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Excellent book about Southeast Asia with a mystical bent,
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Travels in the Far East: Earthbound Travels in the Far East (Hardcover)
I picked this book up after spending two months in exactly the countries Mr. Terzani travels through in the first three quarters of this perfectly delightful travelogue. I only wish I would have read the book before going.
So much of what shapes these countries is not what is overtly visible, but what is in the hearts and minds of the people who occupy them. And that is something that every traveler hopes to learn -- the why. Mr. Terzani takes a closer look at what some might call mumbo-jumbo in a way that opens the readers eyes to ideas that are very strange to most of us, and yet they have been in practice for thousands of years.
The mysticism of the different cultures in countries from Thailand to Indonesia is an area I had not even been aware of as I planned and executed our trip. It is an area I wish I would have paid more attention to. From reading the book I learned that Malaaca (Malaysia) is "the most bewitched city on earth." Had I known that I may have been more observant when I was there. Maybe I would have seen a ghost or two...
We were lucky enough to be able to visit Angkor Wat, in Cambodia for a few days and it had a profound affect on my wife and me. That affect was heightened whan I read Tiziano's feelings about the temples. He writes: "Personally, I have always been more impressed by the temples in which the work of man seems in itself to touch the devine. There are few places in the world in which one feels proud to be a member of the human race, and one of these is certainly Angkor. Behind its sophisticated, intellectual beauty there is something profoundly simple, something archetypal and natural that reaches the heart without needing to pass through the head."
If you have an interest in Southeast Asia and have been, or are planning to go I would highly recommend finding this book and reading it. It is a beautiful work, interesting and unusual.
Unfortunately I do not believe it is available in the United States (?) I have only just found it in the UK. Good luck and happy trails.
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