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Two die in Turkish jeep crash, China to get giant roller coasters, Pride week kicks off in NYC, world’s most expensive smile created in Dubai

Get the best travel news here curated by Lonely Planet Destination Editors, who use their expertise to bring you the stories that matter from all over the world. In today’s edition: Two British women have died in a safari jeep crash in Turkey, an American company is to open theme parks in China, Pride week gets underway in New York and the world’s most expensive smile is available in Dubai for £90,000.

Asia & the Pacific
The Americas
Middle East & Africa
Weird, odd & just plain fun


24 June is …

Battle of Carabobo Day, Venezuela

Inti Raymi (Winter Solstice), Peru

Bannockburn Day, Scotland


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo CookeJames SmartBrana VladisavljevicKate MorganAnna Tyler and Gemma Graham.

Fethiye, tourist hot spot. Image by Raptor Alpha / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Fethiye, tourist hot spot. Image by Raptor Alpha / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Two die in Turkish jeep safari crash
Two British women have been killed and five injured following a jeep safari crash in Turkey. The group were returning to Fethiye after a trip to Saklıkent Gorge in southwestern Turkey. There have been a number of injuries and fatalities involving jeep safaris in the region in recent years. Read more: theguardian.co.uk

Madrid launches electric bike scheme
Madrid has launched its electric bike hire scheme this week, with hire stations positioned around the city. Electric bikes were chosen so that people wouldn’t be put off by the city’s steep streets, however some critics are concerned that Madrid is currently too busy for cyclists to travel safely. Read more: thelocal.es

20th Century Museum opens in Florence
An important new art museum has opened this week in Florence. It is located in a former Leopoldine convent and hospital in Piazza Santa Maria Novella and will showcase the work of eminent 20th century Italian artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Fortunato Depero and Alberto Moretti. Read more: ansa.it

Overdue Croatian parking fines to be collected from foreign tourists
Italian and German tourists who visited Croatia in the past three years may soon receive an unwelcome notice in the mail. Two Croatian firms that operate parking lots in tourist locations in Opatija, Pula, Dubrovnik and Zadar have taken up legal proceedings to collect overdue parking fines from foreign drivers. Read more: croatiaweek.com

Ireland declared best country in the world. Image by Ralf Peter Reimann / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Ireland declared best country in the world. Image by Ralf Peter Reimann / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Index declares Ireland the best country in the world
A new study claims that Ireland has made greater contributions to humanity and the planet than any other country in the world. The Good Country Index ranks 35 different indicators – including economic success and contributions to science, culture, peace and equality. Most top-ranking nations came from Western Europe and the English-speaking world. Iraq, Libya and Vietnam finished joint bottom. Read more: independent.co.uk

Glasgow bike hire scheme launched
Glasgow’s public bike hire scheme is up and running. Four hundred bikes are available at 31 locations across the city centre, alongside six temporary sites serving venues for the Commonwealth Games, which begin in late July. Rates for casual users range from £1 for 30 minutes to £10 for 24 hours – you can also buy membership for £60, which reduces hire costs. Read more: bbc.co.uk

Rotterdam gets its first World Heritage site
The Van Nellefabriek factory in Rotterdam has been granted World Heritage status by Unesco becoming the first site to receive it in the city. Designed in the 1920s, it was originally a tobacco and coffee factory and considered an icon of 20th-century industrial architecture. Read more: telegraph.co.uk


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Asia & the Pacific Destination Editors: Megan EavesSarah ReidJoe BindlossLaura Crawford and Tasmin Waby.

Emirates airline makes unscheduled landing in Lahore. Image by BriYYZ / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Emirates airline makes unscheduled landing in Lahore. Image by BriYYZ / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Flight carrying preacher forced to divert in Pakistan
An Emirates flight from Dubai to Islamabad was forced to land at Lahore on Monday to stop a planned political rally by one of its passengers, the cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri. The airline is seeking compensation for the unscheduled diversion, which left hundreds of passengers stranded in Islamabad and Lahore. Read more: dawn.com

Possible ticket shortage for Mongolia’s Naadam Festival
Visitors wanting to attend the largest festival celebrated in Mongolia may face a ticket shortage in 2014. The Naadam Festival, celebrated in July each year, includes wrestling, horse riding and archery. Organisers predict a ticket shortage this year due to increased demand in attendance combined with no increase in seating numbers. Naadam’s opening ceremonies are held on July 11 at the National Sports Stadium in Ulaanbaatar. Tickets go on sale July 1. Read more: ubpost.mongolnews.mn
Keep up-to-date on Naadam at Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum

East Java red-light districts to be shut down
The governor of East Java has revealed plans to close all brothels across the province by the year’s end. Critics claim the move will not resolve existing issues, such as the spread of sexually transmitted diseases or poverty. Read more: thethejakartapost.com

Six Flags heads to China. Image by Beyond Neon / CC BY 2.0.

Six Flags heads to China. Image by Beyond Neon / CC BY 2.0.

