Stretching for over 1,500 km, Vietnam is a country that varies dramatically from north to south, both geographically and culturally. Divided for over twenty years by war and politics, to get a true picture of Vietnam you have cross the old boundaries and see the country from top to bottom.
Traversing the country by public transport will give you a good insight in to the daily lives of Vietnamese people, and is probably the cheapest way to travel.
But if you like a little more independence, as well as a little more comfort when you travel, hiring a car and driving yourself could be ideal.
If the drab grey concrete of the city is getting you down, you’re planning on packing up your vehicle and heading out into greener surrounds, then half of the fun – alright, maybe not half, but definitely at least a tenth – is in the packing and prepping of your off road survival kit.
Your exact kit list will of course depend on the length of your intended trip and the climate and terrain you plan to cover. But there are a good few items that no one should be without.
Before you start, think about how much space you want to dedicate to your survival kit. Too big and you end up with half a repair shop and the pharmacy section of Boots in your pack. Too small and you may find yourself lost in the wilderness trying desperately to remember what it was Bear Grylls said about escaping from bears.
It’s grim isn’t it? The weather, I mean. Makes you want to bury your head in the pillow and stay that way till next spring. After a summer of love – a summer that saw Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France and massively inspiring moments of Olympic glory – winter is at our door.
But before you reach for the biggest, fattest winter jacket you can find, consider this: as you lie there moping, bemoaning your status a citizen of a northern-hemisphere nation, some people out there are soaking up the last rays of sun in the most southerly corner of Europe – the Canaries.
I say, extend your adventure, head south and there’s activity breaks in the Canaries that will keep you enthused until spring.
Peru, for many people, is all about one thing. And that “thing” – that awe-inspiring, truly majestic “thing” – tends to overshadow all the other “things” that Peru has to offer. Need I state what it is? Alright, that “thing”, for those who hadn’t already clocked what the “thing” is from the title of this blog, is Machu Picchu. There I said it.
‘The Lost City of the Incas’, with its llama at the fore and its mountain at its rear, is an image so well imprinted in our minds, that those who haven’t been there think that they have and those who have…well, they’re still scratching their heads wandering whether it’s all real.
But is it really the best Inca site?
Yes it is. But to ensure ‘MP’ didn’t top my list (scandalous, I know), I looked for the places where the visitor can really connect with the people who built this once mighty empire, as well as the legendary gods who oversaw it.
A man once described camping as “nature’s way of promoting the motel industry”. Perhaps he had a bad experience. Perhaps he made mistakes. I know the feeling… In my time I’ve made just about every mistake in the book, and I’ve come to realise that a little planning beforehand can be the difference between an enjoyable experience, and a disastrous one.
I have done my fair share of camping; from family activity holidays on campsites surrounded by children, to impulsive adventures in the wilderness surrounded by animals (although the latter two parts are not that dissimilar).
Drawing on these experiences, I share the following advice with you. Avoid these common camping errors and you’ll remain one happy camper!
There are almost too many good reasons to get into trekking: the astonishing scenery, the unparalleled health benefits, the sense of freedom, the feeling of achievement when you reach your destination.
Every year countless people across the world take up trekking for the first time. However, like any other sport, you can’t expect to take on the toughest challenges as a beginner – you’ll need to start humbly and build yourself up to the big hikes.
So let Explore!, one of the leading tour operators in this field, present some of the very best Trekking Holidays for First timers.
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking”. And in the modern world, filled with mobile phones, wi-fi hotspots, Twitter and digital TV, walking is one of the few pastimes left where our imaginations have the space to expand.
Walking is also a fantastic way to get to know a new country. You may not see as much of it as you would driving or travelling by plane, but the parts that you do see you will affect you in a more profound way.
There are plenty of well-trodden walking routes around the world, but if you want to experience something really different and unique, you need to get off the metaphorical (and literal) beaten path and discover something new.
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