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Experience Winter 2012

Outback and Down Under Discover all that Australia has to offer

East of Center The top travel destinations in China

Pot o’ Gold Find the least clover-rated attractions

The Experience Team Dear Reader, We hope you enjoy our magazine. We worked really hard to bring you the best, most unique information about various exciting places on Earth. Our goal is to open your eyes to the world around you and encourage you to go out and experience it. Safe travels! The Experience Team

Nick Is a freshman at LASA and was born and raised in Austin. His favorite activities include soccer, reading and playing video games. His favorite vacation was to Banff National Park in Canada. His dream vacation would be to travel around Europe for at least a month.

Sam Is a native Austinite from a hectic family. Her favorite things to do in her free time, which is rare that she has any, are reading, writing and cooking. Her dream in life is to be a journalist and travel the world, meeting new people and trying new foods.

Erin Is a native Texan who enjoys playing soccer, dancing, and photography. She loves the outdoors and other cultures. She would love to move to Australia or Ireland because she doesn’t want to stay in the same place all her life. She hopes that one day there will be world peace.

Santiago Is a freshman at LASA, and was born and raised in Austin. His favorite activities are playing soccer, running, reading and playing video games. He is outgoing and enjoys anything that is outdoors.

Table of Contents East of Center


Popular Travel Destinations

6 12

The Great Wall

Outback & Down Under


What to Do...


Yank’s Guide


Where to Stay...


Cop it Sweet




Aussie Slang


Pot ‘o Gold History


“Craic” ain’t Whack Hipstours

26 27 29

Castle Accomadation Unique Attractions Eatin’ House

30 32 33


East of Center By Nicholas Green


hina is a land as old as time itself. Craggy peaks, and booming cityscapes panning as far as the eye can see.

And contained in all of this is thousands of years of culture, from monastaries built into cliffs, to walls stretching along the entire border. China is one of the largest

countries in the world, with so much to see that it would be nearly impossible to see everything. In this section, we will highlight must-see places in and around Beijing.


The Forbidden City


ying at the city center, the Forbidden City was the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was constructed over a time period of 14 years during the reign of Emperor Chengzu in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was believed by ancient Chinese astronomers that the Purple star (Polaris) was the center of Heaven, and that the Heavenly Emperor lived there. The palace for the emperor on earth was called ‘The Purple Forbidden City’ because of the Purple star and the very strict rules regarding entry to the palace. Today, the name is shortened to

just ‘The Forbidden City”. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tian’anmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world’s largest palace complex at 183 acres, which is enormous compared to the U.S. Capitol building, which is 16.5 acres, just one-thenth the size. Surrounded by a 171-foot-wide moat, and a 33-foot-high wall are more than 8,700 rooms. There is a gate on each wall, one of which faces Jingshan Park, and one that faces Tian’anmen square. There are towers in each corner that offer views of both the palace, and the city around it.

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The Temple of Heaven

he Temple of Heaven is a worthwhile visiting place. It is much bigger than the Forbidden City and smaller than the Summer Palace with an area of about 2,700,000 square meters. It was built in 1420 A.D. during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrificetoHeaven. As Chinese emperors called themselves ‘The Son of Heaven’ ,they dared not to build their own welling,’Forbidden City’ bigger than a dwelling for Heaven. It is enclosed with a long wall. The two enclosed walls northern part into inner part and within the wall outer part. The is semicircular main buildings lie symbolizing the at the south and heavens and the north ends of the southern part is middle axis line of square symbolizing the inner part. The the earth. The mostmagnificent northern part is buildings are The higher than the Circular Mound southern part. Altar, Imperial This design shows Vault of Heaven that the heaven is and Hall of high and the earth Prayer for Good is low and the Harvest from designreflectedan south to north. ancient Chinese Also, there are thought of ‘The some additional heaven is round buildings like and the earth is Three Echo Stones square’. and Echo Wall. It is divided by Almost all of the

buildings are would be good in connected by a the future. The wide bridge called Hall of Prayer Vermilion Steps for Good Harvest Bridge (Danbiqiao) is a big palace or called Sacred with round roof Way. and three layers The Circular Altar of eaves. Inside has three layered the Hall are 28 terraces with white huge posts. The marble. During four posts along the Ming and Qing the inner circle Dynasties (1368 represent four A.D. - 1911 A.D.), seasons-spring, the emperors summer, autumn would offer and winter; the sacrificetoHeaven 12 posts along on the day of the the middle circle Winter Solstice represent the every year. This 12 months; and ceremony was to 12 posts along thank Heaven and the outer circle hope everything represent 12

