The World Traveling Guide

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Yangon

Yangon is a former capital of Burma (Myanmar) and the capital of Yangon Region. Although the military government has officially relocated the capital to Naypyidaw since March 2006, Yangon, with a population of over five million, continues to be the country’s largest city and the most important commercial centre.

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Although Yangon’s infrastructure is undeveloped compared to those of other major cities in Southeast Asia, it has the largest number of colonial buildings in the region today. While many high-rise residential and commercial buildings have been constructed or renovated throughout downtown and Greater Yangon in the past two decades, most satellite towns that ring the city continue to be deeply impoverished.

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The British seized Yangon and all of Lower Burma in the Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852, and subsequently transformed Yangon into the commercial and political hub of British Burma. Yangon is also the place where the British sent Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperor, to live after the Indian Rebellion of 1857.Based on the design by army engineer Lt. Alexander Fraser, the British constructed a new city on a grid plan on delta land, bounded to the east by the Pazundaung Creek and to the south and west by the Yangon River. Yangon became the capital of all British Burma after the British had captured Upper Burma in the Third Anglo-Burmese War of 1885. By the 1890s Yangon’s increasing population and commerce gave birth to prosperous residential suburbs to the north of Royal Lake (Kandawgyi) and Inya Lake. The British also established hospitals including Rangoon General Hospital and colleges including Rangoon University.

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Colonial Yangon, with its spacious parks and lakes and mix of modern buildings and traditional wooden architecture, was known as “the garden city of the East.” By the early 20th century, Yangon had public services and infrastructure on par with London.

Before World War II, about 55% of Yangon’s population of 500,000 was Indian or South Asian, and only about a third was Bamar (Burman). Karens, the Chinese, the Anglo-Burmese and others made up the rest.

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After World War I, Yangon became the epicentre of Burmese independence movement, with leftist Rangoon University students leading the way. Three nationwide strikes against the British Empire in 1920, 1936 and 1938 all began in Yangon. Yangon was under Japanese occupation (1942–45), and incurred heavy damage during World War II. The city was retaken by the Allies in May 1945.

Yangon became the capital of Union of Burma on 4 January 1948 when the country regained independence from the British Empire.

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Yangon has a tropical monsoon climate under the #Köppen climate classification system. The city features a lengthy rainy season from May through October where a substantial amount of rainfall is received; and a dry season from November through April, where little rainfall is seen. It is primarily due to the heavy precipitation received during the rainy season that Yangon falls under the tropical monsoon climate category. During the course of the year, average temperatures show little variance, with average highs ranging from 29 to 36 °C (84 to 97 °F) and average lows ranging from 18 to 25 °C (64 to 77 °F).

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Downtown Yangon is known for its leafy avenues and fin-de-siècle architecture. The former British colonial capital has the highest number of colonial period buildings in Southeast Asia. Downtown Yangon is still mainly made up of decaying colonial buildings. The former High Court, the formerSecretariat buildings, the former St. Paul’s English High School and the Strand Hotel are excellent examples of the bygone era. Most downtown buildings from this era are four-story mix-use (residential and commercial) buildings with 14-foot (4.3 m) ceilings, allowing for the construction ofmezzanines. Despite their less-than-perfect conditions, the buildings remain highly sought after and most expensive in the city’s property market.

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In 1996, the Yangon City Development Committee created a Yangon City Heritage List of old buildings and structures in the city that cannot be modified or torn down without approval. In 2012, the city of Yangon imposed a 50-year moratorium on demolition of buildings older than 50 years. TheYangon Heritage Trust, an NGO started by Thant Myint-U, aims to create heritage areas in Downtown, and attract investors to renovate buildings for commercial use.

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A latter day hallmark of #Yangon is the eight-story apartment building. (In Yangon parlance, a building with no elevators (lifts) is called an apartment building and one with elevators is called a condominium. Condos which have to invest in a local power generator to ensure 24-hour electricity for the elevators are beyond the reach of most Yangonites.) Found throughout the city in various forms, eight-story apartment buildings provide relatively inexpensive housing for many Yangonites. The apartments are usually eight stories high (including the ground floor) mainly because city regulations, until February 2008, required that all buildings higher than 75 feet (23 m) or eight stories install elevators). The current code calls for elevators in buildings higher than 62 feet (19 m) or six stories, likely ushering in the era of the six-story apartment building. Although most apartment buildings were built only within the last 20 years, they look much older and rundown due to shoddy construction and lack of proper maintenance.

