Tim Pile

Tim Pile

Tim Pile has written more than 200 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

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
La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, lives up to its nickname, La Isla Bonita

The most northwesterly island of the archipelago boasts pristine forests, jaw-dropping landscapes.

25 Jul 2019 - 3:00PM

The most northwesterly island of the archipelago boasts pristine forests, jaw-dropping landscapes.

La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, lives up to its nickname, La Isla Bonita
Seven of the best water parks in the world, from Bali and Dubai to Singapore

From wading with sharks in Singapore to the world’s longest water slide, in Penang, many destinations boast a fun watery attraction to tempt the young and the young at heart.

28 Jul 2019 - 7:02PM

From wading with sharks in Singapore to the world’s longest water slide, in Penang, many destinations boast a fun watery attraction to tempt the young and the young at heart.

Seven of the best water parks in the world, from Bali and Dubai to Singapore
Lombok, Gili Islands, Komodo, Flores – the good, bad and ugly sides to Indonesia’s Nusa Tenggara

World-beating beaches, volcanic lakes and deadly dragons – what else could a tourist wish for? The islands of Nusa Tenggara, east of Bali, have them all. Well, not only do those dragons have toxic saliva, they can swim.

21 Jul 2019 - 7:52PM

World-beating beaches, volcanic lakes and deadly dragons – what else could a tourist wish for? The islands of Nusa Tenggara, east of Bali, have them all. Well, not only do those dragons have toxic saliva, they can swim.

Lombok, Gili Islands, Komodo, Flores – the good, bad and ugly sides to Indonesia’s Nusa Tenggara
The good, bad and ugly sides to Hawaii for tourists

The American island chain is invoked by tourism boards the world over, but while its expanses of pristine sand remain unrivalled, the world’s most isolated archipelago is home to one of the most traffic-congested cities in the US

5 Jul 2019 - 1:52PM

The American island chain is invoked by tourism boards the world over, but while its expanses of pristine sand remain unrivalled, the world’s most isolated archipelago is home to one of the most traffic-congested cities in the US

The good, bad and ugly sides to Hawaii for tourists
Seven Silk Road destinations, from China to Italy: towns that grew rich on trade

Towns along the trade route linking Europe and Asia thrived by providing accommodation and services for countless traders of carpets and camels, glassware and gold.

27 Jun 2019 - 11:40AM

Towns along the trade route linking Europe and Asia thrived by providing accommodation and services for countless traders of carpets and camels, glassware and gold.

Seven Silk Road destinations, from China to Italy: towns that grew rich on trade
The good, bad and ugly sides of Chernobyl and Kiev – two very different Ukrainian destinations

Success of HBO series Chernobyl has seen an upsurge in tourism at the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, with some of the more disrespectful visitors use the tour as an opportunity for taking tasteless selfies.

22 Jun 2019 - 10:43PM

Success of HBO series Chernobyl has seen an upsurge in tourism at the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, with some of the more disrespectful visitors use the tour as an opportunity for taking tasteless selfies.

The good, bad and ugly sides of Chernobyl and Kiev – two very different Ukrainian destinations
Weird and wacky sporting statues: Cristiano Ronaldo’s bust not the only questionable one

From tennis star Andy Murray’s terracotta warrior to an Art Garfunkel-esque tribute to footballer Mo Salah, not all bronze homages to the world’s sporting greats are created equal

12 Jun 2019 - 8:04PM

From tennis star Andy Murray’s terracotta warrior to an Art Garfunkel-esque tribute to footballer Mo Salah, not all bronze homages to the world’s sporting greats are created equal

Weird and wacky sporting statues: Cristiano Ronaldo’s bust not the only questionable one
The good, bad and ugly sides of Kyoto – the centre of traditional Japanese culture

Ancient meets modern in the former imperial capital, which is home to 1,681 Buddhist temples and 812 Shinto shrines.

6 Jun 2019 - 5:17AM

Ancient meets modern in the former imperial capital, which is home to 1,681 Buddhist temples and 812 Shinto shrines.

The good, bad and ugly sides of Kyoto – the centre of traditional Japanese culture
Eight second world war sites in Europe to visit to retrace the Allied victory push

From Sicily to the Normandy beaches, Gdansk and Berlin, see battlefields, cemeteries, and memorials – and enjoy the holiday destinations these places have become; a new Rough Guide shows you how.

31 May 2019 - 10:05AM

From Sicily to the Normandy beaches, Gdansk and Berlin, see battlefields, cemeteries, and memorials – and enjoy the holiday destinations these places have become; a new Rough Guide shows you how.

Eight second world war sites in Europe to visit to retrace the Allied victory push
The good, bad and ugly sides of Amsterdam – Netherlands’ capital is trying to manage too many tourists

A gentrification project has tackled organised crime in the Red Light District and provided incentives for upscale cafes and boutiques to move in, but despite the decade-long scheme, the Netherlands’ capital has yet to get a grip on human trafficking and forced prostitution.

23 May 2019 - 2:00PM

A gentrification project has tackled organised crime in the Red Light District and provided incentives for upscale cafes and boutiques to move in, but despite the decade-long scheme, the Netherlands’ capital has yet to get a grip on human trafficking and forced prostitution.

The good, bad and ugly sides of Amsterdam – Netherlands’ capital is trying to manage too many tourists