Many Intrepid travellers to Vietnam have enjoyed great food and service at the marvellous KOTO on Van Mieu restaurant in Hanoi. On Sunday October 31, KOTO trainees were honoured by an extra special lunch guest, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia.
“We’re all thrilled that the Prime Minister chose to come to KOTO during her short stay in Hanoi and we were privileged to meet her,” said Jimmy Pham, KOTO International CEO and founder (and former Intrepid group leader).
Recently our Intrepid Office in Cuzco organised a pollada. Pollada comes from the word pollo, which means chicken in Spanish. The last time we organised a pollada was to support one of our Inca Trail porters who became sick and needed financial help to cover the doctor and hospital bills. This time, the pollada was to raise money for The Intrepid Foundation.
While sometimes it’s not easy for our team to come and join in our regular pub quiz fundraising nights, a pollada requires little to no effort to get the message to our leaders, hotel friends, local transport staff, Inca trail guides, cook and porters. Mention pollada to anyone in Cuzco and text messages will be flying off cellphones as a viral effect, people will anxiously be waiting for the date of the event!
With its collection of exotic animals, ancient traditions, hot springs, tribal villages, loveable orangutans and incredible views, Borneo has something for everyone. There are also many hidden gems and on Intrepid’s Sabah Adventure we include a special Malay village visit that is a win-win experience for our groups as well as the locals…
Mescot is a locally run organization that works with the local communities in the Kinabatangan River area on a number of sustainable tourism projects. Their main aim is to educate the local community about the value of their environment and culture and help them to realize that the jungle is truly a valuable resource worth protecting. They do this by involving the local community in tourism-based activities and projects as a means to earn a regular income and instill a sense of pride in their surroundings.
Diwali falls on the 15th day of the Indian lunar month of Kartika. The Festival of Lights is a time for positivity and joy and as Intrepid Express reader Carli Darbyshire discovered, it’s a wonderful time to be in India…
“Arriving in Delhi during Diwali festival I felt like I had entered another world. Despite the constant problems with electricity, every house was lit up like crazy with each house trying to out do their neighbours efforts. The sky was illuminated every split second with flares, Chinese fire crackers and fireworks until late in the night. The sounds ricocheted off buildings and if you closed your eyes you could believe you were right in the middle of a war zone, but open your eyes and it looks like a fairy tale!
Q: What do a tombola in Westbury, a BBQ in Cuzco, a gourmet picnic in Florence, a bike ride in Hanoi, spiderman sightings in Lima, pot luck dinners in Toronto, a trail clean-up in Oregon, a grand auction in Nairobi, movies in Melbourne and cowboys in Beijing have in common?
A: They were all part of the activities and antics of our 2nd annual Intrepid Foundation Day.
After a successful year raising and distributing over AU$440,000 to 50 beneficiary organisations, The Intrepid Foundation’s special day was all about celebrating this achievement and getting as many Intrepid offices, leaders (and their groups) as possible participating in activities to further increase their awareness of the Foundation’s activities and the terrific community organisations we support.
Walking the Great Wall is a fantastic real life experience and hard to beat, but Intrepid traveller Dianna Janson enjoyed another highlight on her China trip that not only did she write home about, but she couldn’t wait to re-live when she got home…
“Throughout my Iconic China trip our group enjoyed a lot of time tasting the many foods and flavours from different cities and regions. We tried tender and delicious Peking Duck in Beijing, amazing dumplings in Shanghai and a fantastic hot pot in Xi’an, but my favourite food moment took place in the scenic rural town of Yangshuo.
It might be hard to put into words what it’s like to spot your first wild animal, but Intrepid’s Danielle Jeffreson still can’t stop talking about her South Africa experience…
“It’s 5.30am and the temperature is hovering around a fairly chilly 10 degrees Celsius (50F). We are about to set off on our first game drive in search of the Big 5 in Kruger National Park. The open backed safari vehicle definitely gets the cool wind rushing through your hair and everyone is excited with the prospect of sighting their first animal.
Seeing the iconic site of Machu Picchu is on so many travel ‘bucket lists’, and for good reason. But the 4-day trek at high altitude is no walk in the park, so Intrepid’s Dyan Mckie couldn’t wait to tell her mum that she made it all the way…
“We set off to take the Inca Trail in our stride; our Intrepid group of 11 plus local leader, Ernie, and great team of porters. The trek took us over passes as high as 4,000 metres – Dead Woman’s Pass is the highest and believe me, you feel like a less-than-lively lady when you finally reach the summit. I won’t kid you, it was hard work for a desk-bound girl like myself. Uphill all the way and when my lungs weren’t screaming, my legs were!