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

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?

49 minutes ago

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
From Bhutan to Boston: the best places to visit in 2020, according to travel industry experts

This year’s top 10s are a diverse bunch, featuring destinations on and off the beaten path.

16 Dec 2019 - 9:35AM

This year’s top 10s are a diverse bunch, featuring destinations on and off the beaten path.

From Bhutan to Boston: the best places to visit in 2020, according to travel industry experts
Visiting Sri Lanka: Galle, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna – the good, bad and ugly sides to island’s southwest coast

New highway offers fast access to the beaches, historic towns and blue whales of Lonely Planet’s ‘best country to visit 2019’.

5 Dec 2019 - 2:28PM

New highway offers fast access to the beaches, historic towns and blue whales of Lonely Planet’s ‘best country to visit 2019’.

Visiting Sri Lanka: Galle, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna – the good, bad and ugly sides to island’s southwest coast
No selfies, no sitting, no stealing sand – things tourists are banned from doing around the world

A London wildlife park has prohibited visitors from wearing animal-print clothing, while gritty-fingered sightseers can no longer steal Sardinian sand.

3 Dec 2019 - 4:18AM

A London wildlife park has prohibited visitors from wearing animal-print clothing, while gritty-fingered sightseers can no longer steal Sardinian sand.

No selfies, no sitting, no stealing sand – things tourists are banned from doing around the world
Berlin: the good, bad and ugly sides to German capital for tourists

To enjoy the many excellent tourist attractions in the German capital, visitors must navigate filthy streets, rude locals and dismal airports.

23 Nov 2019 - 8:23PM

To enjoy the many excellent tourist attractions in the German capital, visitors must navigate filthy streets, rude locals and dismal airports.

Berlin: the good, bad and ugly sides to German capital for tourists
‘Tourist’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word: the destinations delighted to welcome record numbers of travellers

From Turkey to Tunisia and Australia to Iran, international arrivals help to boost economies.

19 Nov 2019 - 4:14PM

From Turkey to Tunisia and Australia to Iran, international arrivals help to boost economies.

‘Tourist’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word: the destinations delighted to welcome record numbers of travellers
Oman: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Switzerland of the Gulf’ for tourists

The crime-free ‘Switzerland of the Gulf’ is home to ‘the nicest people on the planet’, but visitors might find the brain-boiling temperatures less than welcoming.

8 Nov 2019 - 10:21AM

The crime-free ‘Switzerland of the Gulf’ is home to ‘the nicest people on the planet’, but visitors might find the brain-boiling temperatures less than welcoming.

Oman: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Switzerland of the Gulf’ for tourists
Around the world in 2019 – following in Phileas Fogg’s footsteps

Jules Verne’s intrepid Victorian traveller accepted a bet to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or less. How would he fare today?

1 Nov 2019 - 2:39PM

Jules Verne’s intrepid Victorian traveller accepted a bet to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or less. How would he fare today?

Around the world in 2019 – following in Phileas Fogg’s footsteps
Sabah: the good, bad and ugly sides to the Malaysian state on the island of Borneo

The troubles in this paradise include logging, lack of sanitation, oh, and the risk of getting kidnapped.

28 Oct 2019 - 9:50PM

The troubles in this paradise include logging, lack of sanitation, oh, and the risk of getting kidnapped.

Sabah: the good, bad and ugly sides to the Malaysian state on the island of Borneo
12 of the most remote travel destinations on Earth, each with its own superlative

Not ideal for a weekend getaway, Pitcairn Island is barely more accessible today than it was when the HMS Bounty’s mutineers came ashore in 1790.

16 Oct 2019 - 10:32PM

Not ideal for a weekend getaway, Pitcairn Island is barely more accessible today than it was when the HMS Bounty’s mutineers came ashore in 1790.

12 of the most remote travel destinations on Earth, each with its own superlative
New England in the fall: the good, bad and ugly sides – is it an autumnal paradise or a tourist nightmare?

As photo ops go, they don’t get much better than ‘Mother Nature’s pyrotechnic palette’ in the US northeast in autumn; if you go, bear in mind New England motorists are notoriously aggressive and ranked the angriest in America.

10 Oct 2019 - 8:32PM

As photo ops go, they don’t get much better than ‘Mother Nature’s pyrotechnic palette’ in the US northeast in autumn; if you go, bear in mind New England motorists are notoriously aggressive and ranked the angriest in America.

New England in the fall: the good, bad and ugly sides – is it an autumnal paradise or a tourist nightmare?
Montserrat: the ‘Caribbean Pompeii’ where the Rolling Stones recorded hopes to rise from its volcanic ashes

Former playground for the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson, the ‘Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’ has lost a fair bit of surface area but none of its charm.

7 Oct 2019 - 8:36AM

Former playground for the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson, the ‘Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’ has lost a fair bit of surface area but none of its charm.

