My Travel Pages and Travel Guide Links - A Greensleeves Home Page
This is the home page of all my travel guides and travel advice pages.
The function of the page will be to promote the concept of travel - how travelling can provide memories of a kind which will last forever, and how a visit to another country can be so life-enriching. And I hope I can encourage anyone who can possibly afford to do so, to get on that plane, or that boat or train, and leave the environment of their home world behind.
It will also be the page which provides links to my other travel pages. If you enjoy travel and wish to read more about the places I visit, then please bookmark the page and return to read. Happy travelling everyone!
As a child I travelled extensively in Western Europe with my parents. I also toured America on one occasion taking in 22 states. Subsequently I visited Florida several times. However, it is since the turn of the new millennium that I have found the time, money and motivation to travel more extensively, and more often, and I now try to take in at least one or two foreign trips each year. Destinations so far visited during this time include Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, Greece, Egypt, Tanzania, South Africa, Madeira, Libya, Jordan, India, Thailand and Malaysia, and in time I hope to compile travel guides covering all these as well as future destinations.
All photos which accompany these guides are taken by me. Because of this, some guides will be delayed until I have had time to scan my slides (until recently the photographic medium of choice) into digital format. However, I do hope to add further travel pages each month to this site.
All photos shown on this page are taken in countries featured in my reviews, and will change regularly as more pages and more countries are added. For this reason I apologise for the limited range of countries featured today. They will increase.
My travel guides for the most part are not intended to be a complete source of all information for the tourist. Therefore you will not find detailed information on how to get to a destination, places to stay or eat, currency rates, local transport facilities and so on. Instead my guides are intended more to give a quick illustrated guide to things to do and sights to see. I review some of the world’s great attractions, and some less known attractions, and the history or geography which surrounds them.
I hope that the guides will provide for pleasant or interesting reading, and an understanding of what one is looking at if one visits these places. If any of them actually inspires someone to pack their bags and get on a plane, then even better! Currently I only write about places I have enjoyed, so if someone else can visit and enjoy these places, then the pages will be worthwhile.
The following is a list of links to my travel guides, followed by my advocacy for the benefits of international travel.
MY TRAVEL GUIDES
- Ayutthaya and Bang-Pa In
- The Erawan Shrine; Buddhists at Prayer in Bangkok
- Shows, Entertainments and Attractions in Bangkok
- Lumpini Park, Bangkok
- The Asian Water Monitor Lizard; Varanus salvator
- Muang Boran, the 'Ancient City'
- A Westerner in a Thai Village
- Attractions of North Eastern Thailand
U.S.A - FLORIDA
- Florida Vacation; Wildlife in the Tourist Paradise
- Florida Vacation ; Water Birds in the Tourist Paradise
LINKS TO THE OTHER TRAVEL PAGES I HAVE PUBLISHED
MY TRAVEL GUIDES
- Paris: Photographic Tour of the Sites along the Seine
- Paris: Photographic Guide to Versailles and Sacré-Coeur
- Paris: Photographic Guide to Artistry and Architecture
PORTUGAL - MADEIRA
SPAIN - THE CANARY ISLANDS
- Lanzarote: First Impressions of a Visiting Tourist
- Lanzarote: Timanfaya National Park - The Volcanic Landscape
- Lanzarote: The Papagayo Beaches
WHY TRAVEL? - TRAVEL CAN OFFER US THE GREATEST OF EXPERIENCES
'Of journeying the benefits are many: the freshness it bringeth to the heart, the seeing and hearing of marvelous things, the delight of beholding new cities, the meeting of unknown friends, and the learning of high manners'. Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi (13th century Persian poet)
'Travel allows you to discover history and culture, nature and people, and maybe you will discover something about yourself'
Travel allows us to experience sights and sounds, impossible in the home environment, and it gives us memories which enrich the soul for as long as one lives. Here I'm not talking about lying on a beach burning to a cinder in the sun, or dancing and drinking in a disco until the mind is addled, and the body is out of control. (though I'm not denying there may be a place for these activiities!) I'm talking about experiences which cannot be had at home; experiences which stimulate the senses and expand the mind. Experiences such as new foods and styles of music and dance, culture and language. And the greatest sights in the world - legendary cities and monuments and natural beauty.
A SMALL LIST OF EXPERIENCES
In the past ten years I have:
- Sailed on the Nile in Egypt, source of the first great human civilisation, visited the location in Greece of the greatest cataclysm ever to hit a civilised society, walked where human sacrifices once took place in Guatemala and seen a chequered courtyard in India where the Emperor once played a chess-like game with (reputedly) slave girls as the game pieces.
