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Xinjiang & Hunza

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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The Silk Road, Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia

The Silk Road, Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia

by Frances Wood

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 270 PAGES

Wood draws on hundreds of archival photographs, manuscripts and paintings from the British Library in telling this lively story of the art, culture and history of diverse trade routes. (ASA36, $30.95)

Odyssey Guide Xinjiang

Odyssey Guide Xinjiang

by Jeremy Tredinnick

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This beautifully, authoritative illustrated guide covers with authority the archaeological and cultural riches, Silk Road legacy and fascination of China's enormous Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (CHN508, $29.95)

Northwest China Map

Northwest China Map

by MapLink

  • 2002
  • MAP

This bird's-eye map takes in the region from Dunhuang west across the Taklamakan to Almaty, Bishkek and the Pamirs. With shaded relief, archaeological sites, roads, tracks and paths, railroads and trade routes. (CHN202, $9.95)

 
The Ancient Silk Road Map

The Ancient Silk Road Map


by Odyssey Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

Three large annotated color maps, which include dozens of photographs, expert commentary and illustrated Silk Road sites. (ASA58, $15.00)

DK Eyewitness Top Ten Beijing

DK Eyewitness Top Ten Beijing


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions in Beijing. (CHN427, $14.00)

Insight Guide Silk Road

Insight Guide Silk Road


by Insight Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 421 PAGES

From Xi'an across Central Asia to Turkey, this gorgeously illustrated guide covers the sweep of the Silk Road. (CAS200, $24.99)

Odyssey Guide The Silk Road, Xi'an to Kashgar

Odyssey Guide The Silk Road, Xi'an to Kashgar


by Judy Bonavia

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

With photographs, maps, essays and lively sidebars on people, literature, food, religion, nature and customs, this is a terrific guide. (CAS13, $24.95)

Buddhism in Chinese History

Buddhism in Chinese History


by Arthur F Wright

  • RELIGION
  • 1983
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

A brief overview of the transformation of the culture of pre-modern China by Buddhism and the legacy of Buddhism in modern China, originally presented as a series of six lectures in 1959. (CHN131, $24.95)

Empires of the Silk Road

Empires of the Silk Road


by Christopher I. Beckwith

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 504 PAGES

Beckwith rescues Central Asia from the periphery of world affairs with flair and scholarship, depicting millennia of empires, trade and cultural life on the Silk Road. (CAS171, $16.95)

Eurasian Crossroads, A History of Xinjiang

Eurasian Crossroads, A History of Xinjiang


by James A. Millward

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

Millward's engaging survey of Xinjiang's rich environmental, cultural and ethno-political heritage will appeal travelers, students and anyone eager to learn about this strategic crossroads at the center of Asia. (CHN469, $45.00)

Islam After Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia

Islam After Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia


by Adeeb Khalid

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

Khalid's nuanced analysis explores the ways in which Central Asia's Muslim societies have been transformed by the Soviet presence in the region. (CAS199, $31.95)

Lost Enlightenment, Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane

Lost Enlightenment, Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane


by S. Frederick Starr

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 680 PAGES

Starr brings to life the great flowering of ideas and advances of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment, showing how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asian societies led the world in trade and were at the vanguard of mathematics, philosophy, history, geology, astronomy and science. (CAS227, $22.95)

Religions of the Silk Road

Religions of the Silk Road


by Richard C. Foltz

  • RELIGION
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

A scholarly survey of cultural traditions, and especially religions, along the trade routes through China and Central Asia from antiquity to the 15th century. (CAS52, $34.00)

Silk Road: Monks, Warriors & Merchants on the Silk Road

Silk Road: Monks, Warriors & Merchants on the Silk Road


by Luce Boulnois | Helen Loveday

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 575 PAGES

A history and guide to the Silk Road, organized chronologically and featuring a nice selection of contemporary photographs. (CAS111, $26.95)

The Silk Road, A New History

The Silk Road, A New History


by Valerie Hansen

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A professor of Chinese and world history at Yale, Hansen draws on original sources and the latest archaeology for this magnificently illustrated tale of the overland routes across Asia and the life, history, and culture of fabled Silk Road cities Niya, Kucha, Turfan, Samarkand, Chang'an, Dunhuang and Khotan. (CAS214, $21.95)

