Tokyo Tower see it while you still can

Tokyo Tower is a 333 meters high steel structure, similar in style to the Eiffel Tower, situated in the Minato area of Tokyo right next to the Shiba-Koen park and is well worth a visit as there are amazing views from the two observation decks and plenty of attractions underneath in 'Foot Town'.
From the ground it looks quite impressive and in daylight it is distinctive by its red and white paint job; by night the tower looks very pretty when it's all lit up. At one time it must have been one of the tallest structures around however these days it's dwarfed by Tokyo's many skyscrapers.
I visited Tokyo Tower with friends on a very wet evening in late May 2009. As with most Japanese tourist attractions, there were plenty of friendly staff in smart uniforms waiting in the entrance hall to guide you and help you buy your ticket. Most of the staff seemed to speak some English. We bought tickets for both the Main Observatory, at 150 meters, and the Special Observatory, located at 250 meters. According to their current prices, that's a total of Y1420 (about £9).
After buying our tickets, we went by lift to the Main Observatory. This observation deck is laid out over two floors. Here, we spent some time having a drink and listening to live music in the lounge-bar area known as Club 333. The bar was quite busy but we still managed to find a table and we found the combination of low lighting, panoramic views and live jazz very pleasant and relaxing.

After that, we had a walk around the upper level of the Main Observatory which, as you might expect has large windows all the way around and extensive views across Tokyo. Information about the skyline and various landmarks was displayed in both Japanese and English. Even with the rain coming down, there was plenty to look at and it was lovely to see all the lights coming on as the sky darkened.
When we had finished in the Main Observatory, we proceeded to the upper Special Observatory via the lift. Being much higher than the Main Observatory, the Special Observatory is smaller and the views are much more expansive, giving you a real idea of the layout of the city. Of course, in the dark, it was difficult to distinguish particular districts however one area that did stand out was Shibuya which appeared as this little colourful, flashing island among the yellow and white lights of the surrounding streets.
As we were walking around the upper level, we were sure that we could feel the tower moving in the wind! We pretended to be scared for a little while but I'm sure it's normal for this kind of structure (maybe it was a bit worse than usual because of the bad weather) but in any case we soon forgot all about it and got on with enjoying the fine views.
When we had finished here, we went back down in the lift to the exit floor and had a quick look around one of the gift shops. Actually, before that we visited the toilets which were, as is normal in Tokyo, western style and clean.
The gift shop was full of the usual kind of souvenir rubbish which can be fun if you want something to remember your trip. I'm not normally susceptible to this kind of thing but, seeing as Japanese tat is my favourite kind of tat, I bought a pink Tokyo Tower dangler for my mobile phone. There are a lot of other strange attractions around the base of the Tower in 'Foot Town'. Maybe kids would enjoy waxworks and bendy mirrors but, since each of these extra attractions required a separate entrance fee and we were getting hungry for dinner, we didn't bother.
All in all, we had great fun at Tokyo Tower and would recommend it as a tourist attraction. How much longer you will be able to visit the tower, however, is a little uncertain. The tower is currently used to broadcast analogue TV but now a new, taller broadcasting tower is being built to accommodate Japan's switch to digital television in 2011 and I wonder if they will keep the original tower as an attraction and piece of heritage or simply pull it down and redevelop the land.

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Hong Kong Disneyland Travel Guide

Hong Kong Disneyland is the first theme park inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and is owned and managed by the Hong Kong International Theme Parks.
Hong Kong Disneyland, the fifth Magic Kingdom-style theme park, is located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. After years of negotiations and construction, the park opened to visitors on 12 September 2005. Disney attempted to avoid problems of cultural backlash by attempting to incorporate Chinese culture, customs, and traditions when designing and building the resort, including adherence to the rules of Feng Shui. For instance, a bend was put in a walkway near the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort entrance so good "chi" energy wouldn't flow into the South China Sea.
The park has four themed lands similar to other Disneyland parks: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland. The theme park's cast members speak in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Guide maps are printed in traditional and simplified Chinese as well as English, French, and Japanese.
The capacity of the park is 34,000 visitors per day,and is the smallest Disneyland park. It has so far fallen short of meeting its targeted visitorship figures. The park attracted 5.2 million visitors in its first year, below its target of 5.6 million. Visitor numbers fell 20% in the second year to 4 million, which was below company targets, inciting criticisms from local legislators. However, the park attendance slightly increased by 8% in the third year, attracting a total of 4.5 million visitors in 2007-2008 fiscal year. In 2008-2009 fiscal year, the park attendance increased by 2%, attracting 4.8 million visitors. Since the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005, the theme park has attracted over 25 million guests.

