Antarctica: It is the last frontier, different from anywhere else in the world. Don't bother: Taking a typical cruise ship to Antarctica because you don't ever touch land and you only see Antarctica in the distance. Take an expedition ship; you get up close and personal with curious and fascinating wild animals.
India: Majuli Island, Assam State: The island is home to a mix of communities – the Mishing tribe, the Deoris, the Sonowal Kacharis and the Ahoms. The inhabitants lead simple lives and are always happy to welcome travellers. Mishing tribals, in particular, like to invite visitors into their homes for a bowl of freshly prepared apong or rice beer.
AFGHANISTAN ADVENTURE TRAVEL: Herat, a city once occupied by Alexander the Great in 330BC, is seeking to capitalise on its relatively safe image to bring in more tourists. Pictured: An Afghan competitor takes part in the annual ski challenge event in Bamiyan province.
Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar via Kathmandu, Lukla, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche and Gorak Shep = two weeks of awesome trekking. Wanted to get the whole experience from Lukla to Everest, teahouses, yaks, Sherpas, etc., and it was incredible. Don't miss: If you can stand 18,200 feet of elevation, you can't go to Everest Base Camp without going to Kala Patthar for the view. It's glorious.
Mt Huashan, China: Most dangerous hiking trail on earth? "When I first posted the pictures of Huashan in January 2007, I believed it was the most dangerous trail I had ever seen.... since I first wrote this story, I have received several letters that suggest the Chinese have made significant improvements to this trail. I certainly hope so because in its original state the Huashan Hiking Trail was definitely a Death Trap.
Pepper Spray: the Best Bear Repellent -- The US Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team conducted a ten-year analysis in the 1990s, which found that people who defended themselves against bears with firearms suffered injury 50 percent of the time, while those outfitted with bear spray evaded injury most of the time. A 2008 study backs up this claim. Between 1985 and 2006, scientists found that bear spray was 92 percent effective in deterring attacks from the three species of North American bear.
CRUISING UP THE HUDSON LIKE IT WAS 1609. As the Hudson river snaked around Constitution Island, 55 miles north of Manhattan, I imagined that I was an intrepid sailor on a Dutch East India company vessel sailing around the bend 400 years ago. But not for long. As waves lashed around me I was reminded that mine was a humble Kayak.