Quiz on travel

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on October 05, 2018 Published on October 05, 2018

In keeping with the theme of this issue, this week’s quiz is all about travel.


1 The Great Railway Bazaar sold over a million copies and described Paul Theroux’s four-month journey across Europe, the Middle East and India. His 1988 work Riding The Iron Rooster describes his travels across which Asian country?

2 Which literary masterpiece describes a journey on the Japanese freighter Tsimtsum, that is transporting animals from North America?

3 Which television and film star and travel show host lends his name to a specific effect, in which bookings surge to a particular destination following the airing of his travelogue of that location?

4 This Norwegian explorer was the first to cross Greenland’s ice cap and the Arctic Ocean. He was a champion skier and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the League of Nations. Most importantly, he never lost a single fellow explorer in his travels. Name him.

5 Which famous journey started on December 27, 1831, and ended in Cornwall on October 2, 1836, though one of the crew members was already famous in England, thanks to the pamphlets he sent to the Royal Society?

6 This specific form of tourism formally started in the US in 1950 when the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego was declared a public venue for this activity. Kaikoura in New Zealand, Hermanus in South Africa and Peninsula Valdes in Patagonia are some of the most famous spots for this activity. What is this activity?

7 Faxian was a Buddhist monk who travelled to India in the fourth and fifth centuries in order to acquire Buddhist texts. A concern about the lack of accuracy of his material resulted in another of his countrymen visiting India a couple of centuries later. Name the second explorer who spent 17 years travelling around the subcontinent and left a detailed chronicle of his travels.

8 What did Maureen and Tony Wheeler decide to start in the early 1970s and name after the misheard lyrics of a song called ‘Space Captain?’

9 In 1992, Mark Shand wrote an award-winning account of his 600-mile journey across India to the Sonepur mela. What was unusual about his journey.

10 Which famed travel writer, known for works such as Video Night in Kathmandu and The Global Soul was named after his father, the Buddha and a Florentine neo-platonist philosopher, of which the third is the name he normally uses?


1 China. He was chaperoned by a local bureaucrat throughout his travels

2 The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The freighter sinks and Pi escapes on a lifeboat with a tiger for company

3 Michael Palin, former Monty Python star who also became the president of the Royal Geographical Society

4 Fridtjof Nansen, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922

5 Charles Darwin’s travels on the HMS Beagle, which was the basis of his Theory of Evolution

6 Whale watching. San Diego was originally opened to observe the migration of the gray whale

7 Xuanzang, more commonly known as Hsuan-Tsang in India and the West

8 Lonely Planet. The actual words were ‘Lovely Planet’

9 His companion was Tara, the elephant. The book was titled Travels On My Elephant

10 Siddhartha ‘Pico’ Raghavan Iyer; Pico being from Italian nobleman Pico della Mirandola



Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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Published on October 05, 2018
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