Opening Hours:
10:00-19:00 (Non-Holidays)
10:00-21:30 (Holidays)
Admission Fee:
350 HK Dollars (for adult)
250 HK Dollars (children 3 to 11 years old)
170 HK Dollars (over 65 years old)
Disneyland meal ticket:
55 HK Dollars for adult, 35 HK Dollars for children.
To get here, you can take the subway. It takes 30 minutes from Hongkang, 65 minutes from Luohu, 19 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport, 20 minutes from Wangjiao, 27 minutes from Jianshazui, 30 minutes from Zhonghuan, 32 minutes from Wanzai. Tel: +852 1-830-830.
HK Disneyland Express Route:
80 HK Dollars from Futianshuniu to Disneyland, 80 HK Dollars from Huanggangkouan to Disneyland.(free for children 0-3 years old)
HK Disneyland Express Route Schedule:
Huanggangkouan to Disneyland(Monday to Friday):08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00
Huanggangkouan to Disneyland(Holidays&Saturday&Sunday):08:00 08:20 08:40 09:00 09:20 09:40 10:00 10:20 10:40 11:00 11:20 11:40 12:00 12:20 12:40 13:00 13:20 13:40 14:00
Disney to Huanggangkouan(Monday to Sunday):12:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00
Copyright belongs to Travel2ChinaInfo Dot COM . You can find more information about china travel,cheap flights,non-stop flights,direct flights from our web site. (Written on 02/17/2011).
More flights, airlines information at: atl to rdu. And: msp to ord. And: airlines,cheap flights,non-stop flights,direct flights,china travel

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Travel Similan Island,Thailand Tourism

A Similan Island is where you want to go if you want to dive in Thailand. The Similan Island chain is a group of nine islands that are located off the Southern coast of Thailand and are known for being the best places for deep sea diving in Asia.
The Similan Island chain is actually now a national park that was established in Thailand in 1982. If you want to got to any of these nine islands, you can visit by boat. There are many boat rides available to the islands from Phuket Island as well as the mainland of Thailand.
Although the area is known for the many diving sites where diving enthusiasts visit each year, it also boasts some of the most beautiful tropical foliage in Thailand and is the home for much wildlife that is native to this area. Many of the people who visit the Similan Island go for the scenery such as waterfalls, tropical gardens and rare bird life.
The largest island of the Similan Island chain is Ko Similan. Ko Similan has some of the most beautiful underwater rocks and coral reefs in the world. In addition to diving, people visit this island for snorkeling as there are sites to be seen under the water that cannot be viewed anywhere else in the world.

Those who want to lounge on the beach can do so at Ko Huyong which has the largest beach in the Similan Island chain. This beach is known for that where the giant sea turtles migrate each year to lay their eggs. The eggs are protected by the park officials, but visitors can view these eggs if they visit in the fall.
There are two different types of deep sea diving practiced at the Similan Island National Park. They consist of East side diving which gives you a view of coral reefs and West side diving that has large underwater rocks and swim through tunnels. The most famous East side dive site in the Similan Island chain is East of Eden which is located just off of the seventh island.
While two of the larger islands are named, most of the islands just go by numbers. The natives know them as “island seven” or “island four.”
The most famous West side dive site in the island chain is Elephant Head Rock. Elephant Head Rock is also the name of one of the oldest diving shops that is located in Phuket Island. To actually see whale sharks while diving, you will have to go to Richelieu Rock which is also part of the Similan Island chain. Many people feel that this is the ultimate deep sea diving spot in the world as, in addition to the whale sharks, other underwater life is abundant in this area.
You do not have to be a diving enthusiasts, however, to appreciate the Similan Island chain. When on holiday in Thailand, make sure that you a day to explore this beautiful chain of islands located off the southern tip of Thailand.

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The Temple of Heaven in China

The Temple of Heaven is situated in the southern part of Beijing. It was first built in 1420 in the Ming Dynasty during the time when the Forbidden City ans some other important imperial structures were constructed. It covers an area of 273 hectares, which is 3 times larger than th Forbidden City. The Temple of Heaven is not only the largest group of temple building in China, but also the largest heaven-worshipping architecture in the world.
The Temple of Heaven was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for good harvests. The emperors visited the temple three times a year: on the 8th day of the first lunar month to pray for a good harvest; during the Summer Solstice to pray for rain; and during Winter Solstice to give thanks for a good harvest. During each ceremony, the emperors worshipped heaven and prayed for a good harvest. In addition, the emperors also worshipped their ancestors and other natural phenomena such as the Cloud God, Rain God and Wind God. In imperial days, the Chinese people believed that the sky was incircular shope and the earth was square. On the basis of this tranditional concept, the circle was widely adopted in the design of the temple's main building. It is in accord with people's imagination of heaven.
The Temple is divided by two enclosed walls into inner part and outer part. The main buildings of the Temple lie at the south and north ends of the middle axis line of the inner part. The most magnificent buildings are The Circular Mound Altar (Yuanqiutan), Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian) from south to north. Also, there are some additional buildings like Three Echo Stones and Echo Wall.Almost all of the buildings are connected by a wide bridge called Vermilion Steps Bridge (Danbiqiao) or called Sacred Way.

