The most dangerous countries in the world have been updated for 2018. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below.
The greenest country in the world is Switzerland according to the latest data analysis from the 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI).
The Environmental Performance Index evaluates and ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across 10 categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
The aim is to gauge, at a national scale, how close countries are to meeting the environmental policy goals outlined in the United Nations 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Continue reading
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations, has published this year’s World Happiness Report. The SDSN employs an international group of economists, neuroscientists and statisticians to survey citizens on their subjective wellbeing and produce a comprehensive annual list of the happiest countries in the world.
We look at some of the finest long-distance hiking trails from around the world.
I’m always looking for new outdoor challenges (to add to my current bucket list of climbing the seven summits and sailing the Pacific Ocean). Completing some epic long-distance hiking trails sounds like the perfect challenge for me.
Africa dominates the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank.
Last year, we spent a month travelling through Ethiopia. Growing up in the eighties, we were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia had faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine.
However, in 2017, Ethiopia had the fastest-growing economy in the world and was named by Lonely Planet as one of its Best in Travel countries of that year. Change is happening, but it’s still slow. Continue reading
Travelling can be a bureaucratic nightmare for those on restricted passports. Here we look at the best passport to have in 2018 based on the freedom it provides.
Ten years ago, in my first job after graduation, I shared an office with a researcher called Munir who I nicknamed Dr2 because he not only had a PhD but was also qualified as a medical doctor. (I recognise it’s not the wittiest name in the world but it was the best I could do at the time.) Continue reading
It’s not just dizzying heights that make these the most dangerous hikes in the world. Prepare to contend with extreme weather, erupting volcanoes and dangerous wildlife on these hair-raising hikes.
The hottest places on earth are in constant flux. They change from year to year and recording techniques – which are often challenged and disputed – change with them. Regardless, the same places tend to crop up again and again, many of them sharing similar characteristics. The hottest places on Earth are nearly always dry, barren, sunny and home to little or no vegetation. Continue reading
We’ve just returned from Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Erta Ale may not be as lofty or as challenging as the following summits, but it did remind us why we stand in awe of volcanoes – active or not. Continue reading
Climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent – is an improbable and expensive dream of mine… but that’s the beauty of dreams.
Winter is coming and, with it, the customary slew of ‘Best Of’ and ‘Must Do’ lists summing up everything from the funniest one-liners on Twitter to the best countries to visit in 2018. Everyone’s at it, from The New York Times who are readying to publish their 52 Places, to industry stalwarts Lonely Planet who have just released their Best in Travel.
These peppy lists of perfect places do exactly what they’re supposed to: inspire intense wanderlust, but amid the desk-bound dreaming, it’s wise to ask if there’s a danger in genuflecting to the experts. Should we really gather these pearls of wisdom and place them in our bucket lists? Continue reading
We wrap up our series on this extraordinary country by browsing through the best books about Myanmar and the insights offered within their pages.
Before I visit a country, I like to read a book or two about the destination to get a sense of the place and culture. For Myanmar, it had to be George Orwell’s Burmese Days, a dark and fascinating insight into British colonial Burma and the disgust Orwell felt towards the system he was a part of. Continue reading
It was five years ago that I first came across a big wall climber. A tiny speck on the side of a gigantic granite wall, the climber was bivvying in Yosemite National Park, the Holy Land of big wall climbing.
I couldn’t comprehend how someone could sleep tacked onto the side of a wall, suspended thousands of feet above the ground, sometimes in treacherous weather conditions. Continue reading
We reflect on the interesting facts about Myanmar we learnt during our cycling tour through the country.
As a tourist destination, Myanmar may be young, but it is rich in history and culture. After decades under oppressive military rule, the country is finally opening up. Tourist numbers are beginning to swell, exiles are returning from the wild and a wave of uncensored media is increasingly available to a newly optimistic population. Continue reading
We spent our final day in Myanmar cycling around Bagan, the world’s largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins.
After cycling over 250km (155mi) across Myanmar including a 83km (52mi) slog up to Mount Popa, the final day of our cycling tour of Myanmar – a mere 25km (15mi) around the temples of Bagan – was going to a be cinch.
Despite the short distances, the Burmese sun was shining strongly and with it came the vaporous Burmese heat. Thankfully, with over 2,000 Buddhist structures spread across 104 sq km (40 sq mi) there was regular relief in the cool and airy stone temples. Continue reading
The variety of things to do on Inle Lake provides a different look at life in Myanmar.
Burma without Buddhism would be like Rome without religion: a land shorn of identity, bereaved of its most vivid colours. There’s no question that Buddhism with its extraordinary monuments and monasteries makes the country what it is: spiritual, mystical and all those other adjectives western writers apply to eastern exoticism.
Burma, now known as Myanmar, is the East of the brochures: of mists rising on tranquil lakes and berobed monks in echoing chambers. Myanmar does not disappoint. But, much like Angkor Wat in Cambodia, it can wear out all but the most avid temple goers. With this in mind, I was pleased to have a day on Inle Lake with plenty of variety. There were stupas and monasteries (naturally), but also extraordinary locals that provided a tiny slice of life on the lake. Continue reading
We visited Shwe U Min Natural Cave Pagoda of Pindaya, one of the most bizarre experiences of our trip to Myanmar.
After a long, hot morning in the saddle, our group of nine cyclists arrived in the town of Pindaya. We’d covered around 40km (25mi) through Myanmar’s Shan State and were looking forward to some respite from the intense sun. I knew nothing of the Shwe U Min Natural Cave Pagoda but the idea of descending below ground and escaping the devilish heat sounded very appealing. Continue reading
On my last visit to London, I asked my niece to grab a tenner from my wallet for the pizza fund. (We have a family of eight siblings and 21 nieces and nephews, so ordering pizza requires a basic level of crowdfunding.)
She rifled through my wallet, first pulling out some US dollars, then my tattered entrance card to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, then the business card of a tourism official in Malawi. She smiled cheekily and said, “Ada marayreh?”.
The Bengali phrase – which loosely translates to ‘flouncing about’ or ‘gallivanting’ – is usually used pejoratively by prim auntie-jis to chide young women for venturing outside and being seen in ‘improper’ situations (e.g. walking with a boy, entering a cinema, going on holiday). Continue reading
We visit Taung Kalat, the surreal Buddhist monastery on Myanmar’s Mount Popa.
Mount Popa may as well have been Mount Doom. It loomed on our cycle itinerary, taunting me with defeat. As a newbie cyclist (and certainly the weakest in our group), I found the prospect of cycling 83km (52mi) uphill under the baking Burmese sun more than a little daunting.
Thankfully, our support vehicle was always close by, offering both solace (“I’m here if you need me”) and seduction (“you can quit right now if you want”). The latter proved too much and soon I relented, swapping two wheels for four while the group struggled on. Continue reading
I had never considered seeing the world by cycle. As a Londoner, I equated cycling with traffic-clogged lanes and smoke-choked roundabouts. After a recent ride, however, I came to see that cycling offers a unique view of the world.
First, there’s the freedom. Nearly every environment is accessible by bike, from parched desert and rugged steppe to luscious jungle and cityscape. Cycling allows you to explore remote corners that just can’t be seen by car.
Second, there’s the element of reality. Cycling brings you literally closer to a land and its people, offering authentic sights and smells without a sanitising filter of glass.
Read the rest of this post on the G Adventures blog.