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Choose Your Scenery: 5 Trip Ideas for Chinese Discoveries

When planning a trip to China, should you choose to take a day trip to our nation’s mighty capital? Foreigners may be skeptical about Beijing, China’s busy and unpredictable capital city. Don’t be. This sprawling city should be on your mind-to-face bucket list, if only for a day. To get an authentic taste of the bustling capital, check out these fabulous areas around the city.

1. The New National Stadium — The aforementioned sports stadium was built in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics. Visitors can take in the stunning architecture, which is stunning even if you don’t understand Chinese or spend your entire day in the stadium’s specially-designated section. Sure, it’s hard to get out from behind all that marble and metal, but you will get a great sense of pride from seeing how Chinese culture put out such an impressive piece of architecture. This also is a great excuse to see China’s Forbidden City, which is located right next to the National Stadium. It’s a sight to behold for both tourists and locals alike, and you won’t be alone among the rest of your group.

2. Chang’anbao Temple — Try not to get emotional when walking through this ancient temple in Beijing. It certainly seems like a place that is suited for dark emotions, as it is home to so many angels, cherubs, hooded figures, statues of the fallen emperor, angels and demons, the entire works. This temple is an example of why China is known as the hometown of Buddhism. Through its devotion to the deity Buddha, it’s a beautiful reflection of Tibet, which in turn is an example of ancient China.

3. Imperial Palace — The Imperial Palace is the Holy Grail of Chinese architecture. Built in 1749, it is the stately, white building that continues to hold so many memories for tourists visiting China’s national heart and symbol. While the Palace is famous for its intricate buildings and intricate glass and metal chandeliers, it’s the natural feel of this place that attracts foreigners. If you can’t make it to Beijing on a holiday, it’s a perfect stop for a historical walk that transports you to a world millions of years old.

4. Bund — Located right on the fringes of the Forbidden City is the 1.2 square-mile Bund, the river known in the Qing Dynasty as the River of Fortune. While you can’t see it from the Forbidden City, you can walk right up to the edge of the lake, which is bordered by centuries-old temples, colorful palaces and grassy squares. While you can visit the Bund from multiple parts of Beijing, we recommend taking a cab right from the Forbidden City to the Opera House, Dongsheng, the Peak of Nine Mysteries and the Bund.

5. Tiananmen Square — The iconic heart of Beijing is Tiananmen Square, which the Chinese state calls Spring Festival Square. While most visitors to Beijing may view this place as something to avoid at all costs, if you’re brave enough, Tiananmen Square is the perfect place to behold this city, its architecture and people. In fact, it’s also the site of the handover of power from the People’s Republic of China to the United States and then to the People’s Republic of China, which took place in 1949.

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Three Tips on Getting off the Beaten Track in China

Chinese get off the metro train and head into the wilderness, it’s where they really live. Chinese travel in a different way. Luckily, there are some spectacular hiking destinations you and your family can take part in. Discover China shares three tips on how to get off the beaten path in China!

Back Country Explorers

Ganzi Hui

Ganzi Hui is a 10-day expedition across China’s southeastern hinterland—14 stunning peaks from 2700 meters to 8400 meters. The terraced plateau you will enter will stretch out for hundreds of kilometers, offering plentiful views of snow capped mountains. Based on the popular Fifty-Fifth Big Day route, this outing is more about endurance than speed, which makes it an extremely challenging hiking experience. Also, it’s quite difficult to secure special accomodation in these mountains. This will definitely put a hardship on your ability to plan adequately. More than likely you won’t get to go camping (along with some careful planning if you plan to go this route), so the accommodations are on different mountains.

Shanxi Grand Route

One of the most interesting hiking routes in China is the Shanxi Grand Route. Also, it’s a great activity for cyclists. This route crosses Luoyang and Xi’an. On the summer evening, you will finally cross the “Wheelbarrow” as a bicycle. These routes are relatively easy with a lot of the trails in good condition. The Panangzu Salt Shore Trail is one of the most beautiful trails in the area, it has cliffs and valleys as far as 8200 meters high. The Panangzu Salt Shore Trail is a perfect hiking route to get some altitude and way above you feel that you are walking on clouds. So, take a hike before you rock climb to reach the valley. The destination for this route is Panangzu Village where you can hike for about 5 km.