Six Flags to bring giant roller coasters to China
Texas-based theme park company Six Flags has announced it will open ‘multiple’ theme parks in China over the next ten years. This comes as the brand, which is known for its extreme rides, including the world’s tallest and steepest roller coasters, looks toward international expansion beyond its 16 North American parks. The locations and planned opening dates of the parks have not yet been announced. Read more: latimes.com

Myanmar gets first Unesco World Heritage listing
The ancient city-states of Pyu have become Myanmar’s first entry on the Unesco World Heritage List. The entry comprises the remains of three walled cities built from the 1st to 9th centuries, featuring excavated citadels, burial grounds and stupas. Read more: irrawaddy.org

The Archibald: Australia’s annual portrait prize opening
Judges are currently reviewing hundreds of entries for the annual Archibald portrait painting prize at the Art Gallery of NSW for the July 18 announcement. The finalists are then exhibited in NSW and toured to regional galleries. The Archibald Prize exhibition is a defacto ‘who’s who’ of Australian culture, from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists. Read more: abc.net.au

Wild weather hits Australia’s east coast
Strong winds, heavy rains, power outages, uprooted trees, and snow dumps have all been reported on Australia’s southeastern coast on Tuesday, with more wild weather expected this week. Melbourne suffered from flooding, including the central South Bank area, and winds saw waves lashing the peninsula foreshore. Ski operators are reportedly pleased with the snow dumps, although the blizzard like conditions could make visibility on the mountains a challenge. Read more: thenewdaily.com.au




Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Americas Destination Editors: Clifton WilkinsonDora WhitakerAlex Howard and MaSovaida Morgan

Pride Week gets underway in New York
From Tuesday this week, New York City gets proud with a series of rallies, street parties, club nights and concerts in celebration of the LGBT community. The week culminates on Sunday with a march down Fifth Avenue. The route passes the Stonewall Inn, the location of the 1969 Stonewall riots which sparked the modern gay liberation movement worldwide. Read more: nycpride.org 

Parking app comes in for criticism
Officials in San Francisco are looking to ban an app that allows users to “sell” public parking spots in the city. Drivers who already have a space use the app to pass it on to someone else for a fee, waiting in the space until the next driver arrives. However in the latest clash between new technology and local laws, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has spoken out saying that what the app allows is illegal and unfair. Read more: nytimes.com

Mexican joy at World Cup win
If one man’s face can capture the joy of an entire nation then it would be the Mexican manager Miguel Herrera’s yesterday. Video of his reaction to his team making it through to the play-offs of the World Cup has gone viral, with the excitement shown on his face repeated by fans across Mexico and in the US, where supporters in Los Angeles celebrated with impromptu street parties and fireworks. Read more: abcnews.go.com

High Roller prices drop for summer
The world’s tallest Ferris wheel has its reduced prices, with daytime rates starting at $19.95 for adults. When the High Roller at the Linq in Las Vegas opened earlier this spring, tickets were between $24.99 to $59.99. The summer rates run through to September 1. Read more: lasvegassun.com

Atlanta home to new National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Image by Terence S. Jones / CC BY 2.0.

Atlanta, home to the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Image by Terence S. Jones / CC BY 2.0.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights opens in Atlanta
A major new museum that tracks the history of the civil rights movement in the US (and worldwide) opened its doors in Atlanta on Monday. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights was designed by Philip Freelon and includes 42,000 square feet of exhibition space. Exhibits include hand-written letters by Martin Luther King Jr. and teachings about human rights injustices that are happening in the world today. Read more: cbslocal.com


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Middle East & Africa Destination Editors: Helen Elfer and Matt Phillips.

Dubai dentist makes record breaking gold dentures. Image by Kathy McGraw / CC BY 2.0.

Dubai dentist makes record breaking gold dentures. Image by Kathy McGraw / CC BY 2.0.

World’s most expensive smile goes on sale in Dubai
A Dubai dentist has produced a set of gold dentures, encrusted with diamonds, which is to go on sale for AED562,000 (£90k). The teeth (which are not supposed to be used for eating with) are made with 10g of 24-carat gold and 160 diamonds, totalling 2.5 carats. The owner will receive a certificate from Guinness World Records for the most expensive smile. Read more: thantional.ae

Iran arrests three fans for World Cup video
Three people have been arrested after appearing in a video that showed people singing and dancing in support of Iran’s World Cup football team. Some of the women in the clip were filmed without headscarves, and the footage showed people waving Iranian flags and watching matches. Read more: timesofisrael.com

Safari's, amongst other tourists trades, saved from VAT legislation. Image by Larry Johnson / CC BY 2.0.

Safaris, among other tourists trades, saved from VAT legislation. Image by Larry Johnson / CC BY 2.0.

Tanzania government to keep VAT exemption for tourism
Although last week, the government of Tanzania had announced that as of July 1 2014 it was scrapping the VAT exemption on tourism services, it has since decided against the move. Safari operators had complained that VAT would add 5-8% onto the cost of trips to the country and hurt the tourism industry. Read more: tourismupdate.co.za


Cathedral in Murcia. Image by Shaun Dunphy / CC BY 2.0.

Cathedral in Murcia. Image by Shaun Dunphy / CC BY 2.0.

Spain’s baby-jumping festival: in pictures
Spain has a number of odd festivals, but this might just be the strangest. Monday’s baby-jumping festival in Castrillo de Murcia, near Burgos, involves men dressed as the devil leaping over babies on mattresses in the streets. The ritual is believed to protect the local children from evil spirits. Read more: itv.com