Tim Pile

Tim Pile

Tim Pile has written more than 300 travel articles for the South China Morning Post. He has been to over 100 countries and has a Master’s degree in Tourism Environment and Development.

Latest from Tim Pile

Best places to visit on world’s longest train journey: a guide to what the Singapore to Portugal route has to offer

The 18,755km odyssey, made possible with the new US$6 billion Vientiane to Boten line, passes by Unesco World Heritage Sites galore and many other worthy sightseeing spots.

The 18,755km odyssey, made possible with the new US$6 billion Vientiane to Boten line, passes by Unesco World Heritage Sites galore and many other worthy sightseeing spots.

8 Jan 2022 - 2:08PM
Has Covid-19 killed off cheap holidays? Why overseas travel will cost more after the pandemic

Foreign holidays will be more expensive than before the pandemic, with airfares, car rental and accommodation all costing more. The era of cheap travel could be over.

Foreign holidays will be more expensive than before the pandemic, with airfares, car rental and accommodation all costing more. The era of cheap travel could be over.

27 Nov 2021 - 5:15AM
Languages in danger – seven, including Quechua and Maori, undergoing a revival and one, Malaysia’s Iban, that could use some more help

Unesco’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger includes some spoken only in one village but others that have experienced a renaissance, such as Basque and Welsh.

Unesco’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger includes some spoken only in one village but others that have experienced a renaissance, such as Basque and Welsh.

1 Nov 2021 - 12:03AM
Times Square in New York, Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Amsterdam’s red-light district – tourist attractions their cities’ residents never visit

Most New Yorkers wouldn’t be seen dead in Times Square, and ditto for Barcelona folk on Las Ramblas. Crowded and expensive, there are some tourist haunts natives avoid like the plague.

Most New Yorkers wouldn’t be seen dead in Times Square, and ditto for Barcelona folk on Las Ramblas. Crowded and expensive, there are some tourist haunts natives avoid like the plague.

17 Oct 2021 - 6:15PM
Global tourist sites that have been forced to close by overcrowding, crime, climate breakdown and more

Because of overcrowding, acts of vandalism or criminal enterprise, tourist attractions have to shut down for a number of reasons, sometimes permanently.

Because of overcrowding, acts of vandalism or criminal enterprise, tourist attractions have to shut down for a number of reasons, sometimes permanently.

26 Jun 2021 - 1:04AM
How to photograph stunning sunsets in Hong Kong this summer – the camera settings you need for the best effects, and eight of the best places to shoot

You don’t need to stray far from a bus or MTR stop to capture stunning sunset views in Hong Kong this summer. Tim Pile suggests where to go, and the camera settings you need for the best results.

You don’t need to stray far from a bus or MTR stop to capture stunning sunset views in Hong Kong this summer. Tim Pile suggests where to go, and the camera settings you need for the best results.

19 Jun 2021 - 1:17PM
How the internet changed travel: remember poste restante, postcards and pay phones?

From telecommunications to ticketing platforms, translation apps and online maps, today’s globetrotters have so much information at their fingertips, it would make an Asian trail hippie’s head spin.

From telecommunications to ticketing platforms, translation apps and online maps, today’s globetrotters have so much information at their fingertips, it would make an Asian trail hippie’s head spin.

2 May 2021 - 2:21PM
Souvenirs from around the world: maple syrup from Canada, a jar of Berlin Wall rubble, coffee that’s been through a cat

Tourists love to stock up on trinkets that remind them of their travels, and keepsakes can range from the clichéd, such as maple syrup from Canada, to the downright quirky – cans of ash from Iceland, anyone?

Tourists love to stock up on trinkets that remind them of their travels, and keepsakes can range from the clichéd, such as maple syrup from Canada, to the downright quirky – cans of ash from Iceland, anyone?

11 Mar 2021 - 8:45PM
Justin Bieber went to Iceland, Taylor Swift to Paris: music video locations around the world

Club Tropicana gets down in a celebrity-haunted Ibiza hotel while Justin Bieber fans raise the shackles of Iceland locals for desecrating a canyon.

