521a Berner Oberland; T.T. Williams' Utah; The Philippines
things you'll see when you hike in the Swiss Alps. If you time it right you can even watch the cows being paraded down from their grazing meadows. They got their bells on and to really the bigger. The bell is the more prestigious. That cow is. They're all pedigree for warmer vacations. Kiki dear says you can't beat the Philippines. It has some of the best diving in the world. You can go swimming with Welsh shocks. You can track in Angel of rice. Terraces do can even hike up. Active volcanoes and Terry Tempest Williams explains how she bought oil leases on Federal Land Near Her Home Mixed Arches National Park at rock bottom prices. We purchase them at a discount of one dollar fifty cents an Acre if you can imagine that are public lands for sale to lease oil and gas for less than a cup of coffee. What'S THE UTAH worth to you. Let's explore together in the our head on travel with Rick Steves. It's looking like the government is declared war on America's public lands at least that's how Terry Tempest Williams sees the trump executive order that rescinded federal protections. In her home. State of Utah. She tells us what's at stake and the innovative ways. She became what she calls a conservation buyer to prevent drilling near where she lives. Just outside of MOAB. We'll hear her story in just a bit on today's travel with Rick Steves and a British travel writer tells us why the Philippines is one of her favorite places anywhere in the world. Where at eight? Seven seven. Three three three seven four to five. If you only ever get to visit one place in Switzerland I'd recommend the Berner Oberland. It's the high country round. Enter some of the most famous mountain peaks in the Alps. There are dozens of hiking trails. That take you through glacial valleys to enjoy wildflowers and waterfalls Golo. It's my favorite place for taste of traditional Swiss mountain living in some of the most stunning scenery. You ever see when he lived there. Don Camera wrote a detailed guide to the hiking trails of the Bernese highland. He's here to help us get ready for an afternoon. Hike in the mountains done welcome pleasure dumb. I understand you know the trails of the region so well because you actually lived there for ten years in a little village I Decided to go traveling in one thousand nine hundred sixty and I made Switzerland my base. In fact a little town called Gimmel. I ended up staying at the youth hostel. They're often on for about three years. And then they ended up going up the hill and Managing Walters Hotel Mitha Gorn for about six years and when I first discovered Gimmel. You're already there. I think and I was still at the youth hostel. Utah's blend there's some graffiti on the wall upstairs in the Hustle says if Heaven's not what it's cracked up to be send me back to gavel. Yes people just fell in love with Gamma fault. What what are your memories of just away from the tourism but just living in this little community high in the Swiss Alps without any traffic or where almost everybody has the same last name. Well it was kind of what I was looking for this little quiet small village. Nobody spoke English back there. Twenty years ago. It's a little bit different now. There's people that speak English because of of the tourism that's in the area But it was just a small dairy farming community. The youth hostel run by Lena. Remember Lena Lena she's like human goat. Lena yeah she She charged I think three or four francs for the youth hostel. So people didn't really come to stay for the night or tune as they stay for weeks and sometimes like myself and you could cook for the price of groceries. Alpine commute ten cents to cook To Cook Food. And then moving up to Walter's. Walters was an inexpensive hotel with about thirty eight bids but it had a million dollar view hotel mid dog horn. If you have the of the Doug Horn and much more. When people go to Switzerland a lot of people go to the famous towns. So they'll go to interlocken. I want to Interlocken for several years before I realized all the magic is up. The Hill town says you know. They're they're utilitarian there. That's where you can pick up your groceries or validate your train pass or whatever but then you go to the high country and south of Interlaken which means between the two lakes Lake Tune. In speeds south of interlocken is a valley in at branches in left and right to the left is Grendel gold and that's famous in so many ways and all the big tour buses go there and there's all the resort hotels but to the right you've got louder Bruin Valley and that's the value fell in love with and that I fell in love with describe loud to Brunen valley and even the name Louder Brennan could mean lauhgter. Mitch means many and Brennan or springs or or water sources and in the value. Got Over seventy waterfalls. That are kind of falling off the side. Now I've I've driven up that valley in a sunny dry times and I kinda go. What waterfalls but then if you come there after a big rainstorm. It's just thunderous with waterfalls. All around you. Yeah those seventy become a hundreds. It's busy in the ski time and busy in the hiking time When you're there in the hiking time you still use all the ski lifts to get around. Describe some of your lift options from the valley floor. There's two ways that you can go onto the ones that you can take a cable car up to grew chump Hike or take the train to Marin. And if you want to go up higher you're going to be taking funicular to almond who will maybe or a cable car up to the chiltern even across the valley. You've got the Ume Frau Yolk incredible tunnel through the EIGER. All the way up to the top of the saddle below the young fro yum. How tall do you have any idea how tall that is? How something like ten eleven thousand thousand feet? It's above ten thousand because you can feel the attitude. You get a little bit dizzy when you get up. There's nothing to be concerned about. I always feel a winded. When I go up there climb the steps and I just feel like I got to get in shape but then I remember. Oh I'm at eleven thousand feet. I can cut myself a little slack. Exactly I mean. They have a written all over the place. Don't you feel like