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Trips Travellers Who Want Learn Something New

Sure, sitting on the beach and sipping cocktails is fun. But if you’ve got more than a few days away, nothing beats seeking out local guides and learning something new.

Whether it’s perfecting your front crawl in an English lake or getting to grips with your camera on a photography safari, these trips will thrill knowledge lovers as much as pleasure seekers.

Cook up a storm in Chiang Mai

Blessed with some of the world’s best street food, you could be forgiven for coming to Chiang Mai and spending your entire trip indulging in everything from the spiciest tom yum soup to searching for the perfect pad thai. But chances are you’re going to want to learn how to make these delicious dishes yourself. Thankfully, Chiang Mai has several options for curious cooks looking to pick up new culinary skills, with schools dotted through town.

Based on the edge of the city, teachers from Thai Farm Cooking School (thaifarmcooking.net) will collect you from your guest house, take you shopping in local markets and teach you about spices, rice and flavours. You’ll then decamp to its organic farm base, where you’ll learn to

Trekking through Borneo’s rainforests

The all-enveloping equatorial rainforests of Borneo’s fine national parks are great for day hikes, but nothing beats an overnight trek to really experience these incredible jungles. A world full of orangutans, carnivorous pitcher plants, gargantuan Rafflesia flowers deserves in-depth exploration. But the land is diverse and conditions change throughout every trek, so having the right gear (there are some pretty unique needs out here) can mean the difference between a thrilling voyage of discovery and sodden misery.

Dressing for the climate

Borneo – made up of the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah, the sultanate of Brunei and Indonesian Kalimantan – has wetter seasons and dryer seasons. Exactly when depends on where you are, but downpours of biblical intensity are possible any time of the year. And even when you’re not slogging through a deluge, the heat and nearly 100% humidity will ensure that you’ll stay soaked with your own sweat. The best way to minimize discomfort is to bring kit made from materials that do not retain water. That means cotton is out, while synthetics – such as nylon, polyester, Lycra and (for higher elevations) Polar fleece – are in. All your gear, from socks to photographic equipment,