Gushi Black Lake

Featuring the largest snow-caped mountain in Hubei Province—Zaozhujiang Peak—Gushi Black Lake is a stunning rock city nestled in the middle of the Miao Mountains. This city is well known for its waters like rivers, lakes, and tranquil rivers. In fact, the waterfront is known to be the most scenic place in Hubei Province. For the climb, you have to follow a steep series of valleys as you descend the mountain, passing through beautiful valleys with historical landmarks.

Nanhe Rock City

The scale of Nantou Shan rock city is vast. It’s massive interior and spectacular upper terrain make it a hidden, but so charming, city. Trekkers can enter the Nantou Shan Rock City through its short paved road. After a visit, you will find statues with fantastical scenes in the streets, traditional houses, and China’s most unusual art works. They are almost as interesting as the city itself.

Telluride, Colorado

If you’re in search of one of the most intriguing hiking experiences to enjoy in the United States, Telluride, Colorado might be it. Located in the southwestern Colorado mountains, it is a rugged ski town at the foothills of Mt. Pelee. It’s a long hike in the red canyon on the final 7km stretch of the nine-km-long Midas Trail. The red clay terraces offer plenty of beauty and variety along the route. You can easily sample the scenery with a picnic or sit and relax at one of the saloons along the route.

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Tips for the First Time Traveler to the Golden Era

As China prepares to have five different events kicking off around the country to mark the 2019 Golden Era, Discover China is rolling out some local tips to help you begin your first visit to the country that can make and break your trip.

With so many options to choose from and multiple flights to chose from when starting your China tour, understanding the best practices and tips for the first time traveler will put you in the right place at the right time.

Day 1 – Beijing

Bingbingying.com

It’s already 2 AM. You can’t even sleep in anymore, as you just woken up from sleep to find a Chinese person on your doorstep. One evening you find yourself with a strange man inside of your home. What do you do?

Beijing is one of the most populous cities in the world. There are more than 15,000 hotels in Beijing alone, and thousands more where you will spend the night during your stay. It’s also one of the most expensive cities to stay. You will want to check it’s not the “bachelor bed” on Airbnb to find your hotel room.

You may be traveling to the country with friends or family or you could simply be an individual and hope to find someone who wants to go and see the city. Going alone can be tricky and be unavoidable when you’re in such a huge city. There are about 500,000 tourists that come to Beijing during the second week of February during Lunar New Year.

Beijing is most known for its politically sensitive displays and people will likely keep you at a distance or at least try to avoid you when they see you. Being aware of your surroundings and avoiding interactions with groups of strangers will go a long way when deciding where to go the next day.

Unlike popular tourist destinations such as Paris, Tokyo, or San Francisco, the people of Beijing still feed on local culture instead of treating you as an intruder. Try to find a place near a university or museum, something a bit off the beaten path, and don’t stick to the mainstream tourist attractions.

Be aware that things are not always as they seem with Chinese interactions. Don’t react to every Chinese person without the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.

If you choose to take an entire day off from work to enjoy Beijing, you may need to purchase a taxi ticket. Taxi tickets cost between $3 and $10 and will most likely be issued to a person with a permit because the streets are crowded in the center of Beijing. This can leave you taking a taxi to go an unfamiliar location in the middle of the night.

Unscheduled public transportation will not be included when visiting Beijing. Although there are several options within the city, navigating a major city will leave you without a public transportation option. Because taxis are tricky to navigate without a permit, you will have to book a train ticket. Train tickets can be found around the subway stations in the center of the city, on the taxis lined up to pick you up, or at some other designated places.

Day 2 – Shanghai

If you enjoy shopping in China, then getting a shopping license for a taxi or public transportation home is essential to understanding local culture and getting around town. Many people have shopping licenses for subway tickets or cab trips from anywhere within Shanghai to any downtown areas. You can even purchase an umbrella license for shopping if you have the right umbrella. If you purchase a shopping license for a taxi ride home, be aware that you will be told where the store is located. The trip home, again, will not be included with any public transportation tickets or public transportation.

