Wanderlust March 2018

In this issue… September/October 2021 Enjoy articles on… The hidden jewels of the Caribbean. Our guide to the wide array of heritage sites and cities that await beyond the beaches. We go beyond Uganda’s gorillas to find hidden valleys, isolated rural communities and wildlife good-news-stories. 15 epic walking trails. These diverse treks will show you rare wildlife, unique cultures and immense scenery worthy of your perspiration. Uncovering Thailand’s ancient secrets by rail. We go on a magical history tour of the ancient capitals of Ayutthaya, Sukhothai and Chiang Mai. Meet the New Big Five of wildlife photography and find out how travel can help these endangered animals. PLUS… Dispatches: Armenia British Break: Shropshire Hidden USA: Tennessee Music Trail Indigenous culture: San Blas Islands, Panama WanderSleeps: Tokyo Off-the-grid: Vigan, The Philippines Dream Sleep: Cristalino Lodge, the Amazon Double Bill: Segovia & Salamanca First 24 Hours in… Charleston, USA World food: Cambodia

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Chatting to many of you at travel events over the year, the joy and romance of rail travel always seems to come up. So, thinking it was time to feature a great rail journey again, we were so torn over which to cover that we ended up dedicating half the mag to train-tastic travel. Sit back and get ready to join us on the Orient Express (p24), then ride through Japan (p50), Cuba (p86) and Australia (p100), as well as taking a look at the world’s best train journeys (p62). We also want your input on top rail trips for our new regular readers’ tips feature (p110). It was great to catch up with so many of you at our Photo of the Year gallery at the recent Destinations Show in…

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5 things we learned this issue:

1 Good things come to those who wait – Mexico’s Copper Canyon Railway took nearly 90 years to complete; p62 2 Some countries have altered their time zone to boost tourism – even the UK has considered it; p77 3 Though Australia’s first trans-national rail line was launched in 1917, it wasn’t until 1970 that you could actually travel along it on a single train journey; p100 4 Formentera’s home to posidonia, the planet’s oldest living organism – some of it is thought to be 200,000 years old; p139 5 Japan’s karaoke obsession stretches to the rails, with specially themed trains letting you take to the mic; p50…

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brought to you in part by our photo winners…

ALEX METCALFE Winner of the Active category in Wanderlust’s 2017 Travel Photo of the Year competition (p116) Mountain, desert, ocean or jungle… which are you? Easy, mountain! First great travel experience? Taking the Trans-Siberian railway across Russia. Favourite journey? Cycling my way through Malaysian Borneo. Top five places worldwide? Nepal, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand and Cambodia. Passport stamp you’re proudest of? East Timor. Stamp you’d most like to have? Afghanistan. Guilty travel pleasure? My guitar. SANGHAMITRA SARKAR Winner of the People category in Wanderlust’s 2017 Travel Photo of the Year competition (p116) Mountain, desert, ocean or jungle... which are you? I am a mountaineer from day one. First great travel experience? The cold desert of Ladakh, India. Favourite journey? The road from Sonamarg to Leh, across Jammu and Kashmir, India. Top five places worldwide? Pangong Lake, Kashmir, Nubra Valley and the Khuri sand dunes of India, plus Bhutan. Passport stamp you’re proudest of? Mongolia. Stamp you’d most like…

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360 viewfinder

KRISHNA – GOD OF COLOURS Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India Photographer: Sanghamitra Sarkar The vivid beauty of India’s Holi Festival draws plenty of lens attention from visitors. But few travellers have captured its kaleidoscopic hues quite like Sanghamitra Sarkar, winner of the People category in the Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year 2017 competition. Here, a boy is carried by his peers and daubed in blue to resemble Lord Krishna, one of the ten avatars of the god Vishnu, in whose honour the celebration is held. That the image is taken in Vrindavan adds another thread to the tale – this is the city where Lord Krishna was said to be raised. For the full list of winners and finalists, turn to p116. SHINING PILOTS Trincomalee, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka Photographer: Viv Leese Often, breathtaking wildlife experiences happen by chance.…

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1 disabled travellers will enrich all trips

‘This ban does little to ensure the safety of people on Mount Everest’ Just imagine being a blind traveller, preparing for your first ascent of the mighty Mount Everest. At Base Camp, you can hear the fluttering of prayer flags and wind-blasted snow whistling off the mountaintop. Now, from the Nepalese side, those with impaired sight – and double amputees – will no longer be able to climb the world’s loftiest peak, in a bid ‘to make the mountain safer,’ according to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. Understandably, disabled travellers have reacted with disdain. “This ban does little to ensure the safety of people on the mountain,” says Elspeth Knight of EnCompass disability travel consultancy. “There are individuals with those impairments who can and have already made this climb.” But…

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travelling together

1 Bring places to life If blind travellers are being guided by someone sighted, a running commentary on an icon or landscape can help them picture their surrounds much more clearly. 2 And vice-versa… As well as bringing places to life for their blind companions, the sighted will also find themselves soaking up details that they might otherwise take for granted. 3 Opens perspectives Whether you’re disabled or not, travelling with someone else often throws open a variety of different viewpoints, meaning you can get an all-encompassing glimpse of a destination that you otherwise wouldn’t have. 4 Mutual respect As well as an alternative point of view, travelling with people with differing conditions forges an understanding of how each of you approaches your adventures. 5 Cultural awareness Countries greet disabled people in differing ways, often inviting the non-disabled to…