Did You Know?

When we travel, we learn a lot about how people live.  We gain knowledge of different cultures, meet new people and make new friends in different parts of the world.

We thought we’d share a few interesting facts about some countries around the world.  Some you may know, and some may surprise you!

Australia

  • There are three times as many sheep than people living in Australia.
  • The Box Jellyfish, found in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef is responsible for more deaths than snakes, sharks and saltwater crocodiles combined.
  • The Australian Emu, a large, flightless bird can run as fast as 45km per hour.
The Australian Emu

Canada

  • The Royal Canadian Mint once made a gigantic coin comprising of 99.9% gold that was worth $1 million.
  • Quebec manufactures more than 77% of the world’s maple syrup.
  • Canada only got its own flag100 years after it became a country; on February 15, 1965.
Canadian Maple Syrup

China

  • Chinese New Year is the biggest traditional holiday in China. It is celebrated in January or February and lasts for 15 days!
  • China is the most populated country in the world with more than a billion people. The population of China is four times bigger than the population of the USA.
  • Contrary to popular belief China is not the biggest country in the world.  It’s fourth after Russia, Canada and the United States.
A traditional Chinese lantern.

Dubai

  • To construct Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands required 94 million cubic meters of sand.
  • The interior of the Burj Al Arab is decorated with around 1,790 square meters of 24-carat gold leaf; that’s enough to cover 46,265 Mona Lisa paintings.
  • Dubai has the largest indoor mall in the world, the biggest aquarium, the biggest automated fountain, the tallest hotel, the longest automated rail network and the largest indoor ski park.
Dubai’s amazing architecture.

Indonesia

  • Indonesia is the largest island nation in the world with 735,358 square miles of land, it is the 14th largest country in the world by available land. When both land and sea are considered, it is the seventh largest in the world.
  • Indonesia is the only place in the world to see Komodo dragons in the wild. The two most popular islands for seeing Komodo dragons are Rinca Island and Komodo Island. Both islands are in a national park.  Despite their ferocity, Komodo dragons are listed as a threatened species.
  • Sumatra and Borneo are the only places in the world to see wild orangutans. An easy place for travellers in Indonesia to possibly see semi-wild and wild Sumatran orangutans living in the jungle is Gunung Leuser National Park.
Komodo dragon

Kenya     

  • Kenya has the second-highest mountain in Africa; Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest, after Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa.
  • Kenya is one of the world’s leading safari destinations. You’re sure to encounter wildlife; the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, black and white species of rhinoceros and the African leopard.  It is a criminal act to hunt any protected animal in Kenya. Kenya is home to the cheetah; it is the fastest moving animal on land in the world, with speeds recorded up to 120 kilometres per hour.
  • Masai Mara Nature Reserve is best-known for the Great Wildebeest Migration when, every year, more than a million wildebeest, zebra and antelope migrate clockwise around the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem.

The Great Wildebeest Migration

New Zealand

  • New Zealand has a town with the longest name in the world. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenua-
  • kitanatahu. Yes, that is a word!
  • Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and is home to more than a quarter of the population, but Wellington is the official capital city. Wellington has been the capital since the 1800s when the parliament buildings were moved to a more central location, the middle of New Zealand!
  • In 1982, New Zealand appointed an official ‘Wizard of Christchurch’. New Zealand is the only country to have a government-appointed wizard. His duties include casting out evil spirits and cheering up the population.
New Zealand

Scotland

  • Scotland is home to the tallest waterfall Eas a’ Chual Aluinn which is 658 feet, this is three times the height of Niagara Falls.
  • Scotland is home to the oldest tree in Europe. It is a twisted yew and has been around for 3,000 years.
  • The raincoat was invented in Scotland by a man named Charles Macintosh, who was born in Glasgow.

Eas a’ Chual Aluinn Waterfall

South Africa

  • Cape Town’s Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa. It was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India company.
  • Johannesburg is the biggest man-made forest in the world. The city has more than 10 million trees lining its streets.
  • South Africa has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites: The Fossil Hommonid Sites at Sterkfontein, the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in Limpopo, the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape in the Northern Cape, Robben Island, the floral regions in the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal, the Vredefort Dome and the uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park.

