When you ask your friend what they did last weekend, “Went to Iceland” probably isn’t the answer you expected. Intrepid’s Katy Rockett made an impromptu trip to one of Intrepid’s newest destinations and is very glad she did…
“When my friend, and fellow Intrepid employee, mentioned the idea of going on a last-minute weekend getaway to Iceland, I thought she was seriously off her rocker… so of course I couldn’t resist jumping on board! Iceland had always been on my list of places to visit so it seemed an opportunity too good to pass up.
At any given opportunity our Intrepid team are off exploring all corners of the world, but you’ll also find we each have our favourites that we love returning to time and time again. So we asked Intrepid’s Jo Edgely to tell us about her special place…
“My favourite place in the world is undoubtedly Malaysian Borneo… I first went there as an Intrepid group leader back in 1999, and leading there for over three years, there was a point when I never thought I would leave. Now based in Melbourne, I make the journey every year to visit, because travelling in Borneo leaves you with a feeling that there is more to life, and that’s something I always want to remember.
In July this year Lynne Yeaman joined a special Intrepid group travelling to Ladakh with professional travel photographer and renowned author, Steve Davey. Steve’s photography tours are always a fantastic way to gain an insight into a destination, while having the opportunity to fine tune your photographic skills and feed off Steve’s passion and enthusiasm…
“The fun began prior to departure with Steve forming a Facebook group for participants and it was like meeting old friends by the time we all arrived in Delhi!
Stepping into a hospital is something that most travellers hope to avoid on their holidays, but recently Intrepid’s Jane Crouch was happy to make a special visit in Cambodia for a real life-giving experience…
“Siem Reap and its surrounds are so full of contrasts. You’ve got the extraordinary ruins of the various temples of Angkor, giving you some insight into ancient lives. There are the opulent hotels which remind you of how some of the rich may travel. And then you have in-your-face poverty, where you know some of the local people are unsure where their next meal will come from.
The conflict between the haves and have-nots can be unsettling. But in Siem Reap I found some salve for my conscience, in giving the best gift of all – life!
What could be so uncomfortable about stepping into a sauna in Russia? Intrepid group leader Denis Sobnakov explains…
“One of my favourite places is Turka, a village on the shores of the beautiful Lake Baikal. With only a few people living here, this simple and very rural community can be considered one of the most peaceful places on the planet. But from time to time the quiet is disturbed with sounds of water splashing and people screaming. That’s when you know an Intrepid group has arrived and they are experiencing their first Russian banya!
This week there has been a lot of publicity about the tragic events at the Water Festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where over 370 people were trampled to death in a stampede as the crowd became panicked. It was a tragic incident and our thoughts are with all those affected by the event. Thankfully we can confirm that none of our travellers and staff or their friends and families were involved.
Intrepid’s Graham Stanley was in Siem Reap to visit our Cambodian office at the same time as the Water Festival…”The festivities here in Siem Reap were a lot less news-worthy and it was actually a fantastic occasion. The Water Festival is one of the largest festivals in Cambodia. The town was full of foreign visitors, as well as Cambodian tourists from other cities or the countryside wanting to be a part of the event.
Some will say they dread overnight trains throughout Asia, but have you considered that they are environmentally, economically and socially beneficial? Intrepid’s Nicki Gibson explains why travelling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be so much fun…
“Trains are cheaper than flying and you don’t lose a valuable day traveling – as you pass your journey through the night, comfortably sleeping after socialising in the disco carriage. Yes, there is a disco carriage – well of sorts. It’s a buffet carriage and there is a party ready to happen if you want to add the ingredients!
Years of Intrepid-community partnership is being celebrated naturally with new mangrove growth in southern Thailand…
Intrepid groups travelling in the region get to visit the inspiring Leeled community, where they enjoy warm hospitality, an amazing experience of local life, and the chance to explore the coastline where community conservation efforts have led to more than 1000 hectares of new forest!
Life in Leeled is intimately connected with water. Community members live on the banks of serene waterways which flow from the Tapi River. They collect food, building materials and medicines from the mangroves, which border a tapestry of canals reaching out to the open sea of Baan Don Bay.
Having boarded one of the world’s longest train journeys so many times, there isn’t much that Intrepid’s Denis Sobnakov doesn’t know about the fantastic Trans-Siberian Railway. But this is one adventure that is as much about the people you meet as it is about the distance travelled…
“Every train journey between Russia, Mongolia and China has to take Trans-Siberian tracks. Considering that it is about 10,000 km and we travel almost a half of it, it’s no wonder there are a lot interesting happenings along the way.