Monthly Archives: November 2016

UNESCO heritage list

Each year, UNESCO adds a slew of new sites to its World Heritage List, which this yearincluded a cave complex and an entire archipelago. But there’s another list that’s far less talked about. Its contents don’t feature on travellers’ bucket lists and there’s little coverage in the media when it’s updated. Yet it’s just as – if not more – important than its counterpart.

The UNESCO Intangible Heritage List is an inventory of some of the world’s greatest traditions and traditional practices, from copper craftsmanship in Azerbaijan to the summer solstice festivals in the Pyrenees. We reported on last year’s newest inscriptions, and last week the 2016 list was updated.

Here are this year’s new additions:

1. Bisalhães black pottery manufacturing process, Portugal
2. Chapei Dang Veng (a two-stringed guitar), Cambodia
3. Cossack’s songs of Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine
4. Ma’di bowl lyre music and dance in Uganda
5. Almezmar, drumming and dancing with sticks, Saudi Arabia
6. Argungu international fishing and cultural festival, Nigeria
7. Beer culture in Belgium

8. Bhojpuri folk songs in Mauritius
9. The Carnival of El Callao, a festive representation of a memory and cultural identity in Venezuela
10. The Carnival of Granville, France
11. Charrería – an equestrian tradition in Mexico
12. The culture of Jeju Haenyeo (women divers), South Korea
13. Falconry across the Middle East, Europe and parts of Central Asia
14. Flatbread making and sharing culture in Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey

Image by Bastian on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

15. The Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio-political system of the Oromo, Ethiopia
16. The idea and practice of organizing shared interests in cooperatives in Germany
17. The Khidr Elias feast and its vows, Iraq
18. Kuresi wrestling in Kazakhstan
19. Living culture of the three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet
20. The New Year celebration of Mangal Shobhajatra in Bangladesh
21. Momoeria, a New Year celebration in eight villages of the Kozani area, Greece


22. Music and dance of the merengue in the Dominican Republic
23. The celebration of Nowruz across the Middle East and Asia
24. Oshi Palav, a traditional meal and its social and cultural contexts in Tajikistan
25. Palov (rice) culture and tradition in Uzbekistan
26. Practices related to the Việt beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms, Vietnam
27. Puppetry in Slovakia and Czechia (the Czech Republic)
28. Rumba in Cuba

Inland Croatia

Falling to Serbian forces on November 18, 1991, Vukovar remained under occupation until 1998. In the meantime the restorers have been busy and, a quarter of a century after the siege, the town is at last beginning to resemble its charming old self.

Vukovar is an important symbol of resistance to Croats, and memorial tourism is deeply embedded in the fabric of the place. However it’s also it’s also the kind of town where you can laze beside the river, go cycling in parks, dine on catfish, and marvel at one of Europe’s most compelling prehistoric sites.

Vukovar is best treated as a double date with the historic fortress town of Ilok, 30 kilometres downriver, where you’ll find the best of the local wines and some great B&Bs. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Vukovar and Ilok.


Where exactly is it?

Vukovar lies in the green, agriculturally-rich southeast of Croatia, about as far away from the tourist-swarmed Adriatic coast as you can get. The nearest city is Osijek, a Baroque jewel 40km to the north; you can either fly to Osijek or catch a bus from Croatian capital Zagreb (5hr 30min), or from Novi Sad in Serbia (2hr 30min).

What should I see in Vukovar?

The one essential sight in the town centre is the mid-eighteenth-century Eltz Palace, a sweeping Baroque cake of a building that looks out on riverside meadows. Inside is one of Croatia’s best museums, offering everything from bronze-age jewellery to the boots made by legendary footwear manufacturer Bat’a, who set up shop in Vukovar in 1931.

The Museum of the Vučedol Culture, five kilometres out of town on the banks of the Danube, is one of the most exciting and well-represented archeological museums anywhere in Europe. Built into the hillside below the original excavation site, this award-winning structure celebrates the copper-smelting civilization that flourished hereabouts 5000 years ago.

The Vučedol people used highly decorative astronomical pictograms to decorate their ceramics, and laid out their dead in shapes imitating signs of the zodiac. Knowledge of astronomy was crucial in deciding when to sow and when to reap.

Costa Rica to Thailand Guide

Sweden’s Treehotel, built by some of the country’s finest architects, takes the humble treehouse to new levels. Its six, strikingly modern “treerooms” range from the futuristic glass Mirrorcube to the alien-like UFO. And if a night here wasn’t unforgettable enough, there’s even a sauna suspended from the pines.

2. Tree House Lodge, Costa Rica

In 10 acres behind Punta Uva beach in the province of Limón lies a treehouse that owners Edsart Besier & Pamela Rodriguez promise will take you back to your childhood. Surrounded by a tropical garden and accessed via a wooden suspension bridge, it’s the perfect place to unwind.


3. Garden Village, Slovenia

A short walk from the banks of Slovenia’s famous Lake Bled, Garden Village is a fairytale come to life. Neat rows of luxury glamping tents are staggered down the hillside, while six treehouses hide in the woods alongside, connected by wooden platforms and short suspension bridges. Romantic escapes don’t come much better than this.

4. Chewton Glen, England

You’ll find the ultimate in treehouse luxury at Chewton Glen in the New Forest. Four luxury treehouse cabins are squirrelled away in a wooded valley here and the extras are fittingly decadent: spa treatments, golf buggies to take you to the main hotel and gourmet hampers delivered through a secret hatch.