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Getting Naked in Japan: The Addictive Japanese Onsen Experience

If you're okay with getting naked in public then you'll love the Japanese onsen experience. It's very addictive. In short order you'll find a way to carve out the minimum 30 minutes you need to visit an onsen. But many or even most westerners are going to have to get over their aversion to getting naked in public, myself included. What is a Japanese onsen? A Japanese onsen is basically a public-style bath that uses…

Hokkaido Skiing: The Fabulous Kiroro Resort Experience

Did you know that skiing in Japan is some of the best on the planet, especially on the island of Hokkaido? Try to picture what 21 metres or 69 feet of snow looks like. That's the yearly average Kiroro Ski Resort receives! While I didn't catch a powder day, I did get the next best thing - spring skiing weather in early March on great snow with hardly a soul in sight. On a Sunday.…

Drift Ice Walking in Hokkaido, Japan

Excitement mounts on my bus filled with fellow outdoor adventurers from around the globe as we follow the Shiretoko National Highway north to the Shiretoko Peninsula on the eastern shore of Hokkaido, Japan’s most northerly island. Hugging the shore for miles, the empty highway offers views of drift ice as far as the eye can see. It’s particularly beautiful in the soft glow of a setting sun over the Sea of Okhotsk, a name that…

Hiking in Hong Kong: Your Ticket to Nature and the Outdoors

Look out your airplane window as you fly into Hong Kong and you can't help but be wowed by the density of development and the sheer number of skyscrapers packed into a space the size of six Washington, DC's. But what most people don't realize is that Hong Kong is more than a big city. It's an archipelago of 236 islands and islets - and a hiker and nature lover's paradise. While locals are very…

Hiking the Lycian Way in Turkey

For over a decade I dreamed about hiking Turkey's Lycian Way - considered to be one of the world's great walks. Years ago, well before the internet when you looked at books for inspiration, I bought one called The Top Treks of the World. I remember being in awe of the landscape on the Lycian Way and thinking this is one hike I really want to do. Fast forward and I can now say that…

Trekking in Northern India: Day by Day Highs & Lows

While I've written several posts about my trekking trip through the Zanskar Valley in northern India, there is still much that I've yet to share. This post will give you a day by day account of the trek - including the highs and the lows along with one photo from each day from the time we left Leh until we returned. I think it will provide a better overall explanation of what you can see.…

The Hilarious Road Signs of Northern India

You've got to hand it to the Indians. They know how to use humour to address bad driving habits in a way that I haven't seen in other countries. I used to drive to Seattle from Vancouver quite often and the first road sign you'd see entering the US was a threat - Litter and it will hurt. I much prefer the use of humour. Certainly the Indian drivers are still crazy - coming up…

What a Day Looks Like on a Multi-Week Trekking Expedition in India

I've done three multi-week treks in the mountains - two guided trips in the Himalayas (Nepal and India) and one that was self-guided in the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru. The guided trips definitely follow a daily pattern. While on our 18 day trek with World Expeditions through the Zanskar Valley the landscape changed but the routine did not. Our day would start with tea being brought to the tent. Depending on the day that…

Highlights of 3 Days of Trekking in the Markha Valley

Our trek in northern India from the Zanskar Valley to the Indus River with World Expeditions was for the most part well off the proverbial beaten path for all but the last three days. We ended our trek trekking through the spectacular Markha Valley. Beauty here comes with a price; a lot more people and the tea-house culture. There's nothing wrong with that but it requires an adjustment after a couple of truly remote weeks.…

20 Photos That Will Make You Want to Trek in Northern India

Visiting India has never been on my travel wish list - mostly on account of the noise, the huge population and the sheer amount of effort just to get there. But then I thought back to a film I saw about a dozen years ago from the Best of Banff Film Festival. It showcased a teacher from the west living in a remote village in the Zanskar region of northern India basically cut off from…

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