Part II: Kratie
BANGKOK, 20 May 2013: Beside Kampi, visitors can also spot the rare dolphins at the Koh Phdao community where there is a homestay situated on Roungeav Island, the largest island in the Cambodian section of the Mekong River (45 km long).
It is about 35 km from Kratie town going northwards in the same direction as Kampi. Some tourists cycle the route, but they need to set off very early to complete the ride and then catch the ferry for the last 10 km before the weather gets too hot. The other transfer options are to hire a motorbike, tuk-tuk or car to get to the river pier.
Halfway to Kampi (9 km from town), you will see stalls selling Krolan, or sticky rice, in bamboo sticks at Thma Kreae village. It is very tasty and an excellent food supplement for your backpack or an emergency meal, especially if you cycle to the pier. A backpack is the most convenient way to carry your clothes. Wheelie suitcases will invariably fail apart or slow progress.
CAMBODIA, 10 May 2013: Tourism is one of the top three contributors to Cambodia’s GDP (12% in 2012, US$2 billion), but the benefits are seen in just a few popular destinations.
That’s the challenge for the government. How does it spread tourism’s benefits beyond the few to the many?
Mainstream tourism focuses on Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh the capital, Tonle Sap a massive inland lake feeding the Mekong River and the beaches and
MAE HONG SON, 11 December 2012: If Muang Pon, a Tai Yai community featured in our last issue, is an example of a cultural encounter with questions about how traditions should be handed down in order to survive; then Muang Pam illustrates the simple life of highland people where humans and nature exist interdependently, a serious challenge to the concept that forest and communities should not share the same space.
From the fertile lowland village of Muang Pon in Khun Yuam, we climb on a winding mountain road, via Mae Hong Son provincial town, heading north for around 130 km to Pang Ma Pha district to our final destination, the Karen village of Muang Pam. The last 6 km is rough going; a mix of a worn-out concrete and rough stone road, which is almost inaccessible during the rainy season.
MAE HONG SON, 3 December 2012: Reflecting the ethnic diversity of Mae Hong Son in the northwestern corner of Thailand, two villages, Muang Pon a Tai Yai community in Khun Yuam district and Muang Pam a Karen community in Pang Ma Pha district, were selected by the United Nations for a pilot scheme to introduce community-based tourism programmes.
The communities have just welcomed their first ecotourism guests for a test drive to gain feedback to enable further improvement. TTR Weekly covered the tour.
Backing the effort is the United Nation Joint Programme on Integrated Highland Livelihood Development in Mae Hong Son. It is a collaboration between eight UN agencies –FAO, UNIDO, UNFPA, IOM, UNDP, UNHCR, WHO and UNESCO and the provincial government covering agriculture, small-scale businesses, natural resources management, health, education, legal status and tourism.
COMING west from Zermatt and the Alps near the Italian border, we spend a night near Geneva Lake in Montreux, This second part of a winter trip will take us to the slopes to Col de Bretaye for snowshoeing and cable car rides to Trübsee and Mount Titlis to enjoy non-skier action and we wraps up the trip with a brief on Swiss transport in Luzern.
Villars is only around 36 km from Montreaux. It is the closest mountain town from Geneva (110 km) and Lausanne (57 km).
DOES it make sense to go west during winter months, while Europeans are heading in the opposite direction to enjoy a tropical sun holiday?
At first I wondered, too, what could be so appealing about freezing temperatures and a blanket of white snow covering what should have been green meadows and wild flowers.
But there are sound reasons for the migration. We head west to see snow something impossible to find in Southeast Asia, while Europeans head west to enjoy a brilliant tropical sun in the middle of December.
INDIA is a land of varied culture, languages and even the weather. Asian travellers are attracted to Delhi and Mumbai, where urban culture offers touches of the modern day world, but traditional values are never far away.
East India is another area that is emerging as an important destination for Asian travellers using the gateway Kolkata.
Invited by the SS Travel Service TTR Weekly recently joined a media and travel agents trip to Gangtok and Darjeeling starting with a flight from Bangkok to Kolkata Airport, where the overland trip got underway in earnest.
RAIL travel might not always be the fastest way to get around Europe but it has an upside. You get to see the country you are visiting up close and in detail.
In Europe, rail travel has made a comeback and more international travellers are turning to the vast network that is marketed in Asia under Rail Europe, a European rail product distribution joint venture of the French National Railways and the Swiss Federal Railways.
Rail Europe sponsored a media trip recently to introduce the rail travel experience in more detail to travellers in Asia.
IN 2009 the sleepy village of Nam Nguen in Nan province woke up one morning to international status. It gained a border checkpoint, an international one to neighouring Huay Kone in Laos.
But it did not mean much for villagers who have been crossing the border to trade for generations.
They view tourism as a novelty.
IN 2009 the sleepy village of Huay Kone in Nan province woke up one morning to international status. It gained a border checkpoint, an international one that opened the road to neighouring Nam Nguen in Laos.
Despite the fanfare, it did not mean much for villagers who had been crossing the border to trade for generations.
They viewed tourism as a novelty and the opportunity to take the shortest route to Luang Prabang was far beyond their trade horizons.