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. (more…)
Samarkand, one of the legendary cities of the Silk Road, is a place of many marvels and mysteries. Intrepid’s Tara Kennaway takes us to Uzbekistan to uncover the unusual…
“Travellers are immediately drawn to the magnificent Registan – the immaculately decorated medressa and mosque complex that dominates the centre of the Old Town – and mesmerised by other glittering remnants of Samarkand’s golden past such as Guri Amir, Tamerlane’s gilt lined mausoleum. But on the dusty fringes of the town, surrounded by sloping hills and with a stream running by is perhaps the most curious site of all: the Tomb of the Prophet Daniel.
Being stuck below ground is our worst nightmare, but imagine if you were forced to look the devil in the eye every morning as you headed into the subterranean world. Intrepid traveller Jacqueline Donaldson discovered what it was like for the underground workers of Bolivia…
“If God is in the sky then the devil must be in the ground” was what a Potosi miner told me when I was surprised by an effigy of the devil on entering the dark entrance to a mine in the intriguing city of Potosi. As I watched, miners filed past giving small offerings to the devil to keep them safe for the working day.
Trying to decide the best real life experiences on Intrepid’s Balkan Adventure was a challenge for Intrepid traveller Deborah Netolicky. So to start with here are her top five places to eat and drink…
1. The Buza Bars, Dubrovnik.
Finding the secret little alleys through the old town walls to these rocky sea-side bars is half the fun!
2. Ulica Laze Teleckog, Novi Sad.
Pick any of the very cool, very busy, hilariously-themed bars on this street for drinks any night of the week. 1940s Cuba, Ye Olde England, bookstore chic, pirate arrrgh, Mexican sombrero cool – you name it, it’s there!
We recently asked Intrepid Express readers to tell us about their best travelling coincidences and apart from hearing some great ‘six degrees of separation’ tales, stories like Sharon Slater’s proved beyond doubt that it’s a very small world…
“Last year I travelled across Northern Africa from Cairo to Marrakesh on a small group tour. In fact there were less than 10 of us left by the time we reached Morocco. None of us had known each other before the tour, except for an Aussie couple on their way to work in the UK.
After six weeks of wonderful and exotic experiences we all said good-bye at Marrakesh and headed our separate ways; most of us bound for further travels but different destinations.
It’s believed by many that the world’s first recipes date back to the time of the Pharoahs. In ancient Egypt the staple diet included bread, honey, peas, beans and tasty vegetables such as garlic and onions, with meat only consumed on special occasions.
Today many delicious vegetarian dishes can still be enjoyed in Egypt and here are two recipes that have definitely stood the test of time…
Based on the amount of vodka consumed in Russia, you can be excused for thinking everything is pickled! But there happens to be a special vegetable preserve that is celebrated each summer, as Intrepid’s Rachel Wasser explains…
“Entering Suzdal, in Moscow’s Golden Ring and just three hours from the capital, is like stepping back in time. Our Taste of Russia trip visits this unique city and helps convey a totally different image of Russia than any of the bigger cities like Moscow or St Petersburg.
Mongolia is not a country renowned for being vegetarian-friendly. Because of the traditional nomadic lifestyle, as well as the harsh climate, growing vegetables hasn’t formed part of the local way of life.
People joke that in Mongolia you eat meat, more meat, with a side order of meat on top of that. So Intrepid’s Laura Carroll was pleasantly surprised to find that, at least in Ulaanbaatar, it’s possible to be vegetarian without too much trouble…
“In the city, there are actually three purely vegetarian restaurants. Ananda Cafe supports the Lotus Children’s Centre and local teens gain work experience by serving up tasty vegetarian dishes on a menu that changes every day. It’s a good place to go, knowing that in addition to enjoying a good meal you’re also supporting a good cause.
In the markets of Vietnam you will see mounds of fresh and delicious tofu – so many different kinds cooked in every way possible.
Here are a few recipes for you to enjoy at home, to keep your wonderful memories of Indochina on the tip of your tongue…
Tofu Soup (Canh Dau Hu)
3 large dried shiitake mushrooms
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
20 rau ram leaves, plus extra for garnish, or 10 sprigs cilantro, plus extra leaves for garnish
6 ounces baby bok choy, root ends trimmed, and leaves separated, or spinach
10 ounces medium-firm tofu, rinsed, drained, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
coarse sea salt
freshly ground white pepper
1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally