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Phnom Penh Travel / Historical Travel / Political Travel / Death / Cambodia Travel / Museum Travel / Thanatourism / → All Tags
Usually we're pretty light-hearted when we travel because we simply love to explore new and exciting things. Eventually something does comes along, however, which shakes our soul and moves us in way that few other things have. Our recent exploration of Phnom Penh came with one of those moments while visiting the Genocide Museum. Vacations are supposed to full of good memories and a museum visit like this one doesn't sound too fun, but please stay with us; it's worth it.
Here's a little background before we get into our take on the grounds: back in April of 1975, Cambodia was in the thick of a government run by the political party of Democratic Kampuchea, led by the infamous Pol Pot. During this time, the security office S21 was created from a former primary school campus of four buildings, with the purpose of detaining Cambodian citizens considered a threat to the Communist movement, primarily those with education.
If you're thinking, "this can't end well," you're right.
Universal Studios Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is back for another year of creepy mazes, "scare zones," monsters and now, zombies too.
In addition to a Silent Hill-themed maze, the Penn and Teller “Vegas” maze, even an Alice Cooper maze, Universal Studios (on both coasts) features a new Walking Dead maze. [Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to Halloween Horror Nights here].
Halloween Travel / Universal Studios / Halloween Horror / Theme Parks / Thanatourism / Best-Halloween-Theme-Parks / → All Tags
Once again, Universal Studios Orlando is doing its best to scare nightly visitors as the park is in the midst of the 22nd annual Halloween Horror Nights. You know the drilleach fall crowds converge on the park to experience the transformation; by day Universal Studios welcomes guests of all ages to experience the new Despicable Me ride, ET's bike, and pose for photos with Spongebob, while at night (22 nights, ending on Halloween night) the park turns itself into a giant live action horror movie.
A gaggle of writers work year-round to come up with the themes and schemes that inhabit Universal's annual Halloween Horror Nights. For this 22nd incarnation of fright, Universal went heavy on the partnership route, teaming up with AMC's Walking Dead, Penn & Teller, Alice Cooper, and Silent Hill for four of the seven houses. Furthermore, the park ditched the "scare zones," opting to let the legions of horror scareactors freely roam the streets to search for victims in bars, restaurants, lines, and inside every henhouse and outhouse inside park boundaries.
We toured each of the seven haunted houses and searched out all the scareactors roaming the streets and here's what we think, in order from scariest to not-so-scary:
Halloween Travel / Theme Parks / Fall Travel / Amusement Parks / Cedar Point / Disney / Six Flags / Busch Gardens / Universal Studios / Lists / Thanatourism / → All Tags
If you haven’t started to feel the chill in the air you will sooner than later, and that means that theme parks around the country will start loading in their pumpkins, scarecrows, and other spooky seasonal decorations. Halloween is still over a month away, but that doesn’t mean that the scary stuff won’t begin a little bit sooner.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the country’s best parks and when they begin to do their Halloween thing:
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the country’s best parks and when they begin to do their Halloween thing:
Cedar Point – HalloWeekends
Over at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio the werewolves and vampires come out to play beginning on September 14—that’s this Friday. The frightening fun runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 28, but you might want to just double-check the official calendar before filling up the tank and starting your drive. Admission to this year’s events should set you back around $45, but that’s only if you order in advance online.
Busch Gardens – Howl-O-Scream
There’s a couple flavors of this year’s seasonal celebrations from which to choose, as Busch Gardens is getting the ghosts and goblins ready in both Tampa and Williamsburg, Virginia. Expect haunted houses, live entertainment, and plenty of pumpkins. In Virginia the run runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays beginning this week, ending October 30. Down in Florida things don’t begin until next week, and it’s going to be a Thursday, Friday, Saturday thing with the scary stuff running as late as 2am. Advance admission will set you back $55 for Florida and $70 if you’re looking to be scared silly in Virginia.
Photo Gallery / Thanatourism / Titanic / Halifax Travel / Death / Canada Travel / Nova Scotia Travel / → All Tags
Going to visit the largest burial site of those who died in the Titanic ship disaster while on a cruise probably isn't the best idea, but then you think of something better to do while practically fogged in at Halifax's harbour. We took a bus out to Fairlawn Cemetery, which definitely isn't near downtown Halifax but more on the edge of a regular neighborhood. You'd never guess that inside the modest gates lay 121 victims, some still unidentified 100 years after the ship hit the iceberg and sunk on its maiden transatlantic voyage.
Fairlawn is open during normal daylight hours and, on a typical day, one bus tour will be followed by another bus tour stopping to visit the site. The Titanic portion of the cemetery consists of three rows of graves that mostly match, save for a few whose families purchased individual tombstones for their loved ones. All death dates are the same: April 15, 1912, though the ship hit the iceberg on the 14th.
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It wasn't part of the plan, spending some of our Sunday afternoon with long-dead notable names, but sometimes these things just happen. They specifically happen when, during a spur-of-the-moment rental car weekend trip up the Hudson River Valley, we spot Sleepy Hollow Cemetery coming up on Google Maps Driving Directions on our iPhone.
