Map Page 1137 Area 1,980 square mi (5,128 square km) Population 1,104,209 Capital Port-of-Spain Highest Point 3,102 ft (940 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP per capita 9,500 Primary Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas, cocoa, sugarcane, rice.
THE TWO CARIBBEAN SEA islands of Trinidad and Tobago had separate histories until they were joined together as one colony under the British in 1888, then as one nation upon independence in 1962.
Today, the islands are among the most wealthy in the region thanks to sizeable resources of petroleum and natural gas.
Trinidad and Tobago lie off the main arc of the Antilles chain, closer and geologically more similar to VENEZUELA (only 7 mi or 11 km) than to its nearest island neighbor, GRENADA.
Its mountain ranges and offshore oilfields are extensions of the same features across the narrow channels separating it from the Venezuelan mainland (called the Mouth of the Dragon and the Mouth of the Serpent).
The islands also share a more continental climate-wetter and hotter-than the other islands of the Caribbean and had a fairly large native population akin to the Caribs and Arawaks on the continent.
The area was therefore ripe for plantation of the two major features of the islands, religion and cash crops, reflected in the names of the two islands: Trinidad for the Holy Trinity (and also for the three peaks first spotted by Christopher Columbus in 1498), and Tobago for tobacco, grown by the natives.
Neither the natives nor the tobacco survived, however, and by the 19th century, sugar plantations dominated the economy, and laborers were imported from Africa and INDIA, forming the basis of the population today.
Trinidad was held by SPAIN until captured by the British in 1797.
Tobago, unique among the islands of the Caribbean, started out as a colony of the Duke of Courland, a small state in the Baltic (today's LATVIA), before it too passed to British control (via Dutch and French) in 1763.
Today's population reflects this interesting ancestry, with a nearly even split between those with African and Indian ancestry.
French and Spanish influences remain, intermixed with cultural elements of African and South Asian peoples-notably in the music and dance forms known as calypso.
The black population lives mostly in the cities, while the Asians have spread throughout the rural areas.
Generally peaceful coexistence is sometimes disrupted by political tension, however, as demonstrated by an unsuccessful coup in 1990 by Muslim extremists.
The two islands also retain a separate identity from each other.
Trinidad is physically much larger and has by far the larger population (only 51,000 people live on Tobago, compared to over 1 million on Trinidad).
Trinidad also has the nation's stores of natural resources, and has therefore been more developed for industry and production, while Tobago remains largely undeveloped, focusing instead on tourism.
Trinidad is formed of three mountain ranges, roughly parallel, traveling from west to east across the island.
The Northern Range is the highest.
Its forested slopes plunge vertically into the sea along the northern coast.
Most of the population lives in an urban corridor extending east and west from the capital, Port-of- Spain, along the southern flanks of the Northern Range.The center of the island is flat and is home to most of the sugar industry but also other tropical crops like rice and cacao.
Oil and gas reserves are found in the southwestern part of the island and also offshore.
Besides developing itself as a producer of crude oil, Trinidad is a center for refining and reexporting oil products from Venezuela.
These businesses have been booming for the last decade and have helped contribute to the stable economy (about a fourth of the gross domestic product) that has established Trinidad's reputation as a great site for foreign investment.
Tobago, 20 mi (32 km) to the northeast, is volcanic in origin, with a central range of hills, and a flat coralline coastal area in the southwest, where the island's principal town, Scarborough, is located.
Tobago is cooler and drier than Trinidad, with isolated inlets and beaches, that are becoming the island's chief draw for tourism.
Trinidad and Tobago lies south of the Caribbean hurricane belt, meaning greater security for island investors.
It is hoped that these newer industries, foreign investment and tourism, will keep the country's prosperity going when the oil runs out in the not too distant future.
- China’s glass-bottom bridge appeared to be not as strong as everybody expected
"The glass on the bottom got cracked just underneath the tourists
It is reported that one of the tourists dropped a metal mug on the bridge floor while visiting this new place of interest. It resulted in a glass crack. When this happened all the tourists were immediately evacuated and the bridge itself was closed to the public.
The representatives of the Shiniuzhai geological park, where the bridge is placed state that the accident didn’t threaten the visitors’ security as there was only 1 of the 3 glass layers that got cracked. The glassmaker also agrees that there was nothing to worry about and the glass cracks don’t pose any risk to the tourists. However, it’s hard to believe, but that is not the first material flaw produced by this company. A year ago the glass floor placed at one of the skyscrapers in Chicago got cracked and was supplied by the same company. "
- Some tourists will be banned to visit “The Forbidden City” in Beijing
"Chinese management of the site blacklisted some tourists.
The blacklist counts around 2500 people, who could have ever visited the UNESCO site and behaved discourteously. Those who scratched their names or did other signs on the walls and sculptures of the ancient construction, littered or entered the palace using a fake ticket will no longer be able to visit The Forbidden City for at least three years.
As reported, such a practice did a good result that is why the site management plans to keep implementing this kind of sanction. And those people who are re-selling the tickets will be punished as well.
Such an unsuitable conduct of the tourists is not uncommon in China. Earlier it was mentioned that, despite the ban, the tourists who arrived to Shaanxi province keep touching the breast of the bare-waist deep statue of Yang Guifei. "