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Unlike other major Asian cities, Yangon does not have any skyscrapers. Aside from a few high-rise hotels and office towers downtown, most high-rise buildings (usually 10 stories and up) are “condos” scattered across prosperous neighborhoods north of downtown such as Bahan, Dagon, Kamayut andMayangon. The tallest building in Yangon, Pyay Gardens, is a 25-story condo in the city’s north.

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Older satellite towns such as Thaketa, North Okkalapa and South Okkalapa are lined mostly with one to two story detached houses with access to the city’s electricity grid. Newer satellite towns such as North Dagon and South Dagon are still essentially slums in a grid layout. The satellite towns—old or new—receive little or no municipal services.

 

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Luanda

Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola, in Southern Africa. Located on Angola’s coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola’s chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a metropolitan population of over 5 million. It is also the capital city of Luanda Province, and the world’s third most populous Portuguese-speaking city, behind only São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, both in Brazil, and the most populous Portuguese-speaking capital in the world, ahead of Brasília, Maputo and Lisbon.

Angolan President Not To Seek Re-Election

Luanda was founded in 1575 under the name São Paulo de Loanda by a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. Two forts were constructed in the early 17th century and the city became Portuguese Angola’s administrative center in 1627. From the late 16th century until 1836, Luanda was port where nearly all slaves bound for Brazil left. Aside from a brief period of Dutch rule (1640-48), this time period was relatively uneventful, with Luanda growing much like many other colonial cities, albeit with a strong Brazilian influence as a result of the extensive shipping trade between these Portuguese colonies.

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With the independence of Brazil in 1822 and the end of slavery in 1836 left Luanda’s future looking bleak, but the opening of the city’s port to foreign ships in 1844 led the a great economic boom. By 1850, the city was arguably the most developed and one of the greatest cities in the Portuguese empire outside Portugal itself and fueled by trade in palm and peanut oil, wax, copal, timber, ivory, cotton, coffee, and cocoa. Post-emancipation (resisted by the Portuguese but enforced by the British) forced labour began. Numerous imported crops grew well in the surrounding area to support residents, such as maize, tobacco, and cassava. In 1889, an aqueduct opened, supplying fresh water and removing the only inhibitor to growth in the city. The city blossomed even during the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-74), which did not affect the city, and this modern city was even labeled the “Paris of Africa” in 1972

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After so much success, the city took a turn for the worse in the mid-1970s. While largely untouched during the Carnation Revolution (Angolan independence), the start of the Angolan Civil War in 1975 scared almost all Angola’s population of Portuguese descent out of the country as refugees (including the majority of Luanda’s population). This led to an immediate crisis as Angola’s African population knew little about how to run or maintain the city. They were helped a little by skilled Cuban soldiers who were able to help the MPLA government maintain some of the city’s basic services, but hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled fighting in the countryside created slums stretching for miles on all sides of the city.

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The city saw some sporadic fighting during the Civil War which left bullet holes in many highrises and government building. When peace was reached in 2002, the government began planning to rebuild using oil revenues. Today Luanda’s skyline is dotted with cranes, erecting numerous social housing highrises to replace slums and existing, but grossly dilapidated, 40-plus year old highrises as well as offices for numerous foreign companies operating in Angola. Just South of Luanda in an area aptly called Luanda Sul, Western-standard housing, many compound style, is being built for the growing expat community. Major improvements are being made to roads, highways, and the rail system in and around the city but there is yet an overwhelming amount of work to be done. And while certainly still home to a large impoverished population (59%), free housing and the creation of thousands of new jobs each year means that Luanda may in years to come have a bright future ahead.

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Luanda has a mild semi-arid climate. The climate is warm to hot but surprisingly dry, owing to the cool Benguela Current, which prevents moisture from easily condensing into rain. Frequent fog prevents temperatures from falling at night even during the completely dry months from June to October. Luanda has an annual rainfall of 323 millimetres, but the variability is among the highest in the world, with a co-efficient of variation above 40 percent. Observed records since 1858 range from 55 millimetres (2.2 in) in 1958 to 851 millimetres (33.5 in) in 1916. The short rainy season in March and April depends on a northerly counter current bringing moisture to the city: it has been shown clearly that weakness in the Benguela current can increase rainfall about six fold compared with years when that current is strong.


