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Burkina Faso is one of the poorest nations in the world. The landlocked location has a high population density and low natural resources. Agriculture is 90% of Burkinabe’ income and that is below subsistent. The variances in rainfall amount make agriculture at best a very difficult way to make a living.

Burkina Faso has a tropical climate with two seasons, a dry and a rainy season. During the rainy season in June-September there will fall between 600 and 900 millimeters of rain, and the rest of the year it is hot and dry. The hottest time of year is from March to June when the temperature is well above 40 degrees. The landscape varies quite a bit. In northern Burkina Faso, you can find deserts, while in the south there are rivers and in the southwestern part green countryside with forests and breathtaking rock formations. There are also plenty of opportunities for both hiking and mountain bike tours.

Burkina Faso

Surrounded by all sides, this West African country of approximate 275,000 sq. Kilometers is surrounded by six sides of nations. To the north lies Mali, to the East, Niger, and Benin on the Southeast, Toga and Ghana to the South with the Ivory Coast to the Southwest. Continue reading “Burkina Faso is one of the friendliest of the West African Nations” »

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The Rila monastery is located in Southwestern Bulgaria, Kyustendil province, Rila municipality. It is established in the 10 – th century by st. Ivan Rilsky, at the Rilska river. The monastery is one of the most valuable cultural monuments in the country, symbol of Bulgaria, included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The now monastery is located near the village of Pastra: not far from it’s first establishment. This is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria: 5 floors, with visible 4 floors. This is because of the restrictions of the Ottoman rulers in 1834, when the nowaday buildings have been created. In the ground floor is situated the museum.

Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery is historical and cultural site in the Rhodope Mountains of southwestern Bulgaria. It is situated in a valley of the Rila massif, 70 miles (110 km) south of Sofia. Rila is a symbol of Bulgarian national identity, and it is the most prominent monastery of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Continue reading “Rila Monastery is a symbol of national identity of Bulgaria” »

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Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago. Brunei’s culture is therefore deeply rooted in its Malay origins, which are reflected in the nation’s language, architecture, ceremonies, and customs governing daily life. Though various foreign civilisations have played a role in forming Brunei’s rich history, the traditions of the Old Malay World have left an indelible mark on the culture of modern Brunei.

Brunei's culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

Today, Bruneians are predominantly Malay, though significant Chinese, Indian and indigenous Bornean populations add to the cultural makeup of Brunei. Brunei’s blend of cultures, customs, beliefs and customs is therefore very similar to that of Malaysia. The nation’s official language is Malay, but English is widely spoken by most of the population, and most signs in the country are written in Roman script.

If Malay traditions are Brunei’s cultural root, then Islam is its heart. The nation’s Malay Islamic Monarchy is a uniquely Bruneian blend combining the best of Malay culture with the teachings of Islam and a mutual respect between ruler and subjects. This national philosophy is aimed at forging a stronger sense of identity as well as fostering unity and stability, and it forms the backbone of Bruneian cultural identity.

Brunei's culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

The culture is predominantly Malay, with heavy influences from Hinduism and Islam, but is seen as more conservative than Malaysia. The borrowings and derivations of Brunei culture from these two religions are due mainly to the country’s historical links with the Hindu empire in the neighbouring regions of modern-day Indonesia and Malaysia.

One will find that Bruneian fare generally exudes a unique flavour of cultural fusion due to the influence of the various nations that have left their mark on Brunei’s culture. Arab, Indian and Chinese traders, European explorers and, of course, Malay and indigenous Bornean peoples have each introduced their own cooking styles and ingredients, adding to the masterful fusion that makes Brunei’s cuisine memorable.

Brunei is richly endowed with a cultural heritage that the government and the people have worked tirelessly to maintain. The nation‚ Arts and Handicraft Centre, for example, is a living testimony to the preservation and the proliferation of the arts and crafts for which Brunei was once renowned, including boat making, silversmithing, bronze tooling, weaving and basketry. Visitors will also find Malay weaponry, wood carvings, traditional games, traditional musical instruments, silat (the traditional art of self defence) and decorative items for women to be some of Brunei‚ most unique cultural offerings.