Montserrat: the ‘Caribbean Pompeii’ where the Rolling Stones recorded hopes to rise from its volcanic ashes
Six Unesco World Heritage Sites in danger of being delisted

Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Timbuktu, in Mali, are among those in the UN’s bad books.

4 Oct 2019 - 12:52PM

Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Timbuktu, in Mali, are among those in the UN’s bad books.

Six Unesco World Heritage Sites in danger of being delisted
Galway, Ireland: the good, bad and ugly sides to Europe’s 2020 capital of culture

The university city knows all about the craic and its residents are officially ‘fun to hang out with’.

26 Sep 2019 - 3:58AM

The university city knows all about the craic and its residents are officially ‘fun to hang out with’.

Galway, Ireland: the good, bad and ugly sides to Europe’s 2020 capital of culture
From crime to climate change and civil unrest, the issues that keep tourists away

From a terrorist attack, to crime, to natural disasters, there are many catalysts that can trigger a potentially ruinous tourist exodus from a holiday destination.

21 Sep 2019 - 9:54PM

From a terrorist attack, to crime, to natural disasters, there are many catalysts that can trigger a potentially ruinous tourist exodus from a holiday destination.

From crime to climate change and civil unrest, the issues that keep tourists away
Antigua, Guatemala: the good, bad and ugly sides to the Central American city for tourists

Comfortable climate, affordable living costs and relative safety make Antigua a choice destination for retirees and travellers alike.

18 Sep 2019 - 10:18AM

Comfortable climate, affordable living costs and relative safety make Antigua a choice destination for retirees and travellers alike.

Antigua, Guatemala: the good, bad and ugly sides to the Central American city for tourists
Stopping animal cruelty at tourist attractions - what not to do

From donkeys carrying tourists up punishing hills on Santorini to camels bleeding in their harnesses in Giza, tourist traps are hotbeds of animal exploitation.

6 Sep 2019 - 6:50AM

From donkeys carrying tourists up punishing hills on Santorini to camels bleeding in their harnesses in Giza, tourist traps are hotbeds of animal exploitation.

Stopping animal cruelty at tourist attractions - what not to do
Lisbon, Portugal: the good, bad and ugly sides to one of Europe’s hottest, hippest cities

Clean air, stunning vistas, value for money and those egg tarts won the Portuguese capital numerous prizes at the World Travel Awards, which will doubtless add to the visitor onslaught that has already made its residents weary of tourists.

31 Aug 2019 - 6:03PM

Clean air, stunning vistas, value for money and those egg tarts won the Portuguese capital numerous prizes at the World Travel Awards, which will doubtless add to the visitor onslaught that has already made its residents weary of tourists.

Lisbon, Portugal: the good, bad and ugly sides to one of Europe’s hottest, hippest cities
Holidays for all ages: post-millennial or silver sunseeker, these are the perfect trips for you

Teens don’t get scenery so save yourself the effort, while 40- and 50-somethings with cash to splash can opt for bespoke travel experiences – and there’s always that round-the-world cruise.

23 Aug 2019 - 6:50PM

Teens don’t get scenery so save yourself the effort, while 40- and 50-somethings with cash to splash can opt for bespoke travel experiences – and there’s always that round-the-world cruise.

Holidays for all ages: post-millennial or silver sunseeker, these are the perfect trips for you
Alaska: the good, bad and ugly sides to life on America’s ‘last frontier’

The 49th state’s great outdoors is a hunting, hiking and adventure sports paradise, but for how much longer? Alaska is warming up twice as fast as the global average.

15 Aug 2019 - 10:52PM

The 49th state’s great outdoors is a hunting, hiking and adventure sports paradise, but for how much longer? Alaska is warming up twice as fast as the global average.

Alaska: the good, bad and ugly sides to life on America’s ‘last frontier’
The worst TripAdvisor reviews: guests complain of nudity, drunks, ghosts and ‘bland food’

The holiday review site hosts groans and gripes ranging from the outraged, the apoplectic, the humorous and even the supernatural.

10 Aug 2019 - 9:00PM

The holiday review site hosts groans and gripes ranging from the outraged, the apoplectic, the humorous and even the supernatural.

The worst TripAdvisor reviews: guests complain of nudity, drunks, ghosts and ‘bland food’
Ladakh: the good, bad and ugly sides to India’s ‘Little Tibet’, high in the Himalayas

A new tunnel will provide year-round access to an area usually cut off by snow for seven months of the year, which is great for those wishing to visit but less so for the local environment.

1 Aug 2019 - 1:53PM

A new tunnel will provide year-round access to an area usually cut off by snow for seven months of the year, which is great for those wishing to visit but less so for the local environment.

Ladakh: the good, bad and ugly sides to India’s ‘Little Tibet’, high in the Himalayas