Having a shopping license also gives you access to certain shops and can help you find unique items that local citizens purchase as presents. Having a shopping license enables you to shop at any supermarket or grocery store.

Shopping allows people to get the latest products at the best prices. Many important items in Chinese culture such as household necessities like soap, appliances, and food are sold at these mega stores, similar to a Walmart. Although shopping is a favorite for many locals, it is also a heavily regulated process by law and not encouraged.

Shopping will most likely be an activity you can do at home after you have returned from your trip. If you choose to shop, bring at least $100 to $200 in cash with you as a way to cover the cost of your purchases when shopping with others.

On the other hand, taking a taxi from Shanghai to Hangzhou and taking a train from Hangzhou to Shanghai will not be included in your public transportation trip to Shanghai. Similar to purchasing a shopping license in Beijing, if you are traveling with friends or family or want to try and get some shopping done on your own, you must purchase the taxi license and get a ticket to ride the public transportation line.

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Following the Example of Civilization

Below you will find this article detailing the locations in China with the replicas of some of the world’s most popular landmarks. The reasons for choosing these two cities is to see a Chinese version of a famous place while on vacation. Some scholars estimate that the replicas have been around for over 40 years. They are the creations of a government-run tourism agency that promotes themselves as replicas of famous cities around the world. Here we are telling you about the replica cities and their replicas.

Hainan Island

Asia’s answer to Hawaii is the beautiful island of Hainan Island. If you want to see islands without having to worry about jet lag, Hainan Island is the place to visit. It is best from either side of the Gulf of Fujian. You can also go on cruises for overnight trips.

The most famous replica of an old Chinese city is Luoyang. The former provincial capital of Xi’an before the Beijing crackdown. The building is known as ‘Lon Long’ (Old City) and now a world famous tourist spot. It has been completely renovated with a new architectural style similar to the original Luoyang that was leveled decades ago. The same city was also named in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s highest replica city.

Hong Kong’s replica of the city of Ipoh in Perak, which was destroyed by a typhoon in 1938 and now regenerated into an excellent theme park. Here, people can now enjoy a type of mixed traditional Chinese cuisine not available in the mainland, but it is a replicas of the original Ipoh.

What other famous locations can you expect to see when you visit the newly recreated Beijing for short tourist trips?

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Malaria Deadened in China: 1.8 million Mosquitoes Dead in New Plan

After years of development, the Chinese government has managed to eradicate the largest and most dangerous mosquito population in the world. These pests have killed over ten million people on some continents and infect up to 200 million people with diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.

On December 18, over 100 million of the world’s most dangerous mosquitos were killed in China. The country was placed on a Western Union reporting list, “Pests that are Destroying the World,” as they prepare to eradicate 14 species of mosquito.

The announcement came via the Chinese government’s five-year malaria elimination plan which was first reported by the LA Times. A previous plan, which was put in place in 1995, succeeded in drastically decreasing malaria cases and deaths by ninety percent from a peak of nearly four million cases.

The eradication plan, titled “Sixteen Years of Strong Reducing Childhood Malaria,” works with community organizations, schools, and corporations to help eradicate mosquitoes that carry other diseases. The strategy places a big focus on eliminating the Aedes aegypti species, which is known to carry five diseases: yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue fever, Zika virus, and the largest and most dangerous of all, malaria.

Trees were planted in urban areas, as well as hospitals and schools, in order to trap and kill mosquito larvae. They are also sprayed with chemicals that completely suppress their immune systems. The public was also encouraged to reduce their contact with stagnant water, a source of breeding. Malaria started spreading in the 1990s as a result of introduction of the mosquito species in China.

The most dangerous mosquito is the largest, the Aedes aegypti. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the type is a brown, African tiger mosquito with a fuschia-colored shell, and gets its name because it drags a fat mark around on its head. It is dangerous because it thrives in places such as prisons, schools, parks, and gardens.

The Aedes aegypti can carry up to a hundred viruses and its larvae develop so fast that they travel from bug to bug. There is even an insecticide used to knock the mosquito off of target sites. In China, it was estimated that it kills more than 10 million people annually, and causes about 200,000 cases of dengue fever, which is an extremely viral illness that can become a deadly disease.

