The Globejotting Travel Show on Expat Radio

Episode 2: Climbing Ban on Uluru and Invisible Monks in Luang Prabang

Air Date: December 5, 2017 ~ Replay December 11

The Globejotting Travel Show is a new program hosted by travel writer and award-winning humorist Dave Fox. It streams on the first Tuesday and second Monday of each month on Expat Radio, an English-language Internet radio station based in France.

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Uluru in Australia’s Northern Territory. (Photo: Marc Feipel / Public Domain)

Park managers and traditional owners who administer Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) have announced that beginning in October, 2019, visitors will no longer be allowed to climb one of Australia’s most iconic structures.

The decision was based on both safety concerns and sensitivity to local Aboriginal groups. Steve Baldwin, Manager of Park Operations at Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, joins us via Skype from the Australian Outback to discuss the new rules and to talk about what visitors to the area can still enjoy.

We then head to Laos’s most touristed town, Luang Prabang. Each day at sunrise, hundreds of monks walk through the streets, barefoot and silent, collecting donations of food they will eat for the day. Dave explains that for Buddhists, this is intended to be a solemn affair, yet some camera-toting tourists don’t seem to get that … and he shares an encounter he had with some invisible monks.

Program Notes


  • Our guest on this episode is Steve Baldwin, Manager of Park Operations and Visitor Services at Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park.

    The new climbing restrictions at Uluru will take effect on October 26, 2019.

  • For more info on the new rules, as well as all the things you can still do there, visit parks Australia’s page on Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park.
  • Chairman of the Park Board and Traditional Owner Sammy Wilson issued a statement in both the local Aboriginal language and English outlining his thoughts on the closure. You can read it here: Uluru Climb Closure: Words from the Chair. (Scroll down the page for English.)
  • In our interview, Park Operations Manager Steve Baldwin refers to the local Aboriginal concept of Tjukurpa. Learn more here.
  • In his introduction to the segment, Dave refers to this 2008 article from the New Zealand Herald: Uluru Tourists Return “Cursed” Souvenirs.
  • Read more about Uluru on Wikipedia.


Uluru at Sunset. (Photo: Stuart Edwards / CC-BY-SA 2.5)


Musical Selection: Treaty by Yothu Yindi

The band Yothu Yindi is comprised of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. They sing in a mixture of English and Yolngu, the local language of the Aboriginal band members. The song, “Treaty,” was the first song in an Aboriginal language ever to gain widespread international recognition.

A few of the band’s members, including its original lead singer, are no longer living; however, the band Yothu Yindi lives on and recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the “Filthy Lucre Radio Mix” of “Treaty.”

You can check out the band in their current iteration on their Facebook page: Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project.


Luang Prabang and Laos

Check out more of Dave’s stories from Laos here:

Stories and Suggestions Wanted ~ Win Cool Online Travel Writing Courses!

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