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…

No point going half way

Last night I attended a fantastic conference in Perth, Australia on innovation in development. This video was shown as the opening gambit and it set the positive scene for the panel discussion that followed. Speaking was a international development health specialist, an ex-foreign minister, the recently retired Head of the Australian Diplomatic Service and the…

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…

A fair price for Coffee?

I love the Australian cafe culture. Good tasting coffee served in an ambient environment with the clunk of cups and warm chatter in the background. One of our main suppliers of coffee beans is Colombia, however, their farmers were on strike in June over the price of coffee. We all enjoy a good cup of coffee…

Can tourism ever be sustainable?

In the last post I explored how a community off western Scotland is trying to be sustainable. While they are more sustainable than most, they are not self sufficient when it comes to food and income, and rely on tourism during the summer months to keep the island alive in its current form. There are…

Sustainable tourist destination

When we look at where to visit where your impact (excluding transport to / from the location) is largely sustainable, then perhaps consider a trip to the Isle of Gigha off western Scotland. Gigha is a community owned island where, through locally elected representatives, the islanders continue to maintain, regenerate and develop the island in…

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…