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DESTINATION GUIDES

Get a flavour for your vacation destinations with our mini travel guides to the most popular destinations in the world. What to see and do on your holiday or world tours.

DESTINATION GUIDES: ASIA: China, Japan, Taiwan, AUSTRALIA & THE PACIFIC: New Zealand, CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil, EUROPE: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey,



ASIA

Destination: China Destination: China Destination: CHINA

China, formally known as the People's Republic of China is a country in Eastern Asia about the same size as the United States of America.

With coasts on the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, it borders Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to the South; Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to the West; Russia and Mongolia to the North and North Korea to the East.

DESTINATION CHINA: Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai,

DESTINATION: JAPAN

Destination: Tokyo, Japan Destination: Tokyo, Japan Destination: TOKYO, JAPAN

Tokyo is the capital of Japan. At over 12 million people in the official metropolitan area alone, Tokyo is the center of the most populated urban area in the world, Greater Tokyo (which has a population of 35 million people). Tokyo brings the most modern wonders of technology, commerce and architecture side by side with the old, and has something for everyone.

Huge and varied in its geography, with over 2,000 square kilometers to explore, Tokyo prefecture spans not just the city, but rugged mountains to the west and subtropical islands to the south.

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DESTINATION: TAIWAN

Destination: Taipei, Taiwan Destination: Taipei, Taiwan Destination: TAIPEI, TAIWAN

Taipei is the provisional capital of the Republic of China, otherwise known as Taiwan. It is located in the northern part of the island in a basin between the Yangming Mountains and the Central Mountains. The Taipei of today is a confident city of about 2.5 million inhabitants (about 7 million including suburbs), and is characterized by its friendly people and safe streets.

While it is not usually high on the list of tourist destinations, it is a fascinating place to visit and live. Furthermore, despite its size, Taipei does not have any rough areas that are considered unsafe, even at night - which in itself is attractive.

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AUSTRALIA & THE PACIFIC

Destination: New Zealand Destination: New Zealand Destination: NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand is a temperate to sub-tropical island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. A former British colony, the majority of the population is of European descent, with a sizeable indigenous Maori minority and smaller minorities of various Polynesian and other groups. A modern but sparsely populated country, it boasts natural beauty and a wide range of outdoor and adventure activities

New Zealand consists of two main islands and many smaller ones in the South Pacific Ocean approximately 2000 km southeast of Australia. With a population of four million in a country about the size of the United Kingdom, many areas are sparsely settled.

DESTINATION: NEW ZEALAND: Christchurch, Rotorua, Wellington,

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
DESTINATION: BRAZIL

Destination: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Destination: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Destination: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Rio de Janeiro is a large city in Brazil, on the South Atlantic coast. Rio is famous for its breathtaking landscape, its laidback beach culture and its annual carnival. It is not an uncommon mistake to point out Rio as Brazil's capital, as in fact it was until 1960.

Beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, the Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue, the stadium of Maracanã and Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) are all well-known sights of what the inhabitants call the marvelous city (cidade maravilhosa), and also the first images to pop up in someone's mind, along with the Carnaval celebration.

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MEDITERRANEAN EUROPE

Destination: Greece Destination: Greece Destination: GREECE

Greece is a country in eastern Southern Europe on the Balkan peninsula, with extensive coastlines and islands in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. It shares borders in the north with Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey.

Greece has an ancient culture that has had a significant influence on the arts, language, philosophy, politics, and sports of western society, including the genres of comedy and drama, western alphabets, Platonic ideals and the Socratic method, democracies and republics, and the Olympics. On top of all this, it's a geographically appealing place to visit, with a mountainous mainland and idyllic island beaches.

DESTINATION GREECE: Athens, Mykonos, Santorini,

DESTINATION: PORTUGAL

Destination: Lisbon, Portugal Destination: Lisbon, Portugal Destination: LISBON, PORTUGAL

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Known for thrilling nightlife, in the last few years it has become recognized as Europe's gambling centre, due to its two huge casinos. Like Rome, Istanbul, and Seattle, Lisbon is built on seven hills.

Due to its economic output, standard of living, and market size, Lisbon is considered one of the major financial centers of the Iberian Peninsula, together with Madrid and Barcelona.

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Destination: Spain Destination: Spain Destination: SPAIN

Spain (Espana) is a diverse country in Mediterranean Europe, sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. Once the center of a global empire with territories in North, Central and South America, Africa, and the Philippines, contemporary Spain has overcome civil war and fascism in the 20th century to stand proud and centered in itself.

With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip. A country of large geographical and cultural diversity, Spain is sometimes a surprise to people who know its reputation for great beach holidays.

DESTINATION SPAIN: Barcelona, Madrid, Seville,

Destination: Italy Destination: Italy Destination: ITALY

Italy is a large country in Southern Europe. It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - art and monuments are everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its cuisine, its fashion, the luxury sports cars and motorcycles, as well as for its beautiful coasts, lakes and mountains (the Alps and Appennines).

The climate of the costal regions is a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and generally hot and dry summers. Italy and the large islands of Sicily and Sardinia have very changeable weather in autumn, winter, and spring in marked contrast to the settled sunny weather of summer.

