Wanderlust April 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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1 min

One of the most hotly anticipated events of the Wanderlust year is the annual Reader Travel Awards (p131). We know that you’re the most discerning travellers around, so your opinion really does count. This year’s results were – as ever – a mix of old favourites but also contained some surprises, too. You awarded a brand new ‘Top Country’ for instance, while I must admit I’d never have predicted Russia entering your top ten. Given your intrepid spirit, we visit some distant parts this issue. Mark Stratton reports back from Pitcairn (p104) and we seek out the world’s other remote islands (p116). Plus, Phoebe Smith walks Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail, a route that only receives 300 visitors a year (p82). Talking of adventurous souls, bravo to the readers who made it to…

1 min
5 things we learned this issue:

1 The small towel you’re given for use in a Japanese onsen is for dipping in water to cool your head, not to spare your blushes – you go naked; p128 2 The Tamil shrines in the deep south of India are home to the planet’s last surviving classical culture; p44 3 Singing at the top of your lungs is a bizarre, if effective, way of warding off charging reindeer; p82 4 A lack of resources meant the entire population of Pitcairn Island was relocated to Norfolk Island in 1856; p104 5 Geikos (Kyoto’s take on geishas) never willingly stop for photos; if they do, they’re likely not the real deal; p20…

3 min

Sarah Conner Blue Planet II assistant producer and director Having worked on the blockbuster Blue Planet II (voted ‘Top TV Programme’ by you in our 2018 Reader Travel Awards, p131), Sarah has long explored the Earth’s watery depths in search of the best wildlife encounters – p18 Mountain, desert, ocean or jungle… which are you? Ocean. First great travel experience? Snorkelling in Bali, where I had remora fish trying to attach themselves to me! Favourite journey? I have two. First is the epic journey by plane, boat and helicopter just to film in northern Greenland. And when I was young, we used to drive through the Swiss Alps – it was then I realised how varied our planet is. Top five places worldwide? Greenland; New Zealand; northern Norway; Indonesia; and northern Scotland – where my heart will always be. Passport stamp…

1 min
360 viewfinder

HANGING OUT Bahia, Brazil Photographer: Luciano Candisani Having clambered up a cecropia tree in the Atlantic Forest, photographer Luciano Candisani came nose-to-snout with a three- toed sloth swinging on a branch as it fed on the leaves. This rare close-up, taken high in the canopy, impressed visitors to the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 competition, so much so that it won the ‘People’s Choice’ award. Proof that if you make the effort on your travels, you never know what kind of rewards you’ll find. The Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 exhibition is open until 28 May 2018; nhm.ac.uk FACES TELL STORIES Madagascar Photographer: Serge Anton As much as an otherworldly landscape or a flash of wildlife is an inspiring travel experience, so are the cultures we meet along the way.…

2 min
1 zip wires can give travellers a new angle

‘Zip wires absolutely have their place, but we must ensure they are in the right place’ The world’s wildernesses all have familiar sounds: the crack of a calving glacier, the rustle of sand whipped up by a fierce desert wind, the chattering of monkeys in a rainforest canopy. Increasingly, though, the whoops and cheers of another variety are being heard – those of someone hurtling along a thin wire in search of new thrills. Zip wires are the current buzz trend in the adventure travel industry – a length of steel cable stretched over an area that whizzes you from A to B. They were originally invented as a necessary means of transport across rivers but are now seen as a must-do experience for adrenalin-seekers in some of the world’s wildest places.…

1 min
flying high

1 Jungle Flight, Chiang Mai, Thailand Zooming the rainforests of northern Thailand, this zip line not only flies through Doi Lankah mountain but the company behind it also holds tree-planting ceremonies each year to help restore the jungle. 2 Zzip the Flying Fox, Yungas, Bolivia Despite the questionable name, this wire offers epic views and is a much-needed community-minded initiative, which employs locals from the nearby Yolosa village. 3 Zip-line, Pulpit Rock, Norway one Norway s holy trinity of stone wonders – Pulpit Rock – for views across Lysefjord, then recover your breath by sliding part of the way down the alpine descent. 4 Ziptrek Ecotours, Queenstown, New Zealand Billed as the Adrenalin Capital of the World’, New Zealand has its share of zip lines, with the Bob’s Peak wire in Queenstown offering unique views over its…