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Elephant Conservation Camp in Laos (Photo Essay) I just returned from a custom three-week trip through Southeast Asia and one of the highlights was our time at the Elephant Conservation Camp (ECC). The camp is located about 2 1/2 hours from Luang Prabang in the Nam Tien Protected Area just outside the village of Sayaboury on the edge of Nam Tien Lake. The camp is home to 9 rescued elephants from around Laos. Here's a rundown of what you can expect and what we experienced during our 3 days and 2 nights at the camp: Once you arrive, the first step is to get to know the elephants.  You'll learn how the mahouts (professional elephant riders) work with the elephants on a daily basis and they will introduce you to the elephants and give you the basics about their training and the commands they use. This is a great time to learn about the mahout's culture and the history of...

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Following the Leopard's Footsteps in Sri Lanka Check out this video of a banner day on safari in Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is Sri Lanka's largest park and one of its oldest. Sri Lankan parks boast some of the highest densities of leopards in the world so your chances of seeing this majestic cat are pretty good! On the day featured in this video 3 leopards were spotted, including one trying to hunt a boar! Wilpattu, land of lakes, is one of 22 national parks in Sri Lanka and boasts an impressive variety of animals from elephants to sloth bears to leopards and water buffalo. It's best is to spend 2 days exploring this massive and varied park. The animals can be elusive in Wilpattu due to its size but when you do catch a sighting it's all the more rewarding as there are barely any other jeeps around!  Check out our Wild Sri Lanka...

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A Life Transformed by Southeast Asia I stood at the window on the top floor of the skyscraper in the heart of Bangkok looking out at the chaos on the streets below. It was hot and smoggy, and it had taken us about two hours to travel just a few miles to get here. I loved it.  It was 1995 and I was a university dean visiting Bangkok for the first time to meet with corporate partners and recruit potential students for a new international doctoral program I was overseeing. It wasn’t my first trip to Asia, nor was it the last. I had traveled to Japan in the summer of 1971 to attend an academic conference. It was also hot and smoggy and crowded and chaotic. It was, I thought, the worst example of creeping Western materialism taking over the world. I hated it. What was different between my experiences in 1971 and 1995? Me. I...
Manaus: Gateway to the Amazon & Unlikely Cultural Center Manaus is green and tranquilly chaotic with charming and inviting people. It is a city where over 600 billion-dollar industries collide with the impending brute force of the surrounding sea of inhospitable jungle. No man-made roads lead to Manaus; there was a failed attempt at one from Matto Grosso, which the Amazon took hold of and promptly re-ingested into its suffocating embrace. Now, the only ways into the city are, as was always the case, via one of the thousands of waterways winding their way to the Amazon itself, and flight. The heat has character. It has a weight, music and flavor all its own; it works its way into the wood of the small houses along the riverbanks, into the fibers of clothing and finally into deeper epidermal layers where it gleefully takes hold. It smells lush- every plant fighting to dominate the dense air with its own native,...

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A Trip for the Record Books! This family of four, along with their friend, returned a week ago from Peru on Our Sacred Lands of the Incas adventure. They had a fabulous time and below are some of their comments from their trip. "Gretchen, Our trip to Peru was one for the record books!  Probably some of the best scenery since I traveled to the South Island of New Zealand.  Didn't hurt that the weather was sunny and gorgeous every day.  All of the tour operators, restaurants, drivers and hotels were perfect.  I have a new favorite drink, the Pisco Sour.  Really loved the Monasterio and the Inkaterra in Machu Picchu.  The buffet lunch at Machu Picchu was spectacular.  I will definitely consider using your travel company again and will refer you to any friends for their travel needs. Thank you so much." Here's the family's full trip evaluation: Trip Name: Sacred Lands of the Incas...
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Wild Bloggers

Kurt Kutay
128 post(s)
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Gretchen Traut
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Jonathan Burnham
21 post(s)
Kelsey Wenger
11 post(s)
Rachael Garrett
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Anne Kutay
1 post(s)
Tim Hocking
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