If anyone needs me, I’ll be out buying a mountain bike and overcoming my crippling fear of heights.
Yogyakarta is definitely one our favourite cities in South East Asia. That’s a pretty big claim, but we have our reasons; from the wonderful temples on the outskirts of the city, to rural village life which exists just a short bike ride from the central hustle and bustle.
As the cultural hub of Java, Yogyakarta has so much to offer. Whether you enjoy perusing the eye-catching graffiti covered walls, getting arty in a batik class, or exploring the surrounding area for a flavour of local life. Adventure enthusiasts can also get their thrills, with the choice of jeep rides up nearby Mount Merapi, rafting, and caving.
Bagan (or Pagan if you can speak Burmese) is a spectacular ancient city in Central West Burma that expands for miles across arid land. Founded in the first century BC, the city flourished in the 9th and 10th centuries AD to become the Bagan we travel to today.
Temples and pagodas galore sit amid this epic landscape, which lend the area the iconic image you’ve likely seen in travel magazines and on travel websites time and time again. Detached from the hustle and bustle of Yangon, the city serves as the perfect place to get to grips with one of our favourite modes of transport in Burma: the humble bicycle.
Going on holiday is synonymous with three of life’s purest pleasures: eating, drinking and relaxing.
So if, like me, you’re someone who enjoys the sadistic ritual of regular exercise, then you are a prime candidate for succumbing to ‘Travel Bulge Syndrome’ – TBS – where you feel you’ve earned the right to relax your diet and exercise routine a little, so you go ahead and eat your bodyweight in patatas bravas and chorizo all day every day. And follow it up with gelato. And a beer. Because, you know, you earned it, right?
Intrepid trips have always been designed to be as planet friendly as possible – using public transport where we can, staying in smaller locally owned and operated accommodation where available, buying local produce and carefully managing precious resources such as energy and water.
And since 2010, the majority of our trips are carbon offset – this means we measure the carbon emissions from the transport, accommodation and waste generated and contribute to emissions reduction programs ‘balancing out’ these emissions.
There’s no doubt cycling gives you a chance to meet the locals in ways that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Handle-bar height gives you the best view of Vietnam and as Jo Gilbert discovered, once you rise to the challenge of the roads for the first time, you’ll be freewheeling all the way!