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Into the Vault: Walk-In Safe Converted to Hostel Room in Edinburgh

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/06/2019, 12:00 PM

Developers in Edinburgh discovered a surprise while working to convert a 19th-century produce market in the Scottish city's Old Town into a modern hostel for the St. Christopher's Inns chain. During preparatory explorations of the building, architects happened upon a secret, walk-in safe that wasn't on any blueprints. The vault was likely used to store each day's earnings from the market. No...

This Was the World's Most Visited City in 2019—But Is It Safe?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/05/2019, 10:15 AM

Despite months of pro-democracy protests that have at times turned violent, Hong Kong was the world's most visited city in 2019, according to a projection from Euromonitor International.  The London-based market research firm releases an annual ranking of the world's 100 most popular urban destinations for international travelers staying at least 24 hours. Hong Kong's expected total of 26.7 milli...

See this Supercomputer Hidden Inside a Barcelona Church

By Jennifer Ceaser

Posted on 11/26/2019, 3:00 PM

One of the world’s most powerful computers, Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s MareNostrum 4 has been programmed to do everything from predict hurricanes to analyze cancer therapies to test the aerodynamics of Spanish cars. And it does it all from inside a church. This supercomputer isn’t just seriously fast. It’s also seriously good-looking. Awarded Most Beautiful Data Center in the World b...

Let This Japanese Inn Livestream Your Stay and You’ll Only Pay $1 a Night

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/20/2019, 3:30 PM

Exhibitionists on a budget have a new lodging option in Japan. The Asahi Ryokan, located in Fukuoka on the subtropical island of Kyushu, is offering one room on the property at a rate of just 100 yen—or $1—per night. The catch: Guests have to agree to let the inn livestream the room 24/7 on its YouTube channel. According to news reports, the inn's owner, Tetsuya Inoue, came up with the id...

WWI Hospital Converted to Vacation Rental in English Countryside

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/15/2019, 9:00 PM

In the 19th century, England's small "cottage hospitals" brought medical services to rural villages. Previously, small town folk often had to travel to distant cities for treatment for illnesses and injuries. Over time, these mini medical centers were either absorbed by the United Kingdom's public health care system or abandoned for more modern facilities. In the tiny village of Beaworthy in s...

At Tokyo’s Weird New Poop Museum, Wipe Boredom Away

By Beth Reiber

Posted on 11/11/2019, 7:00 PM

As the capital of a nation famous for high-tech toilets, Tokyo is now also the seat of places that honors what goes into them.   Now it’s where you’ll find the Unko Museum Tokyo, which translates to “Poop Museum Tokyo,” because it celebrates all things poop.   Located in the neighborhood of Odaiba—already a big family destination for its giant Gundam statue, Legoland, Joypolis gaming a...

Rome's Colosseum Moves to a Timed Ticket System: We Tested It

By Elizabeth Heath

Posted on 11/06/2019, 10:30 PM

Seeing the Colosseum in Rome just got easier. And more complicated. In spring of 2019, CoopCulture, the entity that manages visitor access to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill and other archaeological sites in Rome, introduced a new timed ticket system that appears to be working relatively smoothly.  Prior to the timed system, advance planners could buy their skip-the-line e...

Get Ready to Pay a Tourist Tax to Visit Cabo San Lucas

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/05/2019, 9:30 PM

Starting on Saturday, November 9, a visit to the Mexican state of Baja California Sur will cost you extra.  The home state of popular Pacific Coast resort cities including Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo is instituting a tourism tax that each foreign visitor will have to pay, according to a government announcement.  The charge will be 350 pesos per person. With current exchange rates, that ...

Chinese Glass Bridges Closed Out of Safety Fears

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/01/2019, 3:00 PM

For a few years now, China has seemed determined to install spine-tingling transparent bridges, walkways, and slides at every cliffside, mountain gorge, and canyon in the country. At last count, China had as many as 2,300 high-altitude, glass-bottom bridges designed to give tourists the frightening sensation of walking on air, à la Wile E. Coyote before gravity gets the better of him. Subtract...

High-Speed Trains to Connect Miami's Cruise Port and Orlando

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/31/2019, 9:00 PM

The possibility of a car-free Florida vacation just rolled a little closer to reality. Brightline, which currently operates high-speed rail service connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, has announced that, in the not-too-distant future, trains will zip between Miami's busy cruise port and Orlando International Airport. From there, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are both...

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