Author: Bianca Caruana

Travellers Share The Main Benefits Of Responsible Tourism

It is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development , the perfect time to shed light on how travelling the right way can have a great impact on the world around us. You may have begun to frequently hear the terms ‘responsible tourism and ‘sustainable tourism’ in travel articles or conversations this year, which is great because it means that the awareness is growing and that the world’s largest commercial service sector industry is acknowledging the potential it truly has. So what are the benefits of responsible tourism and why is it so important? We asked 8 responsible...

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6 Amazing Islands To Visit In Australia

Australia is one big island, but surrounding it are many smaller islands, some of which are arguably some of the most beautiful places on earth. Here is a list of 6 islands you should visit when travelling to Australia. Fraser Island Fraser island is literally a paradise. Situated off the coast of Hervey Bay in Queensland this beautiful stretch of land is known as the largest sand island in the world and is home to the purest breed of Dingo in the world. The island is a popular camping and ecotourism destination, and you can sleep under the stars,...

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10 Things To Know Before Backpacking India

They call it incredible India because of the rich variety of people, places, natural and unnatural landmarks, traditions, colours, cuisines, customs and many more. Home to the wondrous Taj Mahal, the famous Ganges river and the historic Amber Fort many people travel here each year to get a glimpse of one of the most interesting and diverse places on earth. Ask any traveller however, and they’ll tell you that India is not an easy place to travel independently. Unless your tour has sorted out all the complexities of your journey then a little extra effort is needed to tackle this...

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5 Social Enterprises To Support While Visiting India

India is a fascinating country animated with traditions and culture, full of vibrant colours, chaotic cities, rural villages and rich aromas. It’s a country that will amaze you and awe you in more ways than one, and while visiting India can be rewarding it can also be quite challenging at the same time. One of the main challenges we face when visiting India is the exposure to some of the country’s harsh realities, for example the fact that roughly 400 million Indians live in poverty and earn less than $1.25 per day. While one side of India presents us...

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How To Apply For Your Indian Visa While In The UK

Looking to apply for an Indian visa while in the UK even if you’re a non-UK citizen? We’ve got you covered with this simple step-by-step guide.   The good news is that if you want to stay in India less than 1 month your visa application is super easy with India’s recently introduced 1 month tourist E-Visa. Just visit the following link, follow the steps, make a payment, print off the approval letter and you’re ready for India. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html For anyone wanting to spend more than 1 month in India, which is highly likely because 1 month is probably...

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5 Social Enterprises to Support While Visiting Myanmar

You might have noticed in the past 12 months that every travelling soul is talking about or heading to Myanmar, or Burma as some of us might call it. What entices us about this place is the untouched, unscathed atmosphere, a place that stands about 5 – 10 years behind the countries we all know and love like Cambodia and Thailand. However, Myanmar is catching up very fast. While tourism is rapidly growing there so is the infrastructure and industries to manage it. And one advantage of being a latecomer to the tourism industry is the chance to leapfrog...

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An Insider’s List of 10 Free Things to do in Sydney

Sydney is a laidback, yet vibrant city situated perfectly on the shores of the South Pacific Ocean. Famous for its signature landmarks, which include the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Tower, combine that with an almost perfect climate year-round and you have yourself one pretty remarkable city. While some may say that the largest Australian city can be quite expensive to visit, with it’s world-class dining and world-famous landmarks, there are many sights to see that won’t put a dent in the bank account and still provide you with a true Australian experience, as...

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The students of Vietnam who are changing the face of tourism

It seems there is more to be gained through tourism than a monetary advance. These students in Vietnam are changing the face of tourism by volunteering their time to provide visitors with city tours free of charge, the only exchange – cross-cultural communication. All throughout Vietnam students are taking tourism into their own hands and creating the perfect type of mutual cultural exchange between tourists and locals. The tours meet both parties’ needs – tourists want to see a city and learn about the local culture and students want to practice their English skills and learn about a foreign...

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How to choose a homestay in Sapa

Sapa is a beautiful region in the northern part of Vietnam. It’s geographical location makes for the perfectly green environment full of lush hills, tea plantations and agricultural land as far as the eye can see. However, Sapa is not only famous for it’s beauty. It is famous for the eight ethnic tribes that live in this part of the world. Landing a spot on the tourist map not so long ago, Sapa became an interesting destination for one wanting to get an insight into the lives of Vietnamese ethnic minorities. The town centre was built on tourism and...

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8 Things to Know Before Backpacking Myanmar

Myanmar is a fascinating country that is fast becoming discovered by tourists. The people are friendly, the atmosphere is spectacular and the experience is unforgettable. Now is the time to visit Myanmar. Following my recent visit, here are 8 things to know before backpacking Myanmar: 1. Most nationals need a visa to get in the country Different websites may tell you different things but at this moment in time most nationals do need a visa to enter Myanmar. The two main types of visas are a standard tourist visa and an e-visa. An e-visa can be applied for online...

