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Rudy Maxa's World

Rudy Maxa's World

Building on five successful seasons of travel shows featuring Europe and the Pacific Rim, award-winning travel journalist Rudy Maxa broadens his horizons - and those of his audience - with the launch of RUDY MAXA'S WORLD. In this new 13-part series, Rudy offers his sophisticated take on a destination's history, culture, architecture, politics and cuisine, while also turning a journalistic eye to the people and lifestyles of Russia, Estonia, Turkey, India, Argentina, Japan and Thailand. The season begins in India, where Rudy visits the Taj Mahal and the crowded alleys and villages of New Delhi. Later, Rudy indulges in resorts nestled along the Baltic Sea, marvels at the Hermitage's treasures in St. Petersburg, explores the ancient ruins and royal tombs of Turkey's southern coast, learns to tango in Argentina, witnesses a Buddhist ceremony in Kyoto and sails in a long-tailed boat through the canals of Bangkok.

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"Rudy Maxa's World' timed the shooting of this episode with the Edinburgh International Festival, a madcap and colorful, three-week event that says "theater" in every sense of the world. The world's largest arts festival features theater, comedy, dance, music, operas, street performances, and the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a stunning evening performance of martial music and precision marching performed by military bands from around the world in the city's 1,400-year-old Edinburgh Castle.

An urban marriage of high tech and age-old customs makes Tokyo a fascinating destination, from teenagers playing "cos," or costume games, to adults taking dinner at tiny yakatori restaurants, where the kitchen is a small grill dedicated to cooking skewers of meat. Tour the city's massive wholesale fish market, Tsukiji Market, before dawn to watch the daily auction of massive torsos of tuna fish destined for sushi restaurants around the world. Check out space-age toilets at the showroom of Toto as proof that cutting edge technology permeates every aspect of Japanese life.

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Sun Mar 18th, 9:00am

Bangkok is a city of the senses - a bejeweled, dazzling, fantastical mix of magic and faith, hard work and love of life, grace and wild abandon. It's a city where chaos and serenity happily co-exist. Host Rudy Maxa and Washington, D.C. restauranteur and chef Daisuke Utagawa roll up their sleeves and prepare to eat their way across this city. Bangkok is one enormous dining room. Nobody eats at home; everything in this tropical town happens on the street. These fun loving, food crazy, spiritually rich, profoundly graceful people make Bangkok one of the most welcoming cities in the world.

Cape Town is a nexus of cultures in a setting so stunning, it's called the "new California" or "Africa's Riviera." Where else in the world can you wake up in a cosmopolitan city, spend the afternoon with penguins, ride a funicular to the edge of a continent, and watch the sun set from a beach with a glass of local wine in hand?

Everywhere in this Turkish city is evidence of civilizations that tried to tame it. From the Romans to the Ottomans, this tumultuous city has seen it all, and its architecture, cuisine, and customs reflect that reality. Here, Christianity and Islam have their touchstones, and the cliche that "East meets West" at the Bosporus is a truism. Rudy tries to avoid buying a Turkish carpet-he admits he's powerless to visit Istanbul without returning home with a rug-but, as usual, he fails.

At Istanbul's Spice Market, persimmons are split open, their insides resembling melting rubies. Brown-gold paprika is carefully molded into the shape of a pyramid. Cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and cardamom infuse the air with the fragrance of the East. From haggis in Scotland to soba and tea in Japan, from asada in Argentina to bibimbap in Korea, food and drink help illustrate the culture of a place and its people.

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