wonder Tag

paraguay, itaipu dam, what to do in ciudad del este, biggest dam in the world
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That’s dam big!

Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam Paraguay When you think of Paraguay (which, admittedly, doesn’t happen often), you don’t necessarily think of engineering wonders of the twentieth century. But there, tucked away in the east of the country, is a marvel to rival some of the most famous constructions in the world. It is, though, as controversial as it is magnificent. Itaipu Dam – the world’s second largest hydroelectric project. Just the name is a source of pride for the Paraguayans. The enormous construction stretches across the Parana River to Brazil and is shared by the two countries. But it’s Paraguay that gets the most from it, both economically and in patriotic satisfaction. About 80 per cent of Paraguay’s energy supply comes from the dam. It is quite literally the country’s source of light. In a nation as poor as this one, it is seen as an accomplishment that has been unparalleled since it was opened...

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02 February
Iguazu 2012-63_web
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How the mighty falls

Iguazu Falls You hear Iguazu Falls before you see them. The sound of constant crashing sneaks up on you, slowly increasing in volume until you abruptly realise it’s drowning out the sounds of birds and insects around you. The source must be close, you think. Just a few more turns along the path between the trees and then the cascading curtains reveal themselves. Footsteps falter, exclamations are uttered, and eyes meet with the same look of awe. The waterfalls at Iguazu are before you and they truly are one of the most spectacular natural wonders on this planet. In fact, a few months ago the Iguazu Falls were named as one of the 7 New Wonders of Nature in a global competition. There has been some controversy about the process, as Michael Hodson detailed so well in this blog post. But regardless, there’s no denying that they deserve a place on any...

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17 January
North_Korea-2011-215_web
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Is North Korea the best PR agency in the world?

Visiting North Korea Arriving at North Korea's Pyongyang airport, you need to relinquish more than just your phone and GPS devices. You also have to check-in any preconceptions you have about North Korea because everything you think you know about the country is about to be challenged and, in many cases, greatly altered. We’ve heard about the nuclear weapons, concentration camps, the famines that have reportedly killed millions, the Dear Leader’s predilection for Hollywood classics and the rumours that he even has a rollercoaster in his garden (it can get quite ronery at the top). But over the course of a week in North Korea, we came to see it as a country of natural beauty and undeniable human accomplishments. Most of the people we met had huge hearts full of goodwill and, by staying timelessly trapped in an era the world has left behind, the culture has avoided the dangers and self-destruction...

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12 September
Best things to do in Beijing. Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Lama Temple, Temple of Heaven, Snack Street, shopping, restaurants
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If these walls could talk

The Great Wall of China For centuries The Great Wall of China has remained silent and never done interviews. It has stonewalled all previous attempts by journalists, so to speak, but has now finally decided to talk. In a world exclusive, The Great Wall of China has told its story to Michael Turtle. I remember my childhood being really tough. When I was a young wall my parents told me that one day I would be great. I found it hard to believe, though. Like any teenager, things seemed like they would never get any better. I hardly had any friends and I was really lonely out there on the plains of Northern China. The only people who would occasionally come and visit were nomadic tribes but they were just trying to use me – they climbed all over me just so they could go and invade the Chinese. Yeah, the Qin...

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02 September