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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Pearls of Southeast Asia

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

Item EXSEA352. Buy these 5 items as a set for $74 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Buddhism, A Very Short Introduction

Buddhism, A Very Short Introduction

by Damien Keown

  • RELIGION
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 158 PAGES

One of a series of very brief, authoritative introductions by Oxford University Press with chapters on The Buddha, Karma, the Mahayana, Buddhism in Asia, Buddhist practices and ethics. (ASA53, $11.95)

Angkor, Heart of an Asian Empire

Angkor, Heart of an Asian Empire

by Bruno Dagens

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 191 PAGES

An excellent guide to the site, this shirt-pocket encyclopedia of discovery features hundreds of color photographs, illustrations and maps. (CBD01, $15.95)

Eyewitness Guide Bali and Lombok

Eyewitness Guide Bali and Lombok

by Jean Couteau

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 240 PAGES

A highly visual guide to the history, culture, arts and attractions of Bali with hundreds of photographs, excellent maps and select hotel and restaurant listings. (BAL20, $23.00)

DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Bangkok

DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Bangkok

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

This slim guide, geared for visitors on a short stay, features color photographs and maps. (TLD112, $14.00)

Southeast Asia Map

Southeast Asia Map

by Nelles

  • MAP

A clear, double-sided map of all of Southeast Asia at a scale of 1:4,500,000. (SEA12, $13.95)

 
Angkor Map

Angkor Map


by Dawn Rooney

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2007
  • PAPER

A site plan and pocket guide to the city of Angkor at a scale of 1:40,000. (CBD16, $12.95)

Eyewitness Guide Malaysia & Singapore

Eyewitness Guide Malaysia & Singapore


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 367 PAGES

A visually stunning guide to Singapore and surroundings, featuring hundreds of photographs and illustrations, detailed city maps, and information on history, culture and attractions. (SGP12, $25.00)

Eyewitness Top Ten Singapore

Eyewitness Top Ten Singapore


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map. (SGP27, $14.00)

Lonely Planet Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand

Lonely Planet Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand


by Nick Ray

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 512 PAGES

This compact practical guide covers the entire Mekong region from the heights of Yunnan to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. (SEA63, $27.99)

Island of Bali

Island of Bali


by Miguel Covarrubias | Adrian Vickers

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 417 PAGES

First published in 1937, this classic portrait of Bali captures the life, traditional culture and customs of the Balinese people. (BAL03, $25.00)

Phnom Penh, A Cultural History

Phnom Penh, A Cultural History


by Milton Osborne

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

As a one-time resident of Phnom Penh and an authority on Southeast Asia, Milton Osborne provides a colorful account of the troubled history and appealing culture of Cambodia's capital city. (CBD58, $17.95)

Ricelands, The World of South-east Asian Food

Ricelands, The World of South-east Asian Food


by Michael Freeman

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

Freeman's engrossing portrait of the land, people and cuisine of Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia and the Philippines features 250 color photos. (SEA79, $35.00)

Shadows and Wind

Shadows and Wind


by Robert Templer

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 398 PAGES

A British journalist based in Vietnam, Templer cuts through myth and legend to offer a lively, opinionated portrait of contemporary Vietnam. (VNM43, $17.00)

Southeast Asia, An Introductory History

Southeast Asia, An Introductory History


by Milton Osborne

  • HISTORY
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

In the 11th edition of this classic, Osborne (The Mekong) traces social, political and economic change in the region since the 18th century. (SEA73, $26.95)

Vietnam, Rising Dragon

Vietnam, Rising Dragon


by Bill Hayton

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

The veteran BBC newsman covers the tangled politics, rapidly changing economy, culture, history and people of Vietnam with great insight in this timely portrait of a nation in transition. (VNM134, $24.00)

Art & Architecture of Cambodia

Art & Architecture of Cambodia


by Helen Ibbitson Jessup

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Jessup includes not just Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei but also lesser-known recent discoveries in the surrounding jungle in this illustrated overview in the World of Art series. (CBD41, $16.95)

Arts of Southeast Asia

Arts of Southeast Asia


by Fiona Kerlogue

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

A handsome guide to the art, architecture, textiles and crafts of Southeast Asia. (SEA45, $16.95)