- Lived as the guest of a family in a small village in Thailand, and experienced Carnival on the Island of Madeira. I've had afternoon tea in the Raffles Hotel, Singapore and I've even met and dated a local girl whilst on vacation in Cuba.
- Walked among wild zebras in Swaziland and been attacked by black kites in The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania (they were only after the picnic lunch). I have swum with stingrays in Belize and laid on a tropical beach at night-fall, as hundreds of giant fruit bats passed slowly overhead. And I've also witnessed a volcanic eruption in Costa Rica and seen a total eclipse of the sun in Libya.
The point about all of this is - I am by no means a seasoned professional traveller. All of these experiences have come from no more than four to five weeks carefully selected vacation per year over the past decade. If you can afford to travel but have not done so, this is what you are missing.
WHY TRAVEL? - TRAVEL ALLOWS US TO WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HISTORY
'The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page'. St. Augustine
'Travelling is the death of ignorance'. Mark Twain
Travelling in Africa allows you to walk in the footsteps of the first people on Earth. Travelling in the Middle East allows you to walk in the footsteps of the first people to develop civilisations and harvest crops and rear livestock. Travelling in Europe and Asia and in Central America allows you to walk in the footsteps of the first people to establish great cities and empires. And travelling throughout the world allows you to walk in the footsteps of the people who shaped the modern world with their discoveries, inventions, and constructions. And their wars.
You can stand where great leaders were inaugurated, made speeches or were assassinated, where attrocities were committed or landmark events took place and history was made. Travelling to these places lends substance to, and breathes life into, the tired old history lessons of our childhood. It makes history come alive, and become more real and relevant than it can ever be on the printed page or the television screen.
I have learned more and understood more from a week's visit to Jordan, a few days in the Mayan cities of Belize, or a few hours in the ancient capital of Thailand, than I could ever have learned in any other way.
WHY TRAVEL? - TRAVEL BROADENS OUR MINDS
'To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries'. Aldous Huxley
'Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness'. Mark Twain
The more one travels to distant lands, where people superficially live very different lives to us, the more one may appreciate the diversity of cultures and customs, and yet equally, the more one appreciates that we are all basically the same. As a person travels, and gets to meet Asians and Africans, Aborigines and Latin Americans, Buddhists and Hindus, Muslims and Christians, so it becomes increasingly difficult I believe for anyone to be racist, xenophobic and prejudiced.
The more I travel, the less nationalistic I may feel.. I live in a civilised, affluent, well-ordered country (the United Kingdom) and there are no doubts as to the benefits of such a society over most others. Yet wherever I go there will always be something - some local custom or etiquette, a new foodstuff, a traffic law, a way of solving some social problem, which is a better way of doing things than we know. And I will meet people who have a welcoming charm and a warmth which is difficult to find in our hectic, urbanised, wealth-obsessed society.
Travel can give a better perspective on life, and make a person more tolerant of differences between cultures, and more responsive to new ways of doing things.
WHY TRAVEL - FINAL THOUGHTS
Here in the West we seem increasingly compelled to live hectic complicated lives - lives which mean for many there is a vital need to relax, to unwind and to forget the pressures of work or day to day domestic life. Travel permits this release from stress better than almost anything else we can do. It can take us as far away from the world we normally inhabit, physically and spiritually, as it is possible to go. And it gives us the chance to briefly forget our problems and return rejuvinated. Deprivations we may see in countries less fortunate than our own, may even make us more grateful for our own standards of living which we spend the rest of the year cursing.
Of course the value that one gets out of travel depends in part on the effort and the spirit that one puts into it. It is no good travelling to the other side of the world only to be disconcerted by the differences which exist, whether it be poverty or language or food or culture, Better to cherish the differences than to lament them. And if one travels with the right approach, an enquiring mind, and the right spirit of open-mindeness, the favourable experiences to be gained from travel will stay with you a lifetime.
LINK TO MY NON-TRAVEL PAGES
More by this Author
In recent years I have spent several weeks living in a small village in N.E Thailand, as the guest of a Thai family. This page is a short introduction to the village, the people, and the countryside
The Erawan Shrine is a much loved devotional site in the centre of Bangkok. And yet it is just a tiny statue on a traffic-jammed crossroads in the city. This is the story of a remarkable little shrine
This page relates in text and videos, the history of one of the most famous melodies in the world of music, and one of the most beautiful too. It also provides my username - Greensleeves Hubs.