Uncharted Backpacker

Travel Knows No Borders

Stephen Gollan; Travel photographer/blogger, travelling the uncharted parts of the world, exploring the culture, cuisines and natural wonders to get you the latest travel updates.

Top 5 Offbeat Places to Visit in Mexico

Palenques temples

Mexico has long been known to North Americans as the place where you go to drink, party and sit, day after day on the beach. Mexico however; happens to be one of my favorite backpacking destinations! After visiting Mexico many times it has ranked at the top of my list for “favorite destinations”, however, not for the beaches, but instead for its history and people. Historic Maya, Aztec, and Colonial Spanish cities are spread throughout the country adding to Mexico’s incredibly in depth and complex history. Mexico’s landscapes are also just as spectacular; from giant blood red copper mountains to lush humid dense jungles, and vast open barren deserts that make all corners of this nation an adventure waiting to happen. Mexico’s population is currently over 125 million which makes for some incredible diversity among its people. You can still find Mayan language speakers and the descendants of Spanish explorers throughout this fast pace country. Once you leave the Yucatan you will be amazed at how cheap of a travel destination Mexico really is. Most days in Mexico I only spent around 25 USD, and that’s including those desperately important evening cervezas. So grab your backpack and head to Mexico for something other than the beach with one of my top favorite Mexican “off the beaten track” destinations.
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Libya Trials and Tribulations: Life in Libya After the Revolution

Libya Uncharted Backpacker

Tripoli and Leptis Magna – Libya

When you think of Libya, images of violence, revolution, and the former dictator Muammar Gaddafi probably come to mind. While violence is still rampant throughout the country, the revolution is over and Gaddafi is gone. This is a new Libya: a nation facing political chaos in the aftermath of revolution. Free of the tyranny and terror that was Gaddafi’s reign, Libya is a country ready to show the world its once concealed beauty.

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Thailand Travel Guide

Thailand Travel Guide

Why Travel to Thailand?

Thailand as you may already know, has become an increasingly popular destination to visit, and rightly so! Thailand is the stomping ground for many travellers alike for its post card like beaches, steamy elephant filled jungles, and a culture that lies deep in every single Thai local you meet. Thailand is also famed for its food. It is a unique but complex blend of Indian curries, Chinese influenced noodle dishes, and spicy Thai ingredients that go together so perfectly. After you indulge in the food and the natural scenery, Thailand has a plethora of activities for you; try world class scuba diving or jungle elephant safaris. If that’s not for you than find that perfect piece of heaven on one of Thailand’s many secluded island paradises. Thailand is full of adventure waiting and a travelers dream. Read More

My favourite destinations in Myanmar/Burma

Yangon, Myanmar

I have traveled to Myanmar twice in the past five years and this country lies so close to my heart. Spending over three months in Myanmar I could not get enough of it.

Where is Myanmar?

Myanmar is a Southeast Asian nation situated between the countries of China to the north, Thailand to the East, Bangladesh and India to the west. Myanmar is home to many languages, but Burmese is the most widely spoken and understood language of the nation. Myanmar’s capital city ‘Yangon’, located near the southern coast is a complex blend of Myanmar’s people, being a mix of Bamar, Indian, and many other tribal/minority groups. The population of Myanmar is around 53 million and makes it one of Southeast Asia’s greatest diversities of ethnic groups. Travel to Myanmar and you will be rewarded with one of Southeast Asia’s best kept secrets. Myanmar has been closed to foreigners for many years, but has recently opened its land borders and remote locations. Read More

Photo of the week: Nagaland, India

nagaland india

While attending the annual Hornbill Festival in Kohima Nagaland, I was trying to photograph a certain dance performance that involved large firearms, when I noticed this man with his smart phone taking selfies and photos of other’s. I love this photo because of the stark contrast it resembles of old and new. Old being the outfit this man is wearing is a traditional war regalia his clan has worn for over a thousand years and new being how he whipped his smartphone out just like anyone would from the west to capture this amazing moment.

Libya Travel Guide

Libya Uncharted Backpacker

Why Travel To Libya?

Ask anyone in the travel world about Libya and you will get a blank stare. It is best known for the terrible conflicts that have occurred over the past few years, but in fact, it has the potential to become one of Africa’s and the Sahara’s greatest travel destinations. Imagine the largest ancient Roman ruins. Lost Saharan Cities. It has some of the most picturesque oasis and largest sand dunes in the world. It also has a rich culture which Libyan people take great pride in. As of now Libya is not the easiest country to get to as they often close their borders, make visa’s impossible to get and spurts of violence occur too often for comfort. But if you decide to head to Libya you will be rewarded with having the entire country to yourself and every curious local willing to help you see and experience this amazing place. Read More

Peru Travel Guide

Peru Uncharted Backpacker

Why Travel To Peru

Since the first explorer Francisco Pizarro came here in 1532 explorers and adventurers alike have been obsessed with the history and ancient riches that this country holds. Take any hike into the Peruvian Andes and you will see that there is plenty of these secrets yet to be found. Peru is home to the famous archaeological sites of Machu Picchu, Nazca Lines and the legendary city of Cuzco. Besides Peru’s rich history; Peru is also home to some of the best hiking and adventure sports in South America. While in Peru you can dune buggy over sand dunes, dine on seafood, hike to extreme altitudes and cut your way through dense Amazonian jungle all while never leaving Peru’s borders. Peruvian culture is also not to be missed. With festivals and a magnitude of different ethnicities, Peru will keep you dreaming of returning to this magical country. Read More

How to Get a Cheap African Safari

How to get a cheap African Safari Uncharted Backpacker

Cheap African Safari you say?

Everybody dreams of going to East Africa and living the lion king fantasy we all had as children growing up. Turn on your television and you will see the vast plains of the Serengeti; its jumping wildebeests and yawning lions. It’s hard seeing this and thinking “I would love to go but it’s too expensive”. Well you’re not alone, most travelers believe that East African Safaris are only for the wealthy, but there are actually many ways to travel here and see all the big five (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, giraffe); just like those bazooka-sized-camera touting, rich tourists do. Read More

Capsule hotel: Cribs Japan

Check out my friend Shawn and his sick crib downtown Tokyo in the Asakusa district. Ok well it might just be a capsule but don’t be hating; it was the best capsule hotel we’ve stayed at! Why you ask? It was more Japanese than the locals staying there. Downstairs offered beautiful (Highly exaggerating) public baths. The capsules themselves were equipped with televisions that sometimes work and you guessed it! Came with complementary used plastic flip flops. Anyways enjoy this great video of Shawn’s crib that only costed 20 USD.

Money Saving Tips and Dealing with Foreign Banks and ATMS

Tips from a Travel Banking Advisor

You’ve decided where you’re going and you’re ready, but what do you do to make sure your money is safe and there when you need it? This is a question I get asked often. Every destination is unique, but with the right knowledge and tips, money issues can be a thing of the past while travelling.

Before you Travel there is some Important Tips you need to know on how to get money abroad, dealing with foreign currencies, keeping your money safe and how to avoid those nasty bank fees. Through my years of experience traveling the world here are a few ideas to help you abroad. Read More