Archive for April, 2009

Do the Chinese need authoritarianism?

That was the sentiment of some recent comments by movie star Jackie Chan, who suggested that the Chinese people weren’t ready to deal with too much freedom or liberty. His statement, predictably, ignited a firestorm of protest.  “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled,” Mr. Chan said during the Boao […]

Riel World photo – Siem Reap, Cambodia


Siem Reap, Cambodia Three Buddhist monks and their umbrellas, walking down the street in Cambodia.

Visit every country before you’re 35

That’s the goal, at least, that Chris Guillebeau has set for himself. So far he’s up to 107 countries and he’s 30-years-old. He was profiled yesterday by the NY Times. I had my first international travel experience when I was 6 years old. My mom took me to the Philippines, and I wound up living […]

Cities built on the edge of a cliff

If you were founding a new city today, it’s unlikely you’d choose to situate it on the edge of a cliff, would you? But some of the most stunning and unusual towns in the world actually do peer over the side of a rock wall. The website SpotCoolStuff recently profiled five such towns around the […]

African travel wonders

Here is a slightly older but intriguing piece that I recently came across: Africa’s top 10 travel wonders. You can guess some of the spots on the list – the Egyptian pyramids, the Nile River, the East African wildlife. But there is much, much more to see in Africa, despite the fact that the continent […]

More than one million couchsurfers in the world

It appears that couchsurfing is continuing to grow in popularity. The website that became a trendy mode of travel is now going mainstream. has passed the one million member milestone. Of course, as the Frugal Traveler points out, this growing popularity brings with it the danger that newcomers may not always be in it for […]

More travel thoughts from Pico Iyer

I’ve written about Pico Iyer a couple of times previously and he is one of the world’s more thoughtful and interesting travel writers. He recently gave an intriguing interview to Gadling that is worth reading. An excerpt: One quality I’ve always admired about your writing is your ability to tap into the personality of a country. What advice […]

Communicating with Muslims

People in various cultures perceive the world differently. This is one of the main causes of communication miscues between individuals from diverse regions of the world. If you want to see an excellent example of how the meaning of simple words can vary from one person to the next, check out this article in the Christian Science Monitor […]

    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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