Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinders: top posts from March 2018

This month's top Pathfinder posts includes a photo essay that scratches beneath the surface of the Jordanian capital © Tom Mackie / Lonely Planet

Spring is traditionally a time of new beginnings, and this March our Pathfinders have helped bring to life a number of enriching travel experiences for our reading pleasure. Thanks to them we’ve explored the streets of Amman, delved into the story behind one of the world’s worst environmental disasters and even met a man who lives in his car.

Selecting our favourite posts is never easy, but here are our top five from March.

Hiking Suicide Cliff in Hong Kong – Julia and Seth

Some truly toe-curling imagery combined with an evocative title makes Julie and Seth’s post about hiking so-called ‘Suicide Cliff’ (a rocky section of trail on Kowloon Peak) in Hong Kong instantly attention-grabbing. But this post has more substance than simple shock value, comprehensively documenting an exciting outdoorsy attraction in a city best-known for its urban sprawl. The integrated Google map and handy packing list heighten the post’s usefulness to potential hikers.

Julia and Seth aim to help readers do three things: avoid tourist traps, access the essence of destinations and adventure and eat like a local. Find out more at forsomethingmore.com.

A guide to Moynaq in Uzbekistan – Joan Torres

There’s more to travel than sampling tasty local cuisine and lounging on blissful beaches. In this post Joan visits the site of – what some have called – one of the planet’s worst environmental disasters: Uzbekistan’s ‘Aral Sea’. The dramatic images of rusting boats stranded in the desert landscape are noteworthy for their striking peculiarity, but are more significant for the way they serve as a poignant portrait of the effects of humanity on the natural world.

Joan is a full-time traveller who decided to quit his job and travel to some of – what he terms – the most bizarre countries in the world. Read more of his stories at againstthecompass.com.

Thaipusam: the way of finding bliss – Aleksandra Tofil

Picking a compelling subject is the key for making a blog post stand out, and Aleksandra’s article on the Thaipusam celebrations in Singapore – which sees religious devotees engage in harrowing acts for religious penance – makes for an absorbing read. However, the blog’s appeal is heightened by Aleksandra’s endeavour to not only document the acts but delve into what drives participants to practice their faith in this way – the answers to which offer some fascinating cultural insights.

Ola and Andrzej are a blogging couple based in Singapore, providing travel tips for their adopted hometown and further afield. Check out more of their stories at singa-pura.com.

The streets of Amman – John Wreford

Sometimes the heart of a city can be found through the belly of the locals and John’s photo essay manages to scratch beneath the surface of Amman through the teas, spices and street food of the historic Jordanian capital. Honing in on hookah smoke and the happiness of locals at leisure, John manages to capture the clamour and chaos of this undervalued city in iconic black-and-white photography.

Created by sisters Annapurna and Athena Mellor ROAM is a creative outlet for travellers to inspire through words and photographs. See more of their stories roam-magazine.co.

Meeting the man who lives in his Prius – Di Michelle

At one point or another we’ve all thought about it: selling our belongings, buying a campervan and travelling the world. In this post Di talks to Jordan Thornsburg, who has taken the prominent campervan fantasy one step further, by living in his Toyota Prius while perennially travelling around the USA. A no-holds-barred interview provides a real insight into what modern life is like living on the road, complete with insights on hygiene, food sources and the crucial importance of Tinder.

Dan and Di are a travelling couple who focus on creating in-depth travel guides as well as sharing tips on how to make money abroad. Find out more at slightnorth.com.

RUNNERS-UP

Find out what else the Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Travel Bloggers: your stories forum on Thorn Tree.