Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Top 10 Amazing Towns or Villages Surrounded by Water

A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. The villages may not only differ depending on the type of people and culture but also differ with the kind of place in which it's situated. One of such rarely found villages is the villages that is surrounded by water bodies.

Water villages are settlements that are usually built on the water. Houses often float on the water or arelocated on stilts and rarely on small islands. These villages have very rare access to the outside world since they are almost surrounded by water. The only way to access to access these villages is through boats. Here we have compiled a list of top ten beautiful water villages, which are becoming increasingly popular tourist destinations. Take a look... 

1. Ko Panyi, Thailand

Ko Panyi is a fishing village in Phang Nga Province, Thailand notable for being built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. The population consists of roughly 200 families or between 1,500 and 2,000 people descended from 2 seafaring Muslim families from Java.

The village has a Muslim school which is attended by both males and females in the mornings. Despite the recent rise in tourism, life in Ko Panyi is still primarily based around the fishing industry as tourists only visit in significant numbers during the dry season. The village includes a floating soccer field. Inspired by the 1986 FIFA World Cup, children built the pitch from old scraps of wood and fishing rafts.

2. Halong Bay Floating Village, Vietnam

A village of about 600 inhabitants built on the water can be found in Halong Bay. It is a magically calm place, an escape from the hustle of Vietnam streets. The village is a true waterworld, rising and falling with the tides, sheltered amidst limestone towers.

Locals live mainly from the sea. Most of the rock islands in the area are too poor to be cultivated. Halong Bay is very rich in fish and sea food. In this picture you can see some floating houses. Locals live in these houses and every morning they go fishing. They sell their catches to bigger boats, that bring the fresh fish to markets in the continent. 

3. Giethoorn, Netherland

Giethoorn is a village in the Dutch province of Overijssel. This village is called the Venice of the Netherlands for about 7.5 km (4.5 mi) of canals run through the little village. It was founded around 1230 when fugitives coming from the Mediterranian regions settled there.

All traffic has to go over the water, and it is done in so-called "punters", they are 'whisper-boats' for they are driven by an electric motor, so they practically do not disturb the peace and quiet in this scenic little village. Many houses have been built on islands and they can only be reached by the wooden bridges. Some 50 little wooden bridges span the canals, which are only 1 meter (3 ft) deep. Giethoorn has 2620 inhabitants. 

4. Uros Floating Village, Peru

The Uros are a pre-Incan people who live on forty-two self-fashioned floating islands in Lake Titicaca, Peru. These islands are hand-made from a native species of reed (totora) that abounds in the shallows of the lake. Uros people build temporary houses that float atop the water surface. The tide washes over their houses at times, so new layers of reed need to be laid every 2 weeks for better resistance.

The larger and most visited islands appear to many travellers as floating souvenirs, and to some extent these indeed are tourist-traps, their inhabitants having succeed in living off tourism. However, most of the smaller islands remain isolated from visitors and still practice a traditional way of life that includes old-technique fishing, bird-trapping, and relying on totora for housing and transportation.  

5. Wuzhen, China

Wuzhen is one of China's ancient water towns, where waterways thread their way through the flagstone streets and alleys. Covering an area of 71.19 square kilometres (27.49 sq mi), Wuzhen has a total population is 60,000 of which 12,000 are permanent residents.

Wuzhen displays its two-thousand-year history in its ancient stone bridges floating on mild water, its stone pathways between the mottled walls and its delicate wood carvings. Also, setting it apart from other towns, it gives a unique experience through its profound cultural background.

6. Kampong Ayer, Brunei

Kampong Ayer is an area of Brunei's capital city Bandar Seri Begawan that is situated after the Brunei Bay. 39,000 people live in the Water Village. This represents roughly ten percent of the nation's total population. All of the Water Village buildings are constructed on stilts above the Brunei River.