The introduction of Islam, of course, also dramatically changed Brunei‚ cultural landscape, adding its own distinct artistic forms. The nation‚Äôs mosques and other Islamic sites of importance are all works of art in themselves, and many contain some of the most striking examples of Islamic arts that can be found outside the Arab world. Examples include gilded Holy Korans, ceremonial items and the intricate mosaics that adorn several monuments throughout the nation‚ four districts.

Brunei's culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago.

There is a wide array of native folk music and dance. Adai-adai is a group work song sung by fisherpeople while they fished. Another folk dance is the Benari, or Joget Baju Putih, performed during numerous festivals. It is usually performed by three men and three women.

If Malay traditions are Brunei‚ cultural root, then Islam is its heart. The nation‚ Malay Islamic Monarchy is a uniquely Bruneian blend combining the best of Malay culture with the teachings of Islam and a mutual respect between ruler and subjects.

Epicures will enjoy the vast array of cuisine that Brunei offers, ranging from home-cooked local specialties to the finest of international cuisines.

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Steeped in myth and legend, castles have always been popular destinations for lovers of history and architecture. Anyone who has ever visited a castle cannot deny the ambiance and magic of these impressive relics of a time long-forgotten.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is the most famous of all castles in England. Still a principal home of the British royal family, the sprawling structure is the largest and oldest residential castle in the world. The most bloody episode in the history of Windsor Castle took place during the English Civil War, when Oliver Cromwell‚Aos Roundhead troops seized the castle and used it as a fortress and the headquarters of the parliamentary New Model Army. The deposed monarch, Charles I, was briefly imprisoned at Windsor Castle and was buried here after his beheading in 1648.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor remains a primary residence of the royal family, but much of it is now open to the public. Sights on a Windsor Castle tour include the daily changing of the guard, a more elaborate and exciting affair here than at Buckingham Palace. The public rooms contain a wealth of painting, decorative ceiling designs, and antique furniture. A fire in 1992 destroyed parts of the royal apartments, open to a Windsor Castle tour when the Queen is not in residence, but these have been painstakingly restored. A Windsor Castle tour should include a walk through the Windsor Great Park, a beautifully sculpted garden in the remains of a royal hunting forest. Continue reading “Famous England Castles” »

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Bhutan is a landlocked country, closed off from the Nirvanic Ocean by Indian federal states Shangri-La and Xanadu. The name “Bhutan” comes from the gas with the same name, emitted in abundant amounts from the frequent cow dung heaps that besides unclimable mountains constitute Bhutans major landscape forms.

It is nicknamed the “butt” of the world. Those 29000 foot high mountains are like one giant ass hanging out in space ready to fart gas into the atmosphere and keep the ozone layer from depleting. It is a little known fact that gigantic missle silos are hidden beneath the mountains, waiting to annihilate all those whom dishonor Bhutan.

Bhutan

Bhutan

Most industrial areas are also located in southern region. The fertile central valleys (3,600 – 8,500 ft) are covered by verdant coniferous and deciduous forests and dotted with numerous monasteries, temples and dzongs. Western Bhutan’s major valleys of Ha, Paro, Thimphu, Punakha / Wangduephodrang are intensely cultivated. The people in these valleys are well-to-do and they build large homes of rammed earth in which several generations often live together. The formidable Black Mountains, rising to over 16,000 ft forms a natural boundary between Western Bhutan and Central Bhutan. Central Bhutan is made up of several districts where different dialects are spoken. Khyeng, in the south, is covered by semi-tropical jungle and is famous for its bamboo and ratten ware. Further north is Trongsa, home of one of Bhutan’s most impressive dzongs. Bumthang’s four valleys, between 8,530 – 13,000 ft with their picturesque countryside, beautiful coniferous forests and numerous Religious sites are often known as the “Heart of Bhutan”. Eastern Bhutan, home of the Sharchops (“people of the east”), is generally warmer. The eastern women are renowned for their weaving skills and produce fine textiles of silk and cotton. Northern Bhutan, lying largely above 11,500 ft is region of glacial valleys, alpine meadows and is home to the semi-nomadic yak-herders of Lingshi, Laya and Lunana, have almost no contact with Western civilisation and trade only in bartered goods. Towering above this magnificent trekking country are the eternal snow-clad peaks of the majestic Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and Gangkar Puensum, rising to over 23,000 ft. Continue reading “Welcome to the Land of Thunder Dragon – free ads for Bhutan” »

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