Last month, Jane Crouch, Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, travelled to Vietnam to see first-hand the progress of the four Intrepid Foundation projects we support there. Each of the community projects are quite different, but all have in common a great enthusiasm and can sense they are tackling enormous tasks that are very important and meaningful…
“My first stop was KOTO’s new Saigon Training Centre, where 50 young people of disadvantaged backgrounds have embarked on a full-time training program in hospitality and life skills. After 10 years of great success in Hanoi, KOTO branched into Ho Chi Minh City in January, and by the end of this year will be opening a restaurant. The KOTO trainees are fully immersed, with practical and theory classes 5 days a week, a sports program on Saturdays (including an Aussie rules football clinic!) and fun activities on Sunday mornings like hip-hop classes.
The Intrepid flag is at half mast, with the very sad news that Intrepid Vietnam leader, Bill Raymond, passed away in Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok on Tuesday 23rd November. Bill was travelling with his sister in Cambodia the previous week when he suffered a brain haemorrhage and entered a coma, from which he could not be revived.
Our prayers go with Bill and to his sister Helen, her partner Michael and her daughter. A Buddhist memorial service has been held in Bangkok, also there have been memorial gatherings in honour of Bill in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and an evening is planned in Melbourne.
We put this question to our Intrepid Express readers, “What do you love to discover most when you travel?” It’s no surprise that culture, cuisine and meeting local characters came out on top…
“My most favourite thing to discover when traveling is to discover a country’s culture. To see what their favourite foods are, time they eat, what their daily rituals are and what time they go to bed. Most countries’ cultures are so diverse and it’s definitely the most exciting thing to be part of it and to try their culture first hand.” ‘Travel enthusiast’ Danielle Diedericks
“There is an old Chinese proverb that says one should travel ten thousand miles than read a thousand books. Following the advice of the ancient sages, I usually try to do both at the same time when I travel, carrying a good book that’s apropos for my destination to while away those long hours in various airport lounges. But what I truly love about travel, is the actual process of discovery. Travels opens our eyes to a world beyond our own, delivering surprises, challenges, laughter and confrontation, sobering our senses with stories of tragedy, misfortune and oppression.
Child sex trafficking is a global phenomenon that effects every country. A recent study funded by The Intrepid Foundation was conducted by Child Wise (in Australia) in partnership with The Body Shop as part of their global ‘Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People’ campaign. The three year campaign promotes greater community awareness on the issue of child sex tourism, which in turn feeds the international demand for child sex trafficking.
The report is based on results from a survey of 18,000 Australians. The most notable findings of the ‘Community Attitudes on Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People Survey Report’ conducted nationally in 2009 were that while 93% of people surveyed said that they were significantly concerned about child sex trafficking, 69% of people did not know what to do if they became aware of a child being sexually exploited overseas.
Did you know that junior monks follow a set of 10 precepts or rules of conduct, while a fully ordained Buddhist monk observes 227 precepts? One of their daily monastic observances is the alms food collection. Each monk carries his own bowl and with around 300,000 monks in Thailand you’d think the bowl business would be booming, but as Steve Davey explains, hand-made baat are an endangered craft…
“If you are up early enough, then you will be able to see the same ritual played out all over South East Asia. Just before sunrise, Buddhist monks leave the sanctuary of their Wats, or monasteries, and walk silently around the nearby streets collecting alms from the faithful.
If you didn’t already know that Intrepid’s leaders are terrific, then here’s proof. We are thrilled to announce that Soontareeporn Hombuayai (Soon) and Naowarat Janchay (Nok) have won the Tourism […]
Ever wondered what it’s like to travel through South East Asia with no sound? Earlier this year Intrepid’s Nicola Gibson and fellow leader Savath had the pleasure of leading a group of 12 deaf travellers on the Great Indochina Loop. The trip gave them the opportunity to experience new pleasures and emotions throughout South East Asia, that may have otherwise gone unnoticed…
“When you travel through Indochina, try covering your ears and let your other senses override to experience the following… Spring rolls, Pad Thai, pancakes, even crickets and silk worms, the smell of street food cooking fills the air in Bangkok. Absorb the atmosphere of the vibrant non-stop city, as the bright lights of bars and tuk tuks whiz past you in the street.
The South Island of New Zealand is one of the world’s greatest adventure playgrounds. From walking on an amazing glacier to viewing the country’s highest peak, there are so many travel highs, but the top real life experience for Intrepid traveller Kirra Worldon was taking to the water on Milford Sound…
“Dolphins, seals, waterfalls, clouds wisping over and around snow-capped mountains; Milford Sound is one of the most serene and beautiful places on earth. While there are dozens of different ways to explore it, I opted for an up close and personal wildlife experience. Fjord kayaking was an ideal way to embrace the natural spirit of this place.
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).