Another interesting article, although not directly related to HKDL...
10 sights to expand your children's horizons
By Rochelle Reed
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
Published July 9, 2006
How do you impress kids glued to iPods and DVDs? Rock their world by showing it to them.
Here's a list--OK, a wish list--of 10 places to take the kids before they graduate from high school. As parents of grown children have learned, college, careers and love lives make family trips a lot more difficult to coordinate. So go now, while you have the chance. With its sense of exploration and discovery, travel truly is a classroom without walls.
1. Washington, D.C. Walk the National Mall with its lovely green grass and imposing marble monuments. Stop at the Lincoln Memorial to feel humbled under the gaze of Honest Abe. Tour the White House; look down on the Senate floor. From the more than 50 museums, pick the kid-friendly Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. Visiting the seat of U.S. government shows kids where a vote cast in a local polling place winds up.
2. Disneyland/World. The world of fiction and fantasy that Walt Disney created in the midst of a California orange grove has universal appeal. In many ways, the theme park has created America's ideal of how things should be--clean and neat, warm and cozy, wonderful for all. So whether at Disneyland or Florida's Disney World, join the kids at the Magic Castle and Space Mountain, and have an ice cream cone at a sidewalk cafe on Main Street. It's a small world, after all.
3. The Grand Canyon. Here, kids used to instantly accessing the world with a keystroke will learn what 2 billion years of slow, steady work can do. The monster chasm created by the Colorado River is 277 miles long and 17 miles wide in places. The sheer magnitude of this scenic wonder is overwhelming, and the view from the railing at the South Rim will etch itself into the memory of even the most jaded teen.
4. The Great Wall. China's Great Wall was built over a period of 2,000 years to protect the country from marauding foreigners. Completed in 221 B.C., the 1,450-mile wall marches over mountains and through valleys, a monument to human enterprise and engineering.
5. Hong Kong. Yes, there's Victoria Harbour and Victoria Peak, but the real lesson of Hong Kong comes from observing the miles upon miles of high-rise apartment towers. Hong Kong kids may not have to mow the family lawn, but few American children would trade away garden chores after seeing this cheek-to-jowl alternative.
6. Taj Mahal. For kids living in an era of easy divorce, here's a lesson in eternal love. In the 17th Century, Mogul emperor Shah Jahan built this beautiful marble monument as a tomb for his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. She died while giving birth to the couple's 14th child, and Shah Jahan never stopped grieving for his beloved wife. A warning: You may want to skip the last chapter of this love story, where one of the couple's sons later deposes his father and imprisons him for life.
7. Paris. Here's another chance for a lesson in romance. A boat ride on the Seine, a climb up the Eiffel Tower and a quick trip to the Louvre to see--what else?--the Mona Lisa with her mysterious smile, is really all young kids need. Let them come back to the City of Light by themselves to fall in love with the cobblestone streets, the sidewalk cafes, the boulangeries, the aura of romance and style. Just as you did.
8. Machu Picchu. When they're in 5th grade, your children will probably be called upon to create Peru's "Lost City of the Incas" out of papier-mache. Give them a head start by visiting the real thing. This 100-acre temple complex, nestled between two dramatic peaks, is haunting and mysterious. The massive stonework is meant to be walked, even climbed, so you needn't worry about no-touch policies. If the kids are into hiking, arrive via a three- or five-day trek on the Inca Trail.
9. Angkor Wat. Chances are, your children will never formally study this massive 1,000-year-old capital of the Khmer empire. And yet, they may know that actress Angelina Jolie came here to campaign against the land mines, adopting an infant son in the process. Located near Siem Reap, Cambodia, the temple complex, spread over 40 miles, was built at the beginning of the 12th Century. Scaling the steep temples to view the sunset is a memorable (and dizzyingly athletic) experience. What's most poignant, though, is meeting the local residents who openly discuss what it was like to survive the deadly years of the Khmer Rouge.
10. Jerusalem. Here's hoping that Jerusalem will become a place that children can visit without threat of bombs and bloodshed, a safe place in which to view the sacred sites of three of the world's religions. Jews pray at the Western Wall, Christians follow in Christ's footsteps on the Via Dolorosa, and Muslims worship at the Dome of the Rock.
Source: Chicago Tribune