Built on stilts and linked by bridges the water village is also served by water taxis and has its own schools, hospitals, restaurants, shops, mosques and petrol station. From a distance, although many of the dwellings look neglected and run-down, they actually have all the modern amenities including air conditioning, satellite television, Internet access, plumbing, and electricity. People have lived in this village for over 1300 years and some of them keep potted plants and chickens.

7. Zhouzhuang, China

Zhouzhuang, one of the most famous water townships in China, is situated only 30 kilometers southeast of Suzhou City. It is a enchanting place. This village features crisscrossing water lanes, ancient bridges and buildings built on and over the rivers. In an area of half a square kilometer, 60 percent of the Zhouzhuang's structures were built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

It is noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs. Zhouzhuang has been called the "Venice of the East".

8. Ganvie, Benin

Ganvie, also known as the Venice of Africa, is a lake village in Benin, lying in Lake Nokou, near Cotonou. With a population of around 20,000 people, it is probably the largest lake village in Africa and as such is very popular with tourists.

The village of Ganvie was established in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries by the Tofinu people, when Dahomeyan warriors raided their countryside for captives to sell to the European slave traders. Originally based on farming, the village's main industries other than tourism are now fishing and fish farming.  

9. Kay Lar Ywa, Myanmar

Kay Lar Ywa is water village located on Inle lake. Residents of this village are Intha people, which are members of a Tibet-Burman ethnic group. They support themselves through the tending of vegetable farms on floating gardens. Also, the Intha are known for their leg-rowing techniques.

The lake weed of Inle is collected by the Intha people to create floating gardens, which are anchored to the lake bed with bamboo poles. These floating gardens, called kyun-hmaw,which are built-up from strips of water hyacinth and mud, dredged from the lake bed, which breaks down into a rich humus; it take 50 years to produce a layer 1 m thick. The floating allotments are anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Land is also reclaimed in this way, and parts of the lake have been reduced to a maze of canals around these plots. Most of the produce grown on the lake gardens is vegetables - mainly tomatoes and beans.  

10. Tongli, China

Tongli, alternately Tong-Li, is a town in Wujiang county, on the outskirts of Suzhou. It is known for a system of canals. Tongli is half an hour away from Suzhou city. The place retains many of the features of an ancient Chinese town.

Tongli enjoys fame across China for its beautiful canals, historic bridges and opulent court yard homes. Tongli has 49 stone bridges and many gardens, temples. Because of the landscape, almost all of the buildings are constructed along the waterfront. The water also creates reflections of the town's arched roofs, lofty gables and stone bridges while green willows also line the banks can.

25 Most Extraordinary Summer Olympians of All Time

The 2012 Summer Olympics has just began in London. It's a major international event featuring thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. It's considered to be the world's foremost sports competitionand more than 200 nations participate. In honor of this historical international event, We have collected a list featuring some of the best athletes of the Summer Olympics throughout history.

The competitors in this list range from young to old, come from all over the world, and have competed in Olympics as far back as 1900. While some of them may not be the best in terms of number of medals won or quantity of records broken, they all deserve a spot on the list for beating the odds in their own ways. So, here are the 25 most remarkable summer Olympians of all time in alphabetical order. Take a look...

25. Aladar Gerevich - Fencing, Hungary

Regarded as the greatest swordsman ever by CNN, Gerevich competed in six consecutive Olympics and won a gold medal every time. He competed in his first Olympics in 1932 at the age of 22. Because of World War II, there were no Olympic Games held in 1940 or 1944, but they resumed in 1948. Just before Gerevich’s last Olympic Games in 1960, the Hungarian Olympic Committee told him he was too old to compete, but he proved them wrong by challenging every member of the sabre team and beating every one.

24. Birgit Fischer - Canoe / Kayak Flatwater, Germany

Birgit Fischer is the most successful Olympic kayaking athlete of all time. She earned the title of youngest-ever Olympic canoeing champion at the age of 18 and later became the oldest-ever Olympic canoeing champion at the age of 42. She won eight gold medals over the course of six different Olympic Games, a record she shares with Aladar Gerevich.