The goal of eliminating the Aedes aegypti from China is to make people better protected against the Aedes mosquito, particularly during high-risk periods when mosquitoes are in prime position to transmit disease. Malaria is now no longer a leading cause of death in China, and, according to the World Health Organization, there have been significant reductions in other vector-borne diseases. The strategy remains critical as more outbreaks are expected to occur.

Source: The LA Times, Chinese government

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China’s 5 Best Hotels For Winterizing Your Vacation

1. Jiondun Spring Natural Park

It’s challenging to imagine a more beautiful place than this. Once a thriving village nestled at the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Yai River, Jiondun was completely ruined by water pollution. Now, it’s one of the last remaining wild springs in Yunnan, in between Zhangjiajie National Park and Tarim Nature Reserve. Among the village’s charms are many examples of traditional folk architecture, 1,700 different indigenous species of trees, and ancient architectural remnants of Chinese traditions.

2. Yao Town

Yes, Yao Town really exists. Named after the American jazz musician Chet Baker, this sea of indigenous yellow-and-white tile roofs and weathered, cloth-covered walls is a neighborhood that has transformed itself into something of a rowdy, marijuana-smoking-chic district in the rapidly gentrifying coastal city of Kunming. Their calligraphic script and beautifully restored, traditional houses are a welcome respite from the futuristic towers and billboards the city of Kunming is gradually becoming.

3. Jiangxi Western Grasslands

Elite architecture, outstanding scenery, and iconic activities make the Western Grasslands region of the Qinghai, Yunnan, and Tibetan Autonomous regions of China a coveted destination in its own right. There are spectacular terraced hillsides filled with exploding mustard grass, rare crinoids, high Himalayan waterfalls, and towering, isolated limestone towers. Each year more than 400,000 orangutans, tigers, and gibbons gather to bask in the rare green, warm weather.

Read more: China Chinese Railways: Get the Lowdown on the A & C Stations That Serve Everyone from a 6-Year-Old to Travel Expert

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Travel with Kids? Do it Like a Chinese Family Holiday

The beauty of moving overseas is experiencing a new culture, cuisine, landscape, and ways of life. Our two kids are now 9 and 5 and they love traveling with us. They love sharing their experiences with our family and now we are sharing theirs with you. Let’s take a minute to think about how your family can enjoy an enjoyable with-kids holiday travel experience.

But what to bring? What to avoid?

How to Plan an With-Kids Travel Plan

1. Bring only necessary items such as the bare essentials (socks, underwear, and toiletries), a towel or pack rug, bottled water for cooking, sunblock for their bodies and faces, hand sanitizer, and sunscreen, as they will need to cleanse and wipe themselves after any activities they participate in.

2. Take photos (use an app such as Zoom or camera gizmo) and share them with you beforehand. The photos can be used as travel games with your kids. Use these photos for grocery lists to avoid long trips.

3. Do not bring food or drinks that contain mercury and/or fluoride. A homemade formula from a local grocery store or at the zoo will work just fine.

4. Get your kids an airplane backpack (or a bag or handbag that will fit their soft adult clothing) or a backpack or luggage that will fit their age-appropriate clothing and toys.

5. Inquire before you travel for the cheapest airline and hotel cost. Also ask for the “on-time” rating and go with the offers that show fewer cancellations.

6. Take advantage of family discounts and coupon books to save money. However, don’t use the coupons unless you are willing to pay full price for the vacation. For instance, if you want to go out to eat, don’t get the free meal coupon and do not buy the meal without a reservation. Same applies with any dinner reservations.

When all else fails, enlist an experienced travel agent to help you save money and get the most out of your vacation. In China, traveling with your children is a much easier experience compared to other parts of the world. The advantages of traveling with kids is that they may eat out, but they don’t want to climb the walls, run off alone from your hotel room, or get into bed after they want a good sleep and regular meals.

To start planning your family’s holiday travels, share your travel story with us at: That’s what makes China families unique, and the influence of our ancestors in the blood of most of our families. So tell us your family story and share your travel and adventure tips. We would love to hear it. Enter the contest for your chance to win a trip for two to China. You can read more about the contest, here.

If you have additional questions or need more tips, visit our website at: www.kensingtontravel.com/ev….