this? Don't worry about. It is normal natural. Just slow down sit down and slow down and then this mountain lift tunnels through the Eiger. It actually stops halfway up the north face of the EIGER and the ultimate challenges for rock climbers. And you look out halfway up this cliff. You're looking down on the lower horn. Which is where they have the World Cup almost every year. You're looking out towards interlocken. So you're looking northward so you can kind of see the lowlands and then you can see you can see burn from those little windows at you're looking and you may now nowhere to look but there are probably rock climbers frozen hanging on the. I was going to see. Some of them are really with US anymore. They're just hanging there and they can't get to them the helicopters inaccessible so they know that there but they can't rescue them. This is travel with Rick Steves. We're talking with John Kamara about hiking in the burner overland in the burner overland. You can really experience a lot of amazing folk culture. The traditions survive very well in these high community at least survive. I don't know about very well. I understand the Swiss government recognizes the value of some of these traditional industries. And doesn't just let it die. The death of this small family farm in the United States but but subsidizes. So it's it carries on what's the case there? Why would they do that? Well they like to have the dairy farming industry for example to to continue a tradition It's a way of life and there are people that are many bulow still in the dairy farming industry. But it's not. It's not a living that you can really make a living at considering the economic situation of Switzerland when everybody's making much more than a farmer would so the farmers need to be subsidizing needs to go to the big city and become software programmers exactly so they're struggling but they're surviving these small family farms and we can see that business metabolism and we can actually sleep in some of these places because many rent out beds done commercials. Our guest right now travel with Rick. Steves Michael in Chumsford Massachusetts joins us on the line at eight seven seven three three three rick. He has a question about hiking in the Swiss Alps. I Michael decided as a monk to take my summer trip to Switzerland and I'm going to spend a couple of days in Bernie's open land. I'm really excited. And I just want to know what are the some of the best Hiking trails one can take to get the most iconic view of the young crowd among the Eiger That is the ultimate sort of Panorama. The memo canoe the three great peaks. What is it done? The Immune Val Mahnken Ogre. What does that mean in Swiss German the monk and the Froth Eiger is an ogre an ogre yeah and the monk is a monk a religious monk and the young fellas young maiden so got the monk protecting the young maiden from the older the ogre. Exactly Oh what. A charming frozen. Ice Glacier filled a scenario now Michael wants some of the classic views in the Burner Orlando. You lived of the algorithmic in the for. Yeah you can get that a couple of different ways. Downloadable evaluators the shelter inside and then. There's the vague insider the the client shedding side that would be where the rallies I can young really right in front of the clannish. I dig right but you don't have to get the client to get the view of the of the monk and the young crowd. It is a fantastic view. And the right in front of you when you get there which is taking a train from Lauder Brunen to hang on and then you can continue on by train to climate. And that's where the train starts if you want to. That goes up in the mountain into the eiger through among young frog. Or you can look at the views and I sometimes think they might even be better from the other side Schilthorn side in louder bring you take the cable. Corrupt grew job train or walk to Muren even just a train ride or walking to Muren. You see the monk in the young for the training. Self you take the funicular up to good shop and then this it's built for the view in fact what's the name of that train the Panorama fart that part is the German word exotic journey Panorama journey. And that's the Panorama far trained that goes from Grachov to Mirren And just on a sunny day. There's nothing like it but Michael. You you're going to be there and you're going to be bathed in views everywhere you look. There's views and there's famous views there's less Amos views but there's a little place game of all the DINU may remember. I just loved when there was a moon rise going just a couple hundred yards away from hotel. Duggan sitting a bench but thank the is like the farmers in the village place to these three or four benches right there and you could sit there and it's just it's silent it's twilight and there's a village below you. And there's a few farmers to puttering around and you know the cowboys are happy. And then you see the moon rising over the peaks. It's just is something magic about that view. I just got a lot of therapy out of that view. I think Michael you've got to go over there and check it out. Yep Thank you by the Berner. Oberland in the middle of the Swiss Alps is our destination. And Don Camera is our guide right now on travel with Sixty Kathleen joins us on the line from San Francisco. Hi Kathleen find out. What's the best time to go seasonally for the weather to take the hiking trails in the area up there and the Burner Open? Land does a couple of different ones. That are really good. I particularly like June end of May June. Because that's when the flowers are blooming If you go in the fall which is also nice September. The leave started change and the hillside is is on fire with color. I like the summer anytime in the summer for just the reliable weather in the long days and the warmth August is a very good in fact. One of my favorite Christmas is ever was gaveled grass in the winter. It is gorgeous in the winter but the hiking is limited. No there's no then and I went up with my favorite hotelier Walter where you worked and we went up to Marin and and we sled it down on the trail. I did the same thing with Walter. It's beautiful isn't it and beat me down and there's a classic Old