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Tibet & China Rail Discovery

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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In Exile from the Land of Snows, The Dalai Lama and Tibet Since the Chinese Occupation

In Exile from the Land of Snows, The Dalai Lama and Tibet Since the Chinese Occupation

by John Avedon

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 391 PAGES

Avedon's masterful, passionate cri de coeur, still the best book on the subject, shows the lives of the Tibetan people at home and in exile since the Chinese takeover in 1950 through the eyes of its leaders, monks and regular people. Originally published in 1984 and now re-released with a new foreword and updated chronology. (TBT04, $18.95)

Peaks on the Horizon, Two Journeys in Tibet

Peaks on the Horizon, Two Journeys in Tibet

by Charlie Carroll

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Two men recount their personal relationships with the volatile and awe-inspiring country of Tibet: an English teacher who, acting on a lifelong obsession, explores the region during sabbatical and a Tibetan exile stranded at the border as he strives to reunite with the love of his life. (TBT168, $16.95)

Understanding China

Understanding China

by John Bryan Starr

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

A succinct and refreshingly forthright best-selling guide, this third edition discusses the issues at stake in China's present and future. (CHN196, $17.95)

The Mummies of Urumchi

The Mummies of Urumchi

by Elizabeth Wayland Barber

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

A look at the ancient culture of the Silk Road based on the extraordinarily well-preserved Caucasoid mummies unearthed in Urumchi in the Tarim Basin of Central Asia. (CAS34, $24.95)

China West

China West

by National Geographic Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

A waterproof and tear-resistant map of west China, including the Himalayas and Tibet, at a scale of 1:2,950,00. (CHN767, $11.95)

 
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)

Lonely Planet Tibet

Lonely Planet Tibet


by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

A practical guide to Tibet with maps, features on Tibetan and Mandarin language and notes on Buddhism, Tibetan culture and its rich history. (TBT50, $29.99)

A Historical Atlas of Tibet

A Historical Atlas of Tibet


by Karl E. Ryavec

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • HARD COVER
  • 216 PAGES

At long last, an atlas devoted to the history and culture of Tibet. Ryavec's stunning collection of maps spans the centuries and the culture of the highest place on Earth -- a "must" for Tibet enthusiasts. (TBT169, $45.00)

Age of Ambition

Age of Ambition


by Evan Osnos

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES

Longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker Osnos considers China's modern struggle: the conflict between a growing need for individualism and the Communist Party's fight for conformity. (CHN774, $16.00)

Essential Tibetan Buddhism

Essential Tibetan Buddhism


by Robert Thurman

  • RELIGION
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 317 PAGES

The foremost Western scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, Thurman has chosen well from that tradition's sacred literature and helpfully includes suggested further reading, explanatory notes and a directory of sacred sites. (TBT15, $14.99)

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)

The Great Wall, China Against the World, 1000 BC - 2000 AD

The Great Wall, China Against the World, 1000 BC - 2000 AD


by Julia Lovell

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 412 PAGES

The Who, Why and Wherefore of the Great Wall, this marvelous history demolishes myths (no, the wall is not a continuous structure of great antiquity, as much of it was built in the 1600s) with fresh insight and wit. (CHN308, $15.00)

The Times Great Railway Journeys of the World, Discover the History, Route and Sites of 50 Famous Railway Lines

The Times Great Railway Journeys of the World, Discover the History, Route and Sites of 50 Famous Railway Lines


by Julian Holland

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • HARD COVER
  • 288 PAGES

This beautifully produced, large-format book presents 50 great and glorious train journeys -- through 35 countries and every continent. Julian Holland conducts our passage through history, geography and present-day operations. (RLR7, $49.95)

Tibet, An Unfinished Story

Tibet, An Unfinished Story


by Lezlee Brown Halper

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

The story of Tibet's struggle for independence, featuring superpowers China, Russia and the United States and infamous political figures Stalin, Mao Zedong and Indian Prime Minister Nehru. (TBT163, $29.95)

Trespassers on the Roof of the World

Trespassers on the Roof of the World


by Peter Hopkirk

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Hopkirk's spellbinding history of the uninvited exploration of Tibet from the 19th century to the present, including a fantastic array of Victorian adventurers. His wild tale has as its centerpiece the 1949-1951 invasion by China. (TBT08, $16.00)

Cave Temples of Dunhuang, Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road

Cave Temples of Dunhuang, Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road


by Neville Agnew

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 302 PAGES

Released in conjunction with an exhibit at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, this coffee table collection features images from the Mogao grottoes near Dunhuang and essays by leading scholars. (CHN811, $59.95)

Freedom in Exile, The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama

Freedom in Exile, The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama


by Dalai Lama

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A vivid self-portrait, told with optimism, great determination, humor and insight. (TBT25, $15.99)

From Heaven Lake, Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet

From Heaven Lake, Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet


by Vikram Seth

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1987
  • PAPER
  • 178 PAGES

An unconventional, award-winning travelogue of a 1981 trip to India from China via the Himalayas by the marvelous Indian novelist Vikram Seth. (HML19, $15.00)

My Journey to Lhasa

My Journey to Lhasa


by Alexandra David-Neel

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 317 PAGES

Dressed as a humble pilgrim and traveling under the cover of night, the indomitable 55-year-old David-Neel and her young companion climbed mountains and tricked soldiers in order to ultimately reach Tibet's forbidden capital. Originally published in 1923, this account stands as a riveting portrait of early 20th-century Tibet. (TBT26, $14.99)

My Tibetan Childhood, When Ice Shattered Stone

My Tibetan Childhood, When Ice Shattered Stone


by Naktsang Nulo

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 356 PAGES

One of the most reprinted books of modern Tibetan literature. Nulo's memoir takes us on a personal journey through the wartime atrocities of 1950s Tibet and the Chinese invasion. (TBT165, $26.95)

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)

Seven Years in Tibet

Seven Years in Tibet


by Heinrich Harrer

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

First published in 1953, this is the riveting account of a young Austrian adventurer and mountaineer who became tutor to the Dalai Lama. (TBT02, $14.95)

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)

Sky Burial, An Epic Love Story of Tibet

Sky Burial, An Epic Love Story of Tibet


by Xinran

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 206 PAGES

Xinran turns the tale of a young Chinese woman's lifelong search for her husband in Tibet, based on an 1994 interview, into a powerful, gut-wrenching tale, evoking the customs, traditions and challenges of contemporary Tibet. (CHN282, $15.95)

Tibetan Folk Tales

Tibetan Folk Tales


by Fredrick Hyde-Chambers | Audrey Hyde-Chambers

  • LITERATURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 186 PAGES

This anthology of legends and fables, handed down by generations of storytellers, includes the Tibetan creation myth, Buddhist tales and the famous epic of hero King Gesar of Ling. (TBT59, $21.00)

Chinese Wildlife

Chinese Wildlife


by Martin Walters

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

This compact introduction to birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants found from the Tibetan plateau to the deserts, tropical forests and mountains includes 200 color photographs. (CHN440, $26.99)

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.