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23 October 2013

[ARTIKEL] Terowong Sarajevo: Saksi Derita dan Kebangkitan Bosnia

Peta Bandar Sarajevo Ketika Perang 1992 - 1995

Antara Mei 1992 dan November 1995, Bosnia dan Herzegovina menjadi tumpuan dunia dengan berita peperangan yang terjadi di negara tersebut. Peperangan yang mengorbankan ratusan ribu nyawa ini melibatkan pertelagahan 3 etnik utama di Bosnia iaitu etnik Serbia, etnik Kroat dan etnik Islam.

Sepanjang peperangan berlangsung di Bosnia, satu laluan rahsia yang diberi nama Terowong Sarajevo telah dibina oleh tentera Bosnia untuk menghubungkan bandar Sarajevo yang ditakluk sepenuhnya oleh tentera Serbia, dengan bahagian Lapangan Terbang Sarajevo yang dikawal oleh Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB).

Keadaan di dalam Terowong Sarajevo

Terowong ini mempunyai laluan dari wilayah Butmir dan Dobrinja di Sarajevo ke kawasan Lapangan Terbang Sarajevo. Dua kawasan ini merupakan kawasan-kawasan di Sarajevo yang berada di dalam kepungan barisan tentera Serbia.

Pintu masuk di wilayah Dobrinja itu adalah merupakan garaj di sebuah bangunan apartmen. Pintu masuk di wilayah Butmir pula adalah sebuah rumah kepunyaan sebuah keluarga bernama Kolar.

Pintu keluar Terowong Sarajevo berdekatan dengan Lapangan Terbang Sarajevo
Pintu masuk terowong di wilayah Butmir

Pada mulanya terowong ini adalah hanya sebuah laluan yang sempit, berlumpur dan gelap kerana tiada bekalan elektrik. Setahun selepas ianya siap dibina, landasan kereta api yang kecil telah diletakkan di sepanjang laluan dan kereta sorong kecil dibina untuk mengangkut bekalan makanan dan perubatan daripada PBB melalui terowong tersebut. Tidak lama kemudian, terowong ini dilengkapi dengan kabel voltan 12 megawatt, pam untuk mengepam air bawah tanah, paip minyak dan lampu kekal.

Terdapat dua masalah utama mengenai terowong ini. Masalah pertama ialah kerap berlakunya banjir oleh air daripada bawah tanah yang boleh meningkat sehingga ke paras pinggang. Yang kedua adalah kualiti udara di dalam terowong tersebut. Terowong ini tidak mempunyai lubang pengudaraan dan akibatnya, semua orang yang memasuki terowong terpaksa memakai topeng bagi mengelakkan kesesakan nafas oleh debu dan kotoran.

Keadaan Bosnia ketika waktu peperangan

Kedua-dua pintu masuk Terowong Sarajevo, di Butmir dan Dobrinja, dikawal dengan ketat oleh tentera bersenjata Bosnia. Ada laporan yang mengatakan orang-orang Islam di Sarajevo terpaksa membayar “upah” sehingga USD120 seorang kepada tentera Bosnia untuk menggunakan laluan ini ke Lapangan Terbang Sarajevo bagi menyelamatkan diri dan keluarga mereka daripada menjadi mangsa pembunuhan.

Selepas peperangan tamat, rumah milik keluarga Kolar yang menjadi salah satu pintu masuk Terowong Sarajevo ini ditukar fungsinya sebagai sebuah muzium peringatan perang. Muzium ini mempamerkan bahan-bahan arkib termasuklah tayangan filem pendek tentang Perang Bosnia, gambar-gambar perang, peralatan ketenteraan, bendera, pakaian seragam tentera dan banyak lagi.

Antara pameran yang terdapat di Muzium Terowong Sarajevo

Setelah beroperasi selama 15 tahun tanpa menerima apa-apa bantuan kewangan daripada pihak kerajaan, muzium ini kini menjadi salah satu daya tarikan utama pelancongan di Bosnia. Muzium ini menerima ratusan kunjungan oleh pelancong asing setiap hari.

Bagi mereka yang berminat untuk meneroka negara Bosnia sambil mempelajari sejarah peperangan di sana, pakej Balkan POTO pada 27 Februari dan 20 Mac adalah pilihan yang tepat.

Kepada yang berminat, sila layari laman sesawang rasmi POTO Travel & Tours di www.pototravel.com.my atau telefon di 03-9200 6640 untuk keterangan lanjut.

Muzium Terowong Sarajevo

Bandar Sarajevo

22 October 2013

PANGGILAN AKHIR!



[GAMBAR] 10 DESTINASI MEMBELI-BELAH TERBAIK DI DUNIA

SUMBER ASAL: CNN TRAVEL

10. MADRID



9. DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES



8. VIENNA



7. BUENOS AIRES



6. HONG KONG



5. PARIS



4. KUALA LUMPUR



3. LONDON



2. TOKYO



1. NEW YORK


21 October 2013

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[ENGLISH] How to Stay Safe in a Cheap Hotel

Original Source: WikiHow (How to Stay Safe in a Cheap Hotel)

If you're on a tight travel budget, sometimes you can't avoid staying at a cheap hotel in an undesirable location. No matter the reason, a few simple precautions can ensure your stay is as safe and comfortable as possible.

