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

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.

31 Jul 2020 - 7:18AM

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.

The great outdoors: an A to Z of the world’s best national parks, from Greenland to Thailand
The prison where Mandela was held for 18 years, and other repurposed tourist attractions

From bomb shelters to leper colonies, there are countless facilities that have been repurposed to attract visitors. Here are some of them.

28 Jul 2020 - 2:17PM

From bomb shelters to leper colonies, there are countless facilities that have been repurposed to attract visitors. Here are some of them.

The prison where Mandela was held for 18 years, and other repurposed tourist attractions
From Barack Obama to Jimmy Choo – the famous and their holiday hometowns

The beachy birthplaces of celebrities, from Mallorcan boy Rafael Nadal to Zanzibar-born Freddie Mercury.

21 Jul 2020 - 6:00AM

The beachy birthplaces of celebrities, from Mallorcan boy Rafael Nadal to Zanzibar-born Freddie Mercury.

From Barack Obama to Jimmy Choo – the famous and their holiday hometowns
Some of the best bike tours in Asia, from Japan to Taiwan, for free wheeling fun

The pandemic has inspired people around the world to get on their bicycles, and two-wheeled tours look set to boom.

12 Jul 2020 - 3:30PM

The pandemic has inspired people around the world to get on their bicycles, and two-wheeled tours look set to boom.

Some of the best bike tours in Asia, from Japan to Taiwan, for free wheeling fun
Seven train trips through the Americas, from Canada to Peru

Swap traffic jams for spectacular scenery on routes that vary from a two-day journey on Canada’s luxurious Skeena Train to a 48km loop around tiny St Kitts.

3 Jul 2020 - 9:20PM

Swap traffic jams for spectacular scenery on routes that vary from a two-day journey on Canada’s luxurious Skeena Train to a 48km loop around tiny St Kitts.

Seven train trips through the Americas, from Canada to Peru
13 statues that stand on the right side of history, from Rosa Parks to Nelson Mandela

Around the world, countries are reckoning with the past and the historical figures chosen to represent it. But not all who are commemorated need to come down – these activists, academics and political leaders can stay.

26 Jun 2020 - 7:54PM

Around the world, countries are reckoning with the past and the historical figures chosen to represent it. But not all who are commemorated need to come down – these activists, academics and political leaders can stay.

13 statues that stand on the right side of history, from Rosa Parks to Nelson Mandela
Eight of Europe’s tiniest islands, inhabited by few but worth a day trip

These specks on the map are home to small populations living in splendid isolation. 

19 Jun 2020 - 6:49PM

These specks on the map are home to small populations living in splendid isolation. 

Eight of Europe’s tiniest islands, inhabited by few but worth a day trip
A Zoom tour of Fukuoka will have to do for now, but it does give a flavour of what to expect from the real thing

We sample the sights of Fukuoka in Japan via Zoom with the help of tour guide Keiko, who takes us to Shinto shrines and a soy sauce factory. It’s enough to whet our appetite for an actual visit, whenever that becomes possible.

15 Jun 2020 - 8:28PM

We sample the sights of Fukuoka in Japan via Zoom with the help of tour guide Keiko, who takes us to Shinto shrines and a soy sauce factory. It’s enough to whet our appetite for an actual visit, whenever that becomes possible.

A Zoom tour of Fukuoka will have to do for now, but it does give a flavour of what to expect from the real thing
Seven Indian hill stations that still beckon when summer becomes too hot to handle

Built by the British as a respite from Indian summers, the subcontinent’s hill stations are as charming as ever.

15 Jun 2020 - 11:04AM

Built by the British as a respite from Indian summers, the subcontinent’s hill stations are as charming as ever.

Seven Indian hill stations that still beckon when summer becomes too hot to handle
From Toto’s Africa to Vienna by Ultravox: around the world in 16 songs, and the stories behind them

George Ezra might not have set foot in Budapest, but that didn’t stop him from penning his chart-busting number inspired by the Hungarian capital.

9 Jun 2020 - 5:05AM

George Ezra might not have set foot in Budapest, but that didn’t stop him from penning his chart-busting number inspired by the Hungarian capital.