Hotel Your He. He was like a little kid when he sat on his sled. Just that here's a Swiss boy at heart forever. He must've been eighty years old when we did this. Get Lean. Thanks for your call. Thanks this is travel with Rick Steves. We've been talking with John. Kamara about the heights. And the Culture Switzerland's Berner Oberland Don. I've always been charmed by the when the cows come down from the high metal. This is not something that's just in the story books. This actually happens. I was just recently there and after a long hike I heard this tinkle tinkle. Choi coming down the mountain. Well yeah talks about how that happens. What's the deal? Well throughout the year that animals are taken up to higher pastures. So that they can be set. Free and munch on the meadows and as the weather starts to get colder. They bring the cows down a little bit a little bit and eventually have to bring back to the to the local town to injure their barnes for for the winter and they've got their bells they got their bells on and it really. The bigger. The bell is the more prestigious. That cow is they're all pedigree and not only do they have bells to have flowers on their heads and the the farmers that are bringing the cows. Downer also dressed in traditional clothing twentieth. Twenty-first is lake past centuries alive. Yep and we can experience it done Kamara. Thanks so much and take some time. I get the pleasure. If there was a contest for most colorful nation on earth the Philippines might be a good bit. We'll explore the nation of seven thousand islands in just a bit but first when the bidding sagged on an oil and gas lease sale for drilling on federal land. Utah the auctioneer joked. Come on man. This is a lotta scenery going to waste well. Writer and environmental activist. Terry Tempest Williams was in the room. She explains why she and her husband bid on those unsold parcels and why they created tempest exploration LLC as the first energy company devoted to keeping fossil in the ground that Utah Terry Tempest Williams. That's next on travel. With Rick Steves hiking in the Red Rock wilds of the Utah Desert. It might soon notice and unusual sound listen closely and you may hear mining oil drilling on what used to be federally protected land or maybe it's just the sound of Teddy Roosevelt spinning in his grave. Ever since President Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act nineteen o six to create national monuments that protect natural and cultural heritage sites across America. There's been pushback from some industrial interests. For the last few years Terry Tempest Williams has been writing columns in the New York Times and elsewhere about the battle going on in her native. Utah on one hand are her neighbors. Who Support the trump administration's removing protections on many federal lands especially at bears ears. National Monument on the other hand are those who prefer the type of tourism a quiet wilderness attracts and note the warning from tribal leaders that thousands of their ancestors. Archaeological sites are at risk of now being open for business. Utah's rich with more than a dozen parks and monuments run by the National Park Service and the Bureau of land management when Terry found there. Were no takers for oil and gas leases. That was offering near her home. She and her husband got an idea. She joins us now to tell us about it into explain why. Utah remained such a special place for her. Terry thanks for being with us again. Thank you record is love our conversations Terry Utah you happen to live in a state that has what five national parks and seven National Monuments. And you grew up there. What does Utah Mean to you? Utah is bedrock. It's family. It's where the bones of my ancestors dwell six generations. I come from a a Mormon family. my roots for an American Westerner Who is white are are deep and my devotion is is very real. Terry wrote that. You had a seminal moment as a child. Pornography Cave National Monument. What happened I loved Him Pinocchio? It's a mountain in the shape of a woman and we are told from the time we have a memory that this is where the spirit of the maiden of Tim. Focus lives and every time you drive by from Provo Utah to Salt Lake. You see her as a child. I could swear that I saw her breathe. This is A story told by people and I remember a ute grandmother who I knew as a child told me that inside that mountain was the beating heart of the maiden so when I was eight years old our Church group which is Mormon. I decided that upon our baptism into the church. We would hike up to mount timber notice and enter this cave. It's about a mile and a half straight up. We were there. I remember these iron green doors. They open there was a park ranger. We entered inside the mouth of the cave. The temperature dropped. It was humid here. Were these stalactites. Stalagmites registered his teeth. We started walking on this raised path. So that you weren't stepping on the stalagmites and there we walked through this magical these magical forms called father. Times jewel box the valley of sleep but I could hardly concentrate all I could think of is. Where is the beating heart of the maiden of the mountain in there? It was large wet huge. I wondered if you attached it. Would it register as cold or Hot? I was completely mesmerized so much so that I failed to continue walking with the rest of my group. Suddenly the lights went off. The door slammed and I was left in the heart of the mountain with the darkness. I have never known. I can't tell you when fear turned to wonder. But what I can tell you is that I felt that beating heart even as my own. I don't know how long I was there but suddenly I heard the door opened the light. Go on and there was my primary team saying. Oh you're saved but I wanted to say you didn't save me. The mountain did and I think for the rest of my life. I've been trying to find that same experience of being held that closely to that kind of power and dare I say love. You know every time I go into a national park. I meet the miraculous. But if I'm honest I think I'm still searching for that sense of And Majesty wonder and fear that I felt in those moments of of being inside that mountain next to that