Doors Open to Princely Kengtung in the Golden Triangle

Proudly contributed by Keith Lyons

Once a key strategic town on the old caravan trade routes between China’s Yunnan province and Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, the old city of Kengtung might be the capital of the Golden Triangle, but it has missed out on half a century of development seen elsewhere in the region. The town, […]

China’s New Religious Pilgrims Flock to Yunnan

Proudly contributed by DAVID GILLBANKS

Jeremy Eccles writing for The Australian: “During two recent tours through western China I’ve been able to observe the immensity of domestic tourism as the country’s enriched middle classes are freed to visit the legendary sites of their culture. “On my visit to Xian, for example, it proved almost impossible to view the Terracotta Warriors […]

Thoi Son, Vietnam Emerges as Ecotourism Hotspot

Proudly contributed by DAVID GILLBANKS

As well as a famous fruit-growing area, Thoi Son Island in the Mekong Delta is now also a must-see ecotourism destination, according to VietnamNet Bridge, thanks to local residents’ efforts to use the area’s natural features to develop tourism. The island is considered a “green tourism area” and welcomes more than 400,000 tourists every year, […]

Sailing to the Source of the Mekong

Proudly contributed by DAVID GILLBANKS

Wouldn’t it be great to go on a Conrad-esque adventure; buy a wooden longboat and sail it up the Mekong, from its delta in Vietnam to its source on the Tibetan Plateau? That’s what two Western photographers thought. With backing from an NGO focused on water and sanitation, the Canadian and South African bought a […]

Secrets of Laos’ Muang La Hot Spring

Proudly contributed by Paul Eshoo

I had heard that the Muang La hot spring was nicely done, but didn’t realize what it really had to offer until I made my own visit. My first visit was actually a failed one because I did not heed the directions on the website that the resort only accepts advanced bookings of two nights […]

Dali at Forefront of China’s Culture, Heritage Preservation

Proudly contributed by DAVID GILLBANKS

It’s not surprising that Yunnan province’s Dali has emerged as a travel hotspot in China. While its idyllic rice paddies, surrounding mountains, a picturesque lake, historic structures, and a rich blend of cultures, has attracted the typical influx of eager developers hoping to cash in on tourism, Dali and its surrounding area is also on […]

Paddling through Time on the Mekong

Proudly contributed by DAVID GILLBANKS

Writing for New Atlas, Mike Hanlon: Humility is a rare commodity in the era of the smartphone, selfies and carefully–coiffed digital personas. Gratitude, too, is unusual in the modern world where a sense of entitlement seems all pervasive. Despite most of us being aware enough to acknowledge that all human beings start out with the […]

Laos’ Gibbon Experience: Truly Sustainable

Proudly contributed by Paul Eshoo

I finally had the chance to do the Gibbon Experience recently and loved it. The Gibbon Experience is Laos’ original zip lining attraction, located in Bokeo Province, with amazingly high tree houses where visitors stay overnight to take in the beauty of the forest below and around. From a sustainability point of view, there are […]

Yunnan’s Lijiang Old Town a Lesson in Co-existence

Proudly contributed by Luc Citrinot

Lijiang is a unique testimony of co-existence between various cultures, religions and nature. However, mass tourism could alter the destination’s uniqueness. A conservation plan will now fix limits to the destination’s commercial development. The old town of Lijiang, set in an uneven topographic site, is a unique urban structure adapted to its difficult environment. It […]

Backstreet Academy Elicits the “Lost Lustre” of Travel

Proudly contributed by DAVID GILLBANKS

Singapore-based Backstreet Academy claims to “bring back the lost lustre of travel in the age of mass tourism”. “We bring back the human connection that we lost in our rush to see each and every attraction,” its website claims. “We bring back the curiosity in traditions, skills and culture and not just in the form […]