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The Silk Road: Xi'an to Kashgar (Odyssey The Silk Road) Paperback – 9 Nov 2007
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...I especially recommend The Silk Road by Judy Bonavia, a good general tour guide on the region... --Forbes Magazine
...beautifully photographed and extremely informative book... a trustworthy guide to this remarkable region... --Silk Road Inflight Magazine
For today's traveler, it is not only the weight of history that makes the Silk Road intriguing, but the incredible diversity of scenery and ethnic people along the way. This beautifully photographed and intelligent book is the authoritative guide to travel in the region. An incomparable guide to the Silk Road, from Xi'an to Kashgar, it takes the reader on a journey through this exotic region's history, culture, scenery, and peoples, as well as providing up-to-date information for the modern-day traveler to western China, lavishly illustrated with stunning color photography, easy-to-use maps and a guide to further reading.This 8th Edition features updated travel information, practical information including border crossings to Central Asian Republics, new websites and new photography of wild and beautiful corners of the region. A uniquely focused guidebook that is as useful for armchair travelers with a thirst for accurate, comprehensive and well-written historical and cultural information about this famous route as it is for travelers and adventurers to western China itself.See all Product description
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There is lots of other information too - a summary of local history, fascinating stories about the foreigners who made off with precious scrolls and artwork, helpful sections on ethnic foods, and practical travel info on climate, accommodations, local customs, visas, immunizations and so forth. I really appreciated the brief introduction to Mandarin as well.
I would have liked more pictures of art. Also, I could have used more help understanding the progression of the route. Perhaps more maps would have been good.
But if you're contemplating a trip to the Silk Road, this book is the best guide there is. It was recommended to me by a frequent traveler to China who's an expert on the Silk Road cave paintings.