The recently completed third edition of the Ultra Trail d’Angkor race in Cambodia gave participants an incredible opportunity to compete and challenge themselves, with 6 events offered at distances from 16 to 128 km, while gaining a new appreciation for the beauty and scale of the Angkor Monuments. You too can experience the wonder of Angkor; contact us. Or if you are up for the challenge, start training for the next race, scheduled for January 2019. 

As part of our commitment to responsible travel, at Haivenu Tours we encourage travellers to consider sustainability not only when choosing a destination and activities, but even when packing. Here are a few tips we might offer for smart packing that – beyond the benefits of responsible travel – are simply good advice.  

The Golden Rule of Travel is to pack light. Remember that every stage of your trip will be easier if you have lighter luggage. Filling out your airline baggage allowance to the last kilogram too often means transporting weight halfway around the world that you may not even use, and that you don’t really need. Keeping your luggage to a minimum saves fuel and energy on every leg of your journey. Consider travelling with a carry-on only. While this may not be possible for longer trips, you will be surprised at how much you can pare down your luggage weight by bringing only what you are sure to need. In most cases, you can cheaply buy other items locally, which is also one more way to add local experience to your adventure.

Having a reusable carrier bag with you, such as those provided by many grocers, gives you the ability to refuse the single-use plastic bags which are ubiquitous across much of Asia and are a major contributor to the region’s litter and pollution problems. Everything from street food snacks to souvenirs to take-away coffee comes with these plastic bags, and doing your part to avoid them is part of the solution to this problem.

Bring a Water bottle. Generally speaking, Southeast Asia is hot and humid, and most travellers drink a lot of water. Don’t spend money on single use plastic water bottles; bring your own bottle and refill it at hotels or restaurants with filtered water.

Reuse toiletry containers. Travel sized toiletry containers can save you space, but be sure to purchase reusable containers and simply fill them with the products you regularly use. Repeatedly buying branded products in tiny travel containers creates a lot of unnecessary waste, and instead you can simply reuse containers when you travel again. 

Do your recycling at home. Be sure that any new products you bring with you are free of all packing materials which can be disposed of at home for proper recycling. The bonus benefit here is that it helps keep your overall luggage weight down as well.

More tips for smart packing:

Photocopy passports and important documents before you leave; carry one copy with you and leave a copy with a friend at home to help in case of having to replace a passport abroad. Smartphone pictures of your luggage and contents are also useful in the event of lost luggage.

Carry all valuables and essentials with you. Having any necessary medication, contact lens solution, a clean pair of underwear, etc., in your carry-on will save you a great deal of stress if luggage is lost or delayed.  

Roll clothes, don’t fold them. Stuff socks, underwear, and accessories inside of shoes. Kitchen sandwich bags or vacuum pack bags can be space savers.

• Traveling as a couple? Distribute clothes between two suitcases, instead of each packing on piece of luggage, to limit the impact in the event of any lost luggage. 

• If you expect your travels to include any shopping, remember to save some room in your suitcase to carry home your treasures.

Ear plugs and a sleep mask can be useful for plane, train or bus transport, as well as in hotels.

Pack well, travel light, and enjoy your trip!

The Indonesian island of Bali’s legendary natural beauty and enchanting culture have made it a travel highlight for the entire region. Bali is now seeing tourism resurge after volcanic activity on Mount Agung in late 2017 disrupted some travel plans. As volcanic activity has eased, authorities reduced the hazard zone to just 6km around Mt. Agung, located some 50km from the island’s major tourism and population centre. Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Bali to boost confidence in travel safety, and some airlines are now offering promotional fares, making this a good time to explore the Island of the Gods.

The new species of orchid, first discovered accidentally in late 2016 in Zhemgang, Southeast Bhutan, is named Spathoglottis jetsuniae in honour of Her Majesty Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck. This striking orchid, bearing a purplish flower (turning white at maturity) with a distinctly yellow lip, is a welcome addition to the increasing number of orchid and other floral species recorded in the country. Bhutan offers travellers an ancient and unique culture, incredible wild spaces and unparalleled natural scenery. We can take you there.

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