Tag Archives: Travel

China’s Cliffside Plank Path Will Give you Goose Bumps

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TwistedSifter

south peak cliffside plank path hua shan china (1)

Photograph by Harry Alverson

Hua Shan is a mountain located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Xi’an. It is one of China’s Five Great Mountains and has a long history of religious significance. Hua Shan is classified as having five main peaks, of which the highest is the South Peak at 2,154.9 meters (7,070 ft).

It is on South Peak where you will find the famous Cliffside Plank Path. The exhilarating mountain hike is not for the faint of heart. There is a cost of approximately 30 yuan (just under $5 usd) and you are given two straps to hook onto wires on the path. The plank path includes steel rod ladders, footholds carved out of the cliff and narrow wooden plank walks. All of this is located thousands of feet above ground (check out the video at the bottom for…

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Will “Protected Cultural Zones” Save Heritage Sites in Syria?

Syrian government forces patrol the Khalidiyah neighbourhood of Homs, mid-2013. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Gates of Nineveh: An Experiment in Blogging Assyriology

Earlier this month UNESCO held a major conference in Paris on cultural heritage destruction in Iraq and Syria. Headlining remarks by UNESCO director Irina Bokova emphasized that there is “no purely military solution” to the conflict and that bringing about peace will involve promoting ideological change. “To fight fanaticism, we also need to reinforce education, a defence against hatred, and protect heritage, which helps forge collective identity.”

To accomplish these ends, four ideas seem to have received prominent discussion:

1) Again emphasize the need to implement the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Properties in the Event of Armed Conflict, which has been raised by UNESCO before. The trouble is, there is pretty much zero motivation for any of the major actors on the ground in Syria to observe its stipulations.

2) Collect evidence for possible prosecution of people who intentionally destroy heritage sites as war…

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A Loray Mill of the Mind

Tropics of Meta

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My family moved to North Carolina in the late 1980s, having left a stagnant and hopeless West Virginia in search of greater economic opportunities. My mom and grandparents and I first tried Indiana for a few years, but eventually left for the greener shores of the Sunbelt. We came to Gastonia, a modest-sized former textile town (it once boasted of having “more looms and spindles within its hundred-mile radius than… any other southern city”) in the greater Charlotte metropolitan area. An aunt and uncle had already paved the way for us, in a sort of internal chain-migration, leaving WV for NC several years before. I once asked my mom why Suzy and Jim had settled on Gastonia as a place to live, and I’ll never forget her answer:

It’s about as far as you can get from Charleston on a tank of gas.

Gastonia became our home—wild, shabby, shambling…

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The Crazy Duo that Scaled the World’s 2nd Tallest Building also Took some Amazing Photos

TwistedSifter

Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov have gained a lot of notoriety with the video above this week (posted yesterday on the Sifter).

The video, released on Wednesday February 12, 2014, has already been viewed over 8 million times. It shows the duo (who together are OnTheRoofs), climbing the still under-construction Shanghai Tower. Upon its completion in 2014, it will stand approximately 632 metres (2,073 ft) high and will have 121 storeys. Following its topping out on 3 August 2013, it became the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates.

Raskalov says the pair started their ascent on January 31st, which not coincidentally was the first day of China’s Lunar New Year, a major holiday in China. It took them about two hours to get to the 120th floor by foot and then…

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Spaces of Freedom In the Islamic Republic of Iran

jake threadgould

Tour Guide

Spaces

I was sat on a large wicker chair in the rooftop café at my hotel in Shiraz where, in keeping with the Shirazi tradition, a group of guys next to me were reciting poetry. The scented smoke of a bubbling qaylan pipe twisted and turned on the blue tarpaulin above. Downstairs, in the courtyard restaurant, the voices of men and women competed with a cross-legged Kurdish chap in the corner, playing a sitar. Tourists and local men alike pulled chairs up to the tables of young women to chat, safely hidden from the gaze of the authorities outside. Spaces such as that hotel provide an environment of freedom in Iran. In here a woman’s headscarf can teeter tantalisingly close to sliding down the nape of her neck. In here each drag of her cigarette flies in the face of that deeply held taboo. In here large, brown eyes wandered…

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Illuminating the World With National Geographic

TwistedSifter

 

The Sifter’s friends at National Geographic were kind enough to share a few images from a recent gallery entitled Illuminating the World. The 33-image gallery was compiled from National Geographic’s online photo community Your Shot. The photos span the entire globe even including a few holiday-themed shots.

Be sure to check out the entire gallery on National Geographic. To learn more about National Geographic’s photo community, visit Your Shot.

 

1. Yi Peng Festival, Thailand

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Photograph by Justin Ng, Your Shot

 

Monks looked up at the magnificent night sky filled with thousands of lanterns in awe. This was the moment I’ve been waiting for and it lasted very quickly due to strong wind. A very heavy downpour occurred right after we left the place.

 

2. Manarola, Italy

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Photograph by Paul Hogie, Your Shot

 

I camped on this spot for some…

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Girlfriend Continues to Lead Photographer Around the World

TwistedSifter

 

Like so many creative projects, Follow me / #followmeto began rather serendipitously. Photographer Murad Osmann and his partner Nataly Zakharova are passionate travellers but Nataly was growing frustrated with Murad always being preoccupied with his camera wherever they went. She literally resorted to dragging him by hand from place to place to keep them moving.

It was that perspective of Murad being led by Nataly that inspired the ongoing photo series that has exploded in popularity on Instagram, Facebook and Google+.

We first featured the wanderlust couple back in March. Since then the two have continued to visit amazing places around the globe, inspiring travellers and photographers to capture the world around us in a fresh and creative way.

 

1. Moscow, Russia

follow me to project instagram murad osmann (11)

 

2. Eze, France

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Photograph by Murad Osmann
@muradosmann on…

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The Art of Arrival: Rebecca Solnit on Travel & Friendship

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Rebecca Solnit | Orion | Summer 2014 | 20 minutes (4,780 words)

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The word “journey” used to mean a single day’s travels, and the French word for day, jour, is packed neatly inside it, like a single pair of shoes in a very small case. Maybe all journeys should be imagined as a single day, short as a trip to the corner or long as a life in its ninth decade. This way of thinking about it is a;rmed by the t-shirts made for African-American funerals in New Orleans and other places that describe the birth date and death date of the person being commemorated as sunrise and sunset. One…

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