23. Carl Lewis - Athletics, United States

Carl Lewis dominated at Olympic track and field events longer than any other track and field competitor to date. He competed in every Olympic Games from 1984 to 1996, winning nine gold medals and one silver in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 400-meter relays.

22. Carl Osburn - Shooting, United States

This United States Navy officer and sports shooter won a total of 11 Olympic medals: five gold, four silver, and two bronze. He was the all-time leading male Olympic medal winner for the United States prior to Michael Phelps.

21. Daley Thompson - Decathlon, Great Britain

Daley Thompson competed for Great Britain in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, winning the gold medal in the decathlon both times and making him the best all-around track and field athlete at both Olympics.

20. Elisabeta Lipa - Rowing, Romania

One of only four people to win medals at six different Olympiads, Elisabeta Lipa is the most decorated rowers in the history of the Olympics. In addition to winning one bronze, two silver, and five gold medals, she holds the record among rowers for the most years between gold medals (20 years).

19. Frank Kugler - Various Sports, United States

While he may not be a gold medalist, Frank Kugler is the only competitor to win a medal in three different sports at the same Olympic Games. He won a silver medal in men’s freestyle wrestling, two bronze medals in men’s weightlifting, and one bronze medal in men’s tug of war at the 1904 St. Louis Olympics.

18. Guo Jingjing - Diving, China

With four gold and two silver medals in her repertoire, this athlete known in China as “The Princess of Diving” has won more Olympic medals than any other female diver.

17. Hubert Van Innis - Archery, Belgium

Hubert Van Innis earned one silver and two gold medals for his archery skills during the 1900 Olympics. Then twenty years later, he won four more gold and two more silver medals, making him the most successful archer in Olympic history.

16. Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Track and Field, United States

Track and Field, United States- Jackie Joyner-Kersee took women’s track and field to the next level by winning three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals from 1984 to 1996. At 7,291 points, her performance in the 1988 heptathlon set a world record that has yet to be broken.

15. Jenny Thompson - Swimming, United States

Jenny Thompson won eight gold, three silver, and one bronze for a total of 12 medals from 1992 to 2004, making her one of the most decorated Olympians of all time. She also held the world record for the women’s 100 butterfly from 1999 to 2000, the women’s 100 butterfly (25 m) from 1997 to 2002, and the women’s 100 individual medley (25 m) from 1999 to 2002.

14. Jesse Owens - Track and Field, United States

This African-American track and field star was living proof that Hitler’s Aryan ideals were absurd, and he got a chance to prove it to the Fuhrer himself. Owens fought hard to win four gold medals during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which was no easy feat in Nazi Germany. Conveniently, Hitler had to leave before the victory ceremony of the 100 meters, but he couldn’t change the fact that the whole nation witnessed Owens’ victory over the “pure-blooded” Germans.

13. Jim Thorpe - Athletics, United States

This Olympian won two gold medals for his performance in the pentathlon and decathlon during the 1912 Sweden Olympics only to have them taken away a year later. In 1913, strict rules came into effect for Olympic athletes. Those who received money for competitions, taught sports, or had competed previously against professionals, were barred from competition for not being amateurs. Thorpe’s awards were revoked when it was discovered that he had once played professional baseball. His awards were reinstated in October 1982 after an organization called the Jim Thorpe Foundation submitted a case to the International Olympic Committee.

12. Karnam Malleswari - Weightlifting, India

As the first woman to win an Olympic medal for weightlifting, a male-dominated sport, Karnam Malleswari deserves a shout-out for paving the way for other female weightlifters.

11. Larisa Latynina - Gymnastics, Soviet Union

This talented Ukrainian gymnast holds the record for most Olympic medals ever won. She earned nine gold, five silver, and four bronze medals, adding up to 18 medals in all. In addition to this tremendous accomplishment, she also holds the record for most individual medals (14 outside of team events) in Olympic history.

