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A Different World Off-Base

Date Posted: 2000-04-21

Two weeks ago we ran a story on an Italian couple who were taking five years off to cycle round the world. The obstacles to doing something like that, they insisted, were all in the mind. Some people come to Okinawa for a couple of years and never move off base. They leave with no knowledge of an ancient culture all around them, to say nothing of beautiful scenery, a mostly friendly population, great beaches and an interesting cuisine. Even if you don’t like the local food there is an amazingly cosmopolitan variety of eating places on the island, featuring fare from most parts of the globe. If you travel a few hundred yards off base, you can be in a different world. Then there is the saying: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. With this in mind we present an introduction to Borneo on page……The peoples of Borneo are one of a myriad of Far Eastern cultures on Okinawa’s doorstep, relatively speaking. Exploring somewhere like Borneo is not as wild a vacation option as it may sound. There are companies that go to Sarawak, East Malaysia, offering package deals with good standards of comfort, and fascinating diversions, like watching orang utans in the rainforest. For the more adventurous, independent travel on boats and light planes can take you far into the interior. In a future edition of Japan Update we will run an account of a canoe expedition into the interior of Borneo from the Indonesian side of the border. We want to devote more space to travel in the paper. We would like stories from anyone who has done some interesting travel in any part of the world. Accounts need not always be from far off the beaten track. Entertaining stories on Holidays from Hell are also welcome. Please e-mail the editor: steve@japanupdate.com or fax us at 098-934-5716 or send your material by snail post. Photos welcome.

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