Travel Blog

Ethical Tourism: The Dos and Don’ts of Bearing Gifts

September 1st, 2015 by
Hand holding heart as symbol of charity
Sam meant well. He’d been to Cambodia during the Vietnam War and found the poverty in many areas heart-wrenching. Now, he was going back as a tourist, and he wanted to take gifts for the villagers he would encounter along the way from Phnom Penh to Angkor Wat. When he told us he planned to take a large duffle bag of clothing and candy to distribute to the poor, we said, “It’s a lovely gesture, but not a good idea.”

Can Americans Travel to Cuba Now?

August 18th, 2015 by
Hotel Nacional
Yes, Americans can travel to Cuba. In fact, Americans have been able to take a Cuba tour for many years but with severe restrictions on their travels. What’s changed is that in 2014, President Obama began re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. Since then, travel requirements have been somewhat relaxed. With the easing of travel requirements, so many Americans are booking trips to this colorful, historically and culturally rich country that hotels are booked four months or more in advance!

The Best Time to Hike the Annapurna Circuit

August 4th, 2015 by
Deciding the best time to hike the Annapurna Circuit is an elimination game. You can rule out December through February–too cold. Take May off the list–too hot. And you certainly don’t want to go in the summer–too wet. June through September is the monsoon season, when as much as 70% of the annual rainfall occurs. This is also when rock fall and landslides are most likely to occur.

When Is The Best Time to Visit Laos?

July 22nd, 2015 by
“When to travel to Laos?” is one of the questions we’re asked frequently by clients who want to visit the “Land of Elephants.” There’s literally something to meet every traveler’s desire in Laos, which is one reason why the European Council on Tourism and Trade awarded it the “World’s Best Tourist Destination,” in 2013. Here’s a list of our top ten places to see in Laos, categorized by special interest.

China to Myanmar: A Tour from Yunnan to Yangon

July 7th, 2015 by
Chinese family taking pigs to market
A tour package through southwest Yunnan to Ruili, the border crossing into Myanmar, takes you through what is considered the most exotic part of China. The lush green rice fields provide a verdant contrast to the surrounding mountains. Then, after crossing the border into Myanmar at Muse, you find yourself heading to Yangon on part of the Old Burma Road, built with handmade tools in the late 1930’s.

Ancient Kingdoms of Southeast Asia

June 24th, 2015 by
My Son Sanctuary
Angkor Wat and the Khmer civilization of Cambodia are known worldwide, but Vietnam also boasts the ruins of an ancient culture – that of the Cham.

Today, the Cham villagers you meet in Hoi An and along the Mekong are just one of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups, but a millennium ago, the Cham were the leading denizens of the Kingdom of Champa, “the grand emporium of Southeast Asia.” A marvelous testament to these early Vietnam colonists is the temple complex of My Son.

Recovery In Nepal: 6 Weeks After the Earthquake

June 5th, 2015 by
Myths and Mountains is truly blessed to work with top ground operators. In Nepal, the local operators and their families have been greatly affected by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck on April 25. However, despite their personal challenges, they have done everything necessary to keep our travelers in Nepal safe and helped arrange transportation for clients who choose to leave the country. Now, a little over a month since the Nepal disaster, our operators continue to update us on conditions in Kathmandu and other areas of the country. Their updates are so informative that we decided to share the most recent one with those who follow Myths and Mountains and who are interested in what is happening now in Nepal or who are planning a visit to Nepal. Greetings! Normalcy is slowly returning in Nepal. Although aftershocks still occur, and fear of them grips some parts of the country, thousands of young Nepalis have been working tirelessly to restore order and help those affected. These young people immediately swung into rescue and relief operation after the earthquake. For the last three years, they have been trained in disaster preparedness, and the sudden tremor was a real test for them. […]

Blue-Footed Boobies and Beyond: An Insider’s Guide to the Real Galapagos

May 27th, 2015 by
Classic Galapagos
If you’re going to the Galapagos Islands, you probably have a wish list of what you hope to do–bask on the beach with sea lions, watch blue-footed boobies dance for their mates, swim with tortoises. But there are some experiences that you probably didn’t even know were possible, because most cruises don’t offer them. Myths and Mountains does. For starters, what about meeting the locals while you travel the Galapagos Islands? Yes, only four of all of the Galapagos Islands are inhabited, including Floreana and San Cristobal. And have they got tales to tell! The most mysterious was the subject of The Galapagos Affair: When Satan Came to Eden, a riveting, true-crime documentary released in 2013. Then there’s the food, and we’re not just talking restaurants. We mean having dinner by candlelight at an organic farm and meeting its owners, or savoring freshly caught seafood with the fisherman–or woman–who caught it. A Unique Galapagos Vacation The reason Myths and Mountains can offer such a unique journey of wildlife and culture is that we have an expert on board. Allie Almario, our vice president, has been traveling to the Galapagos for more than 20 years. She’s served as president and executive […]