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02
Cities are often viewed as dirty and polluted, but urban residents typically have a smaller carbon footprint than those who live in suburban or rural areas. Higher population densities provide a number of benefits, such as lower fuel consumption, less habitat destruction, and lower infrastructure costs. However, high population densities also present many challenges. Water, energy, and waste are issues that must be addressed to ensure cities are contributing to the advancement of sustainable development.


Zero-energy water purification - Expo 2010

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14

The Cinnamon Bay Campground is located inside the Virgin Islands National Park, so it is as close to nature as you can get. Primitive campsites are available for those with a sense of adventure, and their own tent, but they also offer large raised-platform tents and small cottages. All of their sites are just a few steps away from beautiful Cinnamon Bay Beach, and Trunk Bay Beach, which is consistently ranked by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, is right next door. So this clearly isn't your ordinary campground.

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13

Our first stop of the day was the White Horse Temple, which is the oldest Buddhist temple in China. It was established in 68 AD in the Eastern Han capital of Luoyang, in Henan Province. Most of the current buildings were constructed during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasties. The White Horse Temple is generally regarded as the cradle of Chinese Buddhism.

White Horse Temple

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11

A guide picked us up at our hotel at 6:00 AM for our flight to Luoyang in Henan Province. Although our primary reason for flying to Luoyang was to visit the Shaolin Monastery, we would also be visiting Longmen Grottoes, the tomb of Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi, and the White Horse Temple, which is the oldest Buddhist temple in China.

Vairocana Buddha - Longmen Grottoes

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11
St. Thomas, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is most famous as one of the world's premier duty-free shopping destinations. The streets of its capital, Charlotte Amalie, are lined with an absolutely ridiculous number of jewelry stores, and filled with throngs of tourists looking for incredible bargains on diamonds, tanzanite, and a rare type of blue ...

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07
We arrived in Cozumel early in the morning. We were booked on an Atlantis Submarine Tour, but the sea looked pretty rough. I suspected that the submarine shore excursion might be cancelled, so I stopped by the shore excursions desk before leaving the ship. Sure enough, almost all ocean-related shore excursions had been cancelled. The poor guy worki...

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01
Our ship docked at Mahogany Bay, Carnival Cruise Line's purpose-built tourism village and beach complex. We were booked on the Museum, Cameos, & Village shore excursion in the afternoon, but we left the ship early to look around and eat lunch. Obviously we could have eaten on the ship, but we wanted to try some of the local food. Unfort...

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18
While waiting for our tour to meet, I stopped by a bar and grille right near the port of entry named The Green Parrot. I decided to try one of their traditional Caribbean meat pies and washed it down with a local beer called Caybrew. The Green Parrot also serves jerk chicken and "Parrot Burgers." Being a parrot owner, I really hope Parrot Burger is...

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27

Today we visited Zone A of the Shanghai World Expo. We visited the pavilions for South Korea, North Korea, Iran, Bangladesh, Qatar, Vietnam, and the Asia Joint Pavilions.

 

 

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26

Rather than going to Expo, we decided to spend today sightseeing in Shanghai. Saturdays are very busy at Expo, and we hoped that this would result in smaller crowds at other tourist spots. While perhaps a bit less crowded than usual, the Yu Garden Bazaar was still packed with people.

Yu Garden Bazaar - Shanghai - decorated for Expo

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24

We started today very early, so that we could get to Expo in time to get a wheelchair for my mother. Wheelchairs are free for Expo visitors over 70 years old (increased to 75 on July 1st), but they often run out shortly after opening. My mother can't walk long distances, so getting a wheelchair was essential. We went to breakfast at Yue Garden at about 6:30, and left the hotel shortly after 7:00. We arrived at Gate 2 (South Xizang Road Entrance) at about 7:30, and thousands of people were already in line. The Expo doesn't open until 9:00, so we had a while to wait.

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23

The pavilions in the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) display the vision of future urbanization from over 70 cities from all over the world. The focus here is on livable cities, sustainable urbanization, cultural heritage, and technological innovations. The massive amount of cutting-edge technology on display here makes this one of the most interesting sections of the entire Expo. It is also probably the most underestimated section. That combined with the walkthrough nature of the pavilions means waiting in line is somewhat rare. Some of the highlights include:
 

China Aviation Pavilion - Shanghai World Expo 2010

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21

Today we visited Wuzhen, a small ancient water village in northern Zhejiang Province. It is one of the best preserved ancient villages in all of China, and has become a very popular tourist destination. Because of its canals, Wuzhen is sometimes called "Little Venice." Although Wuzhen was founded in 872 AD, legend states that people have inhabited this area for over 7,000 years.

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20

We ate a very light breakfast because we were going to Louwailou for lunch. Established during the Qing Dynasty more than 150 years ago, Louwailou is one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in China. It is located on West Lake, and they even have a couple of permanently moored "boats" where customers can dine. However, we didn't have reservations for those, so we ate in the main dining room.

Louwailou Restaurant - Hangzhou

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19

Hangzhou was founded about 2,200 years ago, but it is most famous historically as the capital of China during the Southern Song Dynasty. When Marco Polo visited Hangzhou in the late 13th Century, it was the largest city in the world, and he described it as "the City of Heaven, the most beautiful and magnificent in the world." Today, Hangzhou is no longer the largest city in the world, but it is still beautiful and magnificent.

West Lake, Hangzhou

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18

We started off day three with a ride on the world's fastest train, the Shanghai Maglev, with a top speed of 431 kph (268 mph). For those who don't already know, the word Maglev is short for magnetic levitation. Basically, that means this train uses powerful electromagnets to hover only about 1/3 inch above the track, which eliminates friction. Propulsion is also achieved using electromagnets, creating a very fast, quiet, and efficient means of transportation. At top speed, a maglev train is about twice as efficient as a car and three times as efficient as an airplane.

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17
I woke up early and my computer's battery wasn't charging, and I only had about 15 minutes of power left. I decided that it might be a good idea to buy a cheap laptop to use for our trip. Ideally I would like to have found a Toshiba that used the same battery as mine, but I knew that was very unlikely. We asked the concierge for suggestions, and he...

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30
Since 1934, a group of professional divers also known as La Quebrada Cliff Divers have performed daily shows for locals and tourists alike. It all started when a local hotel and restaurant owner saw three young children diving off the La Quebrada Cliff to grab seafood from the rocky ocean floor below. The hotel owner offered the children one peso f...

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