From Toto’s Africa to Vienna by Ultravox: around the world in 16 songs, and the stories behind them
The world’s least inhabited places, or where to enjoy socially distant sightseeting on a post-pandemic holiday

From Greenland to Tasmania, the world’s emptiest places take self isolation to stunning extremes.

2 Jun 2020 - 4:00AM

From Greenland to Tasmania, the world’s emptiest places take self isolation to stunning extremes.

The world’s least inhabited places, or where to enjoy socially distant sightseeting on a post-pandemic holiday
The countries that can’t wait for Chinese, South Korean and Russian tourists to return

Destinations from Myanmar to Malaysia and Mongolia are eagerly anticipating being able to welcome international visitors again.

18 May 2020 - 10:52AM

Destinations from Myanmar to Malaysia and Mongolia are eagerly anticipating being able to welcome international visitors again.

The countries that can’t wait for Chinese, South Korean and Russian tourists to return
Seven villages you pay for the privilege of visiting – are they worth the entry fee?

From Nusfjord in Norway to Thailand’s long neck village of Huai Sua Tao, find out what makes these places special.

13 May 2020 - 1:39PM

From Nusfjord in Norway to Thailand’s long neck village of Huai Sua Tao, find out what makes these places special.

Seven villages you pay for the privilege of visiting – are they worth the entry fee?
Eight James Bond-approved travel destinations: on location with 007

The fictional spy has some serious air miles under his belt, causing a scene across the globe from Thailand’s Khao Phing Kan to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica.

6 May 2020 - 2:07PM

The fictional spy has some serious air miles under his belt, causing a scene across the globe from Thailand’s Khao Phing Kan to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica.

Eight James Bond-approved travel destinations: on location with 007
26 words that don’t translate into English: foreign vocab to take home from holiday

From spreading the philoxenia hospitality in Greece to dancing in the rimjhim rain in India.

29 Apr 2020 - 7:56PM

From spreading the philoxenia hospitality in Greece to dancing in the rimjhim rain in India.

26 words that don’t translate into English: foreign vocab to take home from holiday
Seven things we don’t miss about travel: from delayed flights to long queues at passport control

There is more to holidays than rest and relaxation – remember all those unnecessary hours spent at airports?

20 Apr 2020 - 5:03AM

There is more to holidays than rest and relaxation – remember all those unnecessary hours spent at airports?

Seven things we don’t miss about travel: from delayed flights to long queues at passport control
Seven monuments to human progress, including the Austrian hospital where hand-washing was first advocated

Plus seven other monuments to human progress, including Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, and Sri Lanka, which was home to the world’s first female prime minister.

13 Apr 2020 - 2:00AM

Plus seven other monuments to human progress, including Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, and Sri Lanka, which was home to the world’s first female prime minister.

Seven monuments to human progress, including the Austrian hospital where hand-washing was first advocated
Fez: the good, bad and ugly sides to Morocco’s oldest and best-preserved city

Step back in time in the medina, where even the most jaded souvenir shoppers will go glassy-eyed at the range on offer, but beware pickpockets, unscrupulous guides and the ‘two-menu trick’, which will see you spending more than planned.

8 Apr 2020 - 1:51AM

Step back in time in the medina, where even the most jaded souvenir shoppers will go glassy-eyed at the range on offer, but beware pickpockets, unscrupulous guides and the ‘two-menu trick’, which will see you spending more than planned.

Fez: the good, bad and ugly sides to Morocco’s oldest and best-preserved city
The swimsuit named for an atomic test site, and other familiar things named after less familiar places

From badminton to denim and the Manila envelope, the geographical origins of everyday items.

18 Mar 2020 - 8:36PM

From badminton to denim and the Manila envelope, the geographical origins of everyday items.

The swimsuit named for an atomic test site, and other familiar things named after less familiar places
Seven countries, states and breakaway republics you have probably never heard of

They’ve got flags, football teams and national anthems, all that’s missing is official recognition.

7 Mar 2020 - 11:57PM

They’ve got flags, football teams and national anthems, all that’s missing is official recognition.