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Toronto

Toronto  is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. The history of Toronto began in the late 18th century when the British Crown purchased its land from the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The British established a settlement there, called the Town of York, which its lieutenant governor, John Graves Simcoe, designated as the capital of Upper Canada. The city was ransacked in the Battle of York during the War of 1812. In 1834, York was incorporated as a city and renamed Toronto. It was damaged in two huge fires in 1849 and 1904. Over the years, Toronto has expanded its borders several times through amalgamation with surrounding municipalities, most recently in 1998.

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According to the 2011 Census, the city has 2.6 million residents, making it the fifth-most populous city in North America. However, in 2012, the municipal government published a population estimate of 2,791,140, which led to media reports claiming Toronto as the fourth most populous city in North America and the most populous Great Lakes city, surpassing Chicago. The census metropolitan area (CMA) had a population of 5,583,064, and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) had a population of 6,054,191 in the 2011 Census. Toronto is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, and of the densely populated region in Southern Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe. Its cosmopolitan and international population reflects its role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. Toronto is one of the world’s most diverse cities by percentage of non-native-born residents, with about 49% of the population born outside Canada. As Canada’s commercial capital, it is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange and the five largest banks in the nation. Toronto will host the 2015 Pan American Games.

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Toronto has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfa/Dfb), with warm, humid summers and cold winters. The city experiences four distinct seasons, with considerable variance in day to day temperature, particularly during the colder weather season. Owing to urbanization and its proximity to water, Toronto has a fairly low diurnal temperature range (day-night temperature difference). The denser urban scape makes for warmer nights year around and is not as cold throughout the winter than surrounding areas (particularly north of the city); however, it can be noticeably cooler on many spring and early summer afternoons under the influence of a lake breeze. Other low-scale maritime effects on the climate include lake-effect snow, fog and delaying of spring- and fall-like conditions, known as seasonal lag.

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In 1998, the cities of Toronto, Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, and York and the Borough of East York amalgamated to form the current City of Toronto. This is also known as Metropolitan Toronto or “the 416” after its area code (although now there are some new area codes, the majority of landline phone numbers in the Toronto area are still “416”). The city has a population of over 2.6 million people, of which more than half were born outside Canada: a fact immediately obvious to any visitor, as the city has many vibrant bustling neighbourhoods with street signs in several languages.

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Toronto and its surrounding suburbs are collectively known as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Outlying suburbs are also known as “the 905” after their area code, although technically this code is also used in both Hamilton and the Niagara Region, stretching to the border within Niagara Falls. The entire area including Toronto is known as the “Golden Horseshoe” and has a population of over 8 million people. Distances between cities in the area can be great as it sprawls along, outward and even wraps around the western end of Lake Ontario. Public transit is not always effective enough for a quick or seamless trip and many suburban residents rely on motor vehicles to get around.

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A popular urban myth has it that the United Nations rated Toronto as “the most multicultural city in the world.” While the UN and its agencies are not in the habit of rating cities, it remains a fact that Canada is a nation of immigrants, and Toronto demonstrates this abundantly. A UN agency lists Toronto as second only to Miami as the city with the most foreign-born residents, but Toronto’s residents represent far more cultural and language groups, which is arguably a better measure of multi-culturalism. Most immigrants either pass through

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Toronto on their way to other parts of the country or stay in Toronto permanently. Many people born abroad consider themselves, and are considered, to be as Canadian as native born Canadians, and asserting or behaving as though otherwise is considered offensive, especially so in Toronto. This contributes to the overall cultural mosaic that is Toronto today. Within Toronto, most ethnic groups will work their way into the fabric of Canadian society but some still retain their distinct ways such as language, dress (if only for special occasions), custom, and food.

Toronto winters sometimes feature cold snaps where maximum temperatures remain below −10 °C (14 °F), often made to feel colder by wind chill. Snowstorms, sometimes mixed with ice and rain, can disrupt work and travel schedules, accumulating snow can fall any time from November until mid-April. However, mild stretches also occur in most winters melting accumulated snow.

