So here is the scoop for all you lucky souls out there considering a trip down to SE Asia.
Just a sidenote:
Those of us born in the “developed” world have so much to be thankful for. We were born rich.
Most people that you will meet in SE Asia have never left their own country. When you feel down because of your tax bill in april or because your computer keeps shutting down unexpectedly, take a deep breath and regain the awareness of how UNFATHOMABLY lucky you are.
Ok…here we go.
If you are going to Bali, you will likely want to just stay in Ubud. The island is relatively small, so you can do day trips from Ubud, which is centrally located. The beach is an hour away,
the mountains are an hour away…all easily reached. When you are ready to hire a driver for the day, avoid all the guys that hassle you on the street yelling “Transport?” “Taxi?” You will have to negotiate with them, and it can be a bit maddening at times. Use these guys for quick trips around town if you don’t have the time to go on foot. DO NOT be afraid to walk away. There are many more of them down the road, and this bold move will usually get them to accept your offer. For a quick drive around town, expect to pay about $2, maybe $3 if its rainy or late at night. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Calling a resort Tiamo is a genius bit of subliminal marketing. For honeymooners, it’s a way to say “I love you” in Italian. And for ecotourists, it can be an expression of one’s love for the earth.
Tiamo, located on a private beach in the Bahamas, was build by hand by a couple in love, Mike and Petagay Hartman, who shared a dream to build a luxury resort that minimized impact on the environment. They used sustainable construction practices in building the resort, even going so far as to create a prototype in Indiana to reduce construction waste.
New York City just got a whole lot greener. (Actually, that’s a bit of a misleader, but I knew my opening statement would show up on your screen in bold and I wanted to get your attention.) The city of New York is pretty green with its energy efficient housing options, good water supply and wide reliance on public transportation. (In fact, according to City Mayors, “per capita, New Yorkers use fewer resources and put less pressure on their surroundings than any other city of its size.” Impressive.)
But a more truthful statement would be: New York City green just got< a whole lot easier to find.
Where is this green (other than in Central Park)? That’s where the NYC edition of Greenopia comes in handy. Having just this week landed in the Big Apple, it features more than 1,300 local businesses, services and organizations. Yes, this must-have on the west coast has finally made its way east. (Take that, New York! We had ours before you!)
Wallpaper calls it: “rock n’ roll bohemia”. Architectural Record opts for: “austere modernism, organic forms and a dab of street culture”. “Superaesthetic barrack, with an in-the-know economy of style” shouts Time magazine. From the NY Times: “At the country’s most original hotel…God is in the details”. And finally Tablet exclaims, “The new breed of budget boutiques…hotels whose idea of cool has nothing to do with what’s in design magazines,” which is somewhat ironic, given design magazines are gaga over Portland’s Ace Hotel.
When it comes to the environment, it’s unfortunate Norway’s progressive attitude is often over shadowed by its stance on whaling (which btw has been limited by a quota system to the non-endangered Minke whale). But all that may be about to change. In an announcement this week, the Labor-led coalition government announced its aim to go carbon neutral by 2030 — a full 20 years earlier than its previous target.
Swimsuit season is almost upon us. And if — like Cliff Richard — you’re a Brit, you’ll be starting to think about where to spend your “Summer Holiday”. With the mighty pound and the short hop, skip and a jump to Europe (ahhh, I remember those days), it’s natural and realistic to start fantasizing about a vacay in Spain, Greece or Morocco. I mean what are the other options? Stay at home? Go to an over-priced, busy (and busy-body) B&B? Errr, no thanks. That option used to be as attractive as a cold English muffin. But now there’s something better.
Established in 2006, Natural Retreats is a network of sustainable yet super luxurious accommodations situated within close proximity of the UK’s 14 national parks. Founder Matt Spence said the idea came after a lifetime of working in luxury developments around the globe and having grown up on a farm. Currently, socially-conscious travelers can opt to escape to eco-retreats in Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia, the Lake District and the North York Moors to experience English nature at its finest. And if none of these spots work for you, there are plans to acquire ten more sites by 2011.
We descend 1500 feet into this ancient caldera to explore this most beautiful and natural wildlife haven. Black-maned lions, huge-tusked elephants and black rhino roam freely protected by the walls of the crater itself. We move on through the Olduvai Gorge, said to be the birthplace of man, into the Serengeti to witness the migration north of millions of wildebeest and zebra with the big predators following them.
This park is the product of one of the largest animal relocation programs ever undertaken. One of the surprising successes of the program, was the flourishing packs of wild dogs.
On this edition we will see: Hyenas, Black Maned Lions, Wildebeest, Leopard, Wild Dog, Antelope, Elephants, and many more.
When can celebrity endorsement hurt you? Okay, “hurt” isn’t the right word. But the Professional Travel Guide recently listed the Robert Redford-owned Sundance Resort in Provo Canyon, Utah, the number one celebrity-owned resort. And I think they might have done the Sundance a bit of a disservice.
Calling it a “5,000-acre showcase for the eco-conscious traveler”, PTG waxes beautifully poetic about the rustically chic resort located at the base of Mount Timpanogos. From the clean air and the beautiful scenery to the wildflowers in the summer and snow in the winter, the Sundance goes rungs beyond your usual resort in terms of its activities. There’s skiing, workshops with artists-in-residence, delicious mountain cuisine (with plenty of vegetarian options if that’s your pref), an indoor-outdoor theater where musicals are performed in the summertime (“Oklahoma!” anyone?), foreign films, art classes, trail rides, watersports and golf. Jeez, it sounds better than Disneyland. There’s also a small spa, a fitness center, a gift shop and meeting rooms in case you want to take along your entire office and call it a seminar.
Just fifteen kilometres from the city, yet a million miles from anywhere, before setting out on our train ride to Ifakara. This is our jumping off point for the river trip on the Kilombero River into the Selous, the world’s largest wildlife sanctuary a 50,000 square kilometres wilderness, with wondrous bird life, huge buffalo and elephant herds and the river full of dangerous hippo and crocs. This is the time of the great wildebeest migrations.
On this edition we will see: Hyenas, Lions, Wildebeest, Antelope, Elephants, and many more.
Are you desperate for a spring fling but looking for something earth friendly?Sunset magazine recently compiled a list of 10 such jaunts that are easily accessible in North America. From the luxury-requiring traveler to the outdoor type, there’s something green for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of Sunset’s suggestions:
In California, there’s the Sustainable Vine Wine Bar in Santa Barbara, which provides a six-hour, behind-the-scenes look at the process of making organic wine. If all goes according to plan, you might get to visit the Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, which is run by eco wine pioneer Richard Sanford. And yes, the tour van runs on biodiesel. For reservations, call (805) 698-3911.
It is the magic of the river with it’s huge flood plains that have lured us back. Huge swilring dunes at sunrise w/patterns on the sand tell a story of wildlife that emerge on ly at night to feast. It’s images such as these that pulled me back to Lower Zambezi.
This edition is all about the vast amounts of water, within the park at this time of year. Bring along with it, an explosion of life.
On this edition we will see: Giraffe herds, Springbok, Gemsbok, Water Birds, Elephants, King Fisher, Hippos,