The Silk Road, A Very Short Introduction

The Silk Road, A Very Short Introduction


by James A. Millward

  • HISTORY
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

Millward's pocket history highlights the important exchanges of goods, ideas and spiritualities that traveled the Silk Road, the Mediterranean's link to Persia, India and China. (CAS212, $11.95)

The Silk Roads, A New History of the World

The Silk Roads, A New History of the World


by Peter Frankopan

  • HISTORY
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 656 PAGES

Tightly researched and filled with swashbuckling stories, this history by Peter Frankopan looks eastward, showing how the West grew out of a restless desire to access Asian trade. (CAS246, $30.00)

Tracking Bodhidharma, A Journey to the Heart of Chinese Culture

Tracking Bodhidharma, A Journey to the Heart of Chinese Culture


by Andy Ferguson

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • HARD COVER
  • 288 PAGES

Ferguson's evocative journey on the trail of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, takes him deep into the heart of Chinese culture old and new. (CHN707, $26.00)

Mapping the Silk Road and Beyond

Mapping the Silk Road and Beyond


by Kenneth Nebenzahl

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES

This visually stunning collection of 80 rare illuminated manuscripts, early modern masterpieces and archival maps traces two millennia of exploration across Asia. (CAS113, $29.95)

The Tarim Mummies, Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West

The Tarim Mummies, Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West


by J.P. Mallory | Victor H. Mair

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 190 PAGES

A magnificently illustrated account of the Tarim mummies -- Bronze Age inhabitants of the Taklamakan Desert along the Silk Road. (CAS58, $36.40)

Frontiers of Heaven, A Journey to the End of China

Frontiers of Heaven, A Journey to the End of China


by Stanley Stewart

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 232 PAGES

A British journalist with wanderlust and a way with the pen, Stewart recounts his rough journey halfway across Asia from Shanghai to Xinjiang along the Great Wall. A Thomas Cook Travel Book of the Year. (CHN237, $14.95)

Life Along the Silk Road

Life Along the Silk Road


by Susan Whitfield

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 312 PAGES

With insight, scholarship and dramatic flair, Susan Whitfield recounts the lives of ten diverse individuals on the ancient Silk Road, including four tales set in Dunhuang. With a superb 15-page history of Central Asia. (CAS44, $29.95)

News from Tartary

News from Tartary


by Peter Fleming

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Fleming's rousing account of a 3,500-mile jaunt from Peking to Sinkiang and on to India, a classic of imperial British wit and style. (CAS46, $18.95)

Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China's Ancient Silk Road

Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China's Ancient Silk Road


by Stuart Stevens

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1988
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES

An entertaining account of hard travel from Beijing to Kashgar, following the route of Peter Fleming and his classic News from Tartary. (CAS77, $13.00)

Riding the Iron Rooster

Riding the Iron Rooster


by Paul Theroux

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

A wry account of utterly exhausting, exasperating travels, mostly by rail, throughout China for an entire year. Theroux gets himself to every corner of the huge country and includes memorable passages on his experiences in Mongolia, Xinjiang, Manchuria and Tibet (where his journey ended). (CHN133, $16.95)

The Emperor Far Away, Travels at the Edge of China

The Emperor Far Away, Travels at the Edge of China


by David Eimer

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

Far from China's major cities in the Islamic areas of the Xinjiang province, in the "forbidden zone" of Tibet and along insecure borders that China shares with Russia and India, Eimer explores the old Chinese adage: "The mountains are high and the emperor far away." (CHN759, $19.00)

The Silk Road Journey with Xuanzang

The Silk Road Journey with Xuanzang


by Sally Wriggins

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

A nicely illustrated account of an extraordinary, 16-year trek from Xi'an to India by way of Central Asia in search of the origins of Buddhism by Xuan-Zang, the famous 7th-century Chinese monk. (ASA31, $25.00)

Where the Indus is Young, Midwinter in Baltistan

Where the Indus is Young, Midwinter in Baltistan


by Dervla Murphy

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 270 PAGES

For three months Dervla and six-year-old Rachel explore Little Tibet, high in the Karakoram Mountains, traveling on foot and by pony along the Indus Gorge and into nearby valleys. Originally published in 1977. (PKN16, $33.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.