Club Tropicana gets down in a celebrity-haunted Ibiza hotel while Justin Bieber fans raise the shackles of Iceland locals for desecrating a canyon.

16 Feb 2021 - 8:15PM
Going underground: the cheapest, deepest, oldest subway systems in the world – but which is home to its own mosquito?

There are some 180 public subway systems worldwide, but which cities are home to the newest, largest and most dangerous networks?

There are some 180 public subway systems worldwide, but which cities are home to the newest, largest and most dangerous networks?

29 Jan 2021 - 7:08PM
Adventure, wellness, backpacking, into the wild – ideas for your 2021 holiday wish list

What’s on your bucket list for 2021? Adventure, backpacking, a trip into the wild, or lying by the pool?

What’s on your bucket list for 2021? Adventure, backpacking, a trip into the wild, or lying by the pool?

9 Feb 2021 - 2:12PM
Travel quiz: test your knowledge with 60 questions that take you around the world

You might have been grounded for much of 2020, but test your geographical knowledge with our globe-trotting quiz.

You might have been grounded for much of 2020, but test your geographical knowledge with our globe-trotting quiz.

29 Dec 2020 - 8:41AM
Christmas quiz: an A to Z of capital cities, from Athens to …

Inspire some friendly festive competition between family and loved ones with a game that tests your knowledge of the world’s capital cities.

Inspire some friendly festive competition between family and loved ones with a game that tests your knowledge of the world’s capital cities.

24 Dec 2020 - 11:45AM
The girl from … Stinking Pond – the true meaning of Ipanema and other place names, and their linguistic origin

You may know Singapore is called ‘the Lion City’, but with no evidence the animal ever lived there, do you know why?

You may know Singapore is called ‘the Lion City’, but with no evidence the animal ever lived there, do you know why?

27 Nov 2020 - 5:18PM
Quarantined in Hong Kong after flight from UK Covid-19 lockdown, I am so used to my four walls I could stay until Christmas

Our correspondent joins mass evacuation from England ahead of one-month lockdown, and counts down the days to his release from quarantine in a 280 sq ft hotel room where snatching a gulp of Hong Kong air feels like freedom.

Our correspondent joins mass evacuation from England ahead of one-month lockdown, and counts down the days to his release from quarantine in a 280 sq ft hotel room where snatching a gulp of Hong Kong air feels like freedom.

17 Nov 2020 - 6:03PM
Twin cities: places with the same name around the world – be careful not to confuse them

With 29 Londons, thousands of San Joses and more than 100 Newcastles, heading for one place could lead to another.

With 29 Londons, thousands of San Joses and more than 100 Newcastles, heading for one place could lead to another.

13 Nov 2020 - 2:19PM
Where are the richest, poorest, fattest and deadliest places in the world?

From the least visited destination to the least crime-ridden and the only capital city to border two foreign countries, brush up on your travel trivia.

From the least visited destination to the least crime-ridden and the only capital city to border two foreign countries, brush up on your travel trivia.

30 Oct 2020 - 8:29PM
How to travel responsibly and tell the difference between eco-, agri- and ethical tourism

Since ‘sustainable tourism’ was coined in 1992, numerous terms have been associated with ‘giving back’ holiday adventures, some more nebulous than others.

Since ‘sustainable tourism’ was coined in 1992, numerous terms have been associated with ‘giving back’ holiday adventures, some more nebulous than others.

24 Oct 2020 - 4:08AM
Seven frequently asked travel questions answered - from writing reviews to hotel ratings

A travel writer answers oft-asked questions from tourists, from why so many cruise passengers seem to fall overboard to why hostels rate higher than five-star hotels on Booking.com.

A travel writer answers oft-asked questions from tourists, from why so many cruise passengers seem to fall overboard to why hostels rate higher than five-star hotels on Booking.com.

