Shadow of the Silk Road
Rather than follow the Silk Road as the Western world thinks of it, Colin Thubron starts in Xian, China and travels west, terminating in Antakya, Turkey (Antioch). On the two places the Silk Road diverged onto alternate paths, Thubron chose to follow the lesser travelled routes. The net result of this journey is a fascinating portrait of Western China, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Persian and Arabic lands.
He takes a couple of interesting detours, including one into the fringes of Tibet. This is eye-opening and enjoyable to read.
His first books were about the Middle East – Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled by car into the Soviet Union, a journey he described in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind the Wall: A Journey through China (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia (Prix Bouvier), Shadow of the Silk Road and To a Mountain in Tibet.
This is a rewarding, elegantly written, travel adventure.
Shadow of the Silk Road, Colin Thubron, ISBN 978-0-06-123172-8