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The summer months are characterized by long stretches of humid weather. Usually in the range from 23 °C (73 °F) to 31 °C (88 °F), daytime temperatures occasionally surpass 35 °C (95 °F) accompanied by high humidity making it feel oppressive during these brief periods of hot weather. Spring and autumn are transitional seasons with generally mild or cool temperatures with alternating dry and wet periods.

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Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, but summer is usually the wettest season, the bulk falling during thunderstorms. There can be periods of dry weather, but drought-like conditions are rare. The average yearly precipitation is about 831 mm (32.7 in), with an average annual snowfall of about 122 cm (48 in). Toronto experiences an average of 2,066 sunshine hours, or 45% of daylight hours, varying between a low of 28% in December to 60% in July

 


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Barbados

Barbados is endowed with 113km (70 miles) of beaches so first time visitors can be forgiven for heading straight for the sand and surf. Most tourists flock to the island’s legendary Platinum Coast to the west, which is lined with world-class, luxury resorts, spa hotels, sophisticated restaurants and manicured golf courses, all lapped by the limpid Caribbean Sea. The south coast has some of the best beaches while the east coast, pummelled by the Altantic Ocean, is less developed and attracts mainly surfers.

Although Barbados’s interior is unremarkable compared to its Caribbean neighbours, a jeep safari provides the best way to discover crumbling sugar mills, historic plantation houses, traditional churches reminiscent of England and colonial Bridgetown. The capital, and the nearby Garrison site, were granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2012.

Combine this with Barbados’s indelible laid-back vibe, its passion for rum (over 1,500 rum shops dot the island) and calypso-infused festivals, and it’s no wonder people return here time and time again.

Things to see and do

Bridgetown

Barbados’s capital Bridgetown – named after a crude bridge constructed by early Indian settlers – is the best place to enjoy the island’s colonial history.

Visit National Heroes Square, which boasts a statue of Lord Nelson, which was erected in 1813, well before Nelson’s Column was put up in London. Nearby are the neogothic Parliament Buildings, Bridgetown Synagogue (reputed to the oldest in the western hemisphere) and the pretty, pink pastel coloured facades of DaCosta’s Mall. When you tire of sightseeing, pop into one of the ubiquitous rum shops or head for a drink at the Waterfront area overlooking the marina.

Bridgetown

Chalky Mount Potteries

Barbados’s famous Chalky Mount potters are renowned for their high-quality inexpensive art. You can watch the local potters at work at the wheel fashioning centuries-old designs – a respected 300-year-old tradition.

Chalky Mount Potteries

Crane Beach

The baby-pink sands of cliff-flanked Crane Beach, an idyllic spot that is one of the most beautiful on the island, are perfect for a stroll. Moderate, foamy waves draw a body-surfing crowd and there are plenty of shaded spots to chill out until the magical sunsets arrive.

Crane Beach

Cricket

Cricket is the national sporting obsession, with Barbados hosting the World Twenty20 finals in 2010 at the newly expanded Kensington Oval pitch near Bridgetown.

Choose from barefoot village friendlies to international and local club cups – where many of the great names of West Indian cricket are honoured, most notably Sir Garfield Sobers.

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East Coast Road

Barbados’s East Coast Road, hemmed by crashing Atlantic waves, is one of the island’s most exciting drives. A rugged coastal route overlooks treacherous reefs while an inland road weaves through rolling sugarcane to quaint plantation towns topped by church steeples. One of the most popular destinations on the east coast is Bathsheba, where giant coral boulders, which have broken away from ancient coral reefs over thousands of years, offer striking photograph opportunities. Bathsheba is also the location for the legendary Soup Bowl surfing competition.

East Coast Road

Fishing

Wahoo, dorado, barracuda, tuna and sailfish, together with mighty blue marlin and shark, all patrol Barbados’s deep sea waters. There are plenty of game fishing tournaments and inshore competitions to join or just grab a rod and head to the jetty.

Harrison’s Cave

With an abundance of stalactites, stalagmites, streams, lakes and waterfalls, Harrison’s Cave is a jaw-dropping spectacle. The caves, in the parish of St. Thomas, were first mentioned in historical documents in 1795 and then virtually forgotten for nearly 200 years, until being rediscovered in 1976.

