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Rundown for the Week of May 18, 2001

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The Mystique of Belly Dancing by Tom Verde
"A gross and indecent expression of sensual intoxication." That's how one of Napoleon's generals described belly dancing two centuries ago, during the French occupation of Cairo. Presumably, the average soldier was a bit more appreciative of the art form. Today, Islamic fundamentalists are the chief critics of Oriental dance, as it's sometimes called, yet as The Savvy Traveler's Tom Verde reports, Cairo remains the belly dancing capital of the world.

Traditional Healing by Anne Marie Ruff
More and more these days it's becoming harder to find those secret corners of the world that haven't been discovered by travel enthusiasts and tour promoters. With each tour bus that pulls into a once unspoiled town or village the cultural experience seems to become more diluted. Contributor Ann Marie Ruff headed deep into the Hilltribe Villages of Northern Thailand in search of traditional healers hoping to find that true untouched cultural and spiritual lifestyle.

Tradition and Tourism by Manisha Aryal
As we've seen from our earlier excursion to the remote hills of Northern Thailand, an authentic cultural experience can be hard to find - but not impossible, as Manisha Aryal discovers on a recent visit to a remote village in the Annapurna Region of Nepal. Tourist dollars in fact help to sustain not only the lives of the natives but their traditions as well.

Peter Greenberg's Hotel Home
You probably know Peter Greenberg best as the Travel Editor of NBC's Today Show. I know him as a friend and someone who often puts me up during my visits to Los Angeles. Sure I could stay in a hotel, but here's the rub...Peter's home is a hotel...well, sort of. After his Sherman Oaks house was destroyed in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake Peter rebuilt it using pieces of his favorite hotels from around the world. On a recent visit to Los Angeles, I persuaded Peter to give me a tour of his hotel home.

Futebol by Doug Lansky
Our vagabond traveler Doug Lansky attends a soccer game in Brazil and finds more action in the stands than on the playing field.

Rudy's View
Lovin' Southwest Airlines

Question of the Week
We recount some of your stories about guilty travel pleasures, and ask you for slogans to sell American Tourism abroad.

Deal of the Week
Varsity Fishing in Alaska...For Less!

Travelers' Aid
Rudy and Ben talk about Lufthansa strikes and more!

We read your letters to us!

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