Archive for May, 2008

Riel World photo – Prague, Czech Republic


Prague, Czech Republic The architecture and flowers of Old Town Square in Prague.

Saudi gender relations: the female view

Yesterday, I had a post about gender relations in Saudi Arabia and the remarkable lengths that the society goes to in order to maintain separation between males and females of different families. I linked to a story in the International Herald Tribune in which young men were interviewed about their interactions with women. Today, we cover […]

Saudi gender relations: the male view

It’s easy in the West for us to express shock or dismay at the state of gender relations in some Arab countries (the veiling of women, the separation of the sexes, etc.), and particularly in a very conservative culture such as Saudi Arabia’s. However, it’s also easy for us to forget that many people in those […]

Travels in Ladakh


I enjoy reading the travel writings of Pico Iyer, so I was happy to find this recent article of his about a trip he took to Ladakh, a Tibetan culture in the Himalayan region of northern India. I knew before I came to Ladakh — the high, dry region in northern India that borders Tibet […]

Stunning sand dunes of Namibia

When most of us think of vast deserts and mountainous sand dunes, our mind wanders to the Arabian or Sahara deserts. Few people think of Namibia and sand dunes in the same sentence. But this country on the southwestern coast of Africa is, in fact, known for some of the most stunning sand dune landscapes […]

The benefits of a walkable city

Do you enjoy living someplace that is walkable? It’s important if you like to walk to restaurants and shops, if you harbor a desire to walk to work, or even if you just enjoy walking for fitness. The act of walking may also be helpful in much bigger ways. Paul Krugman has a column in today’s New […]

Images of China


National Geographic has a wonderful feature online – an interactive photo map of China. By clicking on the names of cities or regions, one is transported to a collection of photos from that part of the country. There are 200 pictures in all and they show the amazing diversity, complexity and beauty of the Chinese […]

Do cities have personality traits?

We often talk about the cultures of different regions of the world. We talk less often about the cultures of different regions of one country, though they certainly exist. But what about the psychological characteristics of geographical regions? Is it actually possible that people in New England, for example, have not only different traditions and foods than […]

Riel World photo – Bali, Indonesia


Bali, Indonesia The waves roll into Jimbaran Beach on the Indonesian island of Bali. At night, this beach is a beehive of activity, with dozens of open-air seafood restaurants lining the sands. When we were there during the day, however, the area was nearly deserted and we had an entire stretch of gorgeous beach all […]

Romancing the food in Southeast Asia

Julie O’Hara recently went to Southeast Asia with her husband, where she fell in love with the foods of Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. Along the way, she tried to learn as much as she could about the meals, although she knew she’d never be able to exactly recreate the dishes at home. She reported on […]

Round-the-world travel resources

Last week, I provided you with a page of information on life sabbaticals. Today I have sort of a companion piece to that, with an overview of round-the-world travel. An excerpt: Sure, you can spend a few months traveling around Europe. Or Australia and New Zealand. Or Southeast Asia, which is more of a bargain […]

Riel World photo – Petra, Jordan


Petra, Jordan A view of the Treasury in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. This stunning piece of work was carved directly into the rock of this mountainside about 2,000 years ago by the Nabataean people. The city of Petra is also one of the 28 life list travel destinations recommended recently by Smithsonian Magazine.

    Meet Bob Riel

    Bob Riel is a writer and a traveler. Go here to read more about Bob, his work and the Travels in the Riel World blog.

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