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Oktoberfest preparations begin in Munich, Nepal’s fallen prince arrested again, UK travel advisories criticised, China hit by blasts

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: Oktoberfest preparations are already underway in Munich, former crown prince of Nepal arrested again for drug offences, Richard Branson has criticised UK’s travel advisory against Kenya and separate blasts in China have killed two and left dozens injured.

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

YOUR WORLD TODAY

16 July is…

The foundation day of the Islamic calendar, established 16 July 622 AD

Anniversary of the first nuclear explosion, 1945, New Mexico, USA

World Snake Day

EUROPE

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

Oktoberfest preparations underway in Munich
It may be only July, but organisers of Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival, have already begun to prepare with the first tents being erected in Munich’s Theresienwiese. Running from September 20 to October 5, this year’s festival will see its first new beer tent in 30 years. Read more: thelocal.de

Talking golden deer appear in Warsaw
A new art installation in the form of talking golden deer has appeared outside the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw this week. Formerly used as props in the Dramatic Theatre based in the building, the deer ‘speak’ thoughts gathered from Warsaw residents about theatre in the city. The installation will remain until August 15 and the space will be used to host regularly changing art installations from then on. Read more: thenews.pl

Athens’ National Archaeological Museum hosts week-long arts fest
The National Archaeological Museum in Athens is hosting a week-long arts festival from July 16 – 24. The program includes music, children’s theatre and cinema. All events are admission-free and will take place at the museum’s outside area in the evenings. Read more: news.gtp.gr

Vondelpark, Amsterdam. Image by Barbara Walsh / CC BY 2.0

Vondelpark, Amsterdam. Image by Barbara Walsh / CC BY 2.0

Tulip Island opens in Amsterdam
A new attraction has opened in Vondelpark in Amsterdam offering tourists the chance to pick their own tulips in July and August. The flowers usually bloom in spring so most visitors in the peak summer period miss out on them, but a method using ice preparation means they are now on offer in summer. Tulip Island also features a traditional auction clock. The attraction will be open until September 7. Read more: amsterdamtourist.info

Málaga considers compensation after treasure hunt
The Spanish city of Málaga is considering seeking compensation after a treasure hunt caused €2000 worth of damage to the city. The ‘Hidden Cash’ hunt required competitors to follow Twitter clues in order to find envelopes of cash hidden around the city. Plants were damaged in parks, cables pulled and rubbish overturned in the scramble for the cash. Read more: theguardian.com

Imperial war museum reopens after major refit
London’s Imperial War Museum is reopening on Saturday after a £40 million refit. The iconic four-storey museum features new displays to mark the centenary of World War I. Other exhibits include a walk-through prefab 1940s house, a jump jet, rockets that hang from the ceiling and a trunk owned by a Jewish couple who died at Auschwitz. Read more: bbc.co.uk 

 

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

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

Nepal’s fallen prince arrested again
Paras Shah, the former crown prince of Nepal, has been arrested in Bangkok for possession of marijuana. This is the second time the errant royal has been nabbed for the same offence in Thailand. Once heir to the throne of Nepal, the prince has pursued an increasingly erratic lifestyle in exile since the abolition of the monarchy in 2008 with a string of arrests for drug and alcohol related offences. Read more: business-standard.com

Blasts hit two Chinese provinces
Dozens of people have been injured and two killed in two separate explosions in China. An explosion on a public bus in Guangzhou left two dead on Wednesday. A blast set off from a rubbish bin at Caojiabao airport in Xining, the capital city of Qinghai province, on Tuesday afternoon caused minor injuries. Service has resumed at Xining airport. Police are still investigating both incidents. Read more:  business-standard.com

Rare piece of Korean lacquer art returned home
An extremely rare piece of lacquer art – one of only nine left in the world – has been returned to South Korea. The piece, a sutra box inlaid with mother-of-pearl, dates to the Koryo dynasty (918-1392 BC) and will be the only Koryo lacquer piece in Korea. The National Museum of Korea plans to exhibit the box in the coming months. Read more: koreaherald.com

Typhoon Rammasun rips through Philippines, heads for Hong Kong
At least ten people were killed and nearly 370,000 displaced after Typhoon Rammasun, known locally as Glenda, made landfall in the Philippines on Tuesday. With the storm now tracking across the South China Sea, the Hong Kong Observatory has forecasted strong winds and occasional heavy rain for the next couple of days. Read more: scmp.com

Autistic artists to recreate Singapore skyline from memory. Image by Matt Doughty / CC BY 2.0

Autistic artist to recreate Singapore skyline from memory. Image by Matt Doughty / CC BY 2.0