heart. You mentioned the tribe. Is that where Utah comes from? It's the indigenous people that live there. I UTA yes. Yes because that experience you had. It's seems like it's almost trying to duplicate inexperience Indian. Kids might have had as they came of age and gained an appreciation of nature. You know I don't know My Friend Regina Lopez White Skunk who viewed? I have so much respect for her sense of circles and cycles in the land her deep sense of politics and protection on. She was one of the members of the bears. Ears intertribal commission who has fought so diligently to protect these lands that are under siege By this current administration. And so you know I think native people they stay. And that's what I want to model is. How do we stay and be loyal to a place have a fidelity place? Yeah if closeness to the land is is a good thing. They have an advantage built in that we can be. I think aspire to they also know what it means to have it removed and I think we are just now beginning to touch on what native people have felt all along as we watch our public lands in a move to be privatized to be sold to the highest bidder. Terry Tempest Williams is our guest on. Travel Rick Steves. She writes about the landscape of her native Utah and her relationship. With twelve of America's national parks in her book called the hour of land. It's now out in paperback. Terry's also writer in residence at the Harvard Divinity School. And she's been a visiting professor in environmental studies at Dartmouth College Terry President. Obama set aside one point three million acres for. Utah's bears ears National Monument back in two thousand sixteen. The trump administration reduced ears by eighty five percent. This is now being challenged in the courts. What are your thoughts on this when you look at laws like the nineteen o? Six antiquities at that protects these wild lands and cultural spaces. I think it it has helped define who we are as Americans that was established with Theodore Roosevelt and I have faith in the open space of democracy and the will of the people but right now I would be lying to you. If I didn't say that I am concerned and and I am standing with native people indigenous people and the tribes that we are closest to Utah. Which would be the Navajo the Hopi the Zuni and other tribes within the Colorado plateau or standing on the side of protecting bears. Ears National Monument. Terry Okay you're talking about the value. The the intangible value really of of a National Monument Lake bears ears. Now what if I just think whether it's a real need energy independence jobs the economy? How can you put a price on the value of over a million acres when when I really think it can help us have a stronger economy and become energy independent? What's so important about bears ears other than what we can mind out of it. It's a great question. And it's one that the trump administration are asking along with many of our county commissioners. But I think it's about long-term concerns and short term gain. I also think it's a myth that's being propagated if you talk to the communities adjacent to bears there's National Monument and particularly Grand Staircase National Monument the Chamber of Commerce and the business people. They're saying that it is booming that they have a shortage of labor that for the first time they have a dentist in town that they are are doing better with a national monument and park near than they were before. So I think this is a myth and when I look at what? Orrin Hatch is advocating. Look at WHO's paying for his campaign and look at who stands to benefit if our national monuments are opened up for fossil fuel companies and. That's what I think we have to think about. I WANNA share with you because I think both these voices are central to our history as utahns. Bernard Devoto who wrote for Harper's magazine wrote in Nineteen fifty one quote. You had better watch this now. And from now on the land grabbers are on the loose again and they can be stopped only as they were before by the effective marshalling of public opinion. We're there and I love these words of Wallace stagner. That was in the same era. Nineteen fifty five year. I was born where he says. Quote it is a better world with some buffalo left in it. A richer world with some gorgeous canyons unmarred by signboards. Dog stands superhighways or high tension lines underground by POWER OR IRRIGATION RESERVOIRS. If we preserved as parts only those places that have no economic possibilities we would have no parks and in the decades to come it will not be only the Buffalo and the Trumpeter Swan who need sanctuaries. Our own species is going to need them to. It needs them now. Now that was in the nineteen fifties when Dinosaur National Monument in Utah was at risk and Bears Years National Monument and Grand Staircase National Monument or risk. I have to believe that by marshalling public opinion by people coming forward those lands will still be protected. Conservation is a generational stance. And that's what I'm seeing now. So it's quite an interesting awareness raising challenge because even your father wrote fracking has freed us from the Arabs. I mean there's this patriotism almost how do we explain that to a world that sees everything in a balance sheet and bottom lines and in numbers? We can imagine the lively conversation. We have around our dinner table and I love my father. There's something very poignant about your own flesh and blood seeing an environmental issue differently than you. I've had the same challenge with my dad in and I think age of us do and we love them and they love us. But it's a spirited conversation so much so rick that my father accompanied me to Theodore Roosevelt National Park where just outside the park boundaries. You see fracking. The Balkan oilfields when my father and I went It was at its boom period. Where a million barrels a day were coming out a day and we went into the town of Williston. We saw them in camps. My father went up and ask some of the men who signs your paycheck. And they couldn't answer him and he saw that they were completely being used in two weeks. On two weeks off trading residency in containers storage container at my father wept. And