In 1981, Harrison’s Cave was opened to the public. Visitors can enjoy a scenic trail from the clifftop to the valley floor, before entering the caves on a 40-minute journey in an electric cart led by guides. Self-guides walks are also possible.

Harrison’s Cave

Horse riding

It’s possible to gallop along the beach at sundown or simply trek along inland trails. Over two-dozen horse-riding events take place on the Garrison Savannah. Polo is also played to a high level by fiercely competitive Barbadian teams.

Scuba diving

Barbados’s rainbow of coral reefs offers a pristine watery home to seahorses, sponges and giant sand eels. Hidden caves and shipwrecks provide plenty of underwater nooks and crannies along a shoreline nested by Hawksbill Turtles.

Taste the oldest rum in the world

Mount Gay Rum, on the island’s west coast, can trace its heritage back to 1703, making it the world’s oldest rum producer. Made from the sugar cane that thrived across the island, Barbados was once the favoured tipple of English sailors.

Visitors can learn about the refining, aging, blending and bottling process on tastings and tours, which run hourly between Monday-Saturday.

The Barbados Wildlife Reserve

The Barbados Wildlife Reserve’s resplendent mahogany forest is the roaming territory of green monkeys, tortoises, deer, raccoons, pelicans and otters. A walk-through aviary allows a leafy stroll with peacocks, turkeys, toucans, parrots, flamingoes, pelicans, lovebirds and macaws.

Wildlife Reserve

Viewpoints

Lofty Mount Hillaby, the island’s highest point at 343m (1,125ft), offers incredible panoramas across the east, west and northern coasts. Dramatic vistas also abound from St John’s Parish Church over miles of jagged coastline and moss-covered family vaults dotted with tropical flora.

Watersports

The island’s rugged south and west coasts boast world-class watersports where windsurfers, jet skiers, parasailers and water skiers enjoy perfect conditions. To ride the waves head to the Soup Bowl, South Point and Rockley Beach, Barbados’s surfing mecca.

Whizz through the rainforest at Walkes Spring

Aerial Trek Zipline Adventures offers soft adventure thrills as you whizz through the rainforest at Jack-in-the-box Gully, Walkes Spring, in the centre of the island. The scenic ride began operations in 2007 and is proving popular. Advance bookings are recommended.
Nightlife in Barbados

Nightlife in Barbados
Bajans love to party with nightlife options in Barbados ranging from clubs, beach bars and pubs to rum shops, dinner shows and twilight boat cruises. Music ranges fom calypso and reggae to the latest R’n’B.
Most of the main nightlife spots are concentrated around the south and west coasts. St Lawrence Gap is the liveliest nightlife spot on the islands; it’s a one-street affair lined with smart pubs, clubs and bars. If you want to party with the locals, head to Oistins Fish Market on a Friday or Saturday night, where Bajans dance to the early hours in the open air with music ranging from country and western to the latest calypso.


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Havana

Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 728.26 km2 (281.18 sq mi) − making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the third largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region. The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Atarés. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.

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Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the continent becoming a stopping point for the treasure laden Spanish Galleons on the crossing between the New World and the Old World. King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592. Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city. The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish-American War.

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Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts. The city is the center of the Cuban Government, and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 90 diplomatic offices.The current mayor is Marta Hernández from the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). In 2009, the city/province had the 3rd highest income in the country.

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The city attracts over a million tourists annually, the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, a 20.0% increase from 2005. The historic centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments.

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Havana lies on the northern coast of Cuba, south of the Florida Keys, where the Gulf of Mexico joins the Caribbean. The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa, and Atarés. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.

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The low hills on which the city lies rise gently from the deep blue waters of the straits. A noteworthy elevation is the 200-foot-high (60-metre) limestone ridge that slopes up from the east and culminates in the heights of La Cabaña and El Morro, the sites of colonial fortifications overlooking the eastern bay. Another notable rise is the hill to the west that is occupied by the University of Havana and the Prince’s Castle. Outside the city, higher hills rise on the west and east.

Cuba has a tropical climate, with warm, humid weather all year long, though cold temperatures have occured in the mountains before. Being surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba has warm water year round, with winter water temperatures at 75F, spring and fall temperatures at 78F and summer temperatures at 82F.

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Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts. Old Havana, with its narrow streets and overhanging balconies, is the traditional centre of part of Havana’s commerce, industry, and entertainment, as well as being a residential area.