DESTINATION ITALY: Bologna, Florence, Naples, Rome, Venice,

Destination: Turkey Destination: Turkey Destination: TURKEY

Turkey is located on the Mediterranean, in the Middle East region of Asia, with a small section in Mediterranean Europe separated by the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles).

With the the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea in the west and Mediterranean Sea to the southwest, Turkey is surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the northeast, Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast.

DESTINATION TURKEY: Ankara, Bodrum, Istanbul,

UNITED KINGDOM & GREAT BRITAIN

Destination: Scotland Destination: Scotland Destination: SCOTLAND

Scotland is the northernmost of the four constituent parts that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sharing a 60 mile (96 km) long land border with England to the south and separated from Northern Ireland by the North Channel of the Irish Sea. Otherwise, Scotland is surrounded by the bracing waters of the North Sea to the east, and the North Atlantic Ocean to the west and north.

The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh and its largest city is Glasgow. Apart from these and several other cities, the popular image of Scotland for most travellers, of course, centres on the Highlands and Islands - a wonderfully diverse land, Scotland has much to offer virtually any traveller.

DESTINATION: SCOTLAND: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness,

WESTERN EUROPE
DESTINATION: BELGIUM

Destination: Belgium, Brussels Destination: Belgium, Brussels Destination: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and also of the European Union. Lying at the crossroads of cultures (the Germanic in the north and the Romantic in the South) and playing an important role in Europe it fits the definition of the so-called melting pot but still retains a character of its own.

Brussels is, officially, a bilingual city where both French and Dutch are official languages. All the streets have, therefore, two names, which can sound totally different. For example, the Main Square is called la Grand Place and de Grote Markt at the same time.

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Destination: Ghent, Brussels Destination: Ghent, Brussels Destination: GHENT, BELGIUM

Ghent is a city in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium. Ghent is a city of history. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the richest and most powerful cities in Europe, second only to Paris (the Italian penisula excluded). This can be seen clearly when viewing the imposing architecture of churches and the houses of rich traders.

The whole of the city center is restored in this fashion, and still breathes the atmosphere of a thriving late-medieval city state. As the city council made the center free of cars, it is now a very welcoming and open area, which does not fail to impress even the people who live there.

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Destination: France Destination: France Destination: FRANCE

France s the world's most popular tourist destination boasting dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, Cote d'Azur (the French Riviera), the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the Alps, the Castles of Loire Valley, Brittany, and Mont Saint Michel. The country is renowned for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion. France will be hosting the Rugby World Cup 2007 during October and November.

Trains are a great way to get around in France. You can get pretty much from anywhere to anywhere else by train. For long distances, use the TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse - High-Speed Train). Reservations are obligatory. But, if you have time, take the slow train and enjoy the scenery. The landscape is part of what makes France one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

DESTINATION: FRANCE: Arles, Avignon, Paris,

CENTRAL EUROPE

Destination: Austria Destination: Austria Destination: AUSTRIA

Austria is a land-locked alpine country in Central Europe bordering with Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Germany and Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east and Slovenia and Italy to the south. Contrary to popular perceptions, Austria is not all about mountains.

In fact, the Alps only occupy about half of the country. A diverse mix of landscapes is packed into a relatively small area. Glaciers, meadows, alpine valleys, wooded foothills, gently rolling farmland, vineyards, river gorges, plains and even semi-arid steppes can be found in Austria.

DESTINATION AUSTRIA: Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna,

DESTINATION: GERMANY

Destination: Berlin, Germany Destination: Berlin, Germany Destination: BERLIN, GERMANY

Berlin is the capital city of Germany and the largest city. Berlin is best known for its historical associations as the German capital, for its lively nightlife, for its many cafes, clubs, and bars, and for its numerous museums, palaces, and other sites of historic interest.

Berlin's architecture is quite varied: though badly damaged in the final years of World War II (in which Berlin formed the backdrop to Nazi Germany's downfall), Berlin has reconstructed itself greatly, and it is now possible to see representatives of many different historic periods in a short time within the compact city center, from a few surviving medieval buildings near Alexanderplatz, to the ultramodern glass and steel structures in Potsdamer Platz.

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Destination: Switzerland Destination: Switzerland Destination: SWITZERLAND

Switzerland is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It has borders with France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Germany to the north. The climate is temperate, but varies with altitude. Switzerland has cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers.

Switzerland is known for its mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) but it also has a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The highest point is Dufourspitze at 4,634 m while Lake Maggiore is only 195 m above sea level.

DESTINATION SWITZERLAND: Bern, Geneva, Zurich,

NORTHERN EUROPE
DESTINATION: DENMARK

Destination: Copenhagen, Denmark Destination: Copenhagen, Denmark Destination: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, on the island of Zealand. Copenhagen is one of Europe's most enjoyable cities. Situated on the Oresund (Danish: Oresund) strait, with Sweden just minutes away by train, it is a link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia, and has a wealth of cultural and entertaining things to see and do.

The city has a reputation for tolerance, the fascinating 'free city' of Christiania, a community of people who have tried to create an equal and just consensus-governed democracy for its people. There is more to here than Carlsberg and The Little Mermaid, and a trip to the wonderful Tivoli Gardens will leave the visitor in no doubt that this is a very special city.

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