Borobudur

Borobudur


by John Miksic

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 157 PAGES

A professor at the University of Singapore, Miksic includes stunning reproductions of the intricately carved reliefs of the ninth-century monument in this invaluable overview. (INS08, $49.95)

Temples of Cambodia, The Heart of Angkor

Temples of Cambodia, The Heart of Angkor


by Helen Ibbitson Jessup

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

Jessup provides the accompanying essays to this oversized portfolio of dazzling color images by Barry Brukoff, who has photographed the monuments of Cambodia since 1963. (CBD73, $65.00)

A Dragon Apparent, Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

A Dragon Apparent, Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam


by Norman Lewis

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 358 PAGES
  • FAVORITE
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE
  • COMING IN OCTOBER

A classic account of travels and adventure during the last years of French Indochina, strong on atmosphere with wonderfully detailed descriptions of local cultures and archaeological treasures. First published in 1951. (SEA40, $33.95)

A House in Bali

A House in Bali


by Colin McPhee

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 213 PAGES

A warm tribute to the people, culture and especially the music of Bali in the 1930s. It's a literary classic, originally published in 1944. (BAL15, $20.00)

First They Killed My Father, A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

First They Killed My Father, A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers


by Loung Ung

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

An eye-opening eyewitness account of the atrocities suffered by millions of Cambodians from the perspective of a young girl who survived the reign of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. (CBD13, $15.99)

Revolt in Paradise

Revolt in Paradise


by K'tut Tantri

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

The stunning account of K'tut Tantri's life in Java as a young artist and later as a resistance fighter for Indonesian independence. (INS113, $24.95)

The Eaves of Heaven, A Life in Three Wars

The Eaves of Heaven, A Life in Three Wars


by Andrew X. Pham

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Pham recounts the story of his father's life during the French occupation, Japanese invasion and the American War, weaving such momentous events with anecdotes from his childhood and details of family, friends, food and daily life. (VNM120, $16.00)

The Gods Drink Whiskey

The Gods Drink Whiskey


by Stephen T. Asma

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Asma writes with verve and wit in this eye-opening account of his yearlong stint teaching at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh. His account is both an overview of Theravada Buddhism and a down-to-earth portrait of contemporary Cambodia. (CBD46, $14.99)

The Road of Lost Innocence

The Road of Lost Innocence


by Somaly Mam

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 205 PAGES

Sold into servitude by her grandfather, Mam recounts the experiences of her early life, her awakening as an activist and her work to rescue thousands of women and children in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. (CBD65, $15.00)

The Sacred Willow, Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family

The Sacred Willow, Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family


by Duong Van Mai Elliott

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 506 PAGES

This vivid family saga, beginning with the author's great-grandfather, captures the momentous history of Vietnam over the last 100 years. (VNM39, $24.99)

Collected Short Stories, Volume 4

Collected Short Stories, Volume 4


by W. Somerset Maugham

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

Maugham can evoke turn-of-the-century colonial Asia like no other. This collection of stories features many set in Malaysia, Borneo and other Southeast Asian locales, including the well-known tale "The Letter." (SEA01, $18.00)

Dragon House

Dragon House


by John Shors

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 354 PAGES

A compassionate story about opening a center for Vietnamese street children in modern Ho Chi Minh City, propelled by Shors's vibrant characters. (VNM142, $15.00)

The Quiet American

The Quiet American


by Graham Greene

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 180 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

A classic, this is the most famous Western work of fiction on Vietnam. Greene writes of a love triangle between a war correspondent, his Vietnamese consort and an optimistic young American during the last days of French rule. (VNM08, $16.00)

Vietnam, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Vietnam, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by John Balaban | Nguyen Qui Duc

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES

From rainforest to city, these 17 stories from Vietnam's finest writers explore its landscapes, myths and changing traditions. (VNM04, $14.95)

The Malay Archipelago

The Malay Archipelago


by Alfred Russel Wallace

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 515 PAGES

A contemporary of Darwin, the great British naturalist describes his wanderings throughout Borneo, Java, Bali, Lombok, the Moluccas, New Guinea and remote islands from 1854 to 1862 in this classic of natural history and travel. (INS06, $25.00)

Birds of Southeast Asia

Birds of Southeast Asia


by Craig Robson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This authoritative, masterfully illustrated guide, featuring 140 color plates covering 1,270 species throughout the region, also includes Malaysia, Burma, Borneo and Indonesia. (SEA49, $37.50)

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.