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China & You: City With a Billion People To Go!

By Bob Coolidge

Why is China such a great place for a business trip? It’s three times the size of the U.S. — roughly 3,000 times larger. China is a giant nation with a population of 2.4 billion. So, why would anyone even bother to consider a business trip to China?

Well, because it’s home to eight of the world’s top 25 commercial centers (commercial terms that measure the total value of output by a country), according to the World Economic Forum. So, even though China still has approximately 40 percent less square footage than the U.S., the commercial factor makes it one of the top countries on the planet when it comes to how great a place it is to be a business person.

China is also regarded as a wonderful place to eat, stay and shop because we can just walk into any Chinese restaurant and feel instantly at home. Restaurants are everywhere, from the world’s busiest McDonald’s (with about 3,000 employees) in Beijing to one of the most exciting dining experiences in New York City (the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan, which has more than 30 elevators.)

And, most surprisingly, there are more than 45,000 banks and ATMs in China. Americans may have far fewer ATMs than our Chinese neighbors, but we also have far fewer branches than people think — around 10 percent.

China is one of the most dynamic nations in the world — in fact, China will have been in the 21st century 25 times over before the country is through.

There are several reasons I love China so much. You get a chance to drive on bullet trains. And you’re a kid again at a theme park, because there are theme parks all over the place. And, one of my favorite things to do is buy fancy flowers at a Shanghai flower shop. That’s kind of China’s version of going to the country store and paying cash, except the prices are higher. I’m impressed.

Chic Europe

Here in Europe, we’re in the midst of the Golden Season, as it’s called, and this weekend is no exception. Christmas is December 25th, Chinese New Year is February 9th and the big winter closing of some attractions takes place on Saturday, February 8th (Brussels, for example, shuts its doors January 31). And no region of Europe receives as much attention on the annual calendar as is Paris, where there’s always some kind of gift exchange or other type of promotion planned during the holidays.

Lamborghini is usually one of the most noted companies in town, but its showroom in Paris has been much more crowded this week than it normally is, as Lamborghini fans in Britain (it’s a twin-brand combination of automaker and car designer) and elsewhere buy Lamborghinis specifically for Christmas or Chinese New Year. If you’re in Paris this weekend, you’ll probably be able to drive or just buy one from the showroom, too.

French Edible Botanicals

If you’re flying around the world, you may not consider trying to visit as many places as you can while you’re there. But, you don’t even have to do that — you can just stop and smell how much joy is provided by the food you’re eating while you fly.

Part of my job is bringing some of the senses to market. So, I’m very proud of my team that does this. As a matter of fact, we put as much of my sensory approach to work as we can in places like Austin, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and Paris. I’ve found that it’s sometimes easier for restaurants and hotels to create their own specialized and appealing food, wine, drink and bedding packages if they have any idea what I’m thinking about as I’m gathering my senses.

Don’t have enough time to go to all the places I mentioned? Well, visit there by downloading our free travel app, which will tell you all you need to know about flights, hotels, cruises, auto rentals and whatever else you need to consider to get the most out of a trip to any country in the world. You can even view movie reviews in a delicious way.

Remember, the best place to travel is where the heart’s at, so I’m betting you’ll be happy to find that wherever you’re traveling to.

We’re so close to finding the perfect seating arrangement at your next dinner party.

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Mt. Kyu Hotels offers special rates for visiting the Kaiho Temple of China

Just inland from a bend in the Ailau River, the small island of Tinian is the only US territory outside Hawaii that actually has its own temple. The island sits on the south side of the Mariana Trench that is almost 30,000 feet deep. So, from above this is clearly the next best thing to being underwater!

For anyone of age, travel back in time to China and the Jade Buddha Temple is just an easy, but somewhat shallow, drive from Saipan. The temple is the place to be this time of year because of its importance during the Chinese New Year.

According to Chinese scriptures, the Buddha was depicted as laying in the lake in Meditation. To perfect your meditation skills you can take meditation tours of Saipan during early December. The temple is the only place to bring the Buddha to start or conclude the New Year. You can also buy pieces of fruit and flowers placed at the entrance of the temple. This is where the magic happens and visitors may start making personal memories and special relationships.

