There’s more to Japan than meets the eye and Intrepid leader Aaron Davis explains why the Land of the Rising Sun can also be music to your ears…
“Japan is a photographer’s dream. From the austere beauty of traditional shrines to the vibrant embroidered designs of women’s kimono or the explosive beauty of cherry blossoms in spring, there’s no doubt that this land is a feast for the eyes! But I always advise Intrepid travellers to take time to close your eyes or put down the camera and just listen to the sounds of the country. There’s a lot to hear.
There’s no need to turn your nose up when you travel, in fact as Intrepid Express reader Paul Lynch explains, follow your nose and you can end up on some unforgettable adventures…
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single sniff” – not exactly the Lao Tzu quote that made the philosopher famous, but it’s close enough. Point being, do cities or countries possess a unique odour?
Travel should broaden the mind but more often dilates the nostrils, depending on the destination. You don’t have to possess the prominent feature of Cyrano de Bergerac to catch a whiff of the Guinness factory in Dublin, nor do you require a GPS to let you know that you have reached Faridabad, a sprawling industrial city north of New Delhi. The schnoz will let you know you have arrived.
Since Jacquie Burnside joined Intrepid as a group leader many moons ago, she’s seen the company grow to be one of the world’s most respected adventure travel operators. You can pack of whole lot of amazing real life experiences into twenty years, and as Jac has just discovered on her latest adventure, it’s amazing how much fun you can cram into 26 days in Ghana and Mali…
“In 1988 on my very first big trip overseas, I took a five month overland safari from Egypt to Tanzania and then up through Central Africa and across the Sahara to Europe! This was at about the same time that Darrell and Manch were travelling with friends on the southbound route from London to Nairobi, when they conceived the business idea that was to become Intrepid Travel. I joined this fledgling company some 5 years later.
The Balinese have always been renowned for their wonderful hospitality, and Intrepid’s Chimene Barrett discovered what generous lengths they will go to for a birthday in Indonesia…
“My husband and I have been lucky to celebrate our birthdays in a few exotic places around the globe. This time we were enjoying the 9 day Bali Adventure and although my husband tried to hide the fact, we all knew he would be celebrating his birthday on this trip.
If you want to enjoy a really memorable birthday celebration, then the first thing you should try to do is find a great buddy like Intrepid’s Marina Mildenhall…
“My friend Ange and I set out for an adventure in Cambodia in late December. We were to start the Heart of Cambodia trip on New Year’s Eve and only four days later, in Siem Reap, it would be Ange’s birthday.
Having spent a wonderful day at Angkor Wat, I had arranged with our leader Marcus to help me execute my birthday plan. I wanted a decorated cake, a tiara (Ange had to wear it throughout dinner) and a Cambodian flag for all of us new Intrepid friends to sign as a memento.
Travel through spectacular Southern Africa with Intrepid to discover a region teeming with wildlife, amazing culture and natural wonders as diverse as they are stunning.
Our recent sale ended on 31 October 2009, but there is still some space available on our great short breaks and small group adventures in the region…
Intrepid travellers to Luang Prabang in Laos have been enthusiastically visiting and supporting the nearby Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre. Thanks to their help, in the last year we have raised a whopping AU$23,800 for the Centre through the Intrepid Foundation!
If you are heading to Laos, don’t miss a visit to meet their first sun bear. Free The Bears, Laos Program Manager, Jane Clegg reports:
“A young male bear was confiscated from a bile farm and brought to us in late April. He was badly injured, weak and in very poor health when he first arrived and in need of care 24 hours a day. Read more
When you take time to get to know a local community the benefits can include a greater understanding of complex cultural contrasts, as Intrepid Express reader Jeremy Wilson discovered in Thailand…
“A short time back, the BBC reported that a rural school in Thailand risked using their campus for a peculiar experiment: they provided an extra washroom on their grounds; one for boys, one for girls, and one for ‘katoeys‘. The headline read “Thai school offers transsexual toilet.”
If encountered by an individual unfamiliar with Thai culture, such an article will automatically elicit some curiosity on the reader’s behalf. There are so many possible questions that an innocent person could potentially pose concerning this unusual topic. Let’s try to illuminate this murky matter.
When considering supporting local events such a the Pamplona running of the bulls or bullfighting in Catalonia, as with most animal welfare matters Intrepid Travel has chosen to side with the experts at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
While we appreciate that events such as Pamplona’s famous bull run are steeped in tradition, it doesn’t detract from the fact that bulls are forced to run en masse down cobbled streets, which causes significant stress and risks serious injury to both the bulls and the people attending. Many of WSPA’s member societies in Spain, France and Portugal are working hard to get this cruel practice banned.
The Intrepid Foundation is very pleased to buck the trend of the financial crisis and give away more money this year to support incredibly worthwhile and effective projects around the globe. All up AU$435,766 is being disbursed to 50 beneficiary organisations!
A big thank YOU to all the donors to The Intrepid Foundation’s Community Project Fund. Along with donations that were matched by Intrepid Travel, 35 community-based grassroots organisations and projects receive donations adding up to AU$211,631. This includes a wide range of activities. From the education of disadvantaged children in Tanzania through Amani Children’s Home and the Village Education Project, to working with the Cyclo Centre to aid welfare, education and support services for cyclo drivers in Cambodia, and helping build a shelter for pregnant elephants-in-waiting via Friends of the Asia Elephant in Thailand.