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Subway Station to Nowhere

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Urban explorers would have a field day in Chongqing – especially at this local metro station that seems to be located in the middle of nowhere (think: abandoned). However, it’s very much still in use.

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Lost Tribe: Vedda of Sri Lanka

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The Veddas are an ancient people of Sri Lanka, widely believed to have descended from the island’s ancient, indigenous aboriginal population – archaeological finds indicate the presence of their Neolithic ancestors on the island as far back as 10,000 BC. Many also believe that they are descended from Prince Vijaya (6th-5th century BC), the legendary founding father of the Sinhala nation.

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Kaohsiung and Taiwan’s south

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Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s southern metropolis – once relegated as an industrial city – is now a bustling city that is known for its hipster culture, particularly around the Love River and Pier 2. As the main city in the south, with its gleaming skyscrapers and wide open boulevards, the pace is much slower than in Taipei.

Kaohsiung is also a convenient base if you’re visiting some natural gems like the Maolin Valley and Tianliao Moon World.

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Taipei’s Taoyuan Int’l Airport MRT is offering 25,000 passengers free rides

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As some of you would know, there’s finally an MRT that connects Taoyuan Airport to Taipei City. Even though the 51km-long Taoyuan International Airport MRT line stops at 21 stations, it still cuts commute time to the airport to 35 minutes, a journey that usually takes more than one hour to drive due to traffic.

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Japan’s funny icons for travellers

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As Japan prepares itself for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, many prefectures are trying to lure visitors to places other than tourist magnets like Tokyo and Kyoto. Iwate prefecture, situated to the north of Tokyo, has turned to humour to lure non-Japanese speaking visitors by publicising a set of comical illustrations as a cheeky guide to Japanese customs.

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Rail Journey from Singapore to Vientiane

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Singapore will finally have a high-speed railway (HSR) link to Kuala Lumpur! While the railway may not materialise yet until late 2026, the buzz about it is that the direct journey will take a mere 90 minutes from Jurong East to Kuala Lumpur – it beats flying to get there, if you take into account check-in and baggage clearance procedures.

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Taiwan: Lottery for Travellers

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Travelling is all about the little things, and when you’re in Taiwan, it’s the little things that not only make travelling there an amazing experience – think of amazingly friendly locals or the incredibly cheap food – but also a fruitful one.

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Macao: 5 Interesting Coloane Sites

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Macao may be small, but even so, there is plenty to explore. Whether you’re here for the heritage sites, the casinos, or the food, there’s no shortage of recommendations. If the bright lights and crowds start to get to you, it’s only a 15-minute bus ride away to Coloane where time seems to have stood still and the bustling city is like a distant memory. Originally a salt producing region, Coloane was uninhabited when the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century and was a pirate base until 1910.

This island is home to rich Portuguese history, interesting coastal landscapes, green hiking spaces, and known as the birthplace of Lord Stow’s Portuguese Egg Tart. Here are some spots to check out:

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Great Wall of Concrete

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Great Wall after restoration

Chinese officials were recently lambasted by netizens when it bungled up the restoration of the 2,000-year old landmark, the Great Wall of China. The crumbling 8km section of the wall in Suizhong county (near Hebei province) was ‘repaired’ with concrete, reducing the 700-year old structure to a mere concrete path.

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Where Are the Next Olympic Games?

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The Rio 2016 Olympics may just be over, but the next Games ball has been in motion halfway across the world in South Korea. In less than 18 months, the Winter Olympics will be hosted in Pyeongchang (South Korea), marking the first of three Asian cities to host the next 3 major Olympic games.

It’ll be the first time the Olympics will return to the region since 2008 when Beijing hosted the last summer Olympics, and will stay until 2022.

2018 Winter Olympics: Pyeongchang, South Korea

board_58994_13119_thumbBeating Munich and Annency (France) in 2011 to win the nomination after 2 failed attempts in 2010 and 2014, preparations are now underway as South Korea secured its first ever Winter Olympics (Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Games).

Pyeongchang has built 6 new facilities and spent $13 billion, nearly four times less than Russia spent on the Sochi Olympics, the most expensive in history. Most of the spending will be on infrastructure to the region, and new roads and venues will make the mountainous area more accessible to tourists and skiers. There’s also a new high-speed train from Seoul, whisking spectators to the Olympics venue in under an hour (currently it takes over 3 hours).

According to organisers, their venues will be ready this October for the first test run of the events. Ironically, officials at Pyeongchang cited genuine concerns that some people might board planes for the Communist country by mistake – since the North Korean capital has a similar-sounding name.

2020 Summer Olympics: Tokyo

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Tokyo will not only be host to the Summer Games in 2020, it will also host the Rugby World Cup in 2019. Tokyo is the fifth city to host the Summer Games the second time (first in 1964), and was chosen over Istanbul and Madrid back in 2013.

It’s recently been announced that the Tokyo Olympics will be the first to hold 5 new sports, according to the IOC, including surfing and skateboarding.

The preparation of the Games has been fraught with plenty of issues, from corruption to overspending. The new design of the National Olympic Stadium (originally built in 1964), Tokyo’s Olympics centrepiece, will now be based on Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s oval, wooden-latticed structure, after officials scrapped the initially-accepted design by the late Zaha Hadid due to budget issues.

Visitors to the Games can expect plenty of Japanese pop culture (as demonstrated by PM Abe’s appearance in Rio), in addition to a showcase of Japan’s high-tech innovations like robot concierges, driverless vehicles, and even artificial meteorites.

2022 Winter Olympics: Beijing

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While the IOC initially chose Oslo to be the host of the next Winter Games, the city withdrew due to cost concerns. This led to a close contest between Beijing and Kazakhstan, with the former winning by 4 votes.

This will be the first winter edition in China since its last hosting of the summer games in 2008, marking the third Olympic game in a row to be held in East Asia.

The games will be held in 3 clusters: Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. Already the city is pouring its money into infrastructure, with the construction of the new high-speed rail (with speeds of up to 217mph) between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, cutting the travel time from 3 hours to 50 minutes. Only time will tell if Beijing will be able to control its pollution issue, a fact that tarnished the 2008 Games, and one that may rear its ugly head in the Winter Games – February is when pollution peaks in the country.