Tuesday, 25th April 2017

Paul Spencer Sochaczewski

Why travel far?

Posted on 06. Apr, 2017 by in Curious Travel

Why travel far?

IN SEARCH OF A “MORE VIRGIN” DESTINATION A traveler’s dream — being the first foreigner to trek in Nagaland. LAHE, Myanmar My travel agent friend in Yangon sent me an itinerary for a trek to Nagaland, with a comment every traveler dreams of: “This place is more virgin; you will be first to visit.” […]






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On the yeti trail

Posted on 06. Apr, 2017 by in Curious Travel

On the yeti trail

ON THE YETI TRAIL Chasing a wisp, a legend, a key to who we are. OGYEN CHOLING, Tang Valley, Bhutan “If you want to look for a yeti just climb the mountain behind the village. That’s where they’ve been sighted.” I was enjoying a post-dinner whiskey with Kunzang Choden and her husband Walter Roder, […]






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Civet coffee – do you know where that coffee’s been?

Posted on 06. Apr, 2017 by in Curious Travel

Civet coffee – do you know where that coffee’s been?

YOU KNOW WHERE THAT COFFEE’S BEEN? Searching for the perfect fecalicious civet coffee. BUON MA THUOT, Vietnam Oysters. Termites. Camembert. Snake blood. Brains. Broccoli. On the long list of strange things that people voluntarily ingest, one might add civet coffee. Civet coffee, called café chon in Vietnam and kopi luwak in Indonesia, is probably […]






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Almost last shaman

Posted on 06. Apr, 2017 by in Curious Travel

Almost last shaman

THE (ALMOST) LAST SHAMAN It’s been a good ride, but Iban healer doesn’t expect many others to follow his path. SERUBAH ULU, Sarawak To the untrained eye he seems an unlikely magician.  Frail, but with a hundred-watt smile. He has two wispy whiskers, short grey hair, and holes in his earlobes where he once […]






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Flying Phallus Fights Forces of Evil

Posted on 11. Mar, 2014 by in Curious Travel

FLYING PHALLUS FIGHTS FORCES OF EVIL How does the male reproductive organ, “exuberant, slightly askew and sometimes frothy,” protect villagers?   NABJI, Bhutan “I can make you a new phallus, no problem.” “But we’re leaving in the morning.” “Trust me.” Figuring that we could always use a bit more protection against demons in our house […]






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A la Recherche de Pondy Perdu

Posted on 12. Jul, 2011 by in Curious Travel

A la Recherche de Pondy Perdu

A LA RECHERCHE DE PONDY PERDU A visit to Pondicherry invokes a bit of France, and a lot of new India PUDUCHERRY,India As Bastille Day events go the reception was rather tepid – a lackluster speech from the French consul, a few plateaux of fromage and saucisson, and a distinct lack of either fireworks or […]






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Jumping Through Buddhist Hoops in Burma

Posted on 30. Aug, 2010 by in Curious Travel

Jumping Through Buddhist Hoops in Burma

INLE LAKE, Burma “Come on Brochette, jump through this hoop. Arnold Schwarzenegger can        do it – it can’t be that hard.” My friend’s ginger cat in Geneva was doing what cats everywhere do – exactly what she felt like. Which at this moment was not jumping through a hoop. I was trying to accomplish a […]






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Last Great Elephant Hunter Achieves Indochine Glory

Posted on 30. Jun, 2010 by in Curious Travel

He’s notched up 298 pachyderms, and a lucrative product endorsement contract BUON MA THUOT, Vietnam. Stardom can be defined in many ways. For Ama Kong it is a number, 298, the sum of wild elephants he has captured. Now 90, with failing eyesight but still with a healthy head of hair, Ama Kong is the […]






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Uzi Fever

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Letting the macho urges go out with a bang in Cambodia PHNOM PENH, Cambodia In this uncertain world of drive-by killings, high school massacres and gonzo postal workers, is there nowhere a guy can go to blast an Uzi for fun without being labeled a politically-incorrect barbarian? Well, there’s always Cambodia, where Taiwanese entrepreneur Victor […]






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The God Who Flew Off With a Mountain

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

The God Who Flew Off With a Mountain

It takes chutzpah for an Indian villager to stay angry at one of the most popular gods in the Hindu pantheon, but Padhan Patti wants her mountain back DUNAGIRI, India It takes a bit of Hindu chutzpah for a remote Indian villager to stay angry at one of the most popular gods in the pantheon, […]






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The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen

A love story for the ages SOLO, Indonesia The instructions, given by a friend of Javanese nobility, were tantalizingly vague. If you look really carefully, and if the wind is blowing right and you are of good heart and you let yourself “switch mode” into a semi-trance, you just might see a tenth dancer.  That […]






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Searching for Small Folk at the End of the Trail

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Searching for Small Folk at the End of the Trail

A visit with three types of Hobbits on the isolated Indonesian island of Flores FLORES, Indonesia Imaginary short people fascinate us, and they take up an inordinate amount of space in literature and mythology.  We’re all familiar with the Lilliputians who entrapped Gulliver, Snow White’s pals Dopey, Sleepy, Grumpy and the rest of the Seven […]






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Moses Dreams of Reversing Jewish Exodus in Burma

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Moses Dreams of Reversing Jewish Exodus in Burma

Caretaker of Rangoon’s only synagogue dares to dream. Will his children go forth and multiply? RANGOON, Burma “Ah, you want to see Moses Samuels,” says R., the front desk manager at a Rangoon guest house.  “He’s an old school friend.  He’s a Jew and I’m a Moslem, but we all got along just fine.  Give […]






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Searching for Orwell

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Searching for Orwell

A backwater town in Upper Burma was the site for Orwell’s Burmese Days, a book that takes no prisoners KATHA, Burma There are worse travel strategies than to visit places with evocative names. There’s Timbuktu, Congo and Okavango in Africa; and Salvador de Bahia, Darien and Patagonia in Latin America, names which purr with history […]






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Burma’s Generals Hope White Elephants Provide Jumbo Support

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Burma’s Generals Hope White Elephants Provide Jumbo Support

Burma’s Generals Hope White Elephants Provide Jumbo Support Trying to restore some of the good vibes that come with rare pale pachyderms RANGOON, Burma Most new national capitals feature monumental architecture, statues to independence heroes, broad boulevards, cultural centers and shopping malls. Burma’s new, deliberately-isolated and rarely-visited capital, Naypyidaw (which means “royal capital” in Burmese), […]






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