What's on Worldwide: Sailing off Phuket ... Argentina's tango fever ... Savers of the surf ...

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The Independent Travel
Until 13 December


The annual Phuket King's Cup Regatta is sailing again in the blue waters of the Andaman Sea off the island of Phuket. Sponsored by the Phuket Yacht Club and other groups, the race is attracting competitors from many countries including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, and awards are distributed in different categories. In Bangkok, there are more sporting events in the 13th Asian games, in the National Stadium and other major venues in the provinces. There are 43 countries in the games, competing in 36 events. For ticket information call The Tourist Authority of Thailand (tel: 0171-499 7679).

Until 29 December


To take in some of Hollywood's lesser-known shining stars, head to Griffith Park for the annual Light Festival. One million lights will illuminate a one-mile stretch of road running through the park. Some 25 displays will depict aspects of life in LA, including a mini- version of the famous Hollywood sign. The displays light up nightly from 5 till 10.30pm.

Until 1 January


From early December until the New Year, The Ellipse is the site of a forest of light, a glittering display of Christmas trees, each representing a state in the Union. Amongst this seasonal forest there will be nightly choral performances, a nativity scene and a burning Yule log.

8 December


The likes of Clare Rayner, Peter Bowles, and TV's Two Fat Ladies Jennifer Patterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright, will join voices during a candlelit carol service at St Bride's church in Fleet St, in aid of Adfam, the national charity for families and friends of drug users.

11 December


Argentina gets tangoed as the country celebrates the National Day of Tango, with special events in all the tanguerias. The date chosen is the birthday (in 1890) of Carlos Gardel, a pioneer and expert proponent of the tango and its associated music. Gardel remains hugely popular in Latin America, despite his death in a plane crash in 1935. His tango cancion, a sorrowful, romantic style of song, enjoys enduring popularity with Argentina's female population.

12 December-14 March


A quick trip to the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille will present you with the opportunity to take a rare look at some of the works of the Spanish- born artist Goya. The focus of the exhibition is placed on his understanding of the relationship between fantasy and realism, with more than 50 paintings created throughout his career on display. Note that the Palais des Beaux- Arts is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

12-13 December


If you fancy a little preening on the slopes of Aspen followed by lots of comforting hot chocolate do not go to the fashionable Colorado resort this week. The annual "Aspen 24 Hours" is one of the toughest events in winter sports. Martin and Graham Bell (Britain's most successful competitive skiers) will be skiing continuously for a day and a night, starting at noon. So if you go be prepared for a real challenge - last year at least one competitor pulled out suffering from frostbite.

13 December


Fans of Baywatch should head to Australia for the National Surf Lifesavers Day and find out what it is really like to be a lifesaver in a land of big waves. The events will take place on several beaches around Australia and there will be demonstrations of a variety of lifesaving festivities (but do not expect to see Pamela Anderson). A national fund-raising appeal is also held around the country. For information, call the Surf Lifesaving Australia (tel: 00 61 2 9597 5588).

14 December


Forty-seven masterless Samurai, otherwise known as ronin (according to the current film starring Robert De Niro), will be re-enacting the Gishi- sai, a famous vendetta which took place in 1702. The participants of this ancient ceremony are local businessmen dressed as 18th-century warriors. These robe-clad warriors will proceed over Tokyo's Ryogoku Bridge to Matsuzakacho Park.