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To the north and west a newer section, centred on the uptown area known as Vedado, has become the rival of Old Havana for commercial activity and nightlife. Centro Habana, sometimes described as part of Vedado, is mainly a shopping district that lies between Vedado and Old Havana. The Capitolio Nacional building marks the beginning of Centro Habana, a working-class neighborhood. Chinatown and the Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagás, one of Cuba’s oldest cigar factories is located in the area.

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A third Havana is that of the more affluent residential and industrial districts that spread out mostly to the west. Among these is Marianao, one of the newer parts of the city, dating mainly from the 1920s. Some of the suburban exclusivity was lost after the revolution, many of the suburban homes having been nationalized by the Cuban government to serve as schools, hospitals, and government offices. Several private country clubs were converted to public recreational centres. Miramar, located west of Vedado along the coast, remains Havana’s exclusive area; mansions, foreign embassies, diplomatic residences, upscale shops, and facilities for wealthy foreigners are common in the area. The International School of Havana is located in the Miramar neighborhood.

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In the 1980s many parts of Old Havana, including the Plaza de Armas, became part of a projected 35-year multimillion-dollar restoration project, for Cubans to appreciate their past and boost tourism. In the past ten years, with the assistance of foreign aid and under the support of local city historian Eusebio Leal Spengler, large parts of Habana Vieja have been renovated. The city is moving forward with their renovations, with most of the major plazas (Plaza Vieja, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco and Plaza de Armas) and major tourist streets (Obispo and Mercaderes) near completion.

 


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Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal with a population of 547,631 within its administrative limits on a land area of 84.8 square kilometres (32.7 sq mi). The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 3 million on an area of 958 square kilometres (370 sq mi), making it the 11th most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3,035,000 people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (which represents approximately 27% of the population of the country). Lisbon is the westernmost large city located in Europe, as well as its westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. It lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus.

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Lisbon is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. It is one of the major economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector and the largest/second largest container port on Europe’s Atlantic coast. Lisbon Portela Airport serves over 16 million passengers annually (2013); the motorway network and the high-speed rail system of (Alfa Pendular) link the main cities of Portugal. The city is the seventh-most-visited city in Southern Europe, afterIstanbul, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Athens and Milan, with 1,740,000 tourists in 2009. The Lisbon region is the wealthiest region in Portugal, GDP PPP per capita is 26,100 euros (4.7% higher than the average European Union’s GDP PPP per capita).

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It is the tenth richest metropolitan area by GDP on the continent amounting to 110 billion euros and thus €39,375 per capita, 40% higher than the average European Union’s GDP per capita. The city occupies 32nd place of highest gross earnings in the world. Most of the headquarters of multinationals in the country are located in the Lisbon area and it is the 9th city in the world in terms of quantity of international conferences. It is also the political centre of the country, as seat of Government and residence of the Head of State. The seat of the district of Lisbon and the centre of the Lisbon region.

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Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured by the Moors in the 8th century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon’s status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially – by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal.

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Lisbon hosts two agencies of the European Union: the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Called the “Capital of the Lusophone world”, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries has its headquarters in the city, in the Palace of the Counts of Penafiel.

 

Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Furthermore, in 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture and in 1998 organised the Expo ’98 (1998 Lisbon World Exposition).

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Lisbon enjoys a warm climate, with mild winters and very warm summers. Strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream, it is one of the mildest climates in Europe. Among all the metropolises in Europe, here are the warmest winters on the continent, with average temperatures above 15.2°C (59.4°F) during the day and 8.9°C (48.0°F) at night in the period from December to February. Snow and frost are very rare. The typical summer’s season lasts about 6 months, from May to October, with an average temperature of 25°C (77°F) during the day and 16.2°C (61.2°F) at night, although also in November, March and April sometimes there are temperature above 20°C (68.0°F) with an average temperature of 18.5°C (65°F) during the day and 11.2°C (52.2°F) at night. Rain occurs mainly in winter, the summer is very dry.

Lisbon is very close to the ocean and that brings windy and fast-changing weather, so you’d better bring a an extra pair of underwear or an umbrella with you, at least in winter, spring and autumn.

