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Myanmar’s mesmerising southeast -3

If you haven’t taken the train in Myanmar, you haven’t actually been there. Despite the myriad complaints for being slow, incompetent, late, poor in service quality and unpredictable bumpy rides, it’s the trains that speak of a uniquely diverse nation, unwraps a country blessed by Mother Nature while enabling one to feel its pulse. Introduced by the British in 1877 the now Myanmar railway is a living relic of the country’s colonial past. No, one won’t get to travel in vintage locomotives but instead will have to run along the hundreds of kilometres rail track built by the colonial rulers. Compared to bus trips on the same routes, taking the train means extra travel time, but it’s worth it. Local cuisines to brewery; mountains, rivers to jungles; culturally diverse people to backpackers from across the globe; sleepy tiny train stations to junctions – they all have a story to tell. Their stories are to be seen and observed. You can’t hear them.


Voyage to Byzantium


On a cruise from Venice to Istanbul aboard Ponant’s newest ship, Le Soléal, Hilary Doling learns the meaning of true style.

I am standing at the ship’s polished wooden rail trying to channel my inner Madame. We’ve just sailed out of Venice with the sun glinting on the dome of St Mark’s and already I am aware that this is no ordinary vessel. This ship has style, this ship has class – this ship is chic. And so, it seems, are all its passengers. Le Soléal sails under a French flag and it shows.

The crew look impossibly handsome in naval whites or navy jackets so well-fitted they could have been designed by Yves Saint Laurent. My fellow passengers all seem to be adhering to an unwritten dress code that demands fresh cream linen or nautical stripes, with the odd Panama hat. It is all très élégant.

Compagnie du Ponant has recently changed its name to Ponant to give it a more international appeal but that doesn’t mean all the good things about the company’s French connection don’t hold true. The French have a feel for the finer things in life – which is exactly what you want from a luxury cruise operator. French wines and French food are on offer and even the entertainment has some Gallic flair with can-can dancing as part of the repertoire.


Small is beautiful

You might struggle to see them, but these tiny artworks prove that small can be incredibly beautiful.The microscopic creations were handcrafted by Willard Wigan, from Birmingham in UK, and set within the eye of a needle.The 57-year-old artist first became interested in micro-sculpture aged five when he began making houses for ants because he thought they needed somewhere to live. Having been described by experts as 'the eighth wonder of the world', Wigan's works are so minute that they are only visible through a microscope.Each piece sits within the eye of a needle, or on a pin-head, and is crafted between heartbeats, allowing the self-taught artist to reduce hand tremors. The works are set to go on display in his home city, giving a cash boost to local literacy and learning initiatives.

Part of the proceeds from the exhibition of pieces will support community programmes operated by the Library of Birmingham.


Living in: The world’s healthiest cities

An aerial view of Monaco

What makes a city healthy? A combination of factors, ranging from readily available healthcare to excellent mass transit to a commitment to improving access to green spaces. Taken from a number of lists in publications such as The Guardian and The Economist that rank the healthiest cities and countries around the world, these five cities have a history of investing in the behaviours and elements that ensure their citizens live as healthy a life as possible.


15 Of The Most Beautiful Architectural Photographs From Around The World


Fifteen images ranging from a close-up of Herzog & de Meuron’s Beijing National Stadium to a portrait of a graveyard-turned home in the Philippines, have been selected as the finalists of the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) 2014 Art of Building Photographer of the Year competition. The public will now decide who will take home the title and a £3,000 cash prize.

“There is a cornucopia of styles and stories in this year’s final,” said Saul Townsend, CIOB spokesman in a press release. “In a world full of high definition colour technology, black and white photography still inspires a host of photographers. Voters are in for a visual treat and will hopefully be inspired to look at the built environment in a new way and to take part themselves next year.”


£12MILLION is found languishing in a French farm garage after 50 years

The Ferrari (left), once sat in by Jane Fonda, was found under newspapers in an outbuilding on the French farm, alongside a Maserati A6G 200 Berlinetta Grand Sport Frua - one of only three in the world

he cars were collected from the 1950s to the 1970s by entrepreneur Roger Baillon, who dreamt of restoring them to their former glory and displaying them in a museum.However, his plans were dashed as his business struggled, forcing Mr Baillon to sell about 50 of the vehicles.Since then his collection has sat dormant in makeshift corrugated iron shelters and outbuildings on the farm. Mr Baillon died about 10 years ago and his son, Jacques, who inherited the collection, died last year.


