s Western Desert, evidence abounds that before they were the kings of the ocean, whales roamed the earth on four legs.

In 1902, a team of geologists guided their camels into a valley in Egypt’s Western Desert—a desolate, dream-like place. Centuries of strong wind had sculpted sandstone rocks into alien shapes, and at night the moonlight was so bright that the sand glowed like gold. There was no water for miles. A nearby hill was known as “Mountain of Hell” because of the infernal summer heat.

Yet in this parched valley lay the bones of whales.

Some of the skeletons were 50 feet long, with vertebrae as thick as campfire logs. They dated back 37 million years, to an era when a shallow, tropical sea covered this area and all of northern Egypt.


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Capital Appreciation: Board a Bus for the Best Way to See Brasília; Tim Padgett; Time

Photo: Donald Weber VII / Corbis

Board a Bus for the Best Way to See Brasília

Source: Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews – TIME.com

Tasmania is an attractive alternative to nearby Australia; Jim Winnerman; St Louis Post Dispatch

While planning a trip to Australia, Jim Winnerman was quickly stymied by the nation’s enormous size and the long distances separating major attractions.

Source: Tasmania is an attractive alternative to nearby Australia

Flying south for winter; Hello Magazine

Photo source: Hello Magazine

We think of butterflies as something ephemeral and delicate. Yet there is one species – the Monarch butterfly – whose yearly migration is the stuff of legend: all the way between the Rocky Mountains in the north and Mexico in the south, a miraculous journey so long that no single butterfly will make the round trip.

Source: Flying south for winter

Daily Daydream: Siena, Italy; Caroline Morse Teel; Smarter Travel

Classic architecture, amazing wine, delicious food, and medieval history … without the crowds? That’s amore!

Source: Daily Daydream: Siena, Italy

Primeval Poland: where the bison roam; Jon Eldridge; The Guardian

Poland – Białowieża Forest

In Europe’s last primeval forest, on Poland’s border with Belarus, experts are fighting to protect the zubr, or European bison. Jon Eldridge investigates…

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Salvador, Brazil’s real party capital; Gavin McOwan; Guardian

Photo: Caio Guatelli

As a three-month festival of Brazilian culture opens in London, Gavin McOwan tries out the real thing in Salvador, the country’s – and possibly the world’s – party capital

Source: Salvador, Brazil’s real party capital

The Treasures of Timbuktu; Joshua Hammer; Smithsonian Magazine

Mali – Timbuktu

Scholars in the fabled African city, once a great center of learning and trade, are racing to save a still emerging cache of ancient manuscripts.

White robe fluttering in the desert breeze, Moctar Sidi Yayia al-Wangari leads me down a sandy alley past donkeys, idle men and knapsack-toting children rushing off to school. It is a bright morning, my second in Timbuktu, in the geographic center of Mali, and al-Wangari is taking me to see the project that has consumed him for the past three years. We duck through a Moorish-style archway and enter his home, a two-story stone structure built around a concrete courtyard. With an iron key, he unlocks the door to a storage room. Filigrees of light stream through a filthy window. The air inside is stale, redolent of mildew and earth.

Regardez,” he says.

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