Shichen (Shichen is a means of counting time in ancient China. One Shichen in the past equaled two hours and a whole day was divided into 12 Shichens). The roof is covered with black, yellow and green colored glaze representing the heavens, the earth and everything on earth. The Hall has a base named Altar for Grain Prayers which is made of three layers of white marble and has a height of six meters.


ust 31 miles northwest of Beijing City, at the foot of Tianshou Mountain, is the Ming Tombs Scenic Area, where lie the mausoleums of thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Since 1409 when Zhu Di,thefirstemperorof the Ming Dynasty, built his Changling Tomb here, the succeeding twelve emperors had their tombs built around Changling during the next 230 years, covering a total area of over 46.3 square miles. This

The Ming Tombs is the best preserved tomb area with the most emperors buried. Every year millions of tourists come to the site to appreciate its long history and palatial architecture. In the scenic area, each mausoleum has its own independent unit. The layout and arrangement of all the thirteen mausoleums are very similar, but they vary in size as well as in the complexity of their structures. Each of the tombs was built

in an area at the foot heaven and humanity’. of the mountain, with As outstanding distances ranging from representatives of 547 yards to 8,749 the ancient Chinese yards between them. mausoleum, the Ming The other tombs stretch Tombs demonstrate the out on the two sides of richness of traditional Changling Tomb in a Chinese culture. fan shape, except for the Siling Tomb, which At present, only the sits separately in the Sacred Way, Changling southwest corner. From Tomb, Zhaoling Tomb site selection to design, and Dingling Tomb are great attention was open to the public. paid to the harmony and unity with nature, pursuing a perfect situation of ‘made by God’andreflectingthe philosophy ‘the unity of






hinese recorded history tells us that Emperor Shun (circa 2372 BC) toured his northern domain years ago, and he was so impressed by the sight of Mt. Hengshan that he proclaimed it the

Mt. Hengshan

‘North Mountain’ (Bei Yue). Many later emperors had also come to visit Mt. Hengshan. The renowned traveler Xu Xiake came to visit in Ming Dynasty (13681644) and left behind Hengshaninspired writings.

Others did similar things. Mt. Hengshan, one of the most famous ‘Five Sacred Mountains (Wu Yue)’ in China, is located about 62 kilometers south to Datong City of Shanxi Province. It attracts people

Overhanging Temple: Overhanging Temple, at the mountain’s foot, was built in Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), on the high cliff hemmed in by a precipice on either side. It sits up there beyond reach in abject solitude. From the bottom you see range upon range of pavilions supported by dozens of wooden pillars. Entering the temple, people will be surprised by its half-house and half-cave inner structures. Overhanging Temple deserves a visit.

Ancient battleground: Mt. Hengshan has been an age-old battleground. It is the bottleneck to Central Hebei Plain from Plateau beyond the Great Wall. Many emperors utilized Mt. Hengshan in national defense planning. Emperors and generals went down in history on battles won and lost right here. Plentyofancientbattlefieldrelics litter the landscape with passes, fortresses, castles and beacon towers. These make Mt. Hengshan unique among the famed mountains.

by its natural sceneries and manmade landscaping. Mt. Hengshan Scenic Spots has temperate semiarid continental climate and distinct four seasons. It features cold-dry winters, windy springs, short

rainy summers, and short sunny autumns. There is an extreme temperature difference between daytime and nightime. Annual average temperature in Mt. Hengshan is 6.1 degree centigrade.

Tianfeng Summit: At 2016.1 meters (6,617 feet), Tianfeng Summit, in Hunyuan County, Datong City, is the highest peak. The steep north slope is covered with verdant pine trees. Climbing onto the top of the mountain, you will see endless pine trees, some of them growing on the cliff with roots burrowing in the rocks,exoticflowersandrareherbs and odd-shaped stones, and so forth. lots of tourists are too delighted to want to return home. The south slope is studded by lots of temples where emperors worshipped the North Mountain.



by the Warring States. It was located much further north than the current Great Wall, and very little remains of it. A defensive wall on the northern border was built and maintained by several dynasties at different times in Chinese history. The primary purpose of the wall was not to keep out people, who could scale the wall, but to insure that seminomadic people on the outside of the wall could not cross with their horses or return easily with stolen property, and at its peak the Ming Wall was guarded by more than one million men.

The Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. It is the world’s longest humanmade structure, stretching over approximately 4,000 miles from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly follows the southern edge of Inner Mongolia, but stretches to over 4,160 miles in total. It is also the largest humanmade structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass. It has been estimated that somewhere in the range of 2 to CONDITION 3 million Chinese died as part of the The Great Wall centuries-long that can still be project of building seen today was the wall. built during the Thefirstmajorwall Ming Dynasty, on was built during a much larger scale the reign of the and with longer First Emperor, lasting materials the main emperor than any wall that of the short-lived had been built Qin dynasty. before, such as This wall was not solid stone used for constructed as a the sides and the single endeavor, top of the Wall. but rather was While some created by the portions north joining of several regional walls built of Beijing and near tourist

The Great Wall

centers have been preserved and even reconstructed, and are often frequented by sellers of tourist trinkets. However, in many locations the Wall is in disrepair. Those parts might serve as a village playground or a source of stones to rebuild houses and roads. Sections of the

Wall are also pronetograffiti Trivia! and vandalism. 1. How old is the Parts have Great Wall? been destroyed 2. How long did because the Wall the Great Wall was the way of take to complete? construction. No 3. How many complete surveys of the wall have people died been carried out, building the Great so it is impossible Wall? to say how much 4. What percent of it survives, of the Great Wall especially in remains today? remote areas.

cities,fieldsof crops, and even some individual buildings. While at a low orbit, the Great Wall of China can certainly be seen from space but it is not unique in that regard.

CAN YOU SEE THE GREAT WALL FROM SPACE? For some reason, some urban legends tend to get stated and never disappear. This legend even appears as a incorrect Trivial Pursuit question. The legend? Many are familiar with the claim that

the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from space or from the moon with the naked eye. This is simply not true. The myth of being able to see the Great Wall from space originated in Richard Halliburton’s 1938 (long before humans saw the

earth from space) Second Book of Marvels in which it was stated that the Great Wall of China was the only man-made object visible from the moon.

However, when leaving the earth’s orbit and acquiring an altitude of more than a few thousand miles, no man-made objects are visible at all. NASA says, “The Great Wall can barely be seen from the Shuttle, so it would not be possible to see it from the Moon with the naked eye.” Thus, it would be tough to spot the Great Wall of China or any other object from the moon. Furthermore, from the moon, even the continents are barely visible.

Regarding the origination of the story The Straight Dope’s pundit Cecil Adams says, “Nobody knows exactly where the story got From a low orbit started, although of the earth, many some think it artificialobjects was speculation are visible on the by some bigshot earth, such as during an afterhighways, ships in dinner speech the sea, railroads, in the early days

of the space program.” NASA astronaut Alan Bean is quoted in Tom Burnam’s book More Misinformation ...

“The only thing you can see from the moon is a sphere, mostly white, some blue, patches of yellow, and every once in a while some green vegetation. No manmade object anywhere is visible on this scale.” - Alan Bean


Pot o’ Gold By Erin Dennis


veryone just needs to get out and have some “gas” every once in a while. Because what is the point if you just stay in the “scratcher” all day, when you can go out with your “horses.” In Ireland, you can do anything from viewing the beautiful old castles and getting to know the rich history, to going to the cities and just having some fun. If you wantedtovisitIrelandtheflightwouldtakeanywhereupto1 hours down to six. But when you go, you will never forget. There are so many sites to see like the Ross Castle, or Mizen Head. Anywhere you go in Ireland, it is sure to be a good time.


History First settlement byfishersand hunters

600BC Gaels took over previous settlements


HenryVIIextendedEnglishlaw overtheentiretyofIreland 1168


The English invaded 1620


A man named St. Patrick spread Christianity

James I reigned and the Protestants sham friend became more prevalent

After Cromwells (the king after James I) death, Ireland renewed their claims on their historic lands.


banjaxedbroken ganderalook





The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland came into existence.

A revolt in Ireland set in lockasmall motion series amount of events that led the Irish to relinquish their own joking parliament. coddin




The potato famine and the craicbanter,gossip population dropped from 8 million to 6 million yokeanobjectorthing

Saint Patrick



The republic of Ireland was formed

eatin’houserestauran fiblie

“Craic” ain’t whack S

ome tips if you go to Ireland; know their slang. There are some you will know, like ages but you are going to need to know a lot more than that if you want to really feel like you are a part of whatever county you are staying in or just so you can understand what they are saying.