The temple is multi-faceted with real bamboo pieces of furniture that make it look like a village. At the main entrance there is a Buddha statue in a hong bao (a large wooden box with a bow).

Throughout the temple one can find pictures of Buddhist monks, elaborate tapestries, and decorations of important events throughout history of the temple. This is the only religious site in the United States to include every religious type.

For those of you interested in learning more about the Kaiho Order and its history, you can find information at www.fuq.com/keo. The temple is also a tourism and medical facility. The temple has rooms for meditation and for long distance calling. Every year more than a thousand tourists visit the temple for meditation.

The Ling Tai Orchestra can accompany you if you go to the meditation hall at the temple during the day. The festival scheduled for December 27-29 is not just to experience the soothing sounds of the musicians. There is also an outdoor exhibit of Bamboo.

The temple is located right on Saipan near the airport (Saipan International Airport) with direct flights from Guam to Saipan. Room rates range from $65 to $120 per night. For more information please call US-Canada Wyndham Saipan, 893-9700

For more on the temple and its life-changing effect on tourists, or to book a room, call 893-0027 or 893-3760

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Real Estate Information

BEIJING, CHINA – DECEMBER 05: A soldier holds a broom in front of a heavy, black tunnel in Pingyao, a historic city in Hebei Province, central China’s Gansu Province on December 5, 2013. To mark the first centuries’ anniversary of the Pingyao Fortress, a set of gateway compartments will be opened in the days to come. Photo by Li JinCheng/AFP/Getty Images

INVESTING IN RELOCATIONS

Green Business Journal, the national publication of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is giving readers the inside scoop on the best eco-friendly real estate. Don’t miss out on these exciting and easy homes. The benefits include: less energy usage, reduced use of municipal water, reduced energy bills, and cleaner air and water. See the full list at www.greenbusinessjournal.co….

PISAZ MARTINEZ

The Honduras indigenous Lorian community is about to relocatete with the local Honduran community. The traditional way of life of the Lorian Indians will transfer to the new location on the outskirts of their ancestral town. Sign the petition on www.worldcoexist.org/Honduras and go make friends with your fellow Hondurans who are more indigenous than you are!

CHINA’S ZOHOR PLANET

China is helping bring the first luxury yachting colony to Cotai, where the Chinese developer plans to bring together the island’s most exclusive resort destination and luxury marina for the mega-wealthy. It’s important to note, however, that the project is not just about yachts, it’s about ports like Anantara’s Canggu, which is a vibrant urban resort in the heart of the city and a key tourism destination in Hong Kong and Macau.

EXXON MOTOR

You don’t have to be a car buff to enjoy looking at the amazing art and architecture in the movie set-like yet authentic city of Xiamen, and now there’s a way to see it. Xiamen Motorry Home with Xiamen Soaphire Tour is a five-night, all-inclusive trip to Xiamen, China, with a two-bedroom Xiamen Motorhome in the middle of a seaside park. The trip in a wagons comes with the hire of a motorboat that allows for access to all the city’s unique neighborhoods and art culture. The hotel in the city is like a dream. It has many different restaurants and recreational activities for guests.

INTERNATIONAL RESORT CAMPING

In 2006, American readers of Travel and Leisure voted Rainforest Lodge and Spa as one of the most romantic locations in the world. Now, visitors to the site can now get away from it all just by setting up a home in a traditional Dutch-style site called a “poeledsel,” where guests can take in the natural and vibrant atmosphere on a retreat in Jamaica called Raschile. The “coe je” structures are easy on the eye and provide good privacy and running water.

GAMBLE GARDENS IN KANDY, SEYCHELLES

Gamble Garden Tours, founded in Australia in 1959, is now reaching out to the Caribbean, offering guests “experiential travel.” It is installing 52 small houses in the famous Gambler’s Paradise, where you can visit the dozens of unique mini resorts.

BOSTON VENUE

At the premiere of Roxanne Yawner’s book, The Escape Artist’s Handbook, her life and work are detailed on the website of the Charles C. Walnut Gallery, which specializes in photography and Asian art. The gallery-wide exhibition at the gallery showcases the collection of works by Roxanne Yawner. Visitors can also download the accompanying book.