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The untold spy story of WWI

In 1910 a proposed Alliance between Germany and France (See New York Times Article ) worried Britain so they sent someone to 'sniff around'.

The story is a personal journey of discovery set in the vibrant energy that is Zanzibar. Susan finds herself in the palace of the great Sultan of Zanzibar as private tutor to his children. She immerses herself in the heady experiences of that rich island. From making friends with her personal servant, Subira, to falling in love with Asim, a senior member of the Sultan's court. Susan delights in the discovery of Zanzibar and the discovery of herself. The only shadow being that she was recruited by British Military Intelligence as a spy. That compromises her love for Asim and will eventually cut the silken thread that is her journey into the exotic.

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The Lion Awakes - ARCHIVES
Nursery Rhymes


The Great Himalaya Trail





The Great Himalaya Trail is one of the longest and highest walking trails in the world. Winding beneath the world’s highest peaks and visiting some of the most remote communities on earth, it passes through lush green valleys, arid high plateaus and incredible landscapes. Nepal’s GHT has 10 sections comprising a network of upper and lower routes, each offering you something different, be it adventure and exploration, authentic cultural experiences, or simply spectacular Himalayan nature. 



The Great Himalaya Trail is a proposed trail of more than 4500 km stretching the length of the Greater Himalaya range from Nanga Parbat in Pakistan to Namche Barwa in Tibet thus passing through Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet in China. When completed, it will be the longest and highest alpine walking track in the world, As of July 2010, only the Nepal and Bhutan sections have been walked and documented thoroughly. The other countries are still being researched.

Unlike many other trails, the Great Himalaya Trail is a network of existing footpaths and trading routes and no new path building is envisaged.

The formation of a trail along the Greater Himalaya Range was precluded by access restrictions to certain areas in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan requiring detours into the mid-hills away from the Greater Himalaya Range. With time these access restrictions were eased or lifted, and in 2002, with further restrictions being lifted in border areas of Nepal, it became feasible for the first time. Many expeditions have walked great distances across the Himalaya including:

    1981 Peter Hillary (son of Sir Edmund), Chhewang Tashi and Graeme Dingle walked from Sikkim to the Karakoram.
    1981-82 Hugh Swift and Arlene Blum completed a nine-month traverse from Bhutan to Ladakh in India.
    1983 British brothers Richard and Adrian Crane ran the Himalayas, from before Kanchenjunga to beyond Nanga Parbat in less than 100 days. The route required a large deviation from the Great Himalaya Range to cross the Nepal-India border.
    1990 Sorrell Wilby and Chris Ciantar, made a traverse from Pakistan to Arunachal Pradesh.
    1997 Alexandre Poussin and Sylvain Tesson walked a 5000 km route from Bhutan to Tajikistan.
    2003 Rosie Swale-Pope ran the length of Nepal in the mid-hills and Great Himalaya range, with a support team, covering an estimated 1700 km in 68 days to raise money for the charity Nepal Trust.
    2007 Dr Gillian Holdsworth walked across Nepal with guide, Sonam Sherpa, to raise money for the Britain Nepal Medical Trust.
    2008-09 Nepal's Great Himalaya Trail route was first walked, following five years of research treks, over two seasons by a team led by Robin Boustead. The walk took a total of 162 days and is documented in a book of the same title.
    2011 Justin Lichter and Shawn Forry at the time of writing are attempting to walk '8000 m East to 8000 m West' from Kanchenjunga to Nanga Parbat


Trekking in Bhutan is organised into ‘official’ routes that you can combine to traverse the country. Robin Boustead summarises the route as: “After arriving in Paro, head to Shana and Drugyal Dzong and the beginning of the Jhomolhari Trek. Continue around over the Nyele Pass to join and then follow the Ghasa Hot Springs trail to Thanza and the Snowman Trek. From the high lakes descend to Ungar on the Gankar Punsum route before following the Rhodang La Trek to Trashi Yangtse in the east. This route takes about 40 days depending on fitness.”


As of September 2010 only Robin Boustead and his team (Pema Tsiring Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa and Karma Sherpa) have walked the full trail that links each himal from Kanchenjunga to Api and no-one has walked a similar route in a single go. The upper route passes from East to West through established trekking areas of Kanchenjunga to Makalu Barun, Solukhumbu, Rolwaling Himal, Helambu, Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Annapurna, Dolpa, Rara Lake and Humla finishing on the border with Tibet at Hilsa.




This stunning book will show you places you never dreamed still existed. Nepal is the most mountainous country on earth and hides many secrets in a maze of remote valleys where small communities have lived unchanged for hundreds of years. Folklore and superstition are woven into everyday life to create some of the most mysterious and magical places on the planet. The GHT crosses every one of Nepal’s mighty mountain ranges through forests, jungles, over passes and glaciers, and across windswept plateaus.

Delight in photos from the first expedition to trek and map the Great Himalaya Trail in Nepal: the majesty of Mount Everest, the barren villages of upper Dolpo, lush rhododendron forests in Kanchenjunga and Makalu, ancient Buddhist gompas in Mustang, and village festivals throughout the country.

This pictorial guide is a record of a 162 day extreme trek along the Nepal Himalaya. The expedition has now established the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) in Nepal, and the first section of the longest and highest walking route in the world. In this guide are details of how the popular trekking routes are linked with new trekking areas, as well as:

  • Over 150,000 metres of ascent and descent profiles with walking times.
  • Pictures of every 8,000 metre peak in Nepal.
  • 12 detailed colour maps of Nepal and every trekking region.
  • 145 colour pictures including 3 fold-out panoramas.
  • The first inter-linked series of trekking maps for every mountain region,
  • showing the GHT and connecting major trails.
  • Information about each ethnic group you meet along the trail.
  • Hardcover or softcover options available













World Expeditions GHT Treck

The GHT is not a one-off thing. We invite travellers, interested in one of the world's most remote and beautiful challenges, to join us every year starting in 2012 as we operate each of the 7 stages of the GHT as independent treks. You may want to choose one or more of the stages with the eventual goal of completing the GHT for yourself over a period of years.

If you've been on a trek to a remote wilderness, you'll likely appreciate the people and cultures you encounter along the way. World Expeditions Great Himalaya Trail treks were founded on the principals of bringing the benefits of tourism to remote communities and every step on the GHT, this year, next year or whenever is a step to making our world a better place.

Read the GHT blog, see and hear from our clients who are currently on the trek and then visit the Great Himalaya Trail section of the World Expeditions website to plan your involvement in the GHT 2012 and beyond. LEARN MORE




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Beijing's Hutongs


The Hutong, an old-style city alley or lane, is one of the most distinctive features and must-see attractions in Beijing. There are thousands of hutongs in the city, many of which were built during the Yuan (1206-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. We list the most famous hutongs that all travelers to the capital city shouldn't miss in order to get a better experience of the unique culture of ancient Beijing.


 List of Beijing's Hutongs






The Cities of China