Yarlung Valley, Tibet
High in the Himalayas I clamber through a dark cavern deep into the mountains heart in search of the Guru Rinpoche’s path to enlightenment in the Yarlung Valley the cradle of Tibetan civilization. The cave opening is barely wide enough for me to squeeze through. A weathered old leather rope was placed here hundreds of years ago by pilgrims to help assist in pulling yourself to the other side, this is not for those who are claustrophobic. Finally, I reach the heart of the mountain. Wafts of juniper incense and the heat from the butter lamps make the air heavy. In the distance you can see Tibetans gathered around a large gold statue murmuring mantras.
For Tibetans a pilgrimage should be a difficult and dangerous event, this way when you finally complete the journey the sense of reward is there. In Tibet’s Yarlung Valley there are many of these karma boosting journeys taking place. Those who make it to the Yarlung Valley will find one of Tibet’s oldest and culturally rewarding experiences. Read More
Travel Packing Tips
Every time I take a new traveler with me on another Uncharted Adventure the first question I am always asked: “What do I bring?”. After 11 years of countless mistakes of over packing, forgetting things, and bringing the wrong gear, I can confidently consider myself to be a travel packing expert. This guide can help you learn the ways of travel packing and avoid all the troubles that go along with what seems like an easy task. So, grab your backpack, and prepare yourself for your next big adventure!
High in the Himalayas inside an ancient temple, it begins. The Trumpets commence surging through mountain valley; the chanting of monks mixed in with the scent of juniper incense billows from the wrathful deity’s altar. Then, slowly, drums begin to pound from the tantric shrine only to be masked by the thick, butter lamp filled air. I lose myself in it all. This is a regular scene for those travelers who make it to Tibet. The land of snow is the kind of journey that travelers for centuries have been dreaming of.
A journey to the roof of the world is one of the most iconic journeys for a traveler to undertake. Here you will face the dangers of high altitude, confusing permits, and constant travel bans, but past all the bureaucracy is an ancient land of mystical deities, stark natural beauty and a culture that is so addictive and fascinating. All these reasons make it well worth the difficulties of getting to and traveling through Tibet. Read More
Top Travel Destinations 2018
Adventure travel couldn’t be more exciting this year! Plenty of off the beaten track destinations are becoming more accessible for the would-be traveler. If your looking for adventure, then look no further. This kind of travel is not for everyone, but if you enjoy traveling where locals outnumber tourists, and culture is abundant then take a trip to the parts unknown. Uncharted Backpackers top 12 Obscure destinations is your guide to the unusual, but completely enthralling destinations this year. Forget travel trends, and join me on my adventure away from the tourist trail. Read More
Adventure Travel Photography Tips
Alas! The days are gone where only the most skilled photographer would be sent on long drawn out photography missions around the globe. Nowadays, all ambitious travelers can stake their claim in the travel photography world. However, with mass photo sharing applications like Instagram and Facebook, it can seem a bit daunting for the aspiring travel photographer. Uncharted Backpackers Guide to Adventure Travel Photography will help sort out basic questions like how to get your photos noticed, choosing the right travel camera, and how to make use of all those confusing buttons! It’s time to become the travel photographer you always wanted to!
Goroka, Papua New Guinea
The highland jungle is eerily quiet. A shroud of dense fog rolls over the lush mountains, not even a bird of paradise can be heard. Its as if the jungle knew that the warrior spirits of the Asaro were looming in the distance. As they draw closer, the fables come true. Fear takes hold, and your consciousness becomes a haze. That’s when the first Asaro Mudman breaks through the fog. Equipped with a club, his movements conjure up the feelings that he really could be a spirit from long ago. Fixating closer on the haunting movements of the Mudmen you realize that he was only a distraction, as now there are over a dozen Mudmen around you. Luckily for me, these Asaro Mudmen were just displaying their warrior feats and had no intentions of taking me to the spirit world. Papua New Guinea could not be more enthralling. Read More
Tips for Female Travelers, Middle East
The longer I journeyed through this area of the world the more I felt a sense of deep respect, protection and curiosity from the locals. The landscape and climate is pure perfection, mountains, beaches, vast dessert planes and plenty of sunshine. But as I walked through the narrow streets in my hijab and a loose fitting, floor length cloak I became enthralled with the wonders of the middle east. You see, the colourful fabrics strewn in front of the shops mixed with the purifying smells of Frankincense and the distant sound of the call to prayer ringing across the entire city, made it easy to fall in love. Entering foreign territory always seems a little unsettling at first, but, as a female, travelling to this corner of the world is a completely unique experience with plenty of hidden gems. Read More
Pyongyang, North Korea
North Korea the next big surfing destination! No, these are not headlines you are likely to hear anytime soon. But the fact is, there is Surfing in North Korea. Not just for those privileged to make their way into the hermit nation of Asia. North Korean’s themselves are beginning to take notice of this sport. Something unheard of in the past. Not only surfing but stand up paddleboards as well! There is so much more to this mysterious country than meets the eye. After two weeks gallivanting around the country, I can finally say tell you that the Uncharted Backpacker surfed for the very first time… In North Korea! Read More
Ngari, Mount Kailash, Tibet
A place so tranquil yet powerful, Mount Kailash contradicts itself. As you labour one foot after another, oxygen deprived and lost in a sea of emotions, just as pilgrims for thousands of years have done, in the exact same fashion. This journey will change you, after traversing the entire Kora around the worlds most holy mountain you become a part of it. A chapter of this mountains story. Finally, when the air becomes so thin that I fear I’m at my breaking point, I look up, I have arrived. A scene of what heaven must look like, Mount Kailash’s highest point the Drolma-la pass. Here time stands still, pausing for a sigh of relief, its hard not to connect with it all, never has a moment like this brought me so far into the depths of my mind. This is the Mount Kailash Kora. Read More
Ganden and Samye Monastery, Tibet
The high altitude mountain trails bend and twist their way above the clouds. From one vast starkly beautiful valley to another, the trail takes you by frigid glacial lakes and impossibly high mountain peaks. Sometimes the valleys are dotted with yaks and their owners who live in primitive black tents made of yak wool, but for the most part its just you and raw nature. With its deeply spiritual, and intensely alluring culture; this is Tibet at its most authentic. Hiking between these two monasteries is one of Tibet’s greatest passages, a journey that has been preformed for centuries. Prepare to connect deeply with Tibet and its history as you follow in the footsteps of countless Tibetan pilgrims and explorers before you! Read More