he said this is not right. I am all for oil. I've made my living by lane pipe in the ground in the West. I'm proud of the scars I've made on this landscape but the city and the scale that is happening now at the expense of both the workforce and the land itself is not right. That's what my father said after that. First statement you mentioned so I think we're changing and it's different time. We're looking at climate change. Fossil fuels will be part of our history. And so as a people we I think we have to stand up and say who we are as Americans what we care about and what we want for the future of our nation and our children in her book. Our of Land Terry Tempest Williams writes that America is at a crossroads. She writes we can continue on the path. We've been on in this nation that privileges prophet over people in land or we can unite as citizens with a common cause the health and wealth of the earth that sustains us she continues if we cannot commit to this kind of fundamental shift then democracy becomes another myth perpetuated by those in power. We're learning about the beauty and challenges Terry Tempest Williams binds in her home state of Utah. Right now on travel with Rick Steves. There's more on her website. Coyote CLAM DOT com for people who care about the environment. He just lay awake at night. Thinking what can I do? You actually purchased land in order to save it from drilling. Can you explain about that? Initiative on the part of you and your husband Yes it was the quarterly oil and gas auction lease option in Salt Lake City. Utah where members of the oil and gas industry. Come TO BID ON. Lisa's then they will develop for fossil fuels Brooklyn. I made the decision. As citizens to purchase some of those oil and gas leases. Which we did we bought two leases one thousand one hundred and twenty acres on a remnant sale they were not leases that the oil and gas companies wanted or chose to bid on we purchase them at a discount of one dollar and fifty cents an Acre if you can imagine that are public lands for sale to lease oil and gas for a dollar fifty. That's less than a cup of coffee. We were asked what kind of energy we were going to develop. And I said you can no longer define what energy means to us the energy. We wish to develop at this moment. In time is the energy to fuel movement to keep our fossil fuels in the ground are. Lisa's have been denied. The Bureau of land management did not give us the leases on the grounds of our intent. Not to drill for oil. We said that we would drill for oil as soon as science could show us that the oil and gas was worth more above ground than below given the costs of climate to our future. What we also said is that the oil and gas companies have no desire or designed to develop those leases that they've purchased until the price of oil rises. So we feel we have been treated unfairly and we have appealed the bureau of Land Management's decision. Our case will go before the Board of Appeals in the Department of Interior and must be interesting for you a well-known Utah and walking down the streets of your hometown to feel the friendship's end the enemies you've made with your outspokenness for the environment. I love my home. And it's worth fighting for and I think people know where I stand. There are many who disagree. There are many that don't and I think it's all part of the conversation and I try not to take it personally. That's hard but you know I look at my father as an example and we have disagreed on many many things but when we bought those oil and gas leases it. Cut Right to the core. This is how my family's made its living and my father said you've made a mockery of our family. A few days later when he saw what was at stake and how serious we were and the injustices that were happening even losing my job at the University of Utah my father is now the CEO of tempest energy company. It's an LLC that we have formed. So I think we're evolving growing. Yes it's painful it's messy. There are costs involved but this is to me what it means to be of place to stay in a place and carry on this conversation together. It's about listening even to the land. Well especially to the Land Terry. Tempest Williams. Thank you so much. For writing the hour of land and inspiring us to learn more about the value of our wilderness. And thank you for reminding us to keep our eyes wide open. The only wrinkle here's Aurora water. Children take method tools for is was stoked. Save you can listen to Terry's earlier conversations with us about her. Favorite National Parks Look in the travel. With Rick Steves archives on our website. Rick Steves DOT com slash radio. You'll find Terry in programs number five seven and four ninety five there from December and August of twenty seventeen. We're at eight seven seven three seven four to five or you can write us at radio. At Rick Steves Dot Com travel writer. Kiki dear takes your calls about the Philippines next stay with US auto abby my new luckily enough Michael. That was the guy. Look for Good Day malaria from Manila Philippines. And I travel with Rick. Steves Addo Monari Malacca my knee. Luckily at Nagoya Physics as a destination the Philippines often gets overlooked by travelers who vacation instead in Indonesia Malaysia or Thailand. If you're looking for white sand beaches some of the world's best surfing and diving and encounters with some of the friendliest people on Earth who also happen to speak English. Our next guest suggests he should put Philippines into your travel and there are more than seven thousand islands to choose from travel writer and photographer. Kiki dear joins us now from London to tell us why the Philippines is one of our favorite places on her. She's written beautifully illustrated journey through the Philippines and unforgettable journey from the Nila to Mindanao Kiki. Thanks for being here. Thank you very much for having me. What distinguishes people's travels these days is experiences? And you know there's a lot of great destinations in in the Pacific Rim that you could visit. Or what are some of the experiences that would make the Philippines really memorable for traveler? Well there are so many which I think make the Philippines. The incredible country