At Intrepid, we believe that all animals are created equal. But let’s be honest, not every animal is worth planning your entire holiday around. That’s probably why we don’t get many people booking our Asia trips just to see a donkey. And we don’t see many travellers flocking to Kenya to see the giant African millipede…
But polar bears are different. With the swagger of a prize-fighter, these epic beasts can weigh more than 540 kilograms and can reach heights of almost 3 metres tall. But it’s not just their imposing physique. There is a definite soulfulness about these lonely, highly intelligent creatures living a solitary existence on never-ending deserts of ice.
If you don’t go in search of an adventure, chances are you won’t find one. The same can be said for Bali in Indonesia – a fantastic destination that’s reputation for adventure travel has suffered thanks to the ugly face of tourism that a very tiny part of this tropical island attracts. Yobs or bogans, whatever you call them, we all know the types. They make us cringe when we see their culturally insensitive actions and inappropriate, bordering on stupid, behaviour – but Intrepid’s Dom Morgan explains why you shouldn’t let an ignorant few influence your impressions of Bali…
“It’s not a place I ever thought would be worth going. Why go to Bali when in other parts of Asia you can scale the Great Wall, explore the temples of Angkor or indulge in ramen in Kyoto? So what got me over the line? I’ll be honest – cheap airfares and really making the most of a couple of days of annual leave. Like most skeptics, I didn’t have great expectations – I was just excited at the prospect of waking up on Monday morning and going for a swim rather than switching on a computer and sitting dormant for 8 hours. That and an airfare sale, was enough to get me on that plane.
Mexican food was the first to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Cuisine. And as the birthplace of many now traditional dishes, including mole poblano, chalupas, cemitas, and chiles en nogada, Puebla is a good place to get to know the local treats.
If you’re visiting, here are 10 locations that MatadorU student Jessica Festa recommends for tasting authentic Mexican food…
Can you imagine the entire Russian Federation being reconstructed in miniature? The diminishing Soviet Union tradition and technique of producing scale models has been resurrected for this impressive project and Intrepid Group Leader, Boris ‘Bob’ Golodets, walks us through this interactive work of art…
“Known as the Grand Maket or ‘Grand Model’, it is the one of the most unusual museums of Russia. It’s an incredibly interesting miniature depiction of my country and it is in my city, St Petersburg.
Always wanted to go to Vietnam? Jeremy Bookman explains why he gives it the thumbs up…
“This journey was a long time coming, but even with all the anticipation my Intrepid adventure still exceeded my wildest dreams. I finally found myself on the Vietnam Express trip going south from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. After a day or two adjusting to life in South East Asia, we left the kinetic pace of Hanoi behind for the serenity of Halong Bay.
Let’s face it, after we’ve had a few more than we care to count, our birthdays do become a bit of a blur. So Jeanne Miner decided to make sure this her next birthday would really stand out…
“For my 50th birthday my husband and I went to Cost Rica for a week-long party. It was amazing! We zip lined high above the tree tops, went canyoning and rappelled down waterfalls! I have never done any of these things before and they made me feel like I could do anything.
“My first ever cup of coffee was in somewhat distinguished circumstances!”, writes Jane Crouch, Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager. “It was May 2003 and Timor-Leste (East-Timor) had just celebrated their first anniversary of the restoration of independence, and our Intrepid group was invited for coffee early one Sunday morning to the home of Jose Ramos-Horta – Timor-Leste’s then Foreign Minister.”
“I still recall how spirited I felt all day. Was it the caffeine in that tiny but powerful cup? Or was it the circumstances and the company? No doubt it was the whole combination… and I still feel a tingle down my spine as I recall the day and my anticipation of a brighter future for this emerging independent nation, that had chosen freedom from Indonesian rule and oppression.
No doubt about it. The sheer abundance of wildlife in the Galapagos is enough to overwhelm even the most ardent nature fan. From sea lions to tortoises, to blue-footed boobies and rare iguanas, you’ll quickly lose yourself in the many wonders of these incredible islands. For most of us it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, so you want to make sure you cover off all the highlights and then some. Here, travel bloggers and possibly the most adventurous couple we know, The Planet D, nominate their must-see experiences on a tour of the Galapagos…
“Straddling the Equator 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador is a magical archipelago of volcanic islands known as the Galapagos. It is here you will find one of the world’s most unique ecosystems, housing species endemic only this South American Environment.
Burma tops the hot list of places to visit in 2013 and Intrepid’s Nicola Frame discovers that you’ll be welcomed with open arms by the beautiful people of this fascinating country…
“Everywhere I went in Burma, the local people smiled broadly and called out a welcoming mingalabar, the local word for ‘hello’. But I was greeted especially warmly when I was wearing tanaka, a white-gold, shimmery paste which was applied to my cheeks like a rather gaudy blusher. Made from ground bark, it’s a form of sunscreen that Burmese women and children use to prevent their skin from burning, and my adoption of this local custom seemed to please everyone I met.