If Smiling Albino were to assign a theme to each month, April 2013 would get ‘creativity’. Asian creativity has long been a part of what makes this region special, and with the new year brings a whole new group of creative activities and unique things to see and do. This month we cover a Cambodian circus, an art exhibit made from garbage, and even a bit on how travel can improve your skills between the sheets! Of course, Smiling Albino’s tours have always been known for their creativity anyway, so we had a good base from which to start. Read on to see what’s coming up!

Adventure Highlights

Nepal Grand Slam and Jazzmandu Adventures
When Smiling Albino expanded into Nepal, we made sure to put together a world-class trip to show off a world-class location. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we nailed it, and the Nepal Grand Slam is a hell of a way to see this amazing country. From motorbikes to rafts to fashioned foot power, you’ll have an experience like no other. The peak travel season (March-May) is already upon us, but the next best time to go is October-November – plenty of time to plan and book the trip of a lifetime! This year we are running a special version of our annual Jazzmandu adventure starting October 25th to take in the sights and sounds of Nepal in sync with one of the world’s coolest jazz festivals.


Siamese Dream
Our legendary Siamese Dream adventure is, simply put, the best 9 days you can have in Thailand. Add to the fact that Songkran is almost here, and you have an amazing travel and cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re unaware, Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year with a unique and waterlogged spin that mixes raucous splashing, amazing parties, and deep cultural significance into one amazing week. Check out our Travel Channel blog post on the holiday, and try to tell us that it wouldn’t be an outstanding adventure. See you here!


Amazing Angkor
It’s never a bad time to visit the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and the recent high season was the busiest one yet! But you know what’s even better than a visit to these amazing temples? A visit when the crowds are much smaller than normal! A summer escape on the Amazing Angkor tour will give you first class guides to a world class destination as you explore history firsthand and experience Cambodia close up.

What’s Going On

A Cambodian Circus!
When one thinks of a list of things Siem Reap is known for, the temples of Angkor are usually near the top. What isn’t usually near the top is the circus – but that’s changing now that Phare, The Cambodian Circus is in town. It’s performed daily by local artists and was set up as “a tool to build the careers of Cambodian Artists, to revive Cambodian art scenes, to make worldwide arts connections with Cambodia and to contribute to the artistic, educational and social programs” of the local Phare Ponleu Selpak Association. Check out the website and make sure to stop by when you’re in town!

Turning Garbage into Art
When Smiling Albino guests first see Mount Everest on the Nepal Grand Slam adventure, it’s easy to see it as a pristine, snow-capped peak. However, the reality isn’t so clean – the hundreds of climbers who attempt an ascent every year leave behind tons of garbage, an ugly but necessary byproduct of such a grueling climb. But now, 15 artists in Nepal are making a dent in the trash pile by turning it into some amazing art. Some of the proceeds go to further cleanup efforts via the Everest Summiteers Association. Perhaps a new sculpture for your living room is in order?

Want a good sex life? Travel!
We all know that travel is an exciting business, but even we were surprised (and happy!) to hear this: according to a new survey that was commissioned by the US Travel Association, taking a trip with your sweetheart will improve your sex life! Apparently sharing the exciting new frontiers and experiences that go along with setting out to explore the world bring a couple closer together. The best part? It’s not just a temporary thing – according to the survey, the effects last until long after the trip is over. What are you waiting for?

Posts, Pics, Flicks & Podcasts

Podcast: Asian Elephants with John Roberts
For anyone who has ever seen an elephant – or better, ridden, one, touched one, or fed one close up – it’s easy to understand why they’re Thailand’s national animal. Huge but graceful, powerful but gentle, they are also unfortunately victims of territorial encroachment and poaching, both very real threats to their continued survival. We talk to John Roberts, the Director of Elephants at the Anantara Golden Triangle to find out what the future holds for these amazing animals.

Photos: Songkran – the biggest party of the year
The traditional Thai New Year is almost upon us, an event that was historically celebrated by pouring scented water over the hands of elders and receiving blessings for the new year. But while Songkran still holds huge significance for Thais, it has evolved from a gentle water pouring ceremony into a country-wide water fight that’s part celebration, part escaping the April heat. It’s a memorable and enjoyable celebration – check out some pictures of the celebrations taken in various spots around Thailand over the years.

Blog: Ko Samet & Ko Chang’s best beaches
The question of which island to head to is one that constantly comes up from visitors to Thailand, but a definitive answer is hard to give. After all, one may like beaches crowded with partiers while another may prefer a beach that’s totally deserted. For the first in a series of blogs discussing the various sandy spreads available, we look at Ko Samet and Ko Chang, two of Thailand’s most popular beach destinations, to go over what they offer and what you can expect when you have a beach holiday in mind. Don’t forget the sunblock!

Video: Ho Chi Minh City from the back of a motorbike
A visit to Vietnam’s capital of Ho Chi Minh City will give you a new appreciation for the motorbike. The streets are clogged with them, and they’re used to carry everything from cargo to food to entire families. In this video, Scott is joined by guide extraordinaire Mr. Kwaa, as they hop on a motorbike and head out into traffic to get some authentic Vietnamese coffee. Do you think you could ride a motorcycle in Ho Chi Minh City? Take a look and see if your skills would be up to the challenge.

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