STEPS: 



1
Ask for a room on a lower floor, in case of fire. In the event of an emergency, you can simply walk outside or through the lobby rather than having to find the stairs in the dark. However, some may feel more safe in a room on a higher floor, which is further out of reach from burglars, if the area is a high crime zone.
  • Trace your route to the fire exit and memorize it. It's always better to do it first thing when you check into your room, not when you need to evacuate in a fire.
  1. 2
    Try to reserve an inner facing room, or one that is away from the street. The less public access to your room, the better.
  1. 3
    Look around your room before you lock yourself in for the night. Make sure you're alone by checking curtains, behind doors, closets, the bathroom, etc.
  1. 4
    Check the lock on your door and make sure it works properly. If it doesn't, use your own padlock or at the very least, prop a sturdy chair against the door.
  1. 5
    Lock the windows in your room at night if you are located below the second floor. Keep the curtains drawn at as well. If the breeze helps you sleep, consider bringing a small fan to put on the nightstand, or use the air conditioner.
  1. 6
    Ensure that your door is locked when you are in your room. Never open it unless you personally know the person who is knocking. If someone claims to be sent from housekeeping, call the front desk to validate if a staff member was actually sent to your room.
  1. 7
    Carry the hotel's card or address with you when you leave. It will help make sure you find your way back, especially at night.
8
Bring any luggage you have with you into the room. Avoid leaving it locked in your car in the hotel parking lot.

Tips:


  • Always keep a flashlight by your bed or in your shoe. If fire breaks out, most lights go out. A flashlight may save your life by pointing you in the right direction.
  • Portable latches are available to make sure your door locks. If you don't have one, bring along a simple plastic doorstop. It will keep anyone from entering your room.
Warnings:

  • If your hotel is particularly downtrodden and you're a young woman on her own, look out for peepholes.
  • Trust your instincts. If the hotel or hostel somehow feels unsafe, move on. There are plenty more.

17 October 2013

[ENGLISH] National Geographic's Top 10 Beaches in the World

Photo: White sand island surrounded by clear water
The Maldives are a perfect destination whether your dream beach trip consists of spending a few pampered nights in a four-star resort or swimming among tropical fish some 80 feet underwater.

  1. Seychelles

    www.seychelles.com
    One of the most photographed beaches in the world, the pale pink sands of Anse Source d’Argent unfurls across the island of La Digue, one of the 115 components of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The sands sparkle against a backdrop of towering granite boulders, worn by time and weather. The turquoise water is relatively shallow and protected from the ocean’s waves by a reef.

  2. Maldives

    www.visitmaldives.com
    Whether your dream beach trip consists of spending a few pampered nights in a four-star resort or swimming among tropical fish some 80 feet (24 meters) underwater, the Maldives are the sort of islands where either—or both—can come true. Straddling the Equator southwest of Sri Lanka, the 1,102 islands that make up the Maldives form 26 atolls. The soft air enveloping the archipelago blends into a beautiful palm-fringed haze.

  3. Bora Bora, Tahiti

    www.tahiti-tourisme.com/islands/borabora/
    This is one of the magical islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Just 18 miles (29 kilometers) long, this lush little slip of land lies in a protected lagoon edged by white sandy shores, the best being at Matira Point. Bora Bora boasts the nickname the “Romantic Island,” a moniker easy to appreciate with its isolated beaches, intimate hotels, and quiet atmosphere.

  4. The Hamptons, New York

    www.hamptons.com
    One of the hip spots for the air-kissing, well-heeled set, the Hamptons boast some of the prettiest beaches on Long Island. The unspoiled shoreline begins around Southampton and runs east to the end of the island at Montauk. Windswept dunes and waving grasses border the Atlantic Ocean.

  5. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

    www.hawaii.com
    Half a mile of sparkling sand, palm trees swaying over a white beach, lush tropical plants, and endless sunshine make Lanikai one of Hawaii’s most scenic beaches. The shore is protected by a nearby coral reef, which keeps the surf relatively calm. The water is always deep green and postcard-perfect.


    1. Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

      www.nantucket.net
      The most popular beaches on this island in the North Atlantic are Surfside and Children’s. The waters here are relatively calm, and there’s plenty of sand to use for sunbathing or castle-building. Madaket Beach is known for its rougher surf and not-to-be-missed sunsets. Quidnet Beach provides great views of Sankaty Head lighthouse.

    2. Fraser Island, Australia

      www.seefraserisland.com
      Perched on the sunny Queensland coast 161 miles (259 kilometers) northeast of Brisbane, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and home to a wonderful beach. This World Heritage Site is an ecologist’s dream, with 640 square miles (1,664 square kilometers) of unspoiled natural paradise. Rain forests with 1,000-year-old trees sprout from the sand. Lodgings here accommodate a wide range of tourists, from the backpacking ecology lover to pampered resort fans.

    3. St. Bart's

      www.st-barths.com
      One of many islands in the Caribbean Sea, St. Bart’s stands out with its blend of French chic and island relaxation. With beautiful secluded beaches, fine French cuisine, and gracious hotels, this tropical playground is popular with the Jet Set. The 8-mile-long (13-kilometer-long) island is edged by 20 beaches and small coves for swimmers and sunbathers, with sparkling water and white sand.

    4. Langkawi, Malaysia

      www.langkawi.com.my
      The name “Langkawi” translates into “the land of one’s wishes,” a welcoming concept that somewhat belies the island’s historic origins as a reputed refuge for pirates. Langkawi has since become a modern hideaway for the traveler seeking an escape. If your vacation wishes extend from uncrowded white sands and clear waters to lush green forests, you will find yourself content here. Datai Bay, located on Pulau Langkawi, is a heavenly retreat on the Andaman Sea.

    5. Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii

      Located on the Kohala Coast of the Aloha State’s Big Island, Kauna’oa Bay is the quintessential Hawaiian spot. The 0.25-mile-long (0.4-kilometer-long), crescent-shaped beach has plenty of white sand, palm trees, and calm, clear, blue water. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, beachgoers here can snorkel or ride boogie boards. (Be careful swimming, however, because there are no lifeguards on this public beach.) At night, nestle into the sands and peer out into the water to see if you can catch a glimpse of manta rays swimming.