that it is it has some of the best diving in the world. You can go swimming with well sharks you can track in age-old rice hearses. You can have a look. Goods are hanging coffins. Love beaches of course are plenty of them with more than seven thousand islands. So there are a plethora beaches where you can relax and enjoy. Enjoy the beautiful waters. You can even hike up active volcanoes. So what's that Lake hiking up? An active volcano is that you do that on a tour. Is there a regular trail with the trail head information centre? Or what's the experience like? Well they're over. Twenty active volcanoes in the Philippines and Mount is the world the most well known and it said to have the world's most symmetrical cone and you can you can trick up a number of them. Of course. There are various warnings in place at time. So you need to obviously make sure you're you up to date with the current situation. Of course it's highly advise to get a guide. Once you are in the country you need to have a look at the latest situation and then decide whether it's a good idea or not trick up it gets obviously some of them being act in Kennels quite dangerous that's serious business travel writer. Kiki Gears Guide to the Philippines right now on travel with Rick Steves. Her bookcase journey through the Philippines. Kiki posts photos of a world travels on her website and Kiki dear dot com. That's spelled K. I K. D. E. R. E. R. Phone number is eight seven seven three three three seven. Four two five marks on the line from Bonney Lake Washington mark. What's your question for Kiki what I was a child? My father's in the military and we lived in the in the Philippines from sixty three to sixty five and we traveled all over Luzon. We actually went up to the guy rice terraces and Benelli and it was really a wonderful trip and I wondered if you could just tell the people a little bit about the the Guy Laroche Terrace. Absolutely they're actually one of my favorite place in the country. So they're they're up in the news on in the in the year US region which is a mountainous region in the north of the Philippines and they are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And they were they weave around the mountainside and they were hewn out of the mountains about two thousand years ago by the Hugo people which tribe that lives in in the US of Northern Luzon. And it's supposed to trek through the terraces and overnight and traditional food hearts which I think is a highlight of any absolutely any trip to the Philippines. The scenery is simply breathtaking cookie. This is the rice terraces of BONALY BE IN A. U. E. Is that right cracked now? They've been around for two thousand years and they just look dreamy and it's a reminder of the importance of rice to the the Philippine culture. I understand local series race. Three times a day absolutely. It's Royce of course is a staple of Filipino cuisine. In fact more than three times about five times a day even in the afternoon you know you sort of afternoon snack. Royces also consumed even for putting their rice rice cakes and absolutely it's huge consumed along with fish of course to five times a day. How how do they is? It just steamed rice that they would just eat a little bundle of steamed rice or is it cook different ways to make it more resting. Janas normally just steamed and then it's accompanied by could be fish or meat. A lot of meat especially pork is consumed in the Philippines. And that's probably a legacy of the Philippines was a Spanish colony for over three centuries an in Spain is you know they they eat a lot of pork and Adobo is probably the national dish and then Lutron which is talking pig which is consumed widely at important occasion so you know weddings or celebrations. Because you see these big festivals where they have an entire pig that's been cooked up for the occasion. Exactly Hey Mark. Thanks for your call. Thank you very much. Thank you this is travel with Rick. Steves we're talking with key. Her Book Is Journey through the Philippines paging through your book. It's just one thing about the Philippines is just the colorful sort of Cultural Festival. And all of the gorgeous little insights and they mostly cute primates. Tell us about these. Little tiny guys with lovable is yes. The Tashi is who are very sweet very adorable and you can find them in ball. Never curious wide-eyed animals that are one of the world's smallest primates and they way only about one hundred and fifty grams. There's big as the palm of your hand. That tiny they actually look. They look like aliens. Do they run around like squirrels do here where I live or or then? He's given kept. You Not really used to see them bit like Koalas sitting in the trees. They do have quite a high pitched sounds they make and Kiki you know a lot of people would claim that different countries are very hospitable. But it's pretty clear you get a very warm welcome the Philippines. Can you talk about Filipino? Hospitality absolutely I think Filipino. Hospitality is one of the aspects of the Philippines. That that I probably have the most I have never on any of my travels and I must have been very fortunate to have travelled quite extensively. I've never come across anybody as friendly as the Filipinos they are the most welcoming warm people and as you know the Philippines is is quite a poor country but despite all the poverty the people always have a smile on their face and are always ready to share what they have with visitors Geeky. It's interesting that when people go to Asia. They think Thailand or Malaysia Indonesian oftentimes. They don't even consider the Philippines. Why do you think that is well? That's a good question and I have to say it still still baffles. Me traveled as do end up in Cambodia Laos Vietnam Thailand Malaysia suits on the main peninsula. But I think the Philippines has been a sort of extra flight across. I think that may be one of the reasons why people who've overlooked also. It's just one more flight away in it. Is I mean if you already? You know if you're traveling you would fly for example to Singapore Ben Cauca wherever in the morning so there are. People tend to travel a lot to the country's by land whilst of to get to the