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Travel to Mexico: From the magic of Mayan to Me-Mo

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World Architecture Travel (WAT), an international network for architectural tours now brings to you a unique travel experience to Mexico from October 28th to November 10th, 2017. The tour is designed, and planned integrating architecture, design, art, and culture metamorphosing into a memorable 360 degrees experience. The tours are interspersed with a blend of explorations, interactions, lectures, a peek into the lesser known, escapades and much more that stimulates, enlightens and exhilarates. The team of professionals and travelers are bound by the common thread of our intense love and passion for traveling, places and people. The tour features some of the architectural marvels in the region namely Chichen Itza, Cuernavaca, Merida, Puebla, Tulum Ruins among others.

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Ancient Mexico, the land of the Mayan civilization, was a highly evolved society, evident from archeological finds as early as 2500 B.C or earlier. Teotihuacan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a city believed to have been established around 100B.C and lasted until the 8th century A.D, is architecturally and anthropologically significant, being one of the largest cities of that period, in its complex multi-residential, multi-floor residential compounds, pyramids and shrines built to accommodate a population of 125,000 or more of multi-ethnic groups. Itza and Toltec invaders occupied and influenced the art and architecture of the Mayans.

Schele and Freidel in ‘A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya’ write,

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“To the Maya, the world was alive and imbued with a sacredness that was especially concentrated at special points, like caves and mountains. The principal pattern of power points had been established by the Gods when the cosmos was created. Within this matrix of sacred landscape, human beings built communities that both merged with the God-generated patterns and created a second human-made matrix of power points. The two systems were perceived to be complementary…. Thus, as Kings built and rebuilt temples on the same spot over centuries, the sanctums within became even more sacred…. There were rituals which contained the accumulated power of objects, people and places when they were no longer in active use. And conversely, when the community became convinced that the power was gone from their city and ruling dynasties, they just walked away.”

Image result for Mexico City, just about 40 km from the ruins of Teotihuacan

Mexico City, just about 40 km from the ruins of Teotihuacan, today is a chaotic metropolis with over 21 million inhabitants living in high density within a volcanic valley. Citing, Daniel Rauchwerger, ‘The Mexican Moment: The rise of Architecture’s latest Design Capital’, Architecture, and a unique cuisine, is what draws visitors to this city today. Challenges for architects and planners are abundant here but a strong sense of appetite for updated architecture is felt almost everywhere here, and a rare and exciting energy to act, change, move and create as it nourishes architectural education and innovation within and attracts international firms at the same time.

‘Me-Mo’, short for Mexican Moment, is a term invented by local architects. Local Architectural firms like Jose Castillo’s Arquitectura911sc, Productora, young architects like Frida Escobedo along with a host of brilliant designers like Tatiana Bilbao, Fernando Romero, Alberto Kalach, Enrique Norten, Issac Broid are creating a wonderfully new Mexico that the Modernist movement architect and designers like Luis Barragan, Felix Candela, Pedro Ramirez Vasquez, Mario Pani and others paved in the recent past. Mexico City is proving to the world how the present and the past can lead to a promising future through all the chaos and problems of a developing country but with a respect and sensitivity toward its culture and history.

About World Architecture Travel (WAT):

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World Architecture Travel (WAT) a unique travel portal that explores architecture & culture is supported by The World Architecture Festival (WAF) the annual festival and awards ceremony for the architecture industry dedicated to celebrating and sharing architectural excellence from across the globe. WAT supported by WAF has inked a strategic brand alliance to offer a host of benefits to architectural travelers. WAT reaches out to individuals with a passion for architecture, urban design and culture, travels to places of modern architecture, unexplored places, a well planned places experience of contemporary architecture. Through city walks, culture trails and academic discussion are organized with a team of experienced architects, historians and academicians. Our passionate teams of planners bind in local architecture, building culture, current architecture developments, and urban design as part of your travel experience

Lifestyle

Indians are the most vacation deprived nation in the world: Survey

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New Delhi, Nov 21: Indians are the most vacation deprived nation in the world followed by South Korea and Hong Kong, says Expedia Vacation Deprivation Survey.

The survey is spread across 19 countries with India specific findings analyzing how vacation deprived Indians are, how do they take their holidays, do they utilize all or prefer working, feel guilty of taking vacations and take into account the work pressure while deciding their vacation.

This year, the survey shows India as the most vacation deprived country in the world, as more and more Indians feel vacation deprived followed by South Korea and Hong Kong.

As many as 53 per cent of Indians take fewer vacation days than they get and 35 per cent don’t take leave as work schedule does not allow for vacation or there are not enough staff to cover, said a statement.

This year 68 per cent of people cancelled or postponed their vacations due to work.

The survey throws light on the reason as to why Indians are vacation deprived and what factors play an important role in their travel decisions.

Also Indian workers do not take all vacation days and rank five in the matter of leaving their vacations unused after Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand.

Also 68 per cent of Indians have ended up cancelling their vacation due to work with 19 per cent fear being seen as less committed and 25 per cent have fear that they will miss out on important decision making and 18 per cent live under the perception that successful people don’t take a break.

