April 14, 2017 | TravelLocal
What better way of getting to know local culture, than with first-hand advice from those who live in the countries themselves?
Locally-created trips also offer the perfect opportunity for travellers to learn a new skill that is authentic to the region they visit. From paper making in Uzbekistan to painting lessons in Sri Lanka, TravelLocal offers a range of trips where guests can learn a range of new skills from local communities.
Here is a selection of sample itineraries from TravelLocal:
Learn creative traditions and the local Ghanaians’ way of life – from £1,140 pp
Leave behind our hectic Western lifestyle and see how Ghanaians in rural communities live. Take a day trip to the town of Dodowa in southern Ghana and join a workshop crafting traditional beads from recycled glass with the locals. You can also gain an insight into rural life in Atsiekpoe, a picturesque village by the green banks of the River Volta, and give basket weaving, fishing, and traditional Ghanaian cooking a go. The itinerary also includes numerous trekking trips, a visit to a monkey sanctuary, a canoe trip over the Volta River and a few days in Elmina to appreciate the country’s stunning beaches.
Cost: From £1,140 pp, including 11 nights’ B&B.*
Craft, culture and local cuisine in Uzbekistan – from £1,440 pp
Get to know the unique culture of Uzbekistan during this 11-day tour, with opportunities to become immersed in local life. Learn traditional handicraft techniques – including calligraphy, pottery and paper making – enjoy delicious home-cooked Uzbek cuisine and trek the region’s stunning landscape. Guests have the chance to join one-of-a-kind experiences, such as baking traditional Uzbek bread, lepeshka, with Nazrullayev family members, taking a cable car to Kumbel mountain for a short hiking tour and spending a night in a traditional Uzbek yurt.
Cost: From £1,440 pp, including ten nights’ B&B and internal flights.*
Photography course with private photographer and guide in Laos – from £4,380 pp
This luxury trip offers travellers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a professional photographer as their personal guide. This provides the rare opportunity to meet local Laotian people and immerse yourself in their surroundings. Learn how to photograph people in motion, take close-ups of wildlife and flowers, capture the best sunsets, panoramic scenic shots, and more. The itinerary also includes a course on stencil-making in Luang Probang, a session on natural dye preparation, visits to secluded waterfalls, caves, lagoons and temples in Laos and a private boat tour of some of Laos’ 4,000 islands.
Cost: From £4,380 pp, including 12 nights’ B&B and the services of a private and professional photographer/guide for the duration of the trip.*
Painting, creative writing and local culture in Sri Lanka – from £1,490 pp
This inspiring tour invites guests to stay with a traditional family in rural Kandy (the husband is a painter and the wife a creative writer), and to take part in writing masterclasses, cooking lessons and landscape painting workshops. In Kandy, new skills can be practised including painting the city’s most iconic sites with the guidance of the talented hosts. After five days of creative workshops, take a scenic train journey from Kandy to Ella, then to Yala National Park to see Asian elephants, majestic leopards, sloth bears, spotted deer, peacocks and crocodiles. The final day is spent exploring the impressive Galle Fort.
Cost: From £1,490 pp, including nine nights’ B&B, plus most lunches and dinners.*
Train Golden Eagles with local Kazakh families in Mongolia – from £1,710 pp
Learn how to train a Golden Eagle in the wilderness with local hunters and their families during this unique trip to Mongolia. Visit Kazakh families to learn in depth about their culture and cuisine, as well as the techniques used to make traditional Mongolian colourful rugs. Join the inimitable Golden Eagle Festival (16 – 17 September and 7 – 8 October 2017) with your hosts, where locals are judged on their eagles’ fox-skin catching skills. The competition is followed by traditional games, including camel racing, as well as traditional songs and dancing.
Cost:From £1,710 pp, including six nights’ B&B.*
Become a Chinese cuisine expert on a cooking tour in Bejing – from £640 pp
Join three professional cooking classes, learn how to prepare nine traditional Chinese dishes and visit famous sites during this five-day trip to Bejing. As well as learning about Chinese food culture and regional cuisine during cooking classes at friendly and professional schools, explore the famous Forbidden City to discover its various galleries, halls, gardens, bridges and courtyards. You can also visit the Mutianya stretch of the Great Wall and catch the Beijing locals practicing t’ai chi outside the Temple of Heaven.
Cost: From £640 pp, including five nights’ B&B.*
Learn how to make Argan oil in Marrakech and Essaouira – from £620 pp
This twin-centre trip features Marrakech and the pretty coastal town of Essaouira, where guests can learn about the process involved in making Argan oil from the hand-picked Argan nut. Meet the oil producers on the outskirts of Essaouira, with the chance to join the women at work, sample some of the products and even harvest Argan nuts yourself. In Marrakech, visit exotic gardens, traditional bathing houses, and the lively Djemaa el Fna square – the old medieval centre (medina) with its souks, fresh orange juice stalls and storytellers. Other highlights include a city tour of Marrakech and camel riding along the beach from Sidi Kaouki in Essaouira.
Cost: From £620 pp, including seven nights’ B&B and private transfers between Marrakech and Essaouira.*
* All of the trips are based on two sharing. TravelLocal trips include transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide. Travel to the destination is not included, giving more flexibility and allowing customers to book their flights via points schemes if preferred.
For more information, call TravelLocal on +44 (0)117 325 7898 or visit www.travellocal.com.