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Miami Travel / Festivals / Culture / Cultural Travel / Dance / Drama / Art / → All Tags
Staying up all night in Miami is not novel, but this weekend's Sleepless Night Miami Beach means you can do more than just hit the clubs and eat dodgy pizza between midnight and 6 a.m.
The insomniac's dream cultural festival kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday November 5 and runs through the next morning, culminating in a beachfront sunrise breakfast from Whole Foods.
The event was held in 2007 and 2009 but this year Sleepless Night coincides with the weekend when we turn our clocks backmeaning you can party for one sneaky additional hour.
Avoid the temptation to purchase the "local color" of your trip at the airport gift shop and step into the magical labyrinths that are city markets. Practice your haggling and strap on that money belt as we profile some of the world's best.
One of the best travel decisions we've ever made was to forego the typical Mexico spring break for a far more cultural (and culture-shocking) one in Tunisia. And it only got better the further we went into the North African country, as prices dropped and hand-made carpets got more colorful. Speaking of carpets, we headed to one of the capitals of this industry: the city of Kairouan.
As the fourth most important city in Islam, Kairouan attracts its share of foreign visitors, and all are attracted to the vibrant market of the city in the walled-in medina. Here is the place to purchase hand-painted ceramics, glassware, and especially the meaning-laden carpet you've always dreamt of owning.
This November will mark 20 years since the Berlin Wall came tumblin' down, and Berlin has figured out plenty of ways to celebrate, making 2009 the ideal year to visit this buzzing city.
For one, they're scrubbing what's left of the wall clean at the East Side Gallery - the largest remaining portion of the wall - and have invited all the artists who famously painted murals on the section to come back and repaint it. The wall will be cleaned and resurfaced first so that the new paintings should be more resistant to car fumes and vandals. Visitors can watch the artists in action and a grand reopening is planned for November.
Museums / Free WiFi / Los Angeles Travel / Culture / Art / → All Tags
The museum is the largest encyclopedic museum west of Chicago, with over 250,000 works of art - and from every inhabited continent - spread over an ever-growing maze of buildings and pavilions. Plus it's one of those LA destinations that's actually accessible by Metro. Plus they have free WiFi. So off we go.
Museums / Art / Pasadena Travel / Culture / → All Tags
It has come to our attention that Angelinos have a reputation for being a touch on the vacuous side. It has even suggested that we here at Jaunted have had something to do with having creating that impression. This obviously will not do.
If you aren't coming to Los Angeles for any Fast and Furious tours, may we suggest something a little more (ok, a lot more) enriching?
First of all there's the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which we've posted about before and will probably expand on soon enough. In the meantime nearby Pasadena- basically an LA suburb, though don't tell them that - has two of the world's most spectacular art museums.
Both are a mixture of gardens and galleries, displaying exquisite masterpieces against carefully cultivated bucolic backdrops. And since Pasadena is kind of close to LA that's just like having high art in the city itself! Right?
The cult of celebrity among King Bhumimbol's family and his people is, believe it or not, stronger than the Germans' love for Barack Obama. This past weekend, Thais from across the country flooded into Bangkok for the funeral procession of the King's big sister, Princess Galyani Vadhana.
The ceremony has been in the planning stages since the Princess died back in January. Gilded platforms held by stern soldiers carried royal and religious figures and the princess' urn through the streets of Bangkok, where hundreds of thousands of citizens, all dressed in black, stood and either dabbed their eyes quietly or openly sobbed to express their heartfelt (and, technically, government mandated) love for the Princess. Many of the attendees camped out at the site in order to get a seat with a good view. Seems they love the royals as much as we loved the Dave Matthews Band in the late 90s.
The event also served as a heck of a headache for those who actually traveled to Bangkok in hopes of seeing some of the palace and temple grounds set beside the Chao Phraya River. These sites are usually open to visitors but were closed off for the events.
And this ornate ceremony is only the beginning. The princess' remains will be moved several more times so various family members can pay their respects and perform the expected religious rites. And, as usual, every newspaper in TV channel will chronicle the royal family’s movement for 120 million pairs of fascinated Thai eyes.
[Photo: adaptor plug]
On the list of people we're glad we're not--after Bristol Palin and Guy Ritchie, natch--comes Thai premier Somchai Wongsawat. The masochist voluntarily agreed to lead Thailand amid unprecedented government protests.
If the burning streets of Bangkok aren't enough to worry about, now the guy has to deal with a potential war with neighboring Cambodia. Last week, fighting erupted along the countries' border over this UNESCO World Heritage temple that both claim to own.
Now, Somchai will again sit down with Hun Sen, Cambodia's 20-plus-year strongman prime minister, for another attempt at a truce. Both men headed to Beijing today for the talks. Looks like hosting bilateral talks is China's way of reminding the world its post-Olympics city still exists.
It was back in July that we first mentioned the temple trouble between Thailand and Cambodia as they fought over the newly UNESCO Heritage-listed Preah Vihear temple on their disputed border. And we thought it'd all be over soon and we could put this place back on our want-to-visit list.
Not so. Since then, there have been more protests and even a short skirmish between Thai and Cambodian soldiers that left three people injured. Landmines have also caused a few injuries.
This week, the two sides finally sat down for a chat again. But the only result seems to be that Cambodia has told Thailand it has to get its troops out, and the Thais have said they're staying there to do more mine clearance work. Which means that planning a visit to the gorgeous Preah Vihear will have to stay on our "postponed" list.
With the full moon watching over them, Madrid residents and visitors will discover a new city, one made with illusions and dreams.
Traditionally, White Nights take place around the summer solstice in cities close to the Arctic Circle where the sky never gets dark for several days straight. To embody that spirit in Madrid, throughout the night, museums will be open, concerts will be on and all public transport will be free. With events running right through until 6 am, you'd better book Sunday as a day to sleep off that cultural overload.
[Photo: Clara en su mundo]
Temples / Southeast Asia Travel / Google Maps / World Heritage Sites / Culture / UNESCO / → All Tags
For more than a week, the Southeast Asian neighbors have been locked in a standoff that the Cambodian Foreign Minister has called an "imminent state of war." But what about? Some kind of temple? Exactly.
Those UN apparatchiks in charge of telling you what's worth seeing have just added 27 more wonders to their list of World Heritage Sites. (And you had just finished seeing the first 851 of them!)
Not on the list? Crème brûlée, much to the dismay, no doubt, of Nicholas Sarkozy, who was lobbying for it. France did get some love, though, with the addition of the fortifications at Vauban and the lagoons of New Caledonia.
Perhaps most notable is San Marino, which had its historic center and Mount Titano added to the list. So how many of the country's 61 square kilometers aren't UN protected?
· The Full List of New World Heritage Sites [Official Site]
· Latest World Heritage Sites Announced [Vagablogging]
· Does Creme Brulee Qualify? UNESCO Says No. [WorldHum]
· UNESCO Adds 27 New Sites to List [VOA]
· World Heritage Sites coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of San Marino from Mount Titano: Wikimedia]
Hong Kong might not mix that so perfectly with American culture, if the problems at the local Disneyland are anything to go by. But apparently the people of Hong Kong are more excited about all things Spanish.
Places like the Ole Restaurant doing big business these days. One of the reasons is that Spanish wine is relatively cheap in Hong Kong, but we're sure there's a bit more to it than that.
Flamenco dancing is also a hit, with lots of color and energy. We figure just put Mickey into a flamenco costume and Hong Kong Disneyland could find its way back into the public's good books.
[Photo: Adam Blicharski]