It wasn’t too long ago…

Sometimes, we don’t realise how lucky we are. If you’re not familiar with this story, prepare to be amazed.  Kowloon Walled City was an ungoverned and densely populated de jure Chinese enclave within the boundaries of Kowloon City, British Hong Kong. Originally a Chinese military fort, the walled city became an enclave after the New Territories were leased to the…

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Do good, feel good UNESCO style

This is a simple, but very important request.  For those of us who are fortunate enough to travel, this should almost be mandatory. UNESCO has created the Sustainable Tourism Pledge. The pledge takes an industry-first approach to environmental and cultural protection, requiring hotel operators to introduce firm measures to eliminate single-use plastics and promote local culture. The intention is to…

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Every breath you take, every move you make

Those with tin foil hats, look away now. People are people and, therefore, unpredictable.  Sometimes that’s fine (and fun) but when it comes to wrangling millions of us at a time, that can be . . not fun. In the UK,  Transport for London is using aggregated and anonymised data from its wi-fi network to provide real-time data on how…

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Take a “trip” to Hong Hong

No, this is not about drugs.  But it is about sensory experiences that you can enjoy no matter your mood. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is featuring a collection of four autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) videos that show off the acoustic ambience from the all parts of the city. Custom-made to arouse the viewer’s perceptions and arouse a…

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The centre of the earth

India is a wonderful place full of wonderful people and lots of surprises.  Here’s one. Jatayu Earth Center, also known as Jatayu Nature Park or Jatayu Rock, is a park and tourism centre at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district of Kerala. It stands at an altitude of 350m above the mean sea level. Jatayu Nature Park holds the distinction of having…

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Pardon me, madam, but your palace awaits

How often does one get the chance to sleep in the same halls as royalty?  Not often for most of us. But, you can at the Ciragan Palace Hotel Kempinski in Istanbul directly on the Bosphorus.  A former home to Ottoman royalty, you will find yourself bathed in history, glamourous surroundings, sumptous spas and world-class restaurants. And, of course, you…

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Tash Rabat. How about that?

Do you sometimes feel like you want to go away and stay away? Well, you’ll be glad to know that, as always, we here at Matouring have solutions for you.  Near or far, we have solutions at our fingertips and are eager to share them with you. May we present  the Tash Rabat Caravanserai in Kyrgyzstan?  If you’re not fully…

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True Xiqu

Every country and every peoples have stories to tell.  The Chinese have such a long and colourful history, it’s only natural that their catalogue is perfect for relaying those stories via opera. The West Kowloon District in Hong Kong, has the Xiqu Centre which is dedicated to preservation of the art of traditional Cantonese opera, Xiqu. The centre’s design has…

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Welcome to giant pandas airways

China’s long-anticipated Chengdu Tianfu International Airport has officially opened for business, providing travelers with a new option to the home of giant pandas. The first flight, via Sichuan Airlines, took off at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday, 27 June, 2021 headed for Beijing. Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is now the third city in the country to have two international airports, along…

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Passports of power

In the past, have you been able to waltz through airport customs like you owned the place, simply based on your nationality? Well, it might be time to check your ego, because the world is becoming a very different place (for the better, in our opinion.) Now a new Henley Passport Index, the original ranking of all the world’s passports…

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The Darbhanga gang

For us, we’re always happy to see countries, cities and even individuals find their place in the sun to shine.  And it happens more and more every day. We love India, and so we’re pleased to see that the city of Darbhanga is now officially hosting flights to Kolkata and Hyderabad. And the airline who are hosting these flights is…

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It almost laughs at you

At the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains in northwest Azerbaijan, lies Parigala, one of the world’s most impressive archeological mysteries.  The Azerbaijani name, Pəriqala, literally means Fairy Castle Carved into the nearly vertical face of a rock cliff, the centuries-old structure remains a mystery that hardly anyone knows anything about. The site consists of a limestone brick structure of three…

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Take the last train to Wales

This is astounding.  It almost defies belief, but the Chinese are behind it, so it could very well happen.  Their abilities are legend. China wants to build a $200 billion underwater train to the United States. The China-Russia-Canada-America line would be the most expensive megaproject in history and take years to complete. The biggest engineering challenge would be building an…

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It all comes out in the washi

Every summer, giant warriors roam the Japanese city of Aomori. Lit from within by lanterns, these formidable paper floats are the centerpiece of the Nebuta Matsuri, a weeklong evening festival in August and one of Japan’s biggest seasonal events. Accompanied by taiko drummers and dancers, the floats depict scenes from kabuki and Japanese mythology. Each takes months to design and…

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Bay Watch 101

Alert:  don’t expect to find David Hasselhoff, nor Pamela Anderson here.  But, who can say?  With the world’s infatuation with South Korea, you never know.  Those who do (or have) visited really enjoy the sites, sounds and flavours of The Bay 101 in Haeundae.  Haeundae became a division of Busan Metropolitan City in 1976 and attained the status of district in…

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ああ私の (Oh my)

If you feel like you have visited almost every place on earth, you might want to give this a try.  You can tour the Fukushima disaster zone – where the simultaneous, earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant melted down and devastated the Fukushima  area, and the ghost town Namie itself. It is safe enough for visitors to view the site…

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Sold out? Hold out . . .

There’s nothing worse than booking something – anything – and then finding out that you’ve be bumped.  Especially when you’ve been counting on it, you’re tired and it’s late at night in a city that you don’t know. Companies have codes of ethics, don’t they?  The customer comes first, correct?  They have contingency plans for things like this, don’t they?…

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China: rail on a roll

China is a country that doesn’t mess around.  With almost 1.4 billion people living in the country, things have to function smoothly, or chaos will inevitably ensue. Evidence of this is that almost 700 km of new metro and tram lines and extensions were opened in 15 Chinese cities during the closing weeks of 2020. That is a herculean feat…

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PAYG Airways

Now here’s a good idea . . . pay-as-you-go travel. The Indian aviation world is all set to be disrupted by Prince Air – the first subscription-based airline in the country which allows its subscribers limitless travel within its matrix. Travelers subscribing to this new model will be able to enjoy an advantaged experience, far different from the usual check-ins…

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It’s literally Nauru . . . and you

Chances are good that you have never heard of Nauru.  That’s not surprising, as only around 10,000 inhabitants live there, and the island country usually gets only a couple of hundred visitors each year.  It is the smallest country in the world. But, you might want to give the island nation a go, as its history is as intriguing as…

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