Philippines. You need an extra flight. What about President Duty? I mean he's getting what he should be. Getting horrible presses just killing people outside of the law just for being related to the Drug Industry. There is that a concern for. I mean it's a horrible thing and a lot of people would understandably not want to patronize that. With their with their tourist dollar on the other hand you could go there and just help connect that country with the rest of the world through tourism which is a great secondary value of Tourism What are what are your thoughts about do tae and the current situation and how it might impact a traveler considering going to the Philippines to say it has been quite a lot about Preston the Philippines and there was already quite a lot of bad press on the Philippines before because of Mindanao and regional unrest. There so I think possibly that's actually another reason why people have have been put off visiting but I have to say that once you are actually in the country it you don't really. Of course there is crime like there is anywhere but I never felt any safer than traveling in the Philippines and as a female so trumpeter I think that's saying something so it's a very big country and there are a Muslim that are angry and they've got some extremists there. That are violent. You've got killings in every country but there's thousands of killings done by the government to make real serious point about. We're not going to allow any drugs. In this society. Apparently drugs have been had a ravaging effect on the community. Or I don't know what's driving him but you're saying as tourist you go there and you're you're almost oblivious to that yes absolutely or at least that's how. I felt but again the areas where there is regional unrest specifically Mindanao which is in the south where it is a bit of a conflict zone because there are various factions recording for autonomy from for Minnesota. So I strongly suggest of course if travel is a planning on going there then they should check the security situation before but given that there are over seven thousand islands and this is just one of them There is obviously a lot more to see again. All the places that tourists tend to visit or perfectly safe travel writer. Kiki ears taking us to the Philippines right now. Travel with Rick Steves. She writes guidebooks on the Philippines and other Southeast Asia countries for rough guides and Tuttle publishing has released her own photo field guide called journey through the Philippines. Every page is filled with brilliant photos of smiling people in the country's stunning scenery including its spectacular rice terraces waterfalls and Marine Life. And even one of the world's strangest wide eyed primates. Found nowhere else. Honor Kiki when we think of going to the Philippines first of all it has a huge connection with Spain named after King Philip the second of Spain the Philippines. It's the only country in Asia colonized by the Spanish today. it's dominant. Religion is Catholicism The Languages Tagalog. But it's also English. What's the language situation? Traveler will encounter. I think the Philippines is one of the easiest countries to travel around when it comes to languages and the lack of language barriers because it was an American coordinator for a number of years and and there was a huge amount. There is still a huge American influence in the way people dress what people eat even the way they behave and of course in the language because English is the official language. Taganrog is is taught of course at schools as well people speak Tagalog but English is also taught in virtually. Everybody speaks English. How problem into. There's a long history of Western conquest. What Magellan arrived there? What five hundred years ago? Yeah what what can you actually see from the very early times of the European conquest? There's wonderful colonial cities vegan actually comes to mind and that's A. V. I. A. N. Vegan Cra Trojan young and. It was a very important political military center during the Spanish times and actually Chinese citing vessels would leave from their foot of gold and beeswax and other products were brought the coast from the Cordell. Where actually the rice terraces are not that region? I'm and to this day. The historical centers beautifully preserved wooden houses Chinese Mexican in in architecture and many have been converted into guest houses museums. And in fact there are still horsedrawn. Carriages that that you can see it on. The streets invite tourists often take rides in them. So that's probably one of the most beautifully preserved Spanish colonial towns and then there are some pretty exotic things in the countryside that go back to Sort of a mix of Christian and indigenous rituals. You've got this This phenomenon of hanging coffins. You wrote a fascinating article about that. Can you explain the hanging coffins of Sega? Yep so in the town of Sakata which actually was a bit of a behemoth retreat in the seventies ended attracted many artists intellectuals who came here for some peace and quiet and to paint and write and one of its main attractions on fighting these. These hanging coffins. Just hang from a cliff face and the quite extraordinary there are only about one meter about three feet in length and the reason being because the the corpses were buried in the fetal position and this is a tradition that dates back about two thousand years and sadly it's it's something that's dying out. I understand from your article that people were concerned that the bodies wood rot if they put them into the wet ground The dogs would eat them or they could be trophies for head hunters and They decided to hang among these cliffs and curly. Nobody could get them when they're halfway up. A mountain on a cliff cracked talk. About how the Christian beliefs when countries what eighty or ninety percent Catholic today are mixed in with the Indigenous rituals. That were there. Before the Christian colonial powers even arrived fiestas and festivals are huge pay huge part in Philippine culture and many of them are rooted in Christianity and the Spanish win. They they arrived. Introduce a number of fiestas to two towns and various air is an many of us