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Zebras Cuddling

Insights

Burma - Frost thawing

Take a ride off the beaten track to unearth Burma’s hidden gems…

‘Burma by Bike’ – my excitement was initially clouded by apprehension. With the release of the ‘The Lady’ from house arrest in 2010, the end of the tourism boycott and a period of relative stability, the number of visitors to Burma has rapidly increased, turning from pariah to a must-see destination. I was afraid I’d find a country invaded by tourists and slowly losing its authentic character.

Over the hill - Exodus’ Olly Leicester tuks into Kerala

Cycling brings you much closer to the action than sitting on a bus looking through a window and in Southern India there is no shortage of action along high streets, back-roads, highways and backwaters.

Although there were many, the main highlight for me was the incredible climb up to Ooty. It is a tough ride, but a great challenge that rewards your efforts with some stunning views and an enormous sense of achievement at the end.

Floating on air

Over the past two weeks, I have journeyed through three countries on an Exodus overland truck. It had hauled its way up and over a volcanic national park, carefully negotiated primitive hillside roads, slalomed perpetual potholes and weaved around myopic cattle.

I have sat beside a family of mountain gorillas, enjoyed precious moments with orphaned Rwandans, jet boated at the source of the Nile in Uganda, straddled the equator in the pouring rain and watched dumbfounded as a hippo strode past camp at midnight.

Haute Cuisine

There was a sticky area on the white dusted top, a treacherous crust and the sides crumbled easily. But enough of the chocolate cake. High altitude trekking in Ladakh shouldn't just be about food, but somehow the rarefied air heightens one's appetite and as ever food eaten after exertion, especially alpine food is particularly rewarding.

Eye for a bargin

The ground pitches and rolls beneath my foot. I capitulate precariously, grasping a rough knotted rope to maintain my balance. Fortunately it is stretched taught and holds my weight, allowing me to steady myself and clamber onto dry land with an undignified lurch. A week on the waves has clearly given me sea legs. Satisfyingly perched on a weather beaten mooring, I watch the others stagger drunkenly across the wharf.  The traditional Turkish gulet bobs on the tide, varnished wooden cabins gleaming in the Mediterranean sun.

Tourism - A Force for Good? Chris Haslam's View

Chris Haslam is an award-winning journalist, and currently the Chief Travel Writer at the Sunday Times. This article originally appeared in an Exodus brochure. 

There's a school of thought that suggests we should be taking fewer flights, travelling less and spending our holidays at home. Its proponents say that travel for its own sake is both selfish and self-destructive, but there's a counter-argument. Responsible tourism is an overwhelming force for good for the planet, and I've seen the effects, first hand.

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