World Cup cricket review

While the World Cup is well underway now, there’s still time to check out the action.

We certainly hope you’ve checked out our newsletter with all the details of the cities where VIP Backpackers can help you with your World Cup assault.

If you haven’t seen it yet here are some snippets from one of the Indian and Sri Lankan host cities where there is still some action to be held.

Mumbai train station. Pic: Joanne Lane, http://www.visitedplanet.com

Mumbai, India
Mumbai is home to Bollywood and that alone is probably reason to visit for all the glitz and glamour of the studios! We all know it as India’s entertainment capital but it’s also something of an economic powerhouse and this has attracted huge numbers of migrants from all over India making it the second most populous city in the world. It hums, creaks, churns and froths but it’s also a city that gets under your skin. The potpouri of cultures makes for interesting eating and markets, there are some wonderful architectural features such as the main railway station and plenty of swish bars and restaurants.

And despite the population density the city only allows the polluting rickshaws in some suburbs while public transport is 88 percent of passenger traffic and taxis and rickshaws must run on compressed natural gas. It also has some good natural features such as its coastal location, various rivers and lakes, and deep harbour.

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World Cup 2011 gets underway

Cricket match in Brisbane, Queensland. Pic: Joanne Lane, http://www.visitedplanet.com

The World Cup cricket tournament got underway on 19 February and that means three months of matches for cricket mad fans around the world.

Nationals of India, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Canada, Australia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Ireland and England who have teams in the contest will be glued to television sets, radios or at the stadiums themselves over the coming weeks to follow the action.

Action takes place in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh this year and many of the cities where matches are hosted are part of our network.

Given we know many of you in our VIP Backpackers network are some of those fans we’ve dedicated the March edition of our newsletter to the World Cup so stay tuned for previews of the locations and consider heading over there if you can. Click here to view the newsletter.

The final is not until 2 April so you’ve still got plenty of time to make it. And as we detail in the  newsletter the biggest cost to you attending the World Cup is the airfare as accommodation and ticket prices are minimal once you are there. There are plenty of budget options for getting to these places though, so check out the venues listed at the Cricket World Cup website and then airlines like Air Asia or Tiger Airways and join the passion and fervour in these cricket-mad nations!

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

Best Christmas Experiences

Here in Australia we have a green – or perhaps I should say brown – Christmas. I start the day by swimming with my dad at Southbank, a man-made beach here in Brisbane. Yep, you guessed it, Christmas day is piping hot here! After that the whole family goes to my uncle’s place by the beach at Wynnum / Manly where we eat a lot of salads, cold meat and icy drinks. If the heat is not too unbearable, we muster up a bit of energy for backyard cricket and then wander down to the waterfront to enjoy the afternoon breeze, or pretend there is one…
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Post Travel Blues

I’m back at home now recovering from my 10 weeks on the road. I’ve washed my clothes, dusted out my pack, displayed my souvenirs and showed photos to anyone that shows the slightest interest; but really the memories of travel are already starting to fade with the return to routine. These post-travel blues are very sad but fortunately I was saved today when Maureen Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet with husband Tony, came on the radio to talk my favourite subject – travel!

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Voluntourism

The view from my window here in North India is of pine forests, villages clinging to terraced slopes and enormous snow mountains. I worked here as a volunteer in a school about 10 years ago and I’m back to visit. During this time I sent an email to friends about both my time here and in Kolkata (see the previous post), which lead to some discussion about how you actually volunteer when you travel. I touched on this new phenomena of travel, voluntourism, in the last blog, but it might be fun to explore it further now.

The most common response to my email indicated most people had no idea even how to begin arranging a volunteer position. I am fortunate in my travels that I often come across opportunities and contacts I can pursue either then or at a later date. Often I meet the people first and even see the facilities where I could later stay or work. This sort of insight does help but I’ve also arranged for positions via email. Some of the voluntary work I have done includes teaching PE in this Indian school, working as a journalist for an NGO in Mongolia, teaching English in China, documenting a school library in Cambodia and a variety of things in Australian Aboriginal communities. Some I arranged in person, others by email.

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