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STA Travel Blog

12 things you have to see in Beijing

Today’s blog comes from Mary Bulgin, one of our fab student ambassadors at Cardiff University.

Beijing is a must visit city where the charm of traditional Chinese culture meets the exciting rush of city life. As the political hub of China, Beijing is the perfect place to soak up the country’s rich history whilst immersing yourself in the changing society of modern China. Whilst many tourists restrict their stay in the bustling city to just a few days, I recently spent an action packed ten days there. So (for the more intrepid travellers) I’ll let you in on some of the less well known spots, just off the tourist beaten track, to help you experience more of this vibrant city.

Great Wall
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A photo diary of an Indonesia adventure

Today’s blog comes from the winner of our photography competition we ran earlier this year John Crux. He embarked on his tour of Indonesia in June and (unsurprisingly) came back with some killer photos.

Originally from the UK, I’ve been regularly travelling on different adventures around the world for over five years now. 50 countries in, I’ve amassed a library of around 50,000 travel images, one of which was lucky enough to be selected as the winner of STA Travel’s photography competition earlier this year! This gave me the opportunity to join an adventure tour through Java to Bali in Indonesia. Having spent a few months in Indonesia in 2009 and deciding it was one of my favourite countries, I was very eager to get back there, and so in June I started my first G adventures trip which was a great experience!

I’ve always been better with images than words so I’ll let the photos do the talking.

borobudur

Borobudur temple, Java

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12 Hidden Gems to Find in India

India is rich in travel gems. You can visit the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, boat down the River Ganges and tour the slums in Mumbai and yet India has so much more to offer just round the next corner (well, a bus/train/plane ride away).

If you want to get off the beaten track and explore the best-kept secrets of India we’ve unearthed 12 hidden gems you should definitely go out your way to find. We admit, some of them aren’t that easy to get to (cue rickety train rides and trekking on foot) but they’re all well worth the journey and after all, that’s kind of the point.

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Which Machu Picchu Trek should I do?

The Inca Trail is an iconic trek through a spectacular landscape ending at one of the most beautiful historical sights in the world; in short it’s popular for a reason. This acclaim has lead to the Peruvian government taking extra measures to protect the ancient route and there is a limit of 500 people a day allowed on the trail (including trekkers, porters and guides) and in February it’s closed all together.

Though this is great for the local environment it can mean that the permits for the trail are like gold dust during busy months and many people are unable to secure them for their visit. The fame of the route and the ensuing crowds have also led to some visitors seeking out alternative routes (we call them Inca hipsters). But which trek one should you choose? Here’s our run-down of the 4 most popular to help you decide:
Inca Trail routes

The routes

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12 Reasons to add South Korea to your to do list

It may not be as well known as its neighbors China and Japan but that’s all set to change as visitors to the Far East discover the variety and beauty of this small country

Separated from its infamous northern neighbour by the notorious DMZ (pretty different from BIG), South Korea is for all intents and purposes an island nation and the only way to get there is to fly. This means that most people’s first impression is of Seoul and often this huge, buzzing, bright, bonkers mega-city is where a visit begins and ends. But Korea is so much more than its capital; scratch the surface and you’ll find a totally beautiful, sometimes bewildering, incredibly friendly country just waiting for you to discover it.


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