Soweto is an incredible township and I have to say – head there and see it!! Not only is it one of the most famous townships in South Africa but it has a lot of history and more importantly things to see and do. Top 5s are difficult but I’m going to try! I’ve had to narrow it down but here goes…
1. Stay with a local Sowetan family:
A highlight from my travels round Soweto was staying with a local family in Orlando East. I stayed with Rachel and her son and daughter. They made me welcome and it was a small but cosy house. At night they just sit at home and cook and watch TV – almost back to basics existence but a great experience and if you get the chance to do it – go for it!!
2. Go Inside Nelson Mandela’s House:
I have to say that a visit to Nelson Mandela’s former house in Vilakazi Street is a must. Don’t miss it! Nowadays his former home has been turned into an excellent mini museum,open to the public. It is just incredible to step inside the house where Mandela once lived. There are quotes on the walls on bricks in the courtyard, photos inside and the house is small. It’s amazing that this man changed the world. Get this on your list!
3. Visit a Shebeen:
You cannot visit Soweto without heading into a Shebeen! These local bars where people mingle to drink and chat are an essential part of the culture. You will get to meet and chat to the locals, enjoy a few beers with them and get to understand a bit more about life in Soweto. The beer you will get is pinky in colour and not strong at all – you will share it communally. Get in there and chat to the locals. I loved it and you will too!
4. Bicycle Tours in Soweto:
Another top thing to do in Soweto is a bicycle tour – it means you can get to places not easily covered on foot or in a car. You can visit different parts of the township on the same day and meet locals. Soweto Backpackers have a recommended bicycle tour which is also listed in a lot of travel books and sites. You’ll also have a tour guide who explains everything to you at points on your cycle through this historic township.
5. Hector Pieterson Museum:
The Hector Pieterson Museum is highly recommended to get into the history of Soweto and in particular the Soweto Uprising of 1976. A museum and well maintained streets and tributes now sits where Hector Pieterson was once shot dead. It’s a real eye opener. Definitely in my top 5 things to do in Soweto!
So head to Soweto and understand the history of this cultured township. These are my top 5 for you!
To read more articles such as Top 5 Things To Do In Soweto then visit Jonny Blair’s recommended travel, work and lifestyle site called Dont Stop Living for endless travel experiences and tips.. Free reprint available from: 5 Ways To Do Soweto Like A Local.
So to China again – the world’s most populated country!! Now, when you think of World Heritage Sites in China you must mean The Great Wall, The Forbidden Palace, The Terracotta Warriors, etc…?? No, sorry, not today and not for this travelling Northern Irishman. China was the first Asian country I ever visited and my flirting love affair with it’s land of endless possibilities continues…so here I bring you 3 very unknown and unusual UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China which I have visited recently.
1. Fujian Tulou Buildings in Fujian Province, China – situated is deep countryside with valleys and mountains all around, this is a splendid set of old style buildings known as Tulou. There are hundreds of them and they were built to house full families and Chinese clans back in the day. You can go inside most of them and they are not too busy or touristic, especially for those non-Chinese. This makes your visit seem so special and amazing. A great heritage site! [
Quick Guide – Get to the city of Yongding in Fujian Province. Once you’re there you will realise that there are many bus tours out to these buildings and numerous drivers offering them. If you’re a foreign tourist, they will probably come to you. However be aware of rip offs and drivers cutting special buildings off your trip.
2. Danxiashan Mountains, Guangdong Province, CHINA: Hidden shyly in the north of Guangdong Province, this range of mountains, hills and odd rock formations lets your mind wander into a real unknown part of China, at least for the non-Chinese amongst us. It’s not a guided tour or anything like the buildings in Fujian, this is very much a Do It Yourself style hiking and climbing opportunity. The views at sunset are amazing, as is the tough ascent for sunrise the following morning.
Easy Guide- Head to Shaoguan in China and then get a bus from the main bus station out to the Danxia mountains – you will probably arrive at a resort called Jin Jiang or Yao Tang village. You can stay the night there and use it as your base to do the hiking. Don’t miss penis rock on the hikes!
3. Kaiping Dialou, Guangdong Province, CHINA: It’s amazing that in a country so vast as China, that a scattered array of almost 2,000 impressive tower style buildings almost goes un-noticed! Well it’s easy to get lost in China, luckily these buildings have outlasted their builders and as recently as 2007 they were declared a World Heritage Site, and deservedly so! This was actually my MOST recent venture into China, just a couple of weeks ago, so you’ll hear a lot more about it. [
Quick Guide – Get to the city of Kaiping and stay in the Milan Hotel. It’s a great central hotel within a 2 minute walk from the bus station (YES a real 2 minute walk – I really travel remember!). From there ask at reception about doing the tour out to the amazing Diaolou. There are leaflets in reception.
So there you have it – 3 fascinating World Heritage Sites to see in China! Love the travel lifestyle!
To find more anecdotes like 3 amazing Chinese World Heritage Sites head to Jonny Blair’s excellent travel site a lifestyle of travel for more anecdotes and tips.. Check here for free reprint license: 3 Rare Chinese World Heritage Sites.
Egypt is a nation that is famous for its excessive practice of rituals. Egyptians observed and performed peculiar and intricate forms of rites and more so as funeral rites. Canopic jars are one of the numerous things they utilized to perform rites. Throughout the mummification process, these jars were utilized for the purpose of preserving the ‘viscera’ to enable life after death.
Starting from the period of the ancient Egyptian Kingdom till the end of the Egyptian era, these Canopic jars were in use. Throughout their use during this era, they were used in numerous ways. The Egyptians used manifold forms of the Canopic jars to put each internal organ, and in fact, every organ was ascribed to a specific Canopic jar with dedication.
It is a common opinion among the people that Canopic jars are related to the Greek legendary tales belonging to Canopus. But Egyptian historians have made it obvious that they are two entirely different ideologies not related in any way.
According to tradition the deceased individual might have four Canopic jars. Each of these jars was intended to safeguard a particular organ. The most important organs in the sight of the Egyptians were the lungs, liver, the stomach and the intestines. The design sense employed in creating Canopic jars went through a series of changes with time.
The Canopic jars of the age-old Kingdom of Egypt were not intricately designed. They had simplistic appearance covered with plainly designed lids. Arriving at the first intermediary period, the Canopic jars were designed to portray human heads. They particularly designed thus to symbolically stand for the dead.
Human head designed Canopic jars were widespread until the arrival of the new Egyptian Kingdom. Towards the close of the eighteenth century, the symbol of human heads was no more in use. Instead, the four sons of Horus were symbolized on the lids.
The Egyptian people perceived the four sons of Hours in a symbolic manner as ‘the gods of cardinal compass points’. Every son was divinely employed to safeguard one of the four primary organs taken from the body. In case of dangerous attacks from the outside world, the four sons were to defend one another.
Of the four sons of Horus symbolized on the Canopic jars, the Damutef was a jackal-headed deity appointed to safeguard the stomach. He was also symbolic of the East; he was to be protected by goddess Neith, another deity. Secondly, Qebehsenuef was a falcon-headed deity appointed to safeguard the intestines. This deity was protected by Selket.
The Egyptian deity Hapi was appointed to safeguard the lungs put in the third jar. Hapi was symbolic of the North; he was to be protected by Nephthys. Imseti, the fourth son of Horus was appointed to protect the liver. He was symbolic of North; he was to be protected by the goddess Isis.