Most Common: sham banjaxed gander aye lock coddin



stupid person




a look





leg it

run away







yes small amount joking








banter, gossip


an object or thing



eatin’ house

Just for Fun:

There are a lot of amazing and unique things about Ireland, and this is just a little starter to help you get to know the awe-inspiring destination.



Hipstours A ll you have to do is drive. On the self-

guided tours at, everything is planned out for you. You have options from how long you want to stay to where you want to go.

7 Night Tours

8 Night Tours

If you go on a seven night tour, there is no doubt that you will have to be moving from place to place every day or two. If you want to see all of the beautiful scenery and all of the authentic food, go on the “Best of Ireland” tour. You will visit Waterford or Kilkenny for 1 night, Kerry, Galway and Dublin for 2 nights. This is where you have the freedom to go to any exhibits, castles or restaurants you want. So if you go on a seven night tour make sure you keep in mind that you will be traveling around every night to different cities.

Depending on your preference of These are the Cliffs of Moher; one of the many beautiful sites you get to what you want to see see on the self guided tours. or where you want 10 Night Tours 12 Night Tours 14 Night Tours to go on your eight night tour, these Ten night tours All of the 12 night The best of the three tours are very are where you can tours require a bit of best is what you are different. finally sit back, traveling, but if you going to experience The northern tour go you will be glad if you go on a 14 isfilledwithrich relax and just enjoy everything that is you did all of the night tour. history, and as the Ireland. driving. On a 14 night tour locals say “their best There are many If you want to get there aren’t many kept secrets” (all of of the same options the best experience different options the beautiful scenery here that you can while you are on a 12 from all of their like the Cliffs of get on the seven or night tour of Ireland, other tours but Moher). eight night tours but I would recommend that won’t matter The southern tour there is one different you go on the “All because instead of is a mountainous tour that I would Ireland” tour. moving from place terrain with crystal recommend. When you go on to place every day clear lakes and sure It is called the the “All Ireland” you get to meet all to make the time “Irish Welcome” tour, you will get a the locals and really memorable. tour. On this tour, wonderful array of feel like you are a The western tour you have the ability memories, diverse citizen of Ireland. has sandy beaches, to eat at the local scenery and cultural So I recommend Gaelic culture and restaurants, get to differences. that if you go on a 14 oyster festivals. know the history and night tour to Ireland If you go on an culture and most that you go on the eight night tour I importantly visit all “5 Centre” tour. You would recommend of the spectacular willgotofivecities you go on one of scenery. and soak in all that those three so you is Ireland. are not overwhelmed with all of the tourists.

Castle Accommodation There are so many beautiful places in Ireland, of course it is going to be hard to decide where to stay if you don’t

wanttogoonaguidedtour.Soletushelpyouwiththat.Mostofthehotelsthatyouwillfindwillb ofthenotsofamouscountiesthatyouwouldwanttovisit,butifyouwanttofindhotelsthatar you can go to This website has all the counties listed in Ireland. Just click on one and it will give you a list of hotels where you can stay. This will also give you a summary of what attractions are in that county if you want more information. But we will make it easier and list some of them for you.

*The rates will depend on what time you want to go.

The Ashford Castle: Ashford Castle’s has spacious suites that allow you to have time to relax and experience the serenity, which western Ireland in Mayo county on the coast of Lough Corrib, will bring. During the summer there is a choice of 2 Restaurants at Ashford Castle: The George V Dining Room, offering classical Irish Cuisine; or the specialty restaurant, The Connaught Room, which offers classical French Cuisine.

Ballynahinch Castle:

Dromoland Castle: A Renaissance structure built in the 16th Century, was once the royal seat of the O’Brien Clan. On Dromoland Castle’s 375 acre estate guests at this outstanding castle accommodation in Ireland can hunt,fish,ridehorseback,orplaygolf,tennisand more.

Waterford Castle:

Waterford Castle, located two miles from Waterford Ballynahinch Castle is set in the heart of Connemara City is situated on its own private 310 acre island on and surrounded by 350 acres of woodlands, rivers the River Suir, surrounded by woodlands. and lakes, which offer miles of scenic walks while The detailsoftheinteriorreflectstheoldwo overlooking the famous Ballynahinch River. Dining at Waterford Castle provides an opportunity Ballynahinch Castle’s close association with to sample the best of traditional and contemporary thehistoryoftheareaisreflectedineachofits cuisine.Therestaurant’smenushavethefine bedrooms. Local fresh produce is used to create international cuisine. culinary delights in the dining room.