There was a fork in the road. Go right and continue on to our planned brunch? Go left and head into the thicket of graves, cutting brunch short? Since the best experiences usually result from taking the least convenient option in moments like this, we veered left.
What resulted was a surprisingly happy hour manuevering the inclines and switchbacks of this hilly cemetery to visit The Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving, gazillionaires Andrew Carnegie, William Rockefeller, Walter Chrysler, Elizabeth Arden and the Helmsleys. We missed the Astors, so a return is already in order. You need to go. The photography opportunities alone are worth it, as we found out after firing up the Hipstamatic app and playing with our eeriest filters.
Amsterdam Travel / Museum Travel / Holland Travel / War Travel / Historical Travel / Jewish Travel / Religion Travel / Thanatourism / Lilit Marcus / → All Tags
A display at the Verzetsmuseum
All this week, traveler and writer Lilit Marcus will share her favorite unique spots in Amsterdam, a city Jaunted can never get enough of.
As a Jewish traveler, or simply one interested in checking out the local Jewish sites, there’s more to do than simply patronize kosher restaurants. Holland lost the largest percentage of its Jewish community during the Holocaust, and since then the country has worked overtime to make sure that the community’s history didn’t disappear. These sites help give a broader picture of Jewish life in Amsterdampast and present:
The Verzetsmuseum (Resistance Museum) paints a picture of what life was like for ordinary Dutch people during the German occupation. The rooms in the center depict everyday life, complete with food rationing and forced military service, while rooms on the side share stories of Dutch citizens who worked against the Nazis and in some cases paid with their lives. The museum successfully gives a broad representation of what Holland was like during the war without resorting to victimhood.
Events / Adult Camp Travel / Zombie Travel / Portland Travel / Adventure Travel / Thanatourism / → All Tags
Do you want to be prepared for the coming zombie apocalypse? Maybe you need to polish your zombie-fighting or shelter-building skills? Then TrackersPDX in Portland, OR is offering a survival training camp just for you.
The outdoor and adventure specialist have created an intensive 2-day coursetaught by seasoned experts who have fought on the frontlines of the zombie epidemicwhere you will learn all of the essential skills you'll need in the event of a zombie takeover.
A mug from third class on the Titanic
Anyone got $189 million just chilling in the bank? If your answer is yes, then you've probably also got enough extra space to house some 5,500 artifacts raised from the ocean floor wreck of the RMS Titanic, because all that is about to be auctioned off...in one fell swoop.
That's right; if you want to buy just one piece from the massive collection, you're going to have to buy all of it, since the auction comes complete with a 19-page document of what you can and cannot do with the items. It's mostly cannot do. So there'll be no drinking your morning coffee from a steerage class mug, nor will there be fogging up a porthole with your breath, only to write "J + L = <3" with your finger. You've got to treat these items with respect, just as the salvage company has attempted to do until now:
The Brangelina clan added more stamps to their passports last week as they traveled from Tokyo to Vietnam. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie took their six children to Vietnam, where their son Pax was born, after premiering Brad's latest movie, Moneyball, in Japan.
The couple wanted Pax to visit his home country so he could better understand, and be proud of, his culture. "They are all learning about each other's cultures as well as being proud of their own," Jolie recently said of her three adopted children.
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It's Veterans Day today, and it's also 11.11.11 as the date goes. Naturally tourist sites have been preparing for both, but with the major difference that Veterans Day takes place in the US and focuses on looking at history and remembering while 11.11.11 happens around the world, with a focus on the future.
For some however, it's actually a lack thereof (the future) with the belief that the world will end today. Well it hasn't yet, and Egypt's Great Pyramid can attest to this. Fearing negative attention and spiritual ceremonies, the Great Pyramid was closed to tourists. The AP notes that only the pyramid was on lock-down:
Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / Halloween Travel / Thanatourism / Universal Studios / Best-Halloween-Theme-Parks / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Universal Studios Orlando is in the midst of its annual spooky-fest, Halloween Horror Nights. Each fall crowds converge on the park to experience the transformation; during the day the park welcomes guests of all ages to experience Shrek 4D, ride ET's bike, and hug Curious George while at nightfor 15 nights every fallthe park turns itself into a big screen-like horror movie.
Eight writers work year round to come up with the themes and schemes that inhabit Universal's annual Halloween Horror Nights. While the details, both cinematic and thematic, are incredible, you have to wonder if maybe the eight writers got a little too intricate with some of these ideas (Spanish fort run by a mutinous undead crew of Columbus' missing fourth shipwe are looking at you). After all this isn't Lost. However, despite some of the themes being a bit convoluted, some are just downright scary (Saws n' Steam), some are incredibly visually compelling (Nevermore), and some just might be the future of fright (The In Between house).
We toured all eight haunted houses and here's what we think, in order from scariest to not so scary: