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

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?

5 Jan 2021 - 12:38AM

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

Adventure, wellness, backpacking, into the wild – ideas for your 2021 holiday wish list
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.

29 Dec 2020 - 8:41AM

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

Travel quiz: test your knowledge with 60 questions that take you around the world
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.

24 Dec 2020 - 11:45AM

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

Christmas quiz: an A to Z of capital cities, from Athens to …
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?

27 Nov 2020 - 5:18PM

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

The girl from … Stinking Pond – the true meaning of Ipanema and other place names, and their linguistic origin
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.

17 Nov 2020 - 6:03PM

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.

Quarantined in Hong Kong after flight from UK Covid-19 lockdown, I am so used to my four walls I could stay until Christmas
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.

13 Nov 2020 - 2:19PM

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

Twin cities: places with the same name around the world – be careful not to confuse them
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.

30 Oct 2020 - 8:29PM

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.

Where are the richest, poorest, fattest and deadliest places in the world?
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.

24 Oct 2020 - 4:08AM

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

How to travel responsibly and tell the difference between eco-, agri- and ethical tourism
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.

17 Oct 2020 - 8:38PM

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.

Seven frequently asked travel questions answered - from writing reviews to hotel ratings
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.

9 Oct 2020 - 8:35PM

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

From Bali to Nepal, the human impact of tourism’s collapse and what is being done to help
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.

1 Oct 2020 - 7:28PM

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.

Why New York, Mumbai and Guangzhou were once known by other names
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.

25 Sep 2020 - 8:15PM

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

Budget trips to the world’s most expensive destinations, for when the pandemic is over
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.

18 Sep 2020 - 7:15PM

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

From saris in India to bowler hats in Bolivia – around the world in traditional dress
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.

11 Sep 2020 - 9:08PM

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

From New York, New York to Blue Hawaii, a coast-to-coast playlist for a journey across America
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.

5 Sep 2020 - 12:21PM

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.

A moat full of crocodiles, rocks and boiling oil – when fortresses guarded Asia’s vital places, and nine that have survived to this day
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.

28 Aug 2020 - 4:59PM

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.

The world’s weirdest hotels and holiday accommodation – from a bomb shelter to a sewage pipe
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.

19 Aug 2020 - 10:42AM

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

Travel photography: expert advice on how to make your pictures stand out
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.

14 Aug 2020 - 1:25AM

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.

From Barcelona to New Zealand, how destinations are shaping tourism’s ‘new normal’
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.

6 Aug 2020 - 7:23PM

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

10 lighthouses with claims to fame, the legacies of which shine on
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