Intrepid Travel has been collecting spectacles for people in Indochina for the last two years and the results are very encouraging. Thanks to the donations from many Intrepid travellers and Intrepid Express readers we have been able to assist the valuable work of the Children’s Surgical Centre and Emma Levy from CSC in Phnom Penh is very happy to report on their school visits…
“Every Friday during the school term, since 2007, Mr Lam Sambo and his team have visited a primary school in the greater Phnom Penh area and tested the eyesight of students and teachers. He has distributed hundreds of pairs of glasses, and referred numerous patients to Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) if they have more serious conditions such as cataracts or ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid).
Cambodia has an incredible story to tell and books such as When The War Was Over and First They Killed My Father are powerful accounts of the tragedies endured. Travelling through this country you can’t help but be touched by the resilience of the people and those real life experiences will be your tales to tell, as Intrepid’s Carole Heffernan discovers…
“Battambang is the second largest city in Cambodia and with its French Colonial architecture the city retains a very local provincial atmosphere. It is the final stop on Intrepid’s Road to Angkor Westbound and a visit here is a great way to spend the last day before crossing over to Thailand.
We’re thrilled to announce that Intrepid Travel now has 500 carbon offset trips available in 2010!
The move comes on the back of Intrepid’s successful experiment this year with offering 38 carbon offset trips. Our reports show that there were no significant changes in booking patterns to these 38 trips in 2009, with the increased cost not discouraging travellers (on average less than 50 cents per day per traveller). These trips sold more or held steady against other small group adventures.
Bear for breakfast, langur for lunch or tiger for tea? We certainly hope these are not on YOUR dinner plate, but sadly these endangered creatures can be found on some menus in Indochina.
Fortunately we have good news that this situation is changing thanks to the work of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and our Intrepid Foundation partners, TRAFFIC.
Choosing a restaurant in Vietnam’s capital city just got a little easier with the help of a tiny green chef. This cheery culinary figure is turning up on posters in eateries around Hanoi as the logo for WWF and TRAFFIC’s Green Restaurant Campaign to end illegal and/or unsustainable wildlife consumption.
This November, twenty-five emergency services personnel will run 6000km down the east coast of Australia, to draw attention to the dangers of climate change and to raise funds for the development of a safe climate plan for Australia.
The Run will raise awareness and funds for not-for-profit group Safe Climate Australia, which is preparing a low carbon transition plan for Australia.
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.
Travel tips aren’t only about where to go and what to buy – sometimes the best advice is how to behave. You can check Intrepid’s tips on how to be be a responsible traveller and here are ways to help you enjoy harmonious wildlife viewing in Africa…
Respect the ‘personal space’ of the wildlife, this is their habitat. If a visitor/vehicle causes an animal to alter its behaviour, then the visitor has invaded its space and influenced its normal behaviour. Observe nature as it occurs naturally and not as to how it responds to your presence there.
Speak quietly – do not call out, whistle or in other ways try and attract the attention of animals. Noise disturbs them and may antagonise fellow visitors.
A massive human rights violation is going largely unnoticed around the world right now; the illegal trade in children and young people for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC).
Human trafficking is the second largest crime (Belser, 2005) and the fastest growing criminal industry in the world (UNGIFT, 2008). With an estimated 1.8 million children entering the global sex trade each year, many of these children and young people are believed to be victims of trafficking. Human trafficking exists in every region and country the world over; from the poorest to the richest (UNICEF UK, 2003). Due to the underground dealings of the human trafficking network, the real total is expected to far exceed the 1.8 million figure.
Babushka Tonya Makarova, former scientific researcher, goes out onto the street which leads to the Kremlin every Saturday and Sunday in order to earn some money. Next to her small, bright camping tent are framed photos of herself surrounded by children and clippings from newspaper articles.
All week Babushka Tonya is busy making small souvenir felt boots, then an artist decorates them and the result is no ordinary Russian memento. With the money she earns, Baba Tonya buys things that children from a nearby orphanage really need: books, fur boots, clothes and more. A pair of her felt boots cost 300 rubbles, but as Tonya says, “your money will be in the children’s hands.”
We asked Intrepid travellers to join in our anniversary celebrations and re-live their favourite trip moments. Tom Gettings won’t forget his India adventure, that was tops for real life experiences…
“Congratulations on 20 years. I wish I had discovered Intrepid earlier. It’s odd looking back on it that I have not taken that many Intrepid trips, but they provided the most memories and best travel stories. Your organisation also has a great sense of responsibility. Some of the most memorable stories came from my 2002 Unforgettable India trip.