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May, 2004


Mapping the Tibetan World
Kotan Publishing

It is easy to see why this book has consistently been top-ranked on the Amazon website. It is a comprehensive, detailed and enjoyable read, providing any and all information a traveler to the region would need.

When talking about Tibet, most guidebooks focus on the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) in China. A strength of Mapping the Tibetan World is its coverage of all Tibetan areas, including Bhutan, Nepal, northern India and western Chinese provinces. It addresses some of the conflict between the Chinese and the Tibetans, without taking sides or getting dogmatic.

The detailed information in this is quite impressive: even describing what a building behind a bus stop looks like. Place names are given in Tibetan and Chinese and, where appropriate, in the regional dialects. The maps are extensive and far more complete than those found elsewhere. The stories and useful tips are fun to read and the book gives lots of hints for travel to closed regions and dealing with the authorities if caught!

The format is similar to many other travel guides: each section covers a specific region and contains listings of hotels, food, transport options, culturally significant spots and suggested itineraries. The photos capture the beauty and majesty of the region and are interspersed throughout.

For those interested in Tibetan culture, and whishing to get off the beaten track, Mapping the Tibetan World is an indispensable guide.



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