The Global Basecamps Blog

Know Before You Go: Nepal

8.16.2011
by temo
Annapurna Circuit

Nepal is one of the world’s premier adventure travel destinations. Nepal’s trekking options are endless. Rivers wind down the snow-capped mountains, creating some of the best river rafting and kayaking opportunities in the world. Discover the traditional architecture and holy temples in Nepal’s ancient cities to learn more about the country’s fascinating culture.

Nepal is about 54,363 sq miles with a population of approximately 30 million. The largest city, with more than 1 million people, is the capital, Kathmandu. Many visitors, drawn to Nepal by the unique eco tours, leave equally enchanted by the friendly demeanor of the Nepali people. Nepal is one of the best budget destinations around the world.

Cultural Norms and Etiquette

Nepal is a unique blend of culture and customs. There are more than 100 ethic groups in Nepal each with their own customs, tradition, and rituals. This colorful culture is a blend of religious etiquette and cultural norms a little different from anywhere else. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for a Nepal tour:

Tiger Mountain Responsible Tourism

8.12.2011
by ali

A few weeks ago we wrote about our in country partner in Nepal, Tiger Mountain Properties. We recently donated to Tiger Mountain's local school programs. In our recent blog, Tiger Tops Swisssair blog, we wrote about the educational outreach in place near Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge. Over the next few weeks, we would like to share some more information on Tiger Mountain's ecotourism initiatives.

Tiger Tops Swissair Pre-School

Tiger Mountain helps connect guests with local communities and wildlife, improving villagers’ lives and helping protect eco-systems. Tiger Mountain lodges and eco tours comply with rigorous environmental policies to help mitigate the negative impact of travel on the environment. To reduce energy and waste Tiger Mountain properties use solar power, vehicles maintained to emission control standards, and ox carts or elephants whenever possible. Food served at the properties includes organically raised vegetables and local products. The lodges are constructed from local materials, by local craftsmen, and strive to preserve the indigenous ethnicity. Additionally, the hotels employ people from the local communities, and purchase local products whenever possible.

Tales From the Lost World

8.9.2011
by temo

Our well traveled intern, Temo, has written another great blog for us about his time spent in Venezuela. Read more about his adventures in his previous blog posts, Climbing El Pico de Orizaba and Exploring Northern Baja.

To me summer vacations stand for long adventures and exploring foreign countries. When I was growing up, my family and I lived in Venezuela for over 4 years. I have some incredible memories and great friends from that period of my life. A couple of years ago my family and I went back to visit the country and decided to go explore the land that English author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle dubbed as "The Lost World."

Venezuela is a beautiful country in the northern end of South America, right next to Colombia and just north of Brazil. It has some of the most varied and spectacular natural environments in the world. You have crystal waters in the Caribbean Sea, vast floodplains in the Llanos, one of the largest rivers in the world that slices the country in half, the Orinoco, and the Venezuelan Andes in the east. In the south of Venezuela you will find a vast wilderness area part of the Amazon Rainforest known as the Gran Sabana, one of the most important natural attractions in the country.

Canaima National Park

Established in 1962, Canaima National Park is located in the south east state of Bolivar close to the borders with Brazil and Guyana. It is a place of unique beauty in the world. It encompasses most of the Gran Sabana and with almost 7.5 million acres; it is considered one of the largest national parks in the world. The park was conceded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 1994. Canaima holds some of Venezuela's most beautiful attractions.

So for our vacation, we flew from Mexico City on the direct overnight to the capital, Caracas, and immediately transferred on a regional flight towards our old home of Puerto La Cruz in the north coastal state of Anzoategui. After visiting old friends and enjoying the Caribbean beaches for a couple of days we set off on the two day drive south towards La Gran Sabana.

How to Make the Most of Your RTW Trip

8.3.2011
by ali

This is a guest post by Nico Crisafulli. Nico authors the AirTreks Travel Blog and mans the social stream for AirTreks.com. He’s a consummate travel lover and a 10-year veteran of the industry. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and forthcoming child.

The fabled round-the-world trip (RTW) is no secret. There’s been a growing interest in this particular style of travel over the last decade with more and more people thinking beyond the simple there-and-back- again style vacation. AirTreks is in the business of helping people make that leap in consciousness. And the first step is to know how to do it best.

Costa Rica

I’ve put together 4 ways to help you get more from your long-term round-the-world trip, both before and after you leave.

Plan smarter

Once people have decided to travel, put their money down and spent time figuring out what they want to do, most already want to cram their laptop into the nearest meat grinder. Even thinking about more hours hammering away at the Internet is enough to send them over the edge. The trick is not to plan more, but to plan smarter, to make the most of the time you spend researching online.

Top 5 Unique Hotels in China

8.3.2011
by ali

Banyan Tree Lijiang Lijiang, China

The Banyan Tree Lijiang is located 2,000 meters above sea level 15 minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town of Lijiang. The Old Town of Lijiang is sometimes regarded as the Venice of the Orient because of the bridges and canals that wind through the cities cobbled streets. The hotel design was inspired by local Naxi culture, and includes pink stone, grey bricks, traditional red clay roof tiles, and interconnected canals. The hotel offers 55 villas with breath-taking views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The spacious villas can include a private garden, heated outdoor jet pools or plunge pools. There are 40 Garden and Deluxe Garden Villas, 13 Pool and Deluxe Pool Villas, one 2 bedroom Pool Villa, and one Presidential Villa. The extensive spa includes spacious treatment rooms, a hair salon, a yoga pavilion and a gym. There is also a tea lounge connected to the spa. The resort has 2 all day dining options, Ming Yue cafe and Bai Yun, which offers banquet style dining. Additionally, there is a bar and lounge. If you're looking to explore the surroundings, Banyan Tree Lijiang offers guests exclusive treks with local guides.

Banyan Tree Lijiang
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