World-renowned architectural artist takes up residence in Singapore’s Paragon mall
Autistic British artist Stephen Wiltshire, famed for drawing detailed panoramic drawings of world cities from memory, will begin to recreate Singapore’s iconic cityscape on a giant canvas on Wednesday following a tour of the city. The artist can be seen in action in the main atrium of the Paragon mall until Sunday. Read more: straitstimes.com

Adelaide property developers uncover ancient burial site
The skull and ancient human remains found at a building site in Adelaide are believed to be historic Aboriginal remains. The bones were dug up on Tuesday by workers for a new development north of the city at Parafield Gardens. Kaurna Elders wept over the disturbance to their ancestors. Where the remains will be repatriated is yet to be determined. Read more: sbs.com.au

THE AMERICAS

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

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru. Image by Oisin Mulvihill / CC By 2.0

Machu Picchu opening hours may be extended, raising environmental concerns
A proposal to extend the opening hours of Machu Picchu has been put forward by Rene Concha Lezama, the governor of the Cuscu region in Peru. The famous cliff-top ruins could potentially stay open until 8 p.m. to double the amount of tourists visiting the site but any increase to the current maximum of 2,500 visitors per day could result in the deterioration of the steps, walls, lawns and footpaths. Read more: telegraph.co.uk

Early warning earthquake system gets funding
The US Congress has approved $5 million for an early warning earthquake system in California. The money will pay for sensors to be set up along the West Coast which will trigger an alarm when they detect a tremor giving residents longer to prepare. Read more: dailynews.com

Vegas rock and wine fest announces lineup
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Wine Amplified Weekend has announced its lineup for the October 10-11 music and wine festival in Las Vegas. The music group Train will be the main act on the 10th and Blink-182 will headline on the 11th. The festival will also feature libations from 60 wineries as well as grape stompings and food trucks. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday. Read more: reviewjournal.com

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

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

The desert dunes of Liwa, Abu Dhabi. Image by Peter Dowley / CC BY 2.0

The desert dunes of Liwa, Abu Dhabi. Image by Peter Dowley / CC BY 2.0

Liwa date festival gets underway
Date farmers from all over the UAE are in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region this week for the 10th annual Liwa Date Festival. Date varieties are judged on their flavour and appearance with Dhs6million (£953,346) up for grabs in prize money for the best batches. The festival continues until July 18. Read more: the national.ae

Richard Branson criticises the UK’s latest travel advisories on Kenya
Citing the UK’s travel warning against Kenya, British billionaire Richard Branson has criticised foreign governments, particularly those from developed countries, for being too quick to issue travel advisories over terrorism threats. He wrote in his blog that the FCO’s latest move was ill-advised as it will hurt the Kenyan economy and create an environment in which extremism could thrive. Read more: allafrica.com

A view over the Simien Mountains landscape. Image by A.Davey / CC BY 2.0

A view over the Simien Mountains landscape. Image by A.Davey / CC BY 2.0

Construction begins on new ecolodge within Simien Mountains National Park
The mission-based investment company African Wildlife Capital, which is owned by the African Wildlife Foundation, is joining forces with a British-Ethiopian venture to build a 14-room boutique hotel in Simien Mountains National Park, one of Ethiopia’s nine Unesco World Heritage sites. Ground was broken on the site this week with construction due to be completed before the opening which is scheduled for the Autumn of 2015. Read more: ethiosports.com

 

WEIRD, ODD & JUST PLAIN FUN

French actor turns his hand to Russian booze. Image by Didriks / CC BY 2.0

French actor turns his hand to Russian booze. Image by Didriks / CC BY 2.0

Gerard Depardieu to produce ‘bio-vodka’ in Russia
French actor Gerard Depardieu, who is launching a restaurant chain in Russia, has announced plans to start producing an environmentally-friendly version of vodka made from spring water. The actor was granted Russian citizenship in January 2013 and is registered as a resident in the town of Saransk. Read more: calvertjournal.com
Brana Vladisavljevic

Twenty five years after ‘When Harry Met Sally’ Katz’ Deli still gets orgasmic reactions
It was 25 years ago this week when Meg Ryan first faked an orgasm in the film When Harry Met Sally, and the co-owner of Katz’s Deli, New York says customers are still having an extreme reaction to his food.“At least twice a month,” he says, “you’ll be able to hear the familiar moans and gasps somewhere in the cafe”. The 125-year-old deli even became part of a flash mob event in 2013 when 20 women re-enacted the scene simultaneously. Read more: newsweek.com
Dora Whitaker

2D airplane movies are a thing of the past. Image by James Willamor / CC BY-SA 2.0

2D airplane movies are a thing of the past. Image by James Willamor / CC BY-SA 2.0

New planes to show 3D movies
Air passengers could be watching in-flight 3D movies in three years time. The revamped A330 Neo Airbus jet, due to be delivered to airlines in 2017, features the technology alongside HD video and 4G phone connectivity. Read more: variety.com
James Smart