Seven countries, states and breakaway republics you have probably never heard of
Seville: the good, bad and ugly sides to Spain’s sizzling southern city

Fiestas, bullfighting, Unesco World Heritage sites and sunshine – there are more reasons than not to visit Spain’s fourth largest city

29 Feb 2020 - 5:23PM

Fiestas, bullfighting, Unesco World Heritage sites and sunshine – there are more reasons than not to visit Spain’s fourth largest city

Seville: the good, bad and ugly sides to Spain’s sizzling southern city
Cash cows or white elephants? Only time will tell with these ambitious tourism projects

From the Kilimanjaro cable car project to elephant hunting in Botswana, will these initiatives could turn out to be good news for the destinations they’re designed to serve?

19 Feb 2020 - 8:41PM

From the Kilimanjaro cable car project to elephant hunting in Botswana, will these initiatives could turn out to be good news for the destinations they’re designed to serve?

Cash cows or white elephants? Only time will tell with these ambitious tourism projects
Skiing in the French Alps: the good, bad and ugly sides to a destination that was once the realm of the rich

These days, the slopes offer something for everyone – from dog sledding to star gazing – to try and attract a younger clientele but with under-25s representing only 14 per cent of skiers in France, the efforts are obviously not enough.

15 Feb 2020 - 3:38PM

These days, the slopes offer something for everyone – from dog sledding to star gazing – to try and attract a younger clientele but with under-25s representing only 14 per cent of skiers in France, the efforts are obviously not enough.

Skiing in the French Alps: the good, bad and ugly sides to a destination that was once the realm of the rich
From Czechia to Sri Lanka: 7 countries that changed their names, when and why

Swaziland changed its name to eSwatini to stop it being confused with Switzerland. No, really

11 Feb 2020 - 5:46AM

Swaziland changed its name to eSwatini to stop it being confused with Switzerland. No, really

From Czechia to Sri Lanka: 7 countries that changed their names, when and why
At Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa, the crowds provide as much entertainment as the attraction

The ‘Pisa Push’ is a must-do, as unoriginal visitors vye to ‘correct’ what went wonky way back in the 12th century.

10 Feb 2020 - 8:08PM

The ‘Pisa Push’ is a must-do, as unoriginal visitors vye to ‘correct’ what went wonky way back in the 12th century.

At Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa, the crowds provide as much entertainment as the attraction
The Florida Keys: the good, bad and ugly sides to the subtropical island chain

While the 1,700 coral atolls have lured the likes of Ernest Hemingway with their subtropical charms, today they are at the mercy of climate breakdown.

5 Feb 2020 - 3:55PM

While the 1,700 coral atolls have lured the likes of Ernest Hemingway with their subtropical charms, today they are at the mercy of climate breakdown.

The Florida Keys: the good, bad and ugly sides to the subtropical island chain
8 hikes to get your heart pounding, from Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit to the Inca Trail in Peru

From Yushan, in Taiwan, to the Inca Trail, in Peru, these hikes will get your blood flowing.

25 Jan 2020 - 7:14PM

From Yushan, in Taiwan, to the Inca Trail, in Peru, these hikes will get your blood flowing.

8 hikes to get your heart pounding, from Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit to the Inca Trail in Peru
The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

The world’s 12th longest river is second only to the Amazon in biodiversity, but that is under threat from drought, rising sea levels and a rush to build dams.

9 Jan 2020 - 10:41PM

The world’s 12th longest river is second only to the Amazon in biodiversity, but that is under threat from drought, rising sea levels and a rush to build dams.

The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’
From Ethiopia to Iran, places that escaped colonisation by Europeans – how did they do it?

Nepal’s rugged terrain saved it from enforced Western ‘civilisation’, while the king of Thailand played a clever diplomatic game to keep his nation save from foreign domination.

5 Jan 2020 - 4:05PM

Nepal’s rugged terrain saved it from enforced Western ‘civilisation’, while the king of Thailand played a clever diplomatic game to keep his nation save from foreign domination.

From Ethiopia to Iran, places that escaped colonisation by Europeans – how did they do it?
Visiting Lapland: the good, bad and ugly sides to Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi

Meeting the big man himself and gazing at the Northern Lights under Finland’s long night skies are wonderful but are they worth the environmental cost?

23 Dec 2019 - 9:04PM

Meeting the big man himself and gazing at the Northern Lights under Finland’s long night skies are wonderful but are they worth the environmental cost?

Visiting Lapland: the good, bad and ugly sides to Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi