Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Exotic Lands And Dodgy Places

By Tan Chee Wee  

As its title suggests, Tan Wee Cheng’s Exotic Lands and Dodgy Places is a good read on places is a good read on places where people dream of going but have trepidation when taking the first step. His gripping real-life accounts of destinations he has been to and events he has experienced is intriguing, and the insertion of personal comments bring much-welcomed humour, especially during tense situations. From explaining why Greenland is ice and Iceland is green, getting assaulted by a pimp in Cyprus, to visiting the Nazi death camp in Auschwitz, each chapter is brimming with adventures, history and educative facts.

The author’s weak spot for controversial places and adventures bring him to exotic destinations; Comoros, a nation of coups, political instability and home of the notoriously active volcano, Karthala Volcano; Madagascar, land of unique flora and fauna but ranked the seventh poorest country in the world; Guyana, where the latin American’s gangster attack tourists in the night, Amazon, the largest expanse of tropical rainforest in the world and home to insanely large mosquitoes and omnivorous piranhas; the endless steppes of rolling grass on the wide plains of Mongolia, which is also the place where vegetables are still considered to be for wimps.

This does not aim to be a guidebook for intrepid travelers, but Tan’s narrative nature provides much useful tips and inspiration to travel.

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