were held in honor of Catholic patron saints largely to criticize the country and a number of them instead of course held for example. The Virgin Mary For example the Florida's Demayo Festival in. May which is one of the country's largest so none of Christian elements have been incorporated in in these age old traditions and Catholic celebrations continued to be celebrated with umbrella enthusiasm Christmas Or the day of the dead When everybody goes to the cemeteries to bring you gifts and food and so on to the dead So people do very much celebrates both Christian fiestas and festivals of course being a Christian country but also That they continue to celebrate ancient traditions from the islands. Kiki imagine nearly everybody goes to the Philippines starts in Manila. Is that a good idea. And what would be some of the highlights of your experience in Manila. Because frankly I hear about a lot of cities around the world. But I don't hear much about Manila. Manila is actually not as daunting as As most people think it is it has some fantastic fantastic museums and a beautiful. Historical Center is called intramurals which in Spanish means within the walls and that was the historic core of the city and the seat of the government during the Spanish colonial times it was originally built to protect the city from invaders and it is today. A huge tourist attraction another major highlight. I guess is is under which is Chinatown which is said to be the oldest Chinatown in the world and one of the highlights. Chinatown is this extraordinary Chinese summitry that was established in the nineteenth century. Kiki when you mentioned that Manila has the oldest Chinatown in the world. It's just a reminder that the country really has a strong melting pot dimension of course there's an indigenous culture but it's also The result of just centuries of bigger and stronger cultures coming in Chinese spanish-american talk a little bit about how how all of these invading cultures shapes the Philippine culture. We experience today well. Firstly in the language like we said before. English is the official language without sudden one of the biggest legacies of the American times and people wear western clothes. If you travel to other countries in South East Asia you will see more. Traditional dress was in the Philippines. People largely dress like we do in the West. They shop in malls there. Many malls in Manila air conditioned very smart malls and of course they practice Catholicism again. This is a legacy of the Spanish Times. Then the Filipinos are extremely devout. Catholics underneath each virtually every town. There is a church and church is also found in the remotest corners of the country. And then you have some little of the country for example in the quarter yet us where the rice terraces all the people who have very ancient traditions that they continue to this day for example they place all that could blow their rice deities that they place in the fields to bring abundant harvest. People continue to observe these ancient conditions whilst at the same time simulating cultures from that have been left from the Americans and the Spanish. This is travel with Rick. Steves who've been talking Kiki dear about the Philippines Kiki a lot of people just rave about the chocolate hills. Take this there. And why is that? So striking for people. Yeah the chocolate hills seventy one of the main attractions tourist attractions of the Philippines and the clinical cost hills. That geologists believed were formed from Corden. Mine Stone over centuries of erosion and. They're they're over one thousand of this cone shaped hills and they all vary in size and in fact when you look at them and also depending on the season that you are the they look like little hills of chocolates hence of course the the name and Kiki we've been talking about you know Manella and a lot of the mainstream kind of dimension to the Philippines but seven thousand islands. Let's finish just with a chance to to go to the one most offbeat and out of the way remote slices of this culture that you would like us to consider if we're trying to put our travel dreams into reality here when it comes to the Philippines so what I was lost in the Philippines like visited by Tana's which is the country's remotest island province. An any gets about thirty or forty foreign travelers per year so literally. Just you know just a handful and it's quite an extraordinary place that has very little in common with the with the rest of the land of the country. The language is different. The food is different. The islands look completely different. The topography is very different. While the rest of the Philippines is largely white sand beaches with gorgeous clearwater. Here there are these rugged cliffs and Very Green Green Hills With meadows whether a buffalo and horses and castle an fight it reminded me a lot of islands and islands of jagged coastline. And it's very interesting. You could take a boat to nine and call subtitling which is very quiet. Little place where we're houses are built of stone and the reason for this is because the stone to withstand the destructive typhoons that very often hit these islands that sounds like a way to capture Philippine experience. If you can get there absolutely. And if emily goes there they're going to bump up the total amount of tours to to the but Donna's islands by a substantial amount. Kiki dear. Thanks so much for your insight into the Philippines and Congratulations on your book journey through the Philippines. Thank you thank you. Lan- grabble Steve is produced. At Rick Steves Europe in Edmonds Washington by Tim. Tappan is a Kaplan Wilner and Casimiro Hall. Thank for studio help this week to the BBC's woven house in London and Wfan de Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. There's more online at Rick Steves dot com slash radio. Rick Steves has spent a third of his adult life in Europe. Researching and writing guidebooks Europe through the back door teaches the skills of smart travel travel as a political act as meaning to the journey. And Rick Steves bestselling country city and pocket guide books cover every corner of Europe to learn more visit the travel store at Rick. Steves DOT COM?