7 countries where you can become a citizen or resident — if you have the cash


As countries in the Middle East and Europe struggle with a surge in refugees and the United States debates immigration reform, the oil-rich kingdom of Kuwait is pursuing an unusual solution to a similar problem. It announced last month that it would offer citizenship to tens of thousands of stateless people from nomadic Bedouin tribes -- but not Kuwaiti citizenship.


The 41 Best Perfectly Timed Photos Of 2014

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The first of many end of year lists.


The last unmapped places on Earth

Manmade islands require redrawn maps (Getty Images)

Have we mapped the whole planet? As Rachel Nuwer discovers, there are mysterious, poorly charted places everywhere, but not for the reasons you might think.

In 1504, an anonymous mapmaker – most likely an Italian – carved a meticulous depiction of the known world into two halves of conjoined ostrich eggs. The grapefruit-sized globe included recent breaking discoveries of mysterious distant lands, including Japan, Brazil and the Arabic peninsula. But blanks remained. In a patch of ocean near Southeast Asia, that long-forgotten mapmaker carefully etched the Latin phrase Hic Sunt Dracones – “Here are the dragons.”


The 10 Worst Countries for Women


Not one country in the world has successfully eliminated its gender gap, according to a recent report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). But while the scope of gender inequality has narrowed in some countries, in other countries women continue to severely trail men in economic participation, educational attainment, political empowerment, and even basic health outcomes.


Rizvee Imran : A Passionate Young Photographer from Bangladesh

Rizve Imran has done more than his age. The 17 year old freelance photographer has taken a different level of covering portraits of nature and society. He came to the attention after being Honorable Mention in Music and dance photography contest by 21st century photographers society 27th august 2012 , TOP 12 at 12 de junho 2013 - New Color Portraits , Black and White Photo of the day  27 th February,9th March and 29 th April 2013 , Mgbs 2013 , 21st century photographers society Summer contest 16th july 2013 , Picture Dignity : The Top Socially Voted Professional Photo Winner , Nikon Europe Cover Photo of the month runner up April and May. To know more visit



Jonathan Klein: Photos that changed the world


Photographs do more than document history — they make it. At TED University, Jonathan Klein of Getty Images shows some of the most iconic, and talks about what happens when a generation sees an image so powerful it can't look away — or back.


10 World’s Most Peaceful Countries 2014


According to the Global Peace Index (GPI), the world has become more dangerous every year since 2008. Unfortunately, many countries face terrorist activity and internal and external conflicts these days. But luckily, there are several peaceful countries as well. While these countries are not perfect, they are safe and wonderful places to live and raise your kids. According to 2014’s Global Peace Index, here are 10 most peaceful countries in the world.


Khagrachhari tourism yet to get normalcy for dearth of tourists

Although political stability has returned in the country as political parties have refrained themselves from violence, the tourism sector in Khagrachhari is yet to get back to its normal shape. This year, businesspersons do not have much hope as they incurred huge losses in the last three months for lack of tourists. Now, they are waiting for the normal flow of native as well as foreign tourists, which they have been witnessing year after year and hoping that they would be able to recoup the loss if tourists start coming to the district soon.


Inside Alessandra Ambrosio's girly Grecian getaway

Alessandra Ambrosio has been soaking up the sun on the Greek island of Mykonos with a bunch of girlfriends and her fiancé Jamie Mazur. The Victoria's Secret model Alessandra showed off her incredible beach body in a zebra-striped halter bikini. She accessorised her holiday look with fun heart-shaped sunglasses, hoop earrings and a Fedora hat.


Travel show ‘Adventure Man’ airs on NTV

“Adventure Man,” an exciting show based on adventure travels will air tonight at 11:30pm on NTV. Produced by “Srishti Education and Research Foundation,” the first diverse adventure show, has been anchored and directed by Shishir Salman. The challengers from Bangladesh and abroad will explore adventures such as scuba and sky diving, underwater shooting, repelling, uplink, and boating.


Where in the World Are Americans Investing Dollars

Where in the World Are Americans Investing Dollars

If the last several years have taught us anything, it’s that our economic system is more volatile than ever.  Trillions of dollars were lost in the last credit crisis.  Now, numerous economists and finance experts are predicting the implosion of the dollar and U.S. economy in the next three to five years.


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