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Month: January 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The only global city in Malaysia, it covers an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 1.73 million as...

Kuala Lumpur, officially the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (Malay: Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur), or commonly known as KL, is the national capital of Malaysia as well as its largest city in the country.

The only global city in Malaysia, it covers an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 1.73 million as of 2016. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.25 million people as of 2017. It is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in South-East Asia, in both population and economic development.

The gorgeous view on Petronas Twin Towers

Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia and home to the Parliament of Malaysia, and the official residence of the Malaysian King (Yang di-Pertuan Agong), the Istana Negara. The city once held the headquarters of the executive and judicial branches of the federal government as well, but they were moved to Putrajaya in early 1999. Some sections of the judiciary still remain in Kuala Lumpur.

The city once held the headquarters of the executive and judicial branches of the federal government as well, but they were moved to Putrajaya in early 1999. Some sections of the judiciary still remain in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur is one of three Federal Territories of Malaysia, enclaved within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Since the 1990s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Kuala Lumpur has undergone rapid development in recent decades. It is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, which have become an iconic symbol of Malaysia’s futuristic development.

Traditional cooking

Kuala Lumpur has a comprehensive road system that is supported by extensive public transport networks such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Metro (LRT), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), monorail, commuter rail and airport rail link. Kuala Lumpur is one of the leading cities in the world for tourism and shopping. It is the eighth most visited city in the world. The city is also home to three of the world’s 10 largest malls.

Kuala Lumpur has been ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Ranking at No. 70 out of 140 global cities, and second in Southeast Asia after Singapore at No. 35. Forbes has also named Kuala Lumpur at No. 6 in its list of 10 best cities to retire abroad, and the best in Asia, with factors including world class healthcare, affordable cost of living and widely spoken English. Kuala Lumpur was named as one of the New7Wonders Cities. Safe Cities Index 2017 has put Kuala Lumpur 31st on its world safest cities list, the highest ranked city for a developing country.

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Spending a Weekend in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a population of 851,373 within the city proper, 1,351,587 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The city is...

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague.

Amsterdam has a population of 851,373 within the city proper, 1,351,587 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 8 million.

Vincent van Gogh famous painting

Amsterdam’s name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city’s origin around a dam in the river Amstel.

Amsterdam’s name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city’s origin around a dam in the river Amstel. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries the city expanded, and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Since the annexation of the municipality of Sloten in 1921 by the municipality of Amsterdam, the oldest historic part of the city lies in Sloten (9th century).

As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world’s 500 largest companies, including Philips, AkzoNobel, TomTom and ING, are based in the city. Also, many leading technology companies have their European headquarters in Amsterdam, such as Uber, Netflix and Tesla. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. The city was ranked 3rd in innovation by Australian innovation agency 2thinknow in their Innovation Cities Index 2009. The Port of Amsterdam to this day remains the second in the country, and the fifth largest seaport in Europe. Famous Amsterdam residents include the diarist Anne Frank, artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, and philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city centre. Amsterdam’s main attractions, including its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House, the Amsterdam Museum, its red-light district and its many cannabis coffee shops draw more than 5 million international visitors annually. The city is also well known for its nightlife and festival activity; several of its nightclubs (Melkweg, Paradiso) are among the world’s most famous. It is also one of the world’s most multicultural cities, with at least 177 nationalities represented.

Chilling…

After the floods of 1170 and 1173, locals near the river Amstel built a bridge over the river and a dam across it, giving its name to the village: “Aemstelredamme”. The earliest recorded use of that name is in a document dated October 27, 1275, which exempted inhabitants of the village from paying bridge tolls to Count Floris V. This allowed the inhabitants of the village of Aemstelredamme to travel freely through the County of Holland, paying no tolls at bridges, locks and dams. The certificate describes the inhabitants as homines manentes apud Amestelledamme (people residing near Amestelledamme). By 1327, the name had developed into Aemsterdam.

After the floods of 1170 and 1173, locals near the river Amstel built a bridge over the river and a dam across it, giving its name to the village: “Aemstelredamme”

Amsterdam is much younger than Dutch cities such as Nijmegen, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. In October 2008, historical geographer Chris de Bont suggested that the land around Amsterdam was being reclaimed as early as the late 10th century. This does not necessarily mean that there was already a settlement then, since reclamation of land may not have been for farming—it may have been for peat, for use as fuel.

Amsterdam was granted city rights in either 1300 or 1306. From the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished, largely from trade with the Hanseatic League. In 1345, an alleged Eucharistic miracle in the Kalverstraat rendered the city an important place of pilgrimage until the adoption of the Protestant faith. The Miracle devotion went underground but was kept alive. In the 19th century, especially after the jubilee of 1845, the devotion was revitalized and became an important national point of reference for Dutch Catholics. The Stille Omgang—a silent walk or procession in civil attire—is the expression of the pilgrimage within the Protestant Netherlands since the late 19th century. In the heyday of the Silent Walk, up to 90,000 pilgrims came to Amsterdam. In the 21st century this has reduced to about 5000.

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Golden Triangle, India

It is normally possible to do the trip by coach or private journey through most tour operators. The Golden Triangle is now a well traveled...

India’s golden triangle is a tourist circuit which connects the national capital Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The Golden Triangle is so called because of the triangular shape formed by the locations of New Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan on a map. The trips usually start in Delhi moving south to the site of Taj Mahal at Agra, then west, to the desert landscapes of Rajasthan.

It is normally possible to do the trip by coach or private journey through most tour operators. The Golden Triangle is now a well traveled route providing a good spectrum of the country’s different landscapes. The circuit is about 720 km by road. Each leg is about 4 to 6 hours of drive. The Shatabdi express train also connects Delhi with Agra and Jaipur.

The Taj Mahal (/ˌtɑːdʒ məˈhɑːl, ˌtɑːʒ-/; meaning “Crown of the Palace”) is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (reigned from 1628 to 1658), to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

The tomb is the centrepiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

Construction of the mausoleum was essentially completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in 2015 would be approximately 52.8 billion rupees (U.S. $827 million). The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.

The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.

The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.

It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year. In 2007, it was declared a winner of the New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.

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