Family Breaks – surviving the school holidays

Written by Robin Richmond

Continued from page 1

Obviously these parks have enough activities to keep children occupied for sometime and another major advantage is they are very good value in terms of pricing. Most ofrepparttar parks have promotions running throughoutrepparttar 150194 year and travel companies such as short break specialist have a large selection of accommodation plus tickets packages that are ideal for family breaks.

Another great day out that can be turned into a short break holiday is visitingrepparttar 150195 famous “West End” in London and catching a matinee performance of one ofrepparttar 150196 many famous shows that are on offer. Mirroringrepparttar 150197 situation with UK theme parks many Britons simply don’t realiserepparttar 150198 quality and choice of shows available in London’s west end. However,repparttar 150199 2005 season has certainly seen an increase in awareness with many ‘locals’ realising what tourists have known for years – thatrepparttar 150200 quality of west end productions is amongstrepparttar 150201 best inrepparttar 150202 world.

While evening shows are not ideal for families withrepparttar 150203 often late finishing times, matinee performances are available on many shows – includingrepparttar 150204 award winning Billy Elliot. Perhaps no other show has contributed torepparttar 150205 hype surrounding this years season more thanrepparttar 150206 film turned musical production of Billy Elliot. The original story capturedrepparttar 150207 hearts and minds ofrepparttar 150208 British public whenrepparttar 150209 movie was released and received world wide acclaim with 3 Oscar and 13 Bafta award nominations.

Other shows suitable for kids that are running at present include Disney’s magical musical, The Lion King and timeless classic Mary Poppins. Most West End matinees are at 3 p.m., but a 2:30 p.m. start is not unknown – just make sure to check times to avoid disappointment.

Overall, it is important for parents not to panic! There are a number of cost effective and fun ways for them to keep their children entertained duringrepparttar 150210 long summer break and you just never know, stranger things have happened...they might even have fun themselves!

Robin Richmond Edinburgh based traveller

The dazzling beauty of the Shwedagon Paya

Written by David Barry ++ explore-myanmar ++

Continued from page 1

Torepparttar North-east is one ofrepparttar 150193 largest bells inrepparttar 150194 world, King Tharwaddy’s Min bell. Cast in 1841,repparttar 150195 Maha Titthaganda (three-toned bell) weighs 42 tonnes and is housed in an elegant pavilion with a lacquer ceiling.

The eastern shrine hall is considered by many to berepparttar 150196 most beautiful inrepparttar 150197 complex and is dedicated to Kakusandha,repparttar 150198 first Buddha. It was renovated in 1869 but almost totally destroyed byrepparttar 150199 great fire of 1931 and had to be completely rebuilt. Nearby isrepparttar 150200 U Nyo pavilion, which houses a series of carved wooden panels depictingrepparttar 150201 life of Gautama Buddha.

Inrepparttar 150202 south-eastern corner is a banyan tree, reputed to have grown from a branch ofrepparttar 150203 original tree under which Gautama Buddha gained enlightenment.

There is a small museum of curios besiderepparttar 150204 southern entrance. The south-western corner has a prayer pavilion with 28 images representingrepparttar 150205 28 previous incarnations ofrepparttar 150206 Buddha.

Byrepparttar 150207 western entrance isrepparttar 150208 prayer hall guarded byrepparttar 150209 figures of Mai Lamu andrepparttar 150210 King ofrepparttar 150211 Nats. Legend has it this pair wererepparttar 150212 parents of King Ukkalapa who broughtrepparttar 150213 hairs ofrepparttar 150214 Buddha to Shwedagon.

In all, there are over 50 glittering zedis (stupas) and pavilions inrepparttar 150215 Shwedagon complex. The main stupa isrepparttar 150216 world’s largest building covered with gold. In 1900,repparttar 150217 Shwedagon trustees decided to renovaterepparttar 150218 main spire, and used 9,272 gold plates measuring one foot square (30.5 cm by 30.5 cm) for a total of 5,004 ounces of gold. King George V (then Prince of Wales) and Queen Mary donated four plates upon their state visit in 1906. A total of 4,350 diamonds were also used inrepparttar 150219 construction.

There are four sealed entrances torepparttar 150220 main stupa, but no one knows what is inside. Legend has it flying swords protectrepparttar 150221 interior from unwelcome intruders. Others say there are tunnels leading allrepparttar 150222 way to Pagan and even Thailand.

Sunrise and sunset arerepparttar 150223 best times to visit Shwedagon, but any time you go, a visit is sure to leave memories which last a lifetime. As English visitor Ralph Fitch wrote in 1586:

“It is called Dogonne, and is of a wonderful bignesse, and all gilded fromrepparttar 150224 foot torepparttar 150225 toppe….it isrepparttar 150226 fairest place, as I suppose, that is inrepparttar 150227 world.”

Note: Burmese not changed to Myanmar national to keeprepparttar 150228 original context

BY: David McGarry For more interesting articles on Myanmar. Please see our web site


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