 


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Vancouver

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia,Canada(#Canada). The 2011 census recorded 603,502 people in the city, making it the eighth largest Canadian municipality. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. The Greater Vancouver area of around 2.4 million inhabitants is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country and the most populous in Western Canada.

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The City of Vancouver encompasses a land area of about 114 square kilometres, giving it a population density of about 5,249 people per square kilometre (13,590 per square mile). Vancouver is the most densely populated Canadian municipality, and the fourth most densely populated city over 250,000 residents in North America, behind New York City, San Francisco, and Mexico City.

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The original settlement, named Gastown(#Gastown), grew around the Hastings Mill logging sawmill and a nearby tavern, both established in 1867. Enlarging to become the townsite of Granville, with the announcement that the railhead would reach the site it was renamed “Vancouver” and incorporated as a city in 1886. By 1887, the transcontinental railway was extended to the city to take advantage of its large natural seaport, which soon became a vital link in a trade route between the Orient, Eastern Canada, and London. As of 2009, Port Metro Vancouver is the busiest and largest port in Canada, and the most diversified port in North America. While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second-largest industry. Major film production studios in Vancouver and Burnaby have turned Metro Vancouver into one of the largest film production centres in North America, earning it the film industry nickname, Hollywood North.

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Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life, and the Economist Intelligence Unitacknowledged it as the first city to rank among the top-ten of the world’s most livable cities for five consecutive years. Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, UN Habitat I, Expo 86, and the World Police and Fire Games in 1989 and 2009. In 2014, following thirty years in California, Vancouver became the indefinite home of the annual TEDconference. Canada will host the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and several matches will be played in Vancouver, including the final at BC PlaceStadium. The 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics were held in Vancouver and nearby Whistler, a resort community 125 km (78 mi) north of the city.

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Vancouver is one of Canada’s warmest cities. Vancouver’s climate is temperate by Canadian standards and is usually classified as Oceanic orMarine west coast, which under the Köppen climate classification system would be Cfb. The summer months are typically dry, with an average of only one in five days during July and August receiving precipitation. In contrast, precipitation falls during nearly half the days from November through March.

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Vancouver is also one of the wettest Canadian cities; however, precipitation varies throughout the metropolitan area. Annual precipitation as measured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond averages 1,189 mm (46.8 in), compared with 1,588 mm (62.5 in) in the downtown area and 2,044 mm (80.5 in) in North Vancouver.[64][65] The daily maximum averages 22 °C (72 °F) in July and August, with highs rarely reaching 30 °C (86 °F).

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The highest temperature ever recorded at the airport was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F) set on 30 July 2009, and the highest temperature ever recorded within the city of Vancouver was 35.0 °C (95.0 °F) occurring first on 31 July 1965, again on 8 August 1981, and finally on 29 May 1983.

On average, snow falls on eleven days per year, with three days receiving 6 cm (2.4 in) or more. Average yearly snowfall is 38.1 cm (15.0 in) but typically does not remain on the ground for long.

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Winters in Greater Vancouver are the fourth mildest of Canadian cities after nearby Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan, all on Vancouver Island. Vancouver’s growing season averages 221 days, from March 29 until November 5, longer than any other major city in Canada.

Vancouver is one of the few major cities in North America without a freeway leading directly into the downtown core (freeway proposals in the 1960s and 1970s were defeated by community opposition). As a result, development has taken a different course than in most other major North American cities resulting in a relatively high use of transit and cycling, a dense, walkable core and a development model that is studied and emulated elsewhere.

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While Vancouver(#Vancouver) is still a young city, it has a variety of attractions and points of interest for the visitor. Many of the city’s landmarks and historical buildings can be found downtown. Canada Place, with its distinctive sails, the Vancouver Convention Centre located just beside it, the intricate Art Deco styling of the Marine Building and the old luxury railway hotel of the Hotel Vancouver are in the central business district. Stanley Park (the city’s most popular attraction), along with its neighbouring Coal Harbour walkway and the Vancouver Aquarium are in the West End and Gastown, the original town site of Vancouver, has a number of restored buildings and its steam clock is a popular spot to visit. Modern architecture worth visiting also includes Shangri-La, currently the tallest building in the city, and the Sheraton Wall Centre. Another popular city landmark, the bustling markets and shops of Granville Island(#Island), is just to the south of downtown in South Granville.