Relics of Past Splendor
These shrines were created with stones carried from far away; many were built without mortar, and all were built without modern technology. Yet the structures have withstood the ravages not only of time and weather, but also of mankind. Over the centuries temple figures sacred to one religion (Buddhism) have been removed or destroyed by followers of another religion (Hinduism), only to be replaced by the original worshipers (Buddhists). Just as destructive were souvenir hunters who have taken pieces from the carvings and sold them to collectors and museums. Lastly, bullet holes and bomb damage mar many of the temple walls a legacy of the Khmer Rouge.
Like the pyramids in Egypt and the Mayan ruins in Central America, Angkor Wat is the relic of an ancient civilization that was far advanced for its time. Today many of the Angkor Wat temples are still in daily use. I saw monks and worshipers kneeling in the temples, burning incense and praying. Truly a profound experience.
Emblems of Today's Squalor
In contrast, on my last evening in Cambodia, I took a boat ride through Chong Khneas, a floating fishing village. This loose collection of more than 700 families of fishermen and a complete support community live on boats and travel Tonl Sap Lake following the fish and the rainy season.To reach the floating village we drove through the town of Siem Reap and several smaller villages. The further from Siem Reap we traveled, the more primitive living conditions became. Homes went from cinder-block and concrete structures to wooden houses to one-room bamboo shacks supported on spindly bamboo poles to protect them from flooding. I would have been afraid to roll over in my sleep in these houses, much less raise a family or ride out a monsoon in one. Electricity was nonexistent, and the only running water was the stream we were following to the lake. The only nod to the 21st century was televisions, running on car batteries and prominently displayed in the glassless windows.
The floating village consisted of hundreds of boats, some no bigger than 20 feet by 6 feet. Entire families lived on each boat. Cages suspended underneath the boat served as impromptu fish farms. The back of the boat held a primitive outhouse. Children bathed in the lake while old women cleaned fish or cooked noodles in water dipped from the same source. The lake served not only a source of food and of cooking and drinking water, but as a bathtub and septic system as well. Here the ubiquitous televisions, and the outboard motors used to power the fishing boats onto the lake each evening, were the only lifestyle changes in the last 200 years.
The floating village and the bamboo shacks were light years below the standard of living enjoyed by the Cambodians who designed and lived in the temple complex at Angor Wat 900 years ago. All of those past splendors seem lost today.
The Lessons of Forgetfulness
What caused such an advanced civilization to revert to a shadow of its former self? And what lesson can we learn from this study in contrasts? To paraphrase George Santayana's famous line, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to forget it." Somehow the people of that floating village have forgotten the grandeur of Cambodia's past. They have lost touch with the creativity and spirit that made Angkor Wat possible. Instead of moving forward, they either stayed the same or moved backwards and perhaps that amounts to the same thing. Once we cease to learn, build, create and stretch, we not only stop gaining or growing, we allow the rest of the world to pass us by. This is the equivalent of moving backwards.
We must ask ourselves each day, "Am I moving forward or simply standing still?" In our lives and at our work we all know people who refuse to change with the times. To our computer-savvy children watching us struggle to retrieve our email, we may look like slow-moving dinosaurs. We cannot afford the luxury of standing still. To do so allows the world to move past us. More importantly from a business standpoint, it allows our competition to move easily past us.
Do you risk becoming a relic of the past or a dinosaur whose fate is extinction? If you have any amount of doubt coursing through your veins, commit today to education, growth and constant improvement, both personal and professional. And know that if up until now you've been a bit lax, you're never too old or too young to make this commitment to yourself. The lesson I learned in Cambodia is that I want to be the one who builds monuments for the future not the one who wonders how the monuments of the past were built.