Despite the fact that 78 per cent of bosses are supportive of vacations, Indians continue to get diverted by work while vacationing as 32 per cent of supervisors, 34 per cent of co-workers and 33 per cent of junior staff keep bothering Indians while they are vacationing.

The study was conducted among 11,144 respondents across 19 countries.

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Lifestyle

Holidaying at home more popular in India than foreign trips

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New Delhi, Nov 19: More than 40 per cent Indians value “holidaying at home” the most than buying luxury items or going to wellness and spa trips abroad, a survey has revealed.

According to the survey from YouGov on behalf of Priority Pass, among the world’s leading and original airport experiences programmes, 30 per cent Indians enjoy domestic short breaks, while over 25 per cent enjoyed a cultural trip overseas.

Nearly 20 per cent say a holiday at home is the activity they enjoy the most and would spend an average of Rs 23,619 on this type of break.

“People increasingly look for more ‘meaning’ in what they do, therefore possessions are proving less valuable than experiences, and the memories and learnings that we gain from them. In future, what we do will matter more — to us and our peer network — than what we buy,” said William Higham, consumer futurist and author of The Next Big Thing.

Indians were also found to overwhelmingly value shared experiences like catching a film at the cinema or going out for a meal (nearly 50 per cent each).

When it comes to sharing on social media, 42 per cent were most likely to post about trips to the cinema, and 39 per cent about showcasing food and drink they have prepared themselves.

On the other hand, more solitary activities like a fitness session at the gym (18 per cent) or buying a new luxury purchase (also 18 per cent) do not get shared as much on social media platforms.

These results suggest that a shared social experience is key to people’s enjoyment.

Conversely, buying luxury items and wellness holidays abroad came in much lower in India, with only 11 per cent of respondents likely to take this kind of trip in an average year and three per cent listing it as their most favoured activity.

The survey covers over 10,000 people from nine countries across all corners of the world, including 1,000 in India.

IANS

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Travel

Nepal-The Roof of the World

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Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia and mainly located in the Himalayas and has a diverse geography including fertile plains, highest point on earth – Mount Everest and that’s why backpackers gave a nickname to Nepal as, “The Roof of the World”. Nepal is a trekker’s paradise and offers a combination of charming hill villages to jungle wildlife to beautiful temples.

Nepal attracts various types of traveller’s from backpacker to Luxury travel. The country is still recovering from the Twin Earthquakes which shattered the Himalayan Kingdom in the year 2015. After a sharp decline in visitors post-earthquake, the numbers are slowly recovering and now it is a great time to go to the mighty mountains.

Kathmandu – Capital city of Nepal also serves as the gateway to the country. Kathmandu is an interesting city to visit, however, tourists will face the crazy traffic of Nepal and poor road conditions. Monuments located at the Durbar Square in Kathmandu were severely damaged or completely ruined during the earthquakes of 2015.

Chitwan National Park is one of the World Heritage listed reserves that protects over 932 sq. km of forests, marshlands and grasslands. The park is considered to be one of the best parks for viewing wildlife in Asia. One-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys and over 500 species of birds are regularly spotted. If you are lucky, you may spot a leopard, wild elephant or sloth bear and if your luck prevails, you may also spot the majestic royal Bengal tiger.

Pokhara offers spectacular scenery, adventure activities and is the getaway for treks to the Annapurna range. The Lakeside of Pokhara is a chilled out version of Kathmandu’s busy Thamel area. From the Lakeside as well from a lot of hotels one can enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains. Pokhara boasts a booming adventure sports industry and is one of the best paragliding venues on the globes.

Annapurna region has been considered one of the best treks in Nepal and known for the world’s classic walks. The walk follows the marsyangdi valley to the north of the main Himalayan range and crosses a 5416 m pass to descend into the upper Kali Gandaki valley. The walk offers spectacular views of the numerous 7000 meters plus Annapurna peaks and boasts some of the great trekking lodges of Nepal.

Breakfast at Everest base camp – This is a new private concept for affluent traveller’s where one can do a short excursion from Kathmandu and enjoy the breakfast near the Mt. Everest base camp with the fascinating Everest in the backdrop.

Travel Tips for Traveller’s to Nepal:

– Avoid drinking tap water, use bottled water

– Where possible avoid intercity road journeys and use local flights. The roads in Nepal are narrow and have traffic; a 200 km journey may take 7-8 hrs.

– Local flights are substantially dependent on weather conditions and there may be delays, so plan accordingly

– If you are doing any trek, do ensure that you have necessary permits to trek in the region

– Indian National enjoy special rates at hotels and for trekking permit at most trekking routes, NRI’s or Foreign nationals will have to pay the regular foreigner rate for the permits

– Be sure to ensure the Nepalese currency prior to leaving, one cannot exchange Nepali currency outside of Nepal

– Indian Nationals can use denominations of Rs 100 or lower very easily. Higher denominations are legally not accepted.

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