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How to get from Hpa-An to Chiang Mai

Myanmar has been much slower to open up to tourism than other countries in Southeast Asia, and many of us still question whether it is a safe and easy country to travel through. The answer to that question is yes. While some areas still remain off limits most of the country is safe and easy for backpackers to travel, including crossing over the Myanmar/Thailand border. One of the easiest and well-managed crossings of that region is Myawaddy to Mae Sot. Myawaddy is a town in the southeastern part of Myanmar, in the Kayin State. It is situated about 3...

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3 Amazing Animal Encounters in the Philippines that Contribute to Conservation

There’s something wonderful about encounters with creatures of the animal kingdom, but knowing that those encounters contribute to the animal’s conservation rather than their depletion should be a critical point in your decision on whether to take part in that encounter or not. There are still many places around the world where an encounter with animals is contributing to their conservation, and here in the Philippines we want to share with you three encounters where your visit can provide more than just your average travel snap. Swim with Sea Turtles on Apo Island Apo Island is located 7 kilometres...

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7 Things to Know Before Backpacking the Philippines

The Philippines is such a wonderful country to visit. With its stunning coral reefs and some of the best diving spots in the world it is a place people flock to for some fun in the sun. But travelling as a backpacker in this beautiful country can have its challenges. Unless you’ve opted to spend your time beaching around on the white sands of Palawan then you might want to read ahead about some things to know before tackling the land of the 7000 islands. 1. You need a pre-booked flight out of the country As a backpacker pre-planning...

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Choosing an ethical Whale Shark encounter in the Philippines

While the idea of swimming with sharks can be quite terrifying, the idea of swimming with the world’s largest shark can be almost death defying, unless of course that shark happened to be an omnivore that mainly feeds on tiny, spec sized plankton. The whale shark is one of this earth’s most marvellous creatures and, given its harmless nature, has joined the bucket lists of many individuals longing for an encounter with the giants of the ocean.  Migrating along our coastlines around the world the whale shark roams the open waters across the continents of Asia, Australia and South...

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Why Sumatra should be your next responsible travel destination

As responsible travellers we tend to be lovers of nature and all things in it. Therefore a place that has a reputation for being one of the world’s most bio-diverse regions would be an extremely enticing invitation. Let us introduce you to the Gunung Leuser National Park in Indonesia’s northern island of Sumatra, an ecological wonderland full of hundreds of mammal and bird species, 21 that are endemic. Include the thousands of species of plants, abundance of waterfalls, underground cave systems and tall, steep cliff-faces and you have what we would call the perfect destination for nature lovers. The...

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The truth about animal tourism in Bali

Bali, the perfect place for holidaymakers. A place where you can unwind in the turquoise waters of the Gili islands, dine on fresh organic produce in Ubud’s eccentric cafes, revitalise in a day spa in one of Seminyak’s endless health resorts or spend some time bargain-hunting and haggling through the busy streets of Kuta. You must take your hat off to this small Indonesian island that has doubled its intake of tourists in the past six years. Last year Bali received more tourists than its whole total population, and while tourism is an industry that has greatly improved the...

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Coffee & Culture – Learning About Coffee in Southern Laos

I was sitting in the Kinyei Café in Cambodia’s Battambang indulging on some peanut butter and banana toast, feeling the nostalgia of a seven-year-old girl, when I saw the notice ‘We Sell Feel Good Coffee’. The responsible traveller in me took an instant interest, along with my ability to recognise when a restaurant is serving anything fair trade, organic or socially responsible. I got talking to the waiter and he advised me that the coffee they sold comes from the hills of southern Laos, a place known for it’s rich soil and excellent coffee. Intrigued, I asked if it...

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The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project – Protecting Thailand’s Gibbons

30 years ago in Thailand’s southern forest of Khao Phra Thaew the native gibbon was nowhere to be found. Wiped out by illegal poaching for exploitation in the tourism industry, this thriving forest where the sounds of the gibbons call once echoed was now silent to any sign of these small apes. Fast forward to the year 1992 where the first legislation came through to prohibit all poaching, selling, buying and owning of gibbons in Thailand. This was a start to saving these creatures from extinction however there were still cases of illegal practices reported and unfortunately, even today,...

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A Beyond Unique Experience in Cambodia

Beyond Unique Escapes is a responsible travel hub located in Siem Reap Cambodia. They offer a range of tours where you can experience life like a local and get a glimpse of the beautiful landscape outside of the main city. The tour company works closely with local people in surrounding villages, some of which live on or below the poverty line. In collaboration with HUSK Cambodia, the tours are a way to provide an income to the poorer families in the area by encouraging their involvement. Every tour engages four different families within the village and involves them in an...

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Responsible Elephant Encounters in Mondulkiri

The Mondulkiri Province in Cambodia is home to one of the largest populations of both wild and domestic Elephants in the country. The forests that cover the province make the perfect habitat for these historic creatures to reside in, however in recent years much of that habitat has been destroyed due to logging. A once richly vegetated forest covered 80 % of the Mondulkiri Province, now only 30% remains. Recently, both the local people and International NGO’s such as WWF have seen a need to conserve the remaining forests, as well as conserve the remaining population of the Asian...

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