17 Oct 2020 - 8:38PM
From Bali to Nepal, the human impact of tourism’s collapse and what is being done to help

Guides, porters and armies of tourism-sector support workers from Nepal to Tanzania are facing financial ruin.

Guides, porters and armies of tourism-sector support workers from Nepal to Tanzania are facing financial ruin.

9 Oct 2020 - 8:35PM
Why New York, Mumbai and Guangzhou were once known by other names

There are countless reasons behind a place agreeing to a rebrand – moving on from a colonial past, celebrating a local leader and financial gain among them.

There are countless reasons behind a place agreeing to a rebrand – moving on from a colonial past, celebrating a local leader and financial gain among them.

1 Oct 2020 - 7:28PM
Budget trips to the world’s most expensive destinations, for when the pandemic is over

From the Seychelles to Scandinavia, it is possible to visit some of the world’s most expensive destinations without breaking the bank.

From the Seychelles to Scandinavia, it is possible to visit some of the world’s most expensive destinations without breaking the bank.

25 Sep 2020 - 8:15PM
From saris in India to bowler hats in Bolivia – around the world in traditional dress

While some national costumes are donned for the benefit of tourists, others are still worn on a daily basis.

While some national costumes are donned for the benefit of tourists, others are still worn on a daily basis.

18 Sep 2020 - 7:15PM
From New York, New York to Blue Hawaii, a coast-to-coast playlist for a journey across America

A soundtrack to accompany you on a coast-to-coast trip through the United States.

A soundtrack to accompany you on a coast-to-coast trip through the United States.

11 Sep 2020 - 9:08PM
A moat full of crocodiles, rocks and boiling oil – when fortresses guarded Asia’s vital places, and nine that have survived to this day

At Agra Fort in India the moat was full of crocodiles, while in Hiroshima, Japan, the castle moat was beloved for its plentiful carp. Nine fortresses in Asia, each one unique, are well worth a visit.

At Agra Fort in India the moat was full of crocodiles, while in Hiroshima, Japan, the castle moat was beloved for its plentiful carp. Nine fortresses in Asia, each one unique, are well worth a visit.

5 Sep 2020 - 12:21PM
The world’s weirdest hotels and holiday accommodation – from a bomb shelter to a sewage pipe

From a Nazi-built bomb shelter to a floating cottage, these overnight options offer more than just Instagram appeal for travellers in search of eccentric stays.

From a Nazi-built bomb shelter to a floating cottage, these overnight options offer more than just Instagram appeal for travellers in search of eccentric stays.

28 Aug 2020 - 4:59PM
Travel photography: expert advice on how to make your pictures stand out

From the perfect portrait to a dazzling landscape, veteran travel writer and photographer Tim Pile offers advice on eye contact, light and perspective.

From the perfect portrait to a dazzling landscape, veteran travel writer and photographer Tim Pile offers advice on eye contact, light and perspective.

19 Aug 2020 - 10:42AM
From Barcelona to New Zealand, how destinations are shaping tourism’s ‘new normal’

Devising a model that balances economic growth, employment and the environment is no easy task, but the coronavirus pandemic is providing a rare opportunity to reset.

Devising a model that balances economic growth, employment and the environment is no easy task, but the coronavirus pandemic is providing a rare opportunity to reset.

14 Aug 2020 - 1:25AM
10 lighthouses with claims to fame, the legacies of which shine on

August 7 is US National Lighthouse Day – celebrate with a collection of the world’s most interesting signal towers.

August 7 is US National Lighthouse Day – celebrate with a collection of the world’s most interesting signal towers.

6 Aug 2020 - 7:23PM
The great outdoors: an A to Z of the world’s best national parks, from Greenland to Thailand

Experience some of the planet’s greatest landscapes, from the Philippines’ largely deserted Hundred Islands to magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the dazzling lakes of Jiuzhaigou in China.

Experience some of the planet’s greatest landscapes, from the Philippines’ largely deserted Hundred Islands to magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the dazzling lakes of Jiuzhaigou in China.

31 Jul 2020 - 7:18AM