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26 May, Sunday

26 May, Sunday

26 May, Sunday

CHINA, Beijing – Receiving more than 14 million visitors per year, the Forbidden City remains Beijing’s most popular cultural and tourist attraction. Such level of popularity is only befitting for the largest surviving imperial palace in the world, which was said to require the combined efforts of over 1 million labourers to complete.

With over 90 palace quarters and courtyards, 980 buildings and more than 8,700 rooms, there’s plenty to explore and see. But the sheer amount of visitors can be trying. Our friends @chopsticksontheloose offer this handy tip to better enjoy the sprawling attraction – wander off the main paths and you’ll soon be free of the crowds!

25 May, Saturday

25 May, Saturday

25 May, Saturday

CHINA, Nanping – The Wuyi Mountains is regarded as among China’s most spectacular mountain ranges, offering visitors a chance to soak in unparalleled vistas of unspoiled nature. It’s deep canyons, lush forests and alluring waterfalls house a large variety of flora and fauna, creating an idyllic natural paradise.

The mountain range occupies an important place in Chinese culture, being a leading producer of beloved teas such as Da Hong Pao, Tie Luo Han and Lapsang souchong. The close intertwining of tea cultivation and native culture led to the creation of the Tea Picking Opera, a humorous performance depicting everyday life that strongly reflects the rural nature of Hakka culture.

24 May, Friday

24 May, Friday

24 May, Friday

PORTUGAL, Lisbon – As far as UNESCO World Heritage Sites go, this riverside tower may not look like much. But don’t let it’s diminutive stature detract from its towering role in modern history.

Serving both as a fortress and a port, the Tower of Belem was the launching point from which Portuguese explorers would eventually establish the first European trade routes with China and India that would lead to the dawn of the Age of Discovery.

The resulting extensive overseas exploration would give rise to an unprecedented exchange of plants, animals, food, human populations, communicable diseases and culture between the two hemispheres. This would eventually pave the way for globalisation and the many benefits that accompany it.

Charging Your Phone With Airport USBs Could Expose You to Malware

Charging Your Phone With Airport USBs Could Expose You to Malware

The next time you’re looking to top your phone off, think twice before plugging in to those USB charging sockets found commonly at airports. Doing so could expose you to malware and cyber threats, according to a recent Forbes report.

This is because USB ports not only carry voltage, they are also capable of passing data. In this way, cyber criminals can modify with a public USB port and use it to install malware on your mobile device when you plug in to charge.

It may seem far-fetched, but it wasn’t so long ago that we were warned about compromised ATMs that criminals could use to steal our bank details.

This latest warning to be careful of public USB power plugs comes from IBM Security, which revealed in its 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index that cyber criminals are switching their focus to target the travel industry. It is now the second-most attacked sector, up from tenth in 2017.

Caleb Barlow, Vice President of X-Force Threat Intelligence provides some safer alternatives for travellers.

What You Should Do Instead

1. Bring Your Own Wall Charger or Power Bank

Instead of jacking your device directly into an unknown USB outlet, bring along your wall adapter and use a regular power socket. Unlike USBs, power sockets only pass voltage, not data.

Alternatively, use your powerbank to charge your phone. If your powerbank is out of juice, and only public USB ports are available, charge your powerbank first. You can then charge your phone using your powerbank.

Photo source: Reddit.

2. Use a Data Blocker With Public USBs

If you absolutely have to use public USB power stations, then be sure to use one together with a USB data blocker.

These are small, inexpensive (~$10) devices that block data from flowing, but still allows power to pass through. You’ll find some brands of USB data blockers that even claim to be used by military or state agencies.

3. Steer Clear of Unknown Accessories

Criminals may not easily alter a USB charging port, but maybe they don’t need to. Afterall, a compromised charging cable seemingly left behind by an absent-minded fellow traveller can work just as well.

Said Barlow, “Now, if you see an Apple charging cord, you’re likely to grab it or just plug into it. But inside this cord is an extra chip that deploys the malware, so it charges your phone but now I own your computer.”

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Charging Your Phone With Airport USBs Could Expose You to Malware

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23 May, Thursday

23 May, Thursday

23 May, Thursday

TAIWAN, Taipei – Officially opened to the public in 1980, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is perhaps the most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan. Although primarily a monument to one of the country’s most important leaders, the inclusion of a memorial park, concert hall and national theatre helps the landmark serve various social, civil and tourism purposes as well.

Rising to a height of 76m, the octogonal memorial hall features a combination of white, blue and red – the same colours that appear on Taiwan’s national flag. Visitors may ascend the hall via the twin flight of steps that number 89 each, signifying the mortal age of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek when he passed.

Complete the trek to be rewarded by the sight of a larger-than-life bronze statue of the former president, guarded round the clock by living, breathing military personnel.

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