The Great Wall

Over 10 million people visit the Great Wall of China every single year. 10 Million. Now that is a lot of people. To give you an idea of how that compares with other great historical wonders last year, Stonehenge saw 1.34 million visitors, Machu Picchu was limited to 2500 visitors a day ( 912,500 people…

Cambodia’s history

This post is likely to be challenging, intentionally so. It provides details of the Cambodian genocide which took place between 1975 and 1979. I have chosen to include it because, when considering how to travel consciously and how to be a balanced tourist, it is worth being aware of the recent history of the country,  and the…

Fair Trade and the World Social Forum

  I have previously written about Colombian coffee and the Fairtrade brand. We learnt how ‘Fairtrade’ was a brand name for goods such as coffee, tea and cotton that meet certain criteria such as providing a minimum price for goods and financial opportunities for reinvestment or development of an organisation. Well, today is the first day…

Early explorers – Taiwan’s Indigenous people

Did you know that Taiwan is made up of approximately 2.5% Indigenous people who were estimated to have inhabited the land approximately 8000 years ago (the Han Chinese migrated to Taiwan in the 17th Century)? I didn’t, until recently.  I was fascinated to discover it, so I thought that I’d share it with you. Here is…

Crossing the Gobi

Adventurers have always been around, but less common in history are the tales of women adventurers.  Of course some women travellers did exist, however, generally women were denied the ability to travel so their literary works revolved around waiting for someone or something to come to them – think Jane Austin with the women waiting at home…

Fairtrade = Good, right?

I know that Fairtrade equals good, but i’m not sure that I totally understand why it is good or what it is really setting out to do. So I am going to write a couple of blogs delving into the real meaning of fair trade and the impact that it is having on development. As…

Tokyo, Japan

I visited Japan late last year for the first time in a while. Here are some of my thoughts from an afternoon transiting through Tokyo. Travel from Narita airport to the Shinjuku bus station was relatively easy (when making transit plans, do remember that there is more than one international airport in Tokyo). I opted for the cheapest option at…

Sleeper train to Hoian

The scenery outside is incredibly lush with bright green bamboo, coconut trees, banana trees and rice paddy fields in abundance on this flat fertile land. The dark threatening sky provides an indication as to why this area is so agricultural. There are areas of fruit trees, cordoned off behind concrete facade walls with broken glass…

Laos silk

Finally, a place that doesn’t have good wifi! Laos. A beautiful country, amazing people (super smiley) and a relaxing place to hang out in for a few days, weeks or months. While meandering around the streets of Vientiane I happened across a little wooden sign saying “Laos silk” so wondered through the gate into the…

English speaker abroad in China

In the past I’ve visited China but never when unaccompanied by (or when I haven’t found) a Chinese speaker. This time however, that was the case and boy, was it a challenge at times. So for those of you who might not know or find a local to show you around, here are some helpful…

China

If you’re looking for a macro adventure then China is certainly a country that will provide challenge, confusion and stunning scenery to those unaccustomed to her ways. What a magnificent place, and yet also such a frustrating place. The first thing to get your head around is the scale of everything. Huge does not describe…

Bhutan is carbon negative

Tshering Tobgay has proudly explained how his landlocked country of 750,000 people up in the Himalayas has managed to remain carbon neutral and now has developed itself to be carbon negative. The country is Bhutan. If you’re not even sure where Bhutan is then watch the video – he’ll show you, along with some beautiful pictures…