Incorporated as the 50th state in the United States of America on 21st August 1959, Hawaii is an archipelago of Hawaiian Islands lying in the central Pacific Ocean and is also known as the Aloha state. Hawaii is the southernmost part of the USA, lying 2500 miles from the mainland. They were known as the Sandwich Islands (named by the British explorer, Captain James Cook) and became U.S. territory in 1900. The Hawaii includes eight major islands Kahoolawe, Lanai, Hawaii, Maui, Nihau, Oahu, Kauai and Molokai in addition to many islets. These islands were united under a ruler King Kamehameha the Great.With its capital at Honolulu, Hawaiian and English languages are widely spoken. The biggest industry in the Hawaii is tourism, contributing to more than 75% of its economy. The main attraction of the Hawaiian islands are its coral beaches, cloud shrouded volcanic peaks, lush green vegetation contributing to its apt name paradise of the Pacific with palm trees in abundant sunshine dotting the beauty line.A vacation to Hawaii can be truly memorable and highly cost saving if planned well in advance and with proper care. Hotels in Hawaii can be expensive and one could spend a fortune on them. There are other options that can provide a family or a group with better accommodation and good facilities if properly researched. Vacation accommodation in Hawaii can be arranged by looking for Hawaii discount vacation rentals, vacation rental homes in Hawaii or condos for vacation rental in Hawaii.Each and every one of the Hawaiian Islands are unique in their own way. Oahu, home of the Waikiki beach, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor and the capital city Honolulu has big wave surfing. It is the most inhabited and most modern of the Hawaiian Islands and has great nightlife to offer. Kauai, the garden isle on the other hand is the oldest tropical island with scenic surroundings and marvelous nature. It houses the Mount Wai'ale'ale, the wettest spot on earth, Bali Hai and Hanalei. Maui also known as the valley isle has glamorous golf courses, is known for whale watching and the huge and famous Haleakala Crater. Hawaii, the big island boasts of big game fishing, lava fields, black sand beaches, tropical rain forests, volcanoes and waterfalls. The major attractions in the Hawaiian Islands areThe Ala Kahakai National Historic TrailThe Haleakala National Park and the Haleakala WildernessThe Hawaii Volcanoes National ParkThe Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine SanctuaryThe James Campbell National Wildlife RefugeThe Kalaupapa National Historical ParkThe Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical ParkThe Kilauea Point National Wildlife RefugeThe Kona Historical SocietyThe Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem ReserveThe Oahu Forest National Wildlife RefugeThe Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife RefugeThe Puukohola Heiau National Historic SiteThe USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl HarborThe Akaka Falls etc.For those whoa re just planning the vacation, "vacation rentals" in Hawaii are usually comprised of stand-alone houses, apartments or condominiums equipped with full amenities and functional kitchens. In Hawaii, most condo rentals and other kind of vacation rentals are located right on the beaches and many also boast of private swimming pools, Jacuzzis and tennis courts. A normal staying period at a vacation rental is a minimum of one week. Vacation rentals work out to be cheaper if the number in the group is higher especially with the use of kitchen for meals.Vacation rentals facilitate staying in Hawaii, the way the rich and the famous do. Vacation rentals enable the tourists to stay in luxurious beach home rentals or condo rentals for a fraction of the cost of a staying in a hotel. Book early and enjoy the Hawaiian Islands in style.
National Geographic magazine recently released an updated version of its top travel lists, and the destinations listed all have the advantages of unparalleled scenery, a developed economy geared towards tourists, and the advantages of careful exploitation, tempered by the fact that they are usually adjacent to more popular destinations in terms of volume.. Here are the final five in the list of the best places to travel to.6) Rocky Mountain parks, Canada: There are four National Parks in a row in the Rocky Mountain range of Canada, running through the two provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Combined, these parks offer some of the best adventure and recreational sport travel opportunities in the world, along with unique scenery and incredible biodiversity. Banff and Jasper are perhaps the best known of the parks, with Banff being a mere hour drive from the city of Calgary. Yoho and Revelstoke also offer great opportunities for skiers and hikers.7) Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom: This site has it all in terms of cultural appeal and natural beauty. The towering mountains offer all the recreational choices of young fold ranges. For the sightseer, there are various opportunities. Natural attractions include the Corrieshaloch Gorge and the fabled Loch Ness, while heritage also factors high with the areas many castles and ancient cairns. The area offers opportunities at all times of the year, from spring alpine blooms to fall foliage.8) Kruger National Park, South Africa: Surprisingly, this park located along the border with Mozambique is the only African safari destination in the top ten. This could be due to its historical origins as one of the first protected areas in Africa, and also with its well-developed and natural tourist opportunities. Kruger encompasses two ecosystems, dry savanna in the north and open grassland in the south. There is a huge array of wildlife in the area, including all of the African Big Five (rhino, elephant, leopard, lion, and Cape Buffalo), antelope, giraffe, wild dog, and many other species of wildlife. The Park is also located in one of the more politically stable regions of Africa, unaffected by the high crime that embroils the rest of the country.9) Kyoto historic district, Japan: Anyone who has watched the recently released Memoirs of a Geisha can imagine the appeal of this area, ninth on the list. Ancient Buddhist temples, wooden townhouses, and geisha houses bound in a modern day reflection of ancient Japanese glory. The area is abundant with detailed Japanese xeriscape and architecture, from gardens to bridges, nobility houses and public works buildings.10) Quebec City historic city center, Canada: Quebec City is the French cultural heart of Canada, and the City center is representative of all that the francophone culture includes. This is the only city in North America that has preserved its colonial ramparts and also incorporates all of the old trappings of fortresses, such as bastions and towers. The area is also considered to be a World Heritage Centre.
Nova Scotias is a province that is located on the North Atlantic coast. It is one of Canadas smallest provinces ranking number 2 on the smallest province scale. Halifax is the largest city in the province also being the capital city of the province. The provinces economy continues to use traditional industries such as, fishing, mining, forestry, and agriculture to support the province. Tourism has been on the steady incline and is helping to push the economy right along. Thanks to the low Canadian dollar.There are a lot of neat things to do around the ocean, one of the trade marks of nova Scotia is the Bluenose Schooner ship, which is featured on there license plate, also I should mention the lighthouse of Peggy cove is extremely neat to see in person.Here are so facts-Atlantic Standard Time -The Bluenose Schooner, which is featured on the back of the Canadian (dime) - English speaking province-Largest city is Halifax-Capital city is Halifax- Population is 937,889- Became a province back in July 1, 1867 To sum it up there is a lot of history in this neat wonderful province so defiantly visit this place and enjoy nature at its best. From taking nature tours to deep-sea adventures in the ocean, there is something for everybody, young and old. So this would be on my travel list this year.
Why have the expatriates been allowed in Dubai to outnumber the ethnic Arab community living there? Estimates suggest up to eighty percent of Dubai's current population might be composed of the foreigners living and working for its development. Their presence is overwhelming, from the dockyard to the sea coast, from the international airport to the lavish Jumeirah Palm Beach, from the street side cafes to the towering lord of catering, Burj Al Arab. There is no single spot available in today's Dubai that you might finally call free of foreign incursion. The outnumber of the local populace is mammoth by any standards. Eighty percent is a shocking mark indeed!So why is it taking place? Have Dubai's rulers suddenly gone crazy and allowing invaders to take away their homeland? Records will suggest contrary to any such hypothesis though. Neither are Dubai's rulers mindless Shaikhs nor are the expatriates living there planning to take over. The trend of foreigners arriving in Dubai has been on for over a century now and they have become an intrinsic part of its multicultural identity. Both sides are willing partners in all the spheres, including trade and commerce and the cohesive living they are known for. There is no reason why they will ever decide to move away from this mutual understanding. Both have been making the best out of this arrangement and would prefer the way the things are.We often find as a result, Indian Cinema stars taking up positions on stage and entertaining the Indian expatriates living there. Hollywood celebrities and sports personalities are also spotted on several occasions. Many events like tennis and golf matches on the helipad of Burj Al Arab, the worlds tallest hotel right now, have been making rounds in the media. The ICC meetings taking place in their newly acquired headquarters keep the cricketing pundits worldwide busy. Many cricket fans were shocked to know when the ICC moved to Dubai from London instead of a place like Mumbai where a much better cricketing infrastructure was already in place. With the passage of time they have also begun realizing though, why Dubai was not a bad decision after all.Dubai's multifaceted lifestyle apart from its trade and commerce is one important reason why so many people are flocking on its doors. The peaceful coexistence of so many cultures on its soil gives the conflict ridden west and central Asia a ray of hope. There may not be any better reason than this therefore, for the world to travel and be part of Dubai's perplexing experiences. The latter stands fully geared on its part for taking care of your much valued stays. Not only does it have an infrastructure at par with most of the developed nations but it also surpasses them on several occasions.From some of the best landmarks in the world to one of the most beautiful beaches on earth, from one of the most advanced lifestyles in Asia to one of the most expensive hotels on earth, and from one of the most orthodox Islamic beliefs in Arabia to one of the best cosmopolitan states globally - Dubai has it all and wishes you could also be a part of it someday. Happy visiting Dubai, whenever you may decide undertaking it!
Dubai is the largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, among Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. Dubai has become a magnificent tourist hub over the past few years. It is located only few hours flight from UK. There are many travel agents in UK offering cheap flights to Dubai from London with discounted rates. The mounting list of things to do and attractions in Dubai take account of an exciting nightlife, water sports, golf, desert safaris, shopping, sightseeing, sunbathing, and fantastic dining experiences.Shopping In DubaiDubai fairly ought to have its title as the Shopping Capital of the Middle East. An open port with low import duties and no taxation, the city present the good deal seeker invincible value. Major brand-name goods are effortlessly available and are much less pricey in Dubai than their source country.Beach Attraction of DubaiDubai has beautiful, unspoiled, white sand beaches with Arabian sunshine and the warm turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf to calm and please your sanity. Dubai's foremost beaches run beside Jumeira Road.Historical Attractions of DubaiThe main historical attractions in Dubai are: - Dubai Creek, Hatta, Sheikh Saeed House, Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort, Heritage and Diving Villages, Bastakiya, Al Ahmadiya School, Bait Al Wakeel, Bin Muzaina House, Burj Nahar, Majlis Ghorfat Um-Al Sheif.As one of the fastest rising tourist destinations in the world, Dubai holidays and flights to Dubai are becoming intensely competitive among travel agents. Amongst the widely available flights to Dubai from London Heathrow airport, http://etihadairways.myavacations.co.uk, the UK based appointed travel agent of Etihad Airways is offering cheap flights to Dubai with an additional discount of 10 per person.