Tuesday, May 21st, 2024



Being in a foreign country involves the obligatory day tour. Over the years I’ve come up with a reasonable formula for day tours:

1. Book a personal 1:1 tour. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, you don’t have to deal with the annoying people who tend to be late or get lost on a tour (i.e. selfish fools). Secondly, you usually get a much higher quality person giving the tour as they have to keep up with your 1:1 questions – I once had an amazing guy who used to be a professor of Egyptology in Cairo give a tour of an Egyptian site and I learned a huge amount. Thirdly, you won’t have a coach (the worst form of transport after a camel).

2. Tell the tour guide upfront that you want to avoid the bullshit. That means I don’t want a comfort break where some random guy who smokes like a chimney will try to sell me some random bit of wood/glass/stone/smelly stuff. Oh, and Mr/Mrs Guide- you are my connection to the locals I don’t want to be the token white guy visiting a primary school handing out pencils. if I wanted to do that I’d become a UN missionary.

3. Pick something that is interesting and that you might learn something, rather than simply seeing things you could do from the comfort of your living room with a National Geographic book, less the flies and humidity.

4. (from this trip). Understand the [travel : sights] ratio. How long am I going to be in a form of transport vs. actually stuff that might interest me.

So a tour involving temples, coffee plantations, rice plantations was booked. More on that in the next postings…


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