Uncharted Backpacker

Travel Knows No Borders

Stephen Gollan; Adventurer, photographer and travel bad ass. Exploring uncharted destinations to get you the latest info on how to get there.

Review: The Lonely Planet Guide Books

lonely planet guide books

Every Traveler has their own preference in guide books; and rightly so. Your choice holds valuable information that can either make or break your trip, especially if you’re on a time crunch.
Now every guide book has got there pro’s and con’s. In my experience I have found that Lonely Planet has helped me through the darkest confusing situations while traveling. The only catch with Lonely Planet is that the very first time you open the pages; it can seem intimidating; they are written with incredible depth and have many features that do take some getting used to. Read More

Passu and Gulmit, Pakistan – Where Time Ceases to Exist

uncharted backpacker passu

Passu and Gulmit – Pakistan 
Time, it is a measurement used from old to new, to what you’re doing right this moment and into the unknown future that lie ahead. Time inevitably affects us all. Time in the west is something we either race against or ignore altogether. Time is what makes you choose life changing decisions and ultimately to grow old with experience. Embrace time and it can benefit you, but you must be cautious to not get caught in its relentless pace or you will miss the good moments in life. When one travels, time takes many forms, it can take the form of pressure when it’s counting down to that next plane connection you might miss, the form of frustration after you hear how many hours the bus will take because of road conditions.

Time can also take in the form of age, when you discover how long ago a civilization founded the city you’re in or the age lines of an older man telling you a story of a long lost culture of the past. There are special places a traveler finds themselves from time to time, places where time slows down. Cultures are more preserved here and people genuinely seem happier, but there is a place I stumbled upon where time does not exist at all, this is Passu and Gulmit in northern Pakistan. Read More

Qawwali Sufi Ceremony: Lahore Pakistan

Late one evening while in Lahore Pakistan a friend invited me to a Sufi ceremony. Little did I know one of the most popular Qawwali bands would be featured at this ceremony. This particular ceremony lasted one and a half hours, and I sat front row with the band. Listening to the powerful rhythms of Qawwali put one into a trance, a soul beating spiritual trance where the Sufis spin in a circle connecting themselves with god. Be so close with the band it was hard not to fall deep into this trance as well. One of my top experiences of Pakistan was this night, the beautiful beats of Qawwali will forever be a part of me.

Top 5 places to see in China

uncharted backpacker Lijiang

Chinese New Year’s is coming up fast, so why not bring in the year of the monkey and take a trip to stunning China. China is big, you can travel across neon cities, scorching deserts, steamy jungle, and the soaring white capped peaks of the Himalayas all while not leaving its borders. Chinas plethora of sights, cities, landscapes and cultures will you keep you coming for many years to come. So celebrate this Chinese New Year properly in one of these five amazing locations! Read More

Japan Travel Guide

uncharted backpacker japan travel guide

Why Travel To Japan

Japan is another world. It’s a world where modern meets traditional. From the impossibly bright neon lights of Tokyo, to the peaceful zen temples of Kyoto, one thing is for sure. Japan will leave you in awe. If the Japanese are known for two things it would be this. Hospitality and perfection. Hospitality being the countless smiles and generosity you receive from even the most unlikely of people. Perfection, deeply rooted in the Japanese culture, which shows in their sublime, perfectly edged gardens, and the everyday activities. From serving tea in a tea ceremony to simply cutting that perfect piece of sushi. I can promise you. You will never forget this place. Read More

Morocco Travel Guide

uncharted backpacker morocco travel guide

Why Travel To Morocco?

Morocco is amazing! No it’s Incredible….. Well to be honest I cannot think of the correct word to use for Morocco’s grandeur. From the peaceful serene bliss of the Sahara to the chaotic/colorful in your face bazaars Morocco has it all for adventure travelers and other travelers alike, also the luxurious Riads (Traditional Hotel), and the amazing beach resorts if you’re more of the Vacationer type. Read More

Colombia Travel Guide

Colombia travel guide

Why Travel To Colombia?

Colombia is usually overlooked by South American travelers because of its obvious political and crime issues. But good news! The days of gun wielding drug cartel are over. Colombia is becoming more stable than ever and a thriving tourist industry in its primitive state is emerging. Turquoise coast line with empty beaches, untouched amazon jungle and a unique culture unlike anywhere to South America. Colombia is now. Jump in before the wave gets here. Read More

Into the unknown, Darien Panama

darien panama

Darien. Panama

Everyone looks at you as if you were a mad when you mention you are traveling here. The lure of lost tribes, uncharted jungle and unique experiences is why explorers among travelers come here. This is the Darien Panama.
I boarded a small bush plane in Panama City connecting to a town near the Colombian border. The plane flew over turquoise blue waters speckled with small islands before arriving to the shoreline dense with jungle and volcanoes. It felt as if journeying back to a time when the internet didn’t exist and the great unknown lurked all around the globe. Out of the jungle I saw it, a half dirt half concrete landing strip, as we begun to land the chickens and assortment of other animals fled the strip. Read More

Nagaland: The hornbill festival, symbols of the past

nagaland tribe

“Where am I”, I close my eyes and my hearing becomes heightened. In the distance musket rifles are being fired into the air followed by the screams of a war cry, the hauntingly beautiful humming of a tribal chant and the deep base from the longhouse gong being struck this is what I hear. Breathe in, the smell of fresh earth is replaced by smoking pork fat from the nearby longhouse. Open your eyes, and the whole world comes spilling in. Read More