Adventure Trend

Notes for a Traveller

Category: Asia (page 1 of 9)

Lia Ditton is getting set to row across the Pacific Ocean unassisted—and she’s afraid

Adventure Journal »

Lia Ditton is a 39-year-old licensed sea captain, yachtswoman and solo ocean rower from London. She has racked up over 150,000 miles on the sea and has taken part in some of the most grueling races on earth, such as the OSTAR transatlantic race, the Le Route du Rhum, and the Woodvale challenge. And she’s about to embark on her greatest challenge yet, rowing solo and unsupported across the Pacific Ocean. This is her story.

Three months before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I will depart from Choshi, Japan, on a mission to row 5,500 miles alone and unsupported, across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the USA. Nineteen attempts have been made to row this distance. Two were successful. Both men, both towed to land the last 20 and 50 miles respectively. One person was lost at sea.

If I succeed, I will be the first woman ever to row the North Pacific unsupported and the first person to row land-to-land [ed note: Sarah Outen rowed the North Pacific solo from Japan to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, but with a support team, back in 2013].

Read the rest of Lia’s essay at Adventure Journal »

Chernobyl’s infamous Reactor 4 Control Room is now open to tourists » but you’ll have to wear a hazmat suit

Jack Guy, writing for CNN »

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has seen a huge increase in visitor numbers in recent years as part of a growing global interest in dark tourism.

And now, intrepid travelers be able to get inside the control room where the world’s worst nuclear accident unfolded, Chernobyl tour companies confirmed to CNN.

Those who venture inside the highly radioactive area at the infamous Reactor 4 will be provided with white protective suits, helmets and masks for the brief visits. After leaving, they will be subject to two radiology tests to measure exposure.

Read more »

Months of protests in Hong Kong have made traveling to the city a potentially dicey proposition

Eric Lam and Tian Chen, writing for Bloomberg »

Since June, repeated demonstrations have filled its streets, including marches estimated at a million or more people and a sit-in that shut down the airport. Rail services were suspended across the network for the first time in more than a decade on Oct. 4 and 5 after a government ban on face masks led to city-wide violence.

The protests were initially triggered by an extradition bill and later expanded to include demands for more democracy and the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam. There have also been violent clashes with police and vandalism against mainland-linked businesses and train stations.

Read more » 

Japan and Singapore top 2019 list of world’s most powerful passports

Euan McKirdy and Maureen O’Hare at CNN write »

Japan and Singapore have held onto their position as the world’s most travel-friendly passports.

That’s the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords.

Singapore and Japan’s passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 190 countries each.

South Korea rubs shoulders with Finland and Germany in second place, with citizens of all three countries able to access 188 jurisdictions around the world without a prior visa.

Finland has benefited from recent changes to Pakistan‘s formerly highly restrictive visa policy. Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Spain, Malta, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the United States or the UK.

Read more of this article at CNN »

The best passports in 2019 are:

1. Japan, Singapore (190 destinations)
2. Finland, Germany, South Korea (188)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (187)
4. France, Spain, Sweden (186)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal (185)
6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland (184)
7. Malta, Czech Republic (183)
8. New Zealand (182)
9. Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia (181)
10. Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia (180)
More at the Henley Passport Index

Notes

» Canada has been ranked 6th four years in a row. They were ranked 2nd in 2014, then dropped to 4th in 2015, and have been holding steady in 6th since 2016.

» The USA been on a steady decline since 2014 when they were ranked 1st. They dropped to 2nd in 2015, 4th in 2016, 5th in 2017 and 2018, and to 6th this year.

» The UK has been on a steady decline in the rankings, dropping from 1st in 2015, to 3rd in 2016, to 4th in 2017, to 5th in 2018, to 6th this year.

World’s Most Powerful Passports as of Q3 2019

The Henley Passport Index has released its third quarter ranking of the world’s most powerful passports in 2019.

The index is compiled from data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and measures global mobility based on visa-free access to destinations. It also uses data from the index’s 14-year history, “to show how travel mobility has changed over the past decade, looking at which passports have gained in strength and which have fallen behind.”

Japan and Singapore hold the world’s strongest passports, with Visa-free access to 189 destinations. South Korea dropped to second place, joining Germany and Finland with Visa-free access to 187 destinations.

The United Arab Emirates entered the top 20 index for the first time in the list’s 14-year-history, moving up an astonishing 41 spots. Other countries that climbed standings include Taiwan, which climbed 24 places over the past ten years and ranks 30th.

