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.
Did you know that 7000 stunning, tropical islands make up the Philippines? We are overjoyed to return to this exciting archipelago, because as Intrepid traveller Esbjorn Torstensson explains, it’s the type of place that leaves a lasting impression from the moment you arrive…
“After going through the normal customs stuff we jumped in a taxi bound for our hotel – this was our first visit to the Philippines. Driving out from the airport, our taxi driver took a good look at us and shouted with a big smile “Welcome to the Philippines!” He continued to explain the ‘tradition’ of giving all taxi drivers a gold coin souvenir when arriving to the Philippines.
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.
One of Intrepid’s newest trips, Journey to Jerusalem, shares its name with the book by Grace Halsell, a play by Maxwell Anderson and a Biblical tale. The region has in fact inspired many great literary works and as Intrepid Express reader Doug Lyon discovered, regardless of faith, Israel is a remarkable place to visit…
“Arriving in Jerusalem I was struck by the contrast between ancient and modern. People in modern clothes walked beside those in religious garb and with others wearing traditional clothing. The presence of religion was everywhere, from the Islamic students to the Jewish and to the Christian. There are many mosques, cathedrals, synagogues, and small churches to visit and tour. The rich history of the city was awe-inspiring.
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.
If you want a book that ignites your pure passion for adventure, then you can’t go past Hunting Pirate Heaven, that follows the trail of old pirates to Madagascar. And if you want a real life adventure that inspires your own travel tales, then Intrepid’s Megan Hancock explains why Experience Madagascar could be your muse…
“You’ll get to see a lemur!”, was the response when I announced my Madagascar trip to friends. Though the cute local inhabitants were not the catalyst for my visit, I must admit they were something very special once I finally got to see them. I actually headed to the island nation in the Indian Ocean because I wanted to investigate a new destination for Intrepid that would be truly out-there and a long way off the regular tourist trail – Madagascar was this and much more!
“Four men dragged her, screaming and pleading, into an empty stable next to a meeting area…Once home, she prepared to do what any Pakistani peasant woman would normally do in that situation: kill herself.”
Half the Sky; Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, written by the Pulitzer prize winning couple Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is not a book for the faint hearted! It is a compilation of some horrifying true stories used to unashamedly jolt readers into action to address the oppression of women.
Although it makes for a heavy read and delves into some rather sickening individual anecdotes, Half the Sky is also an inspiring narrative of how women, with a little support, can overcome their adversity and create great positive change within their communities.
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!