Dr. Chun
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

April, 2015

 

I led a group of 27 MBA students to Rio and Sao Paulo during the spring break of 2015.  It was my second tour to Brazil, a fascinating country in terms of its rich culture, history, religion, and heritage.  Brazil is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world, growing at a rate of 5% per year over the past ten years.



     
     
013The beaches of Rio could lend you the perfect escape from the hustle-bustle of the city life.  Our hotel is in a great location, directly across from Copacabana beach. 023In the afternoon, I took a subway and headed for the downtown area.  Church and Monastery of Sao Bento is a historical monastery located in Centro. Founded in 1590, it is used until nowadays and considered one of the top religious and traditional buildings in Brazil.
 
033Church of Our Lady of Candelária is one of the finest roman catholic buildings. It was built on the site of a chapel founded in 1610 by a husband an his wife in gratitude for having survived a shipwreck. 043In a neoclassical building dating from 1820, the Casa França-Brasil sponsors changing exhibitions often dealing with political and cultural facets of carioca society. The classical revival building once served as a customs house.
 
053Bars and restaurants with live music and dance floors on the street in Rio, but sorry I don't drink and I don't dance... 063I am not an architecture expert, but I love visiting cities with beautiful architecture.  It is like free art that everyone can enjoy.  Walking around the city was one of the best things I could do in Rio.  Beautiful churches, library and theater buildings!
 
073Cinelândia is the local name for the Floriano Peixoto Square.  The Municipal Theater and the Grand National Library are located in this square. 083Built in the middle of the 18th century to bring water from Carioca river to the population of the city, Carioca Aqueduct is still preserved to this day. It is a great example of colonial architecture that you can visit at the Lapa neighborhood.
 
093Built to only use natural light, Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian is definitely worth a quick stop to take a few photos inside of the glass walls and stained glass murals. The architecture of the cathedral was inspired by a Maya pyramid on the island of Yucatan in Mexico. 103The neighborhood of Lapa is an enchanting district full of dilapidated architecture, colorful characters, and Samba-filled bars.  I just explored the Bohemian neighborhood of Lapa in the late afternoon.
 
113Among the grit, grime, and sweat of Lapa's bleeding heart comes a diamond in the rough - Selaron's Staircase.  The stairway is well-known for its impressive size and bold colors, attracting tourists from all over the world who come to admire, take photos, and donate mosaic tiles from their homelands. 123On the way back to the hotel, I found a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the park near Cinelândia subway station.
 
133We had our first dinner in Rio at a buffet restaurant near the hotel.  After the dinner, the young ladies are ready to explore the thriving and vibrant nightlife in Rio.  Be sure to come back before the clock strikes midnight! 143Next morning, we headed for Christ the Redeemer.  The most popular and accessible way to get there is a tram ride that winds through the Tijuca forest and up to the summit in 20 minutes.
 
153This art deco statue of Jesus Christ is an iconic figure of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, being also one of the most recognized statues in the world.  The famous statue on the peak of the Corcovado Mountain overlooks the city of Rio 163Waiting for the next tram to go down the mounting.  I will mail you a postcard from Rio!
 
173In the afternoon, we ventured into a favela with a local tour guide who lives there.  This jigsaw of shacks roofed with scraps of wood and corrugated iron was a no-go zone, hitting the headlines for gun battles between drug lords. 183We received warm welcome from local children in the favela.  They were as friendly and playful as anywhere else in the city.  Instead of playing in the dirty streets after school, they were playing musical instruments.
 
193Favela Cantagalo is one of the most dangerous shanty-towns in Rio, but it offers the best view of Copacabana Beach.  We were busy taking photos of the breath-taking views! 203In the evening, we attended a soccer game at Maracanã stadium.  The stadium was built in 1950 to host the FIFA World Culp, and it will be used in 2016 to host the opening and closing ceremonies of Summer Olympics.
 
213Next morning, Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) was waiting for us. This iconic mountain is one of the most famous postcards of Rio de Janeiro. You can get there using the cable car from Morro da Urca. 223You get the full panoramic view of the city of Rio from its peak - if it is not foggy. You can see a bit of Ipanema beach and the whole of Copacabana beach.  You can also see Christ the Redeemer in the distance.
 
233Standing high above Rio's bustling metropolis at 1,299 feet, Sugar Loaf Mountain cascades over the picturesque Guanabara Bay. There is also a very nice beach by the Sugar Loaf. 243Of course, we visited many Brazilian companies during our trip to Rio.  One of them was Barra Energia.  An LSU alum, Dr. Shinity Ohara, has always welcomed us to his company.
 
     
 
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