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This week: Taiwan


Sleepy Tamsui Once a Thriving Treaty Port
BY PETER NEVILLE-HADLEY Meridian Writers’ GroupTAMSUI, Taiwan—In 1860 Anglo-French forces seeking ratification of a trade agreement with the Qing empire invested Beijing and set fire to the imperial Summer Palace. These events at the heart of the Manchu empire had surprising repercussions in one of its remoter on...


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Tips from the latest guidebooks



Bradt Mauritius, 8th edition





HERE’S A CULTURALLY authentic souvenir to bring back from your travels that doesn’t take up any room in your luggage and that you don’t have to worry about disposing of because it vanishes of its own accord.

Mehendi, or henna tattooing, part of Hindu and Muslim tradition for centuries, has begun to catch on with Mauritius visitors “wanting to follow the trend set by numerous celebrities, such as Madonna and Naomi Campbell,” says the 8th edition of Bradt Mauritius, Rodrigues, Réunion.

Mehendi is typically applied to the hands and feet and almost any design can be drawn by a skilled henna artist,” says the guidebook. The designs “are often very ornate, giving the appearance of a lace glove or stocking.” They can reflect nature and include leaves, flowers and birds, or geometric shapes. “Some artists,” its adds, “now use Chinese or Celtic symbols.”

The henna, applied as a paste, crumbles as it dries, leaving the skin temporarily stained an orangish-brown. The tattoo naturally fades within one to three weeks unless its life is prolonged by spraying the still-moist paste with a mixture of lemon juice and sugar.

“There are often artists at markets and shopping centres,” say the guidebook, and sessions can by organized by many hotels.



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