Castle of Good Hope

Spain

  • Spain produces 43.8% of all the world’s Olive Oil. The largest Olive Oil producing region is Andalucia, with Jaen at the epicentre of production. Liquid gold is a common term used for olive oil.
  • Portal del Ángel, a pedestrianised shopping street in the same city sees the soles of 3,000 pedestrians every hour of every day. It’s also known as the most expensive street in Spain, with high rents reflecting the popularity.
  • Spain is the least densely populated country in Europe, with plenty of wild and wonderful open space!  Many gestures are used to portray feelings. Closed fingers and a thumb up means a drink, a little finger and index finger up with fist turned in means a wife is having an affair, be careful how you talk with your hands!
Olive Oil Plant

Thailand

  • Thailand is where you’ll find both the smallest and the largest creatures. The smallest mammal in the world, the bumblebee bat, calls Thailand home. You can also find the largest fish, the whale shark, in Thai waters.
  • People often marvel at the forests and jungles of Thailand, but there used to be more. What most people don’t realize is that over one hundred years ago, nearly all northern Thailand was covered in hardwood forest. Today, about a quarter of that forest is left. For this reason, logging is completely banned in Thailand.
  • One-tenth of the entire population of Thailand lives in Bangkok. It is the capital of this great nation, and, of course, the largest city. There are about 35,000 temples in Thailand. Visiting them requires modest clothing, meaning no shorts or sleeveless shirts.
Thailand

USA

  • The current USA flag was designed by 17-year-old Robert G. Heft; he did it as a school project. He originally received a B for the project but was later awarded an A after the flag was accepted by Congress.
  • Pizza might originate from Italy, but the Americans sure do love their pizzas; they consume three billion pizzas every year!  Reports claim that the pizzas that Americans eat every day would cover an area of 100 acres.
  • Throughout history, there has been countless American inventors who’ve come up with inventions that have changed the world.  Some of these include the transistor, the internet, the lightbulb and the airplane.
American Pizza

We hope you enjoyed these interesting little items that travel has taught us.  Please contact us with your tourism queries.

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‘Is Travelling an Art?’

Do we go on holiday mostly because we feel exhausted by our jobs, mundane chores, and a longing to change our surroundings? Or maybe to finally visit that country you’ve been wanting to for years? We spend time deciding where we should go and what we enjoy.

Why do we travel?

We enjoy the thoughts of visiting enchanted places that offer life’s pleasures.  We know we are special and deserve the excitement of being in a glorious destination we’ve dreamt about seeing. We like the idea of making new friends and being welcomed in lovely hotels where there are chocolates on the pillows at night and artfully moulded toiletries in the bathrooms.

Very seldom do we ask, ‘what are we looking for; or do we perhaps have a wish to get away from ourselves?’  The moment our holiday begins so does the awesome art of travelling.  During our leisure time when we have nothing to do, we realise that our luggage in not the only baggage we are carrying.  Our deeper thoughts that we pushed to the back of our minds break through and we realise life is not much to complain about.

What does traveling really offer?

The art of travelling opens our eyes to the littlest wonders around us;  we notice when a wall is newly painted, we realise that thousands of people are working flat out to make sure thousands of tourists are entertained, are able to eat and their every whim is attended to.  We realise hundreds of locals make those carved chocolates we take for granted on or pillows a night.

The art of travelling is simply being able to get away from your negative thoughts. As at home, every city has traffic jams, crowds and fast food outlets; because you are relaxed with only your thoughts to contend with it’s not so bad. You can capture this moment forever if you fill a jar with seawater and occasionally lift the lid to return to the smell of the reminiscent seas you enjoyed so much.

Feeling sublime

Taking in all the different subjects of travel arouses us to feel sublime; this is a feeling of being very small and powerless in front of something very large and powerful.  The sense of being powerless is actually a very important one that we should try and get in touch with because it restores our perspective of trying to find out where we stand in the world, what matters and what may not.

Travel gives us the feeling we get when our plane surges above the clouds; we can see our problems as they must appear to the hawks and the birds looking down at the earth from above.  This art of travel can make us feel small in a rather good way; usually feeling small is a bit of a humiliating experience; let’s say you’re treated roughly in an office but can look down at the earth at the tiny houses and cars, that’s when we realize that we’re all subject to necessities greater than we are and that we’re all basically just specks of dust. That’s rather a nice feeling to have sometimes!

Do we travel for the beauty?

One of the reasons we travel is to see beautiful things but coming home can be sad.  The realization that beauty is fugitive is frequently found in places to which we may never return, and which will gradually fade from our memory.  To hold on to your memories, use the standard solution of taking photographs of every memory; that way could we retain durable memories of the beautiful things we see in modern artful tourism.

A traveller’s attitude

There’s a deeper reason for the gloom that can descend on arriving back home than the fear that we might forget the things we’ve seen.  We forget that there might be another way of looking at where we come from the way a traveller might; perhaps it doesn’t really matter where we choose to go in the end right or the pleasure, we derive from journeys will always depend more on the outlook with which we travel than the places we travel to. There’s such a thing as a traveller’s attitude, an attitude of curiosity and receptivity to whatever catches our imagination. Armed with such an attitude we find the most promising destinations exciting and can experience virtually any destination fulfilling and memorable.

If you have the ‘traveller’s attitude’, VIP Express Tourism Limited is the perfect travel partner for you!

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