Here’s more of our favorite travel-related links for the week.

February 14th wasn’t only the horrid – I mean lovely – Valentine’s Day. Along with marking World Sound Healing Day, the Chinese welcomed their New Year. Check out the inaugural festivities in this Boston.com photo essay, Welcoming the Year of the Tiger.

We’ve discussed the culture shock phenomenon here at BNT in such pieces as The 4 Stages of Culture Shock (And How To Beat Them), but this week, Solo Traveler added some advice to the subject in How to travel alone: 10 tips to survive culture shock.

Wow. If you think circumcision is barbaric, check out 8 Interesting (And Insane) Male Rites of Passages From Around the World.

Here’s a nice little reminder from Vagabonding that no matter where you travel, whether it be a spiritual retreat or Mardi Gras, there’s always the possibility of an “exceptional experience”: There’s always room for the offbeat.

Jeffrey Tayler speaks eloquently of how passion and desire got him traveling – and a published writer. If you think becoming a travel writer is just about networking and ass-kissing, check out Inspiration, Travel Writing and L’Esprit Frondeur.

Our hearts go out to the people of Chile, and all those under a tsunami watch.