Thursday, 31 July 2008

Mao and Then


Many pasts catching up with China.

Few countries have a history to match China, and few are changing as fast. Roderick Eime tramps Beijing from the Great Wall to Tiananmen Square and finds the past overlaid by an exciting, dynamic future.

Fishing for tiger

If you don’t spot a tiger in India’s Corbett Tiger Reserve, at least the fish are biting, finds Philip Game.

Tiger is giving us dodge,” declares wildlife guide Hem Bahuguna, calling a halt near some tell-tale pug marks (pawprints) and scrapings. As the engine cools, then stills, we hear only the birds, the soft breeze and the distant chattering of monkeys. From time to time, another jeep materialises, stopping to exchange a few words. Otherwise, here in India, most crowded of nations, there is perfect peace.

Corbett is India’s first, perhaps finest, Tiger Reserve and is buffered by surrounding tracts of country. You can spend days chasing tigers or cast a line to tempt the golden mahseer. The Ramganga Reservoir provides year-round water for the animals and spawning grounds for the golden mahseer, which migrates upstream.

White Nights with the White Thai

Philip Game shares a glimpse of rural life in northern Vietnam.

Unlike their mother, Ba Vuong's five daughters never need submit to the ordeal of teeth blackening. The White Thai matriarch seems sanguine about the past as she tallies the dollars flowing in from foreign guests who sleep over in her solidly built longhouse amid the rice paddies near Mai Chau, 120 kilometres south-west of Hanoi. Times have certainly changed since Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh turned the tables on French aspirations, more than 50 years ago.

A Galician gourmet adventure

Philip Game revels in a culinary pilgrimage across northern Spain..

Forget the flamenco. What about some stirring reels from a Galician piper?

Far from the golden sands of Andalucia, beyond the great plains of Castile, a different Spain awaits along the Atlantic, a land of cloud-wrapped crags, apple orchards – and equally fine beaches. ‘Green Spain’ stretches from the stylish resorts of the Basque coast, through mountainous Asturias to reach Galicia, with its lingering Celtic heritage.

The Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia are all distinct regions, but they hold in common a zest for life, in particular a love of eating well. Lunch, the main meal, never kicks off before two; dinner is served some time after nine.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Flying high - Victoria - Australia - Travel -

Self-confessed aviation nut Sheriden Rhodes takes a Boeing 737 for a joy flight and lives to tell this tale of derring-do.

I am at the controls of a 737. It's night time and runway 16 at Melbourne Airport is lit up like a Christmas tree. After going through our preflight checks, I push the throttle forward and with the accompanying roar of jet engines we race down the runway. At 140 knots I pull back the stick and we take off, banking gently to the left. Below us, Melbourne's southern suburbs are sleeping while ahead we can see the outline of the West Gate Bridge. The feeling of hurtling down the runway is exhilarating, while the actual take-off leaves my heart racing as we pull up the landing gear and track towards Sydney.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Virtuoso Life Mag > Features > The Unrivaled Reef

Divers find Nemo and much more on saltwater safaris to the Great Barrier Reef.

Like a maelstrom of florecent confetti, bright tropical fish of all shapes and colors whirl through equally vivid corals. Triggers, banners, butterflies, and angels all mill together in an underwater rush hour, their blues, violets, and yellows flashing in the reef’s shallow water.

Described as the largest living thing on the planet and stretching almost 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) from Bundaberg to New Guinea, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is certainly the world’s largest coral reef. When seen from space, it forms a surreal aura along the vast Queensland coastline, imbuing Australia’s Sunshine State with an almost magical luster.

[read full story]

Monday, 21 July 2008

In Pursuit of (more) Adventure

Rod is about to undertake multiple small ship voyages as part of his ongoing "in pursuit of adventure" theme. He is excited to announce that Cruise Passenger Magazine will again publish the annual Adventure and Cruise Guide - this time in a much-expanded format thanks to the overwhelming response to the first issue.

This year Rod will get aboard Orion in PNG, True North in the Kimberley and both Spirit of the Pacific and Reef Endeavour in Fiji. Later on, he will go 'Across the Top' with Coral Princess.

You can keep up-to-date with the scene at the Expedition and Adventure Cruising news blog.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Prom king - Short Breaks - Travel -

Forget pitching a tent or fumbling with fuel stoves, here's a soft option, writes Philip Game.

In slow motion, a wedge-tailed eagle sails low over the car, the magnificent feathered head looming frighteningly large through the rain-slicked windscreen. We haven't even reached the entrance to Wilsons Promontory National Park, but this encounter, added to the sight of a moribund wombat parked astride the double lines, brings us back to earth after an enjoyable detour via one of South Gippsland's many boutique wineries.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Journeys - July 2008

Global Travel Writers - If you cannot see the message below, view online
Global Travel Writers

GTWBringing the world to your readers

The award-winning Global Travel Writers team bring you their latest offerings for July 2008

Coming Up: More adventure cruising: PNG, Kimberley, South Pacific. More luxury lodges and resorts. European spas.

Think outside the square. GTWers have decades of experience covering such diverse subjects as music, culture, cuisine, lifestyle, technology, aviation, sport and tourism business. [see themes]

= J O U R N E Y S =
India : Queensland : Golf
Thailand : Luxury Lodges : Scotland


Sheriden Rhodes checks into a private resort in far north Queensland so exclusive most Australians have never heard of it. At dusk and in the fading light, Woodwark Bay in the Whitsunday Island group, is simply mesmerising. [more]

Guess What?

You can now advertise on the GTW site. Yes, we are carefully selecting commercial partners wishing to communicate with the global reach of the GTW network. Contact your preferred GTW member for details.

The GTW Team:

Glenn A Baker
Graham Simmons
Karen Halabi
Philip Game
Roderick Eime
Sally Hammond
Sheriden Rhodes
Thomas E King
Tricia Welsh

GTW Trivia:

Which GTW member boasts he once raced with Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham and tries to forget he appeared on TV's 'Perfect Match' - four times?


Note: Previous issues of Journeys are archived here

russiaPhilip Game pushes along to Pushkar's camel fair. Around November each year, a dusty throng of camels and their owners, pious Hindu pilgrims, holy men in their hundreds and spectators from far and wide converge on the sleepy town of Pushkar on the edge of India's Rajasthani desert. [more]
estoniaGraham Simmons notes: with rising oil prices, Brisbane's new transport network has arrived at the right time. “Welcome Bridge” is pedestrian- and cycle-friendly. Just opened in June 2008, the King George Square Cycle Centre encourages cycle commuting. [more]
Roderick Eime revisits the rarefied air of the elite luxury lodges. Travelling through Australia and New Zealand, he encounters the absolute pinnacle of aspiration travel, food and wine. Close your eyes and join him in the fantasy. [more]
cook islandsThomas E. King finds Shangri-La in the mountains reaches of northern Thailand. Pai is not yet on the radar for many travellers though new boutique resorts and unique attractions are certain to put this delightful destination on the must-visit list. [more]
cook islandsThomas E King reveals the most surprising places to play the great game. Asia is dotted with many amazing golf courses. Tee off in an extinct volcano, alongside Moghul monuments or just beyond the stone wall of a centuries-old Spanish-built fort. [more]
cook islandsSally Hammond says this clickety-clack tour of the Scottish highlands delivers kilts and castles, lochs and lairds. The Royal Scotsman is a luxury opportunity not to be missed. Side trips take in distilleries, cream teas and highland dance practices, then back to black tie dinners on board. [more]
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