Vietnam has a rich natural heritage, and is a global hotspot for monkeys and apes. Yet several species are in danger of slipping quietly into extinction.  But something is being done. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is working in the remote forests of northern Vietnam to protect vulnerable populations of Cao Vit Gibbon, one of the world’s rarest primates and only found in Vietnam. With FFI support, local people now patrol the forests against poachers and have developed ways to meet the needs of local communities while preserving the fragile forest habitat of these charismatic creatures.


Taal Lake in the Philippines is home to a particular geographic peculiarity which, in and of itself, draws visitors. A massive lake formed within the caldera of Taal Volcano surrounds Volcano Island, measuring some 8 km across, on which there are several peaks and one volcanic crater, in which lies Crater Lake - and Vulcan Point Island. Taal Volcano is considered the second most active volcano in the Philippines, and its massive destructive potential is seen in the ruggedness of the surrounding landscape. Located within easy reach from Manila, the natural scenery and fertile orchards and fields around Taal Lake make it a great destination.

Deepavali, one of Singapore’s major cultural festivals, celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Also known as “Diwali” or the “Festival of Lights”, at this time thousands of Hindu families in the city and around the world transform their homes into beacons of light, exchange gifts, share feasts and perform prayers. Every year, the people behind Little India's Deepavali celebrations challenge themselves to create a display even better than the year before. This year’s theme of elephants, an animal closely linked with Indian culture and royalty, made the light-up that much more impressive.
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The colourful and complex religious festivals celebrated throughout Bhutan have become an attraction in their own right. Each village celebrates its own tshechu, which simply means “day ten” as the festivals typically occur around the tenth day of the month on the Tibetan lunar calendar. Aside from their religious meaning, the festivals are popular social events which gather people from remote villages. The largest festivals are in Thimphu and Paro. Tshechus typically include costumed, masked dances which demonstrate moral principles, as well as the unrolling of a thongdrel, large embroidered tapestries which often depict Guru Rinpoche amidst holy beings. Simply viewing the tapestries, unfurled in the predawn hours and rolled down before the sun rises, is considered a cleansing act.

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