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Luxury Camping in an Angkorian Temple Complex Banteay Chhmar is a group of villages in northwestern Cambodia, just 20 km from the Thailand border. Currently among the top-listed sites for nomination to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Banteay Chhmar (The Citadel of the Cats) is one of the great architectural masterpieces of Southeast Asia and the Khmer Kingdom’s epic Angkorian Period. The vision of Global Heritage Fund’s Banteay Chhmar Conservation Training Project is "to save the last great Angkorian Temple in Cambodia that remains unstudied, unconserved and unprotected and in doing so hand back the conservation of their heritage to the Cambodian people." Community involvement in the conservation project is integral to its success and ‘’Visit Banteay Chmar" is a community-based tourism organization that is helping to make this happen. This CBT offers local, English-speaking guides who lead detailed temple tours, boat trips and community tours. Other services enable visitors to explore the local area, including a silk...
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,...
Community-Based Tourism in Northern Vietnam Adventurers come to us looking for authentic experiences in and amongst local communities and cultures. One of the best ways to achieve this is through community-based tourism and we've been working really hard to support many of these fledgling projects throughout the world.   What is community-based tourism? It's tourism in which local residents (often rural, poor and economically marginalized) invite travelers to visit their communities. The residents earn income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service and produce providers, etc. Part of the income is set aside for projects which provide benefits to the community as a whole. Community-based tourism enables travelers to discover local habitats, wildlife, and celebrates and respects traditional cultures, rituals and wisdom. The community becomes aware of the commercial and social value placed on their natural and cultural heritage through tourism, and this will foster community-based conservation of these resources. These projects become a healthy way for communities...

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The essence of the countries is in its people This year I had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala for a week and on a comprehensive 16 day trip to Belize, what a treat! Every time I visit Guatemala I’m amazed by the richness of its culture. Just imagine over 21 different indigenous Mayan populations fused with Spanish and European populations. One of my favorite things is to stroll around all the different villages near the Atitlan Lake where ancient Mayan dialect is still the primary language, which is uncommon to see in larger cities throughout Central American these days. It's a chance to really learn about their way of life: weaving the most intricate huipiles, teaching their natural dyeing techniques, etc. The Mayan influence is very strong everywhere you look, I think no other country has more international identity than Guatemala. To top it all our guide was able to spot a jaguar in the jungles of Tikal,...

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Village Life in Guatemala One of my favourite aspects of travelling is meeting the people who live in the country. That's why a highlight of our recent trip to Guatemala was visiting a small community, to see their school and have lunch in a farmhouse. Before leaving the city of Antigua, where we'd stayed for two days, we asked our guide, Fidensio, if we could buy a couple of soccer balls to take as a gift to the school. He arranged for us to stop at a stall in a local market on our way out of town, where a local businessman was selling soccer balls and other goods. After making our purchase, we drove about an hour out of Antigua along winding roads, finally pulling onto a dusty lane. We watched as farmers planted and fertilized their fields by hand. Horses are expensive, and the farms are small enough that the work can...
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