Unique Dingle Peninsula The Dingle Peninsula is located in the county of Kerry on the south western coast Ireland. It stretches 30 miles into the Atlantic Ocean This was once cited in the National Geographic as ‘‘the most beautiful place on earth.’’ You can go on the beaches, swim, surf and when you are done go out and eat while listening to their traditional music.

Blarney Castle The Blarney Castle that you are visiting today isn’t the original. This castle has been build and rebuild three times. The last time it was rebuilt, it was in 1446 for Dermot McCarthy, the King of Munster. It is located in the county of Cork in southeast Ireland.

Giant’s Causeway The Giant’s Causeway is located in the County of Arim on the coast in northeast Ireland. The causeway has a 40,000 columns range in height, with the tallest around 36 feet high. This formation happened because of many years after a volcanic eruption with cooling and cracking and shifting.

Attractions The Rock of Cashel The Rock of Cashel is a group of Medieval buildings set on a projection of limestone including the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. This is all located in the county of Tipperay in southern Ireland.

Mizen Head This is located in the southernmost tip of Ireland. There are many trails to go on to go on and look out on to the scenery or a beach if you want to sit and relax or go swimming. On top of the Mizen Head peninsula there is a visitor center that you can go to if you want to learn more about Mizen Head.

Aran Islands There are three islands called Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. These three islands are located in western Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean. Inishmore has many ancient stone forts like Dun Aengus. Inishmaan is the most untouched of the three islands. Here you will experience the natural, cultural and traditional way of life of the islanders. Inisheer has the famous Burren landscape and is haven for bird lovers. Any way you go you will have an amazing experience.


Eatin’ House In Ireland there is

potato soup is a very called “Market Place common dish in many Restaurant & Bar”, a lot of food that is restaurants. which is rated one of similar in the U.S. This soup is a very the top 3 restaurants but “the difference is literal food, all it is out of the 290 places how traditional it is,” potatoes and leeks in to eat in Cork. Even says Tammy Lowe a white wine broth. with their rating, it a regular traveler to Most of the soups is not overpriced or Ireland. and stews do have fancy. It is casual and The food there is the potatoes in them like hasgoodandefficient essentially same as Irish country stew, service, but not itwaswhenthefirst regular Irish stew, overbearing. colony was founded, luck of the Irish stew, If you are staying but of course there pride of Erin stew, in Glaway county are going to be some tullamore dew stew there is a restaurant changes that go along and many more. called “Oscars”. It is with the development The potato is one of a place with fresh out of the country. the most stereotypical of the ocean seafood “A lot of their best foods related to that is made in a very food is soups and Ireland, but it is still authentic way like stews,” like nettle very true. “There are quick bouillabaisse. soup, which is a soup many things to love If you are staying that comes from a about Ireland, even in Limerk there is stinging weed. Most the stereotypical parts a restaurant called people would think like potatoes,” says “Freddy’s Bistro”. this is disgusting, “but Tammy. This was voted one the locals seem to love In every part of of the hundred best it.” the day you can eat restaurants in Ireland. Well you don’t potatoes; for breakfast If you are willing actually get stung you can have boxty, to spend a bit of when you eat it. You for lunch and dinner money to enjoy the pick it early and let there are many stew atmosphere and the it sit in boiling water like colcannon, for authentic food, then to take of the “sting” and desert you can this place is perfect out. Once you have have chocolate potato for you. that, it tastes a lot cake. “It is actually So if you need more like cabbage but with quite good. It is very informatioon about higher content of iron. rich and moist. It where to go to food Traditionally it is tastes like regular you can go to irelandmade as a soup but cake,” Tammy says. it can be stirred into Some restaurants mashed potatoes, put whereyoucanfindall in homemade bread this authentic food are or made into a pesto. all over Ireland, but I Photo credit from top-Even though the will just help you out locals love it, it is very and list of few. uncommon in most If you are staying restaurants. in Cork county However, leek and there is a restaurant

Colcannon is mixture of mashed

potatoes, chopped cooked kale, green onions, milk or cream, and lots of butter.

Quick Bouillabaisse is a seafood dish. It consists of crabandfishthatwereboiled in a broth of onions, leeks and tomatoes and served with French bread.

Boxty is a potato pancake, all that goes into this are potatoes, flour,milkandeggs.

Spotted Dog can be in the form of

a scone, cake or bread. It is basically a type of bread, you can have many variationsofthisandfilledwith or chocolate chips.

Giant’s Causeway

Aran Islands

Dingle Peninsula

The Rock of Cashel

Blarney Castle Mizen Head


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