Amazon Rain Forest (Brazil) / by Kenneth Kao

The Amazon is filled with magic. I can see why so many books have been written, set in this location. Some of the craziest stories and memories, for the rest of my life, will be from visiting here. Maybe it's because I've dreamt of coming here since I was a child that it feels so magical. My very own first short story, written in the 6th grade, took place here. But with people getting shot in the back with arrows.

For me land and nature and untouched, uncorrupted landscapes hold the most impact. I love being "lost" in the wild and appreciating the little things of nature, unmolested by the bump and grind of tourists. So many amazing places have been "spoiled" by tourists, 

and though I am also a tourist, it's one of those necessary evils: to have a place appreciated, people visit it. I do love historic buildings and locations with stories spanning time, but I am definitely one that would rather avoid the tourists and see the lesser known, the harder to reach.

We stayed at JUMA Amazon Lodge, which was particularly cool because most people there, the tourists, seemed of similar mindset. There's a sensation of danger when people talk about the Amazon because nature in the Amazon is NATURE. It is powerful and large and raw and deadly. Even though we were perfectly safe, I think that sense of possible danger keeps people at a distance.

I'm totally okay with that.

I did a video interview with some locals, and it was with the same trepidation that they spoke about the city of Manaus. It was something so dangerous that if they entered, they may never come out. The city, cliche's aside, really was their jungle. Interview here: