Before I begin, I have a confession to make: My name is Anna, and I have a soft spot for animals. Asian animals have become a particular favorite.
In the last three years, I have traveled across four continents. In every place we visit, I always check out what type of animal conservation programs I can visit.
Sadly, animal rights in Asia are almost nonexistent. Which is why supporting animal conservation and responsibly managed wildlife sanctuaries there is even more crucial. In addition to making a difference, volunteering your services while you travel is also a great way to learn more about the local culture of a place.
So without further ado, here are a few of the best wildlife conservation programs helping to save Asian animals…
The shuttle dropped us off. We were an unassuming group of tourists– a scientist couple, two EFL teachers (Emma and I), and one braggadocios female backpacker with a distaste for guidebooks and other travelers.
We were in the transit town of Kuala Tembeling at the edge of the National Park of Peninsular Malaysia, more commonly referred to as Taman Negara.
Taman Negara, which literally translates as “national park,” is Malaysia’s oldest (est. 1939) and largest. It spans more than a million acres, much of which is primary jungle dating back over 130 million years. Our mission was to get into a wooden skiff and travel several hours to Kuala Tahar, a village established at the park’s border.
For travelers of a different pay grade, the trip usually ends with a comfortable stay in Mutiara Resort. As budget travelers, we were showing up with no reservation. We’d be dropped off across the river from the resort, where we were told cheaper rooms would be available. But once we arrived,there was no boat back until the next day…
Coron is confusing: It encompasses a town (on Busuanga Island), an island (Coron Island), and over 50 minor islets in the Calamian archipelago.
Say its name to Filipinos in Manila and you’ll see their eyes light up like kids on Christmas morning. That’s because Coron is arguably the most picturesque part of Palawan, which has been voted Best Island in the World by Travel + Leisure readers several years in a row.
We recently had the pleasure of spending a week in Coron, bookending our time teaching a workshop at TBEX Manila. From gorgeous beaches and dramatic limestone landscapes to exquisite Scuba diving and all sorts of wildlife, it was an extraordinary experience that left us eager to go back and spend more time in the Philippines.
What follows is our picks for the Top 7 Things to Do in Coron, from climbing scenic mountains and swimming in Asia’s cleanest lake to soaking in hot springs and snorkeling with Dugongs.
Sri Lanka is an abundant paradise filled with huge national parks, wildlife reserves and other areas of outstanding natural beauty. So it’s hardly surprising that ecotourism has become big business in the country, making the conservation of Sri Lanka wildlife an increasingly important topic.
A large portion of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka is dependent on showcasing the landscapes and wildlife that are unique to the country. But the ecotourism and wildlife travel sector doesn’t always get it right, with some irresponsible tour operators putting profit over conservation efforts.
Of course there are options that try to uphold international guidelines on responsible tourism. In fact, there are so many back-to-basics tours and yoga retreats in the country, Sri Lanka is standing at the forefront in Asia in terms of redefining what responsible travel is.
China is an incredible and enchanting country that will captivate you with its stunning scenery and fascinating history. With 3,705,407 square miles of land, naturally there are an endless array of things to do in China, no matter what style of travel you prefer.
When you see the incredible palace that served the Ming and Qing dynasties and the beautiful gardens they created in Beijing, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a very different time in this Asian nation’s history.
The famous army of clay soldiers in Xi’an will give you deeper insight into the intriguing, often superstitious beliefs at the core of this ancient country’s society. Exploring the history of China will leave you with countless incredible stories to share with the loved ones you return home to.
However, some of the best things to do in China involve exploring the myriad natural wonders that are scattered across the “Land of Dragons.” If you’re a real nature lover and you’re planning to pay China a visit, these sites should rank among the top breathtaking places on your bucket list!