The Circular Altar has three layered terraces with white marble. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 A.D. - 1911 A.D.), the emperors would offer sacrifice to Heaven on the day of the Winter Solstice every year. This ceremony was to thank Heaven and hope everything would be good in the future. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is a big palace with round roof and three layers of eaves. Inside the Hall are 28 huge posts. The four posts along the inner circle represent four seasons-spring, summer, autumn and winter; the 12 posts along the middle circle represent the 12 months; and 12 posts along the outer circle represent 12 Shichen (Shichen is a means of counting time in ancient China. One Shichen in the past equaled two hours and a whole day was divided into 12 Shichens). The roof is covered with black, yellow and green colored glaze representing the heavens, the earth and everything on earth.
The Hall has a base named Altar for Grain Prayers which is made of three layers of white marble and has a height of six meters. Another important building in Temple of Heaven is Imperial Vault of Heaven. If you look at it from far away, you will find that the Vault is like a blue umbrella with gold head. The structure of it is like that of Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, but smaller in size. The structure was made of bricks and timber. The Vault was used to place memorial tablets of Gods. White marble railings surround the vault.
The Vermilion Steps Bridge connects the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and the Imperial Vault of Heaven. The south end of the Bridge is lower than its north end. The emperors in the past believed that they could go to heaven through this Bridge, which is why this bridge is also called Sacred Way. A Yu Route and a Wang Route are on two sides of the Sacred Way. The former one is only for the emperors to walk on and the later one is for the princes and the high officials to pass.
Three Echo Stones is outside of the gate of the Imperial Vault of Heaven. If you speak facing the Vault while standing on the first stone, you will hear one echo; standing on the second and then the third stone, you will hear two and three echoes respectively.
Another interesting and famous place for you to visit is called Echo Wall owning special feature. The wall encloses the Imperial Vault of Heaven. Its perimeter is 193 meters. If you and your friend stand at the east and the west roots of the wall respectively and you whisper a word, then your friend will hear clearly what you say. Isn't it interesting?The phenomenon utilizes the theory of sound wave.Besides carefully designed buildings, there are also some other scenes that you can enjoy like Nine-Dragon Cypress. It got its name from branches which look like nine dragons wind with each other. It was said that the cypress was planted more than 500 years ago. Really, a grandfather tree!

Temple Of HeavenGates To The Temple of HeavenTemple of Heaven, BeijingSpiritualBejing - Temple of Heaven

Exploring the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is located in the Tiananmen Square; heart of Beijing and is the most impressive and elegant palatial complex in the world. It consists of a number of buildings which together house 9,999 1/2 rooms.

The Forbidden City was built nearly 500 years ago. It was aptly named as no commoner was allowed near it and the emperor who ruled within the strong walls of this huge place rarely ventured out. The construction of this grand structure began in 1407 and by 1420 it was complete by over a million workers and thousands of artisans. The complex served as a residence to 24 Qing and Ming Dynasty rulers; with the last Emperor being evicted out in 1924.

The Forbidden City was a fantasy in those days and even today is an enigma. Even today the walls seem to whisper the conspiracies they had seen, the secrets they had heard and the passion they had witnessed.

The Chinese left no stone unturned in beautifying the place. The rectangular structure has a gate on each side. White marble was used in its construction and the walls were made of terra cotta, as yellow was the color of royalty, yellow glazed tiles were used for roofs. Even the decorations were painted in yellow. The outer brick red wall is extremely strong and angular (it is broad at the base and becomes narrow at the top) making it practically impossible to climb. The palace was further protected by a moat six feet deep. The complex had two sections; the Southern Section which was the outer court from where the Emperor conducted the affairs of the country and the Northern Section where he lived with his family.

Though the whole place is quite amazing but some sections you should not miss are the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Dragon Throne and the Treasure Gallery. The Hall is grandeur and splendor personified and all the important ceremonies such as the crowning of the new Emperor, royal weddings, royal birthdays and festivals were celebrated here. The Emperor also received dignitaries in this Hall. The Hall was quite tall and symbolized royal supremacy. No building was allowed to be higher than the Hall. The Treasure Gallery comprises of three halls and showcases the items of daily use in the Royal Household.

The Forbidden City is a prime example of Chinese architecture. It was included in the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Cultural Site in 1987 and is now the Palace Museum. Every year it attracts thousands of tourists.