If you prefer your sporting pursuits to be more cerebral than physical, be sure to brush up on your board games before travelling to Asia. Mikey Leung is no grandmaster, but he still enjoys checking out the chess scene on his Asian adventures…
“On the streets of China you can see groups of old men strategically slamming wooden pieces on boards in a fervent display of chess machismo. Across this enormous nation the game is essentially the same, though round wooden blocks with painted Chinese characters take the place of carved wooden figurines. Therefore, mastering this game involves not only learning some new rules, but also a few Chinese characters as well.
Did you know that your spare clothes can help build bridges and clean up water supplies? Well they can in India, when they come together with GOONJ, a local organisation supported by The Intrepid Foundation.
A bamboo bridge built in Assam, a pond cleaned in a remote corner of Orissa and many such development works across the country are some great examples of how the discarded material of cities can be turned into a big resource under GOONJ’s nationwide initiative Cloth for Work. The ‘genesis of a parallel economy’, as management experts are calling it!
Traditionally made by carving out the trunk of ebony or kigelia trees, the mokoro is the most popular mode of transport for navigating Botswana’s Okavango Delta. It’s no wonder that traversing these wonderful waterways in a dugout canoe, or modern fibreglass version, is such a trip highlight, but as Fay Whitelaw discovered, hippos still have right of way in the Delta…
“We had a wonderful, relaxing ride at sunset in a mokoro in the Okavango Delta. It was an amazing experience, lazing back while our guide poled us through the reeds. We even saw an elephant taking his arvo drink from the Delta after a hot day. It was great having a new perspective – looking back at this huge mammal from the water. We enjoyed a lovely evening and had plenty of pics to prove it. An experience that could have only been improved if we had a bottle of wine!
There are approximately 10,000 tuk tuks constantly buzzing about Bangkok. Thanks to a government funded re-fit, these previously noisy and air-polluting machines are now more eco-friendly and are such a fun way to get around. In fact, Intrepid travellers like Carla Wilson love them so much that these iconic vehicles are the stars of one of our Bangkok Urban Adventures…
“I had a free day in Bangkok before my last Intrepid trip, so I decided to do Tuk Tuk Experience. The 5-hour tour was great way to explore the city’s backstreets and it gave us enough time to get to know some of the sites. Our colourful tuk tuks picked us up at the hotel and whisked us to an amulet market, which was really interesting. Our guide Jo was very enthusiastic about explaining the significance of the charms to ward off evil and what they mean to local people.
We are thrilled to announce that Intrepid has been voted the winner of the Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages for 2011!
For the last 5 years Intrepid has been a very proud supporter of The Climate Project – helping to educate our networks and support positive actions to address the climate crisis. Through our own major efforts to reduce and offset our carbon pollution, we were very chuffed to achieve carbon neutrality in late 2010, and are continuing to take measures to manage our environmental impacts.
The Climate Reality Project (known formerly as The Climate Project), founded and chaired by Vice President Gore, is launching a new global campaign to broadcast the reality of the climate crisis and mobilize people to help solve it. The campaign kicks off with 24 Hours of Reality, a worldwide, live streamed event on September 14-15.
Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s classic mountain climbs, but only 70% of trekkers get to reach the highest point, Uhuru Peak. 90% make it to the crater rim, but as Claudine Haber discovered, even that is no walk in the park…
“Dora knocks on my door, she is holding a list of things I must take for the climb. I scan the list and show her each item. There are some things I don’t have, so she takes me to the storage room where a menagerie of clothing, glasses, trekking gear are housed. I gather what I think I might need. She gives me a sack to put my items in. When all is complete, I am ushered to a briefing session that gives us a run down of the ins and outs of this fascinating mountain and tips on how to survive. So here I am, Heidi-like plaits, boots, wooden climbing stick, Wina’s blanket (I promised to take it to the top) and ready to yodel up a mountain without a goat.
What’s big, blue-grey in hue and has had a growth spurt of 70cm in one day? It’s New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier, or Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere as its known in Maori.
With the unfamiliar white ground crunching as I walked along this 12km (7.5 mile) icy path, it took a while before I was prepared to trust my crampons to save me from sliding down Franz Josef Glacier. But with every step and word of encouragement from our local guide, my confidence increased and my focus turned to the incredible beauty of the stark frozen landscape.
Since 2006, Intrepid Thailand has given Intrepid travellers a special shoulder bag, emblazoned with the call to action “Say No to Plastic” in Thai and English. Any guesses as to how many bags have been given out?
The bags are produced by a women’s cooperative, Tae Moh Hai, meaning Our Friends Hands in local Kuy dialect. The group live in a small village, Baan Sawaii, located in Sri Saket province, in north-eastern Thailand. The initiative was established by former Intrepid group leader, Dtor, in her home village, with the aim to create work for local families and to motivate local people to understand the importance of conserving the environment.
When Florence Masetla left home for a well-earned R&R break in Thailand, little did she expect to return with a whole new outlook on life…
“Early this year I left on yet another overseas adventure. I remember when I left South Africa winter was upon us and I was more than happy to leave the frost and work/life pressures behind for sunny, serene Thailand. Boy, I was up for a rude awakening that would not only make me think, but would change my life for the better.