The USA and the UK each dropped to the lowest position they’ve held since 2010, sharing the sixth spot with Canada, Greece, Norway, Belgium and Ireland.

Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Malta, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the USA or the UK.

Afghanistan is once again at the other end of the rankings, with its citizens needing a prior visa for all but 25 destinations worldwide.

Most Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
1. Japan, Singapore (189 Destinations)
2. South Korea, Germany, Finland (187)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (186)
4. France, Sweden, Spain (185)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (184)
6. Canada, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, UK, US (183)
7. Malta (182)
8. Czechia (181)
9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Lithuania (180)
10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (179)

The Least Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:

101. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea (39 Destinations)
102. Nepal (38)
103. Libya, Palestinian, Sudan (37)
104. Yemen (33)
105. Somalia (31)
106. Pakistan (30)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (27)
109. Afghanistan (25)

Source: Henley Passport Index

Watch Noraly from ItchyBoots.com Travel Through Georgia and Armenia as She Rides Around The World

We last connected with Noraly transiting quickly through Russia and the border crossing into Georgia. With this video series we follow her progress in Georgia.

Ep. 96 – Noraly crosses into Georgia
And heads to Tbilisi, the capital city.

Ep. 97 – Boom! Noraly surprises us by crossing into Armenia
In the video she tells us why.

Ep. 98 – Noraly highlights the people of Armenia

Ep. 99 – Noraly visits The Republic of Artsakh
Artsakh is a breakaway state that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan

Ep. 100 – Noraly returns to Armenia

 

Watch » The Icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean

This video was shot in the Arctic Ocean in March 2018.

For 7 days the crew passed through the Barents Sea to Karsky around the Novaya Zemlya archipelago on the nuclear icebreaker Yamal. They witnessed the northern lights, polar bears, watched the ships stuck in the ice being towed, and were very cold.

In the video you can see two Russian icebreakers – “50 Years of Victory” and “Yamal” with a capacity of 75,000 horsepower.

Continue reading

Watch Noraly from ItchyBoots.com Travel Through Russia as She Rides Around The World

We last connected with Noraly riding through Kazakhstan. With this video series we follow her progress in Russia on her way to Georgia.

Ep. 92 – Riding from Atyrau, Crossing into Russia, and Riding onto Astrakhan
Noraly rides here last 300km in Kazakstan, across rough roads to the Russian border. And then rides onto Astrakhan.

Ep. 93 – Riding 300 km from Astrakhan to Elista

Ep. 94 – Riding from Elista to Stavropol
Noraly passes through a police check stop.

Ep. 95 – Noraly heads towards the Georgian border
Her transit visa is running out.

Follow Noraly as she continues her adventure with riding through Georgia.

Watch » Adventure Not War

This film, produced by REI, takes the viewers into mountains of Iraq revealing a seldom explored, beautiful underbelly in a forever place scarred by the invasion.

The film follows American veterans of that war as they discover a different side of Iraq and heal deep personal wounds.

The producers hope to promote peace and a universal understanding that beauty can replace hatred when we strive for adventure, not war.

Continue reading

Watch Noraly from ItchyBoots.com Ride Through Kazakhstan as She Makes Her Way Around The World on a Royal Enfield Himalayan

We last saw Noraly riding through Kyrgyzstan. With this video series we follow her progress through Kazakhstan.

Ep. 83 – Crossing into Kazakhstan
Noraly rides from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Almaty, Kazakhstan

Ep. 84 – Getting a Russian Visa and servicing the Royal Enfield in Almaty.

Ep. 85 – The Plains of Kazakhstan
Noraly has only a couple of weeks to travel to some 3400 km to the Russian border. So despite the weather forecast, she must make tracks.

Ep. 86 – Riding to Turkestan, Kazakhstan
Naraly rides to an important pilgrimage site. Yasaui Mausoleum, built in the 14th century, hosts the tomb of Sufi teacher and poet Yasaui.

Ep. 87 – Noraly explores Sauran, the ruins of the capital of the Mongol White Horde, on her way to Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan

Ep. 88 – Riding from Kyzylorda to Aralsk
Noraly rides to see rockets at Baikonur on her long day’s journey to the Aral Sea.

Ep. 89 – Nothing but Camels – Riding from Aralsk to Aktobe
Noraly plans a long 617 km day ride.

Ep. 90 – Aktobe to Uralsk
Noraly takes a 480km detour due to road construction.

Ep. 91 – Noraly ploughs through another 510 kilometers of detour on her way to Atyrau.
Through flat grasslands and semi-desert on her way to the Russian border

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