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  • Hanging out in the Jemaa el Fna square, Morocco

    Hanging out in the Jemaa el Fna square, Morocco

    October 30th, 2013Site Editor
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    There’s nowhere on Earth like the Jemaa el Fna, the square at the heart of old Marrakesh. The focus of the evening promenade for locals, the Jemaa is a heady blend of alfresco food bazaar and street theatre: for as long as you’re in town, you’ll want to come back here again and again. Goings-on…

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  • Mopping up a Moroccan tajine

    Mopping up a Moroccan tajine

    October 29th, 2013Site Editor
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    Robert Carrier, one of the twentieth century’s most influential food writers, rated Moroccan cuisine as second only to that of France. Which is perhaps a little hyperbolic, for, outside the grandest kitchens, Moroccan cooking is decidedly simple, with only a half dozen or so dishes popping up on most local menus. But no matter where you are in the…

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  • Meeting the monarch butterflies in Michoacan

    Meeting the monarch butterflies in Michoacan

    October 28th, 2013Site Editor
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    Early morning in the mountains of Michoacán. There’s a stillness in the wooded glades and a delicate scent of piny resin in the air. Mostly oyamel firs, the trees are oddly coated in a scrunched orange blanket – some kind of fungus? Diseased bark? Then the sun breaks through the mist and thousands of butterflies…

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  • A night in the rainforest, Malaysia

    A night in the rainforest, Malaysia

    October 23rd, 2013Site Editor
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    You probably won’t get much sleep on your first night in Taman Negara National Park – not because there’s an elephant on your chalet doorstep or the rain’s dripping through your tent, but because the rainforest is unexpectedly noisy after dark. High-volume insects whirr and beep at an ear-splitting pitch, branches creak and swish menacingly,…

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  • Floating through Xochimilco, Mexico

    Floating through Xochimilco, Mexico

    October 22nd, 2013Site Editor
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    Spend a few days in the intoxicating, maddening centro histórico of Mexico City, and you’ll understand why thousands of Mexicans make the journey each Sunday to the “floating gardens” of Xochimilco, the country’s very own Venice. Built by the Aztecs to grow food, this network of meandering waterways and man-made islands, or chinampas, is an important gardening centre…

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  • Jungle boogie in Sarawak, Malaysia

    Jungle boogie in Sarawak, Malaysia

    October 21st, 2013Site Editor
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    In this excerpt from Make The Most Of Your Time On Earth, one Rough Guides writer experiences a memorable three-day music festival. Afternoon, the first day of Sarawak’s Rainforest Music festival. People are mingling ahead of show time when the famous Malagasy band Tarika will perform. For now though, a local Melinau musician with a hat…

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  • Joining the party at an Iban longhouse, Malaysia

    Joining the party at an Iban longhouse, Malaysia

    October 18th, 2013Site Editor
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    It’s always polite to bring gifts to your hosts’ house, but when visiting a Sarawak longhouse make sure it’s something that’s easily shared, as longhouses are communal, and nearly everything gets divvied up into equal parts. This isn’t always an easy task: typically, longhouses are home to around 150 people and contain at least thirty family apartments, each one’s…

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  • Spellbound in Laos

    Spellbound in Laos

    October 17th, 2013Site Editor
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    The pace of life is deliciously slow in Luang Prabang, but if you opt for a lie-in you’ll miss the perfect start to the day. As dawn breaks over this most languorous of Buddhist towns, saffron-robed monks emerge from their temple-monasteries to collect alms from their neighbours, the riverbanks begin to come alive and the…

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  • Puzzles at the plain of Jars, Laos

    Puzzles at the plain of Jars, Laos

    October 15th, 2013Site Editor
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    After three hours trudging along steep forest paths, you come to a surreal sight. Hundreds of megalithic stone jars, large enough for someone to a crouch inside, are strewn all around. This group of 416 jars is the largest at the aptly named Plain of Jars, whose current tally stands at 1900 jars in 52…

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  • Win a two week volunteer trip with GVI

    Win a two week volunteer trip with GVI

    October 10th, 2013Site Editor
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    Pin This competition is now closed. Congratulations to our GVI trip winner Kirsty McCarlie, who chose Venezuela as her top destination for 2014. Kirsty is hoping to travel to Costa Rica with GVI to complete her placement conserving jaguars next year.  Have you ever wanted to give back to the world, to develop and conserve…

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  • Better than Disneyland: the Ghibli Museum, Japan

    Better than Disneyland: the Ghibli Museum, Japan

    October 2nd, 2013Site Editor
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    Move over Mickey Mouse: in Japan it’s a giant cuddly fur-ball called Totoro who commands national icon status. This adorable animated creature, star of My Neighbour Totoro, is among the pantheon of characters from the movies of celebrated director Miyazaki Hayao and his colleagues at Studio Ghibli – Japan’s equivalent of Disney. Just like Walt,…

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  • A floral wave of cherry blossoms, Japan

    A floral wave of cherry blossoms, Japan

    September 26th, 2013Site Editor
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    The arrival of the sakura, or cherry blossom, has long been a profound yet simple Japanese lesson about the nature of human existence. For centuries, poets have fired off reams of haiku comparing the brief but blazing lives of the flowers to those of our own – a tragically fragile beauty to be treasured and contemplated. In Japan,…

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