10. Manuel Estiarte - Water Polo, Spain

Regarded as one of the best water polo players of all time, Manuel Estiarte is only the second Spaniard to have competed in six Olympic Games. He won three medals during his career, one of each color.

9. Mark Spitz - Swimming, United States

During the 1972 Munich Olympics, this swimmer won seven gold medals, breaking the record for most gold medals in a single Olympics. He held onto this title for 36 years until Michael Phelps burst onto the scene.

8. Michael Phelps - Swimming, United States

Michael Phelps’ incredible swimming skills have earned him monikers such as “Flying Fish” and “The Baltimore Bullet.” He holds the record for most gold medals won in a single Olympics as well as the all-time record for most gold Olympic records. He has won 16 medals in all, 14 of them gold.

7. Nadia Comaneci - Gymnastics, Romania

At the tender age of 15, this young Romanian gymnast astounded the world by doing something once believed to be impossible – She received a perfect 10 in a gymnastics event at the Olympics. She went on to repeat this amazing achievement six more times at the Olympic Competitions, winning one bronze, three silver, and five gold medals in the process.

6. Nikolai Andrianov - Gymnastics, Soviet Union

This Russian gymnast won a total of 15 medals – seven gold, five silver, and three bronze. His accomplishments made him the most successful male Olympic athlete from 1972 to 2008, when Michael Phelps beat his record.

5. Paavo Nurmi - Athletics, Finland

Known as “King of Runners” and “Flying Finn,” Paavo Nurmi is considered one of the greatest middle- and long-distance runners in the world. In the three Olympics from 1920 to 1928, he won a total of nine gold and three silver medals in the 1,500 meters; 5,000 meters, individual cross-country; 5,000 meter cross-country team; and 3,000 meter team.

4. Reiner Klimke -  Equestrian, Germany

Reiner Klimke only missed one Olympic Games from 1960 to 1988. During that time, he won six gold and two bronze medals in dressage, a competitive equestrian sport known as “the highest expression of horse training.”

3. Sawao Kato - Gymnastics, Japan

While competing in the 1968, 1972, and 1976 Olympics, Kato managed to win 12 medals for Japan. As one of only 10 athletes to have won eight or more gold medals, he is not only one of the most decorated male gymnasts in history, but also one of the greatest Japanese athletes in Olympic history.

2. Teofilo Stevenson - Boxing, Cuba

Boxing legend Teofilo Stevenson was one of the few athletes to uphold the ideals of the Olympic Games by refusing to turn professional - even for a reputed $5 million offer from Don King. He was the first boxer to win the gold medal three times in the same weight division.

1. Usain Bolt - Athletics, Jamaica

With a name like Bolt, he had to be lightning fast. This Jamaican runner won three gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 meters relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He is the reigning champion in all three events.

Indian Origin Boy solves 350 Year Old Math Puzzle Set By Newton

A 16-year-old Indian origin schoolboy in Germany has managed to crack puzzles that baffled the world of maths for more than 350 years.

Shouryya Ray, from Dresden, has been hailed a genius after working out the problems set by Sir Isaac Newton. Ray solved two fundamental particle dynamics theories which physicists have previously been able to calculate only by using powerful computers.

His solutions mean that scientists can now calculate the flight path of a thrown ball and then predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall.

Ray only came across the problems during a school trip to Dresden University where professors claimed they were uncrackable.

Ray began solving complicated equations as a six-year-old but he says he's no genius. According to Welt Online, Ray has been captivated by math since a very early age and was inspired by his father, Subhashis Ray, who works as a research assistant at the Technical University of Freiburg. His father began teaching Ray calculus at the tender age of six.

After arriving from Kolkata four years ago without knowing any German, Shouryya is now fluent in the language. His intelligence was quickly noted in class and he was pushed up two years in school - he is currently sitting his exams early.