the most beautiful place on earth

Finally borrowed Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine’s Last Chance to See from the library (can be found at English 591.68 ADA if you’re interested). The book is about their travels to various places in search of species on the brink of extinction for a BBC radio series. I like its interesting content and dry wit, and would definitely recommend it to everyone.

I found this part very meaningful, especially since my friend Karen and I had just visited Bali in June, and we’d tried to avoid the touristy areas……

When we told our guide that we didn’t want to go to all the tourist places he took us instead to the places where they take tourists who say that they don’t want to go to tourist places. These places are, of course, full of tourists. Which is not to say that we weren’t tourists every bit as much as the others, but it does highlight the irony that everything you go to see is changed by the very action of going to see it, which is the sort of problem which physicists have been wrestling with for most of this century. I’m not going to bang on about Bali being turned into a Bali Theme Park, in which Bali itself is gradually destroyed to make way for a tatty artificial version of what used to be there, because it is too familiar a process to come as news to anybody. I just want to let out a squeak of frustrated rage. I’m afraid I couldn’t wait to leave the most beautiful place on earth.


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