Asian exploration. Where to travel in Asia. Asia travel guides. Free books online about travel and by explorers.
Explore a world of knowledge without ever leaving your home by accessing an online library that offers free books about Asia exploration, explorers, and travel guides. Discover the captivating stories of notable travelers and uncover historical facts from expert authors in this virtual collection of nonfiction books.
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Book Collections on Asia Exploration and Travel
About 220 free Asia description and travel books pdf at the Internet Archive. Some books: South Asia Travel Guide, Asia and Australasia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Monsoon Asia, Indonesia Travel Guide, Taiwan Survival Kit, Asia and the Middle East, Through Russian Central Asia, Israel Travel Survival Kit, A Barbarian in Asia, Heart of Asia, Chinese Central Asia, Offbeat in Asia, Traveler’s History of Southeast Asia, Afghanistan: cockpit in high Asia, The Lost Heart of Asia, Land and Life in Southwest Asia, many more.
About 700 free China Description & Travel books pdf. Some books: In the Forbidden Land, Love and Hate in China, Forbidden Journey – from Peking to Kashmir, China: behind the mask, 50 Amazing Places in China, Red China Today, In Search of China, Inside China, Stranger in China, Land of the 500 Million, A Businessman Looks at Red China, Magnificent China: a guide to its cultural treasures, Daily Life in People’s China, Seven Years in Tibet, Adventures in Secret Tibet, A Personal Encounter with the People’s Republic, many more.
This collection with 84 entries was compiled at the site Hathi Trust. Nearly all were published in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
This collection has over 200 books by Europeans about East Asia, published from the 1830s to 1975.
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About 320 free India Travel & Description books pdf. Some books: Frommer’s India, India Travel Survival Kit, India: a photographic journey, Rediscovering India, India in English Literature, A Passage though India, Verdict on India, India: a cultural journey, An Experience of India, A Traveler’s History of India, The Jaipur Sketchbook, Encounters in India, Kipling’s India, Some Journeys in India, many more.
About 40 free Southeast Asia Travel & Description books pdf. Some books: Southeast Asia, A Traveler’s History of Southeast Asia, View to the Southeast, Indonesia Travel Survival Kit, Cities of the Hot Zone: a Southeast Asian Adventure, In the Footsteps of Marco Polo, Sydney to Tokyo by any Means, Vietnam Cambodia & Laos, Vietnam and Angkor Wat, Singapore, Vietnam and the Vietnamese, more.
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This collection with 460 entries was compiled at the site Hathi Trust. It contains travel books published from the early 1700s to the late 20th century, although most are from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
About 40 free Oceania Description and travel books free pdf. Some books: On the Missionary Trail, Travel in Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand, South-sea Idyls, From Saranac to the Marquesas and Beyond, A Lady’s Cruise in a French Man-of-War, Through the South Seas with Jack London, The Happy Isles of Oceania, An Account of a Voyage in Search of La Perouse, many more.
Suggested Books on Asia Travel and Exploration
Andrews, Roy Chapman
“Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960) was an American explorer, adventurer and naturalist who became the director of the American Museum of Natural History. He led a series of expeditions through the politically disturbed China of the early 20th century in the Gobi Desert and Mongolia” – Wikipedia
Chapters: Entering the land of mystery – Speed marvels of the Gobi Desert – A chapter of accidents – New travels on an old trail – Antelope movie stars – The sacred city of the living Buddha – The long trail to Sain Noin Khan – The lure of the plains – Hunting on the Turin Plains – An adventure in the Lama city – Mongols at home – Nomads of the forest – The passing of Mongolian mystery – The great ram of the Shansi Mountains – Mongolian “Argali” – The horse-deer of Shansi – Wapiti, roebuck and goral – Wild pigs-animal and human – The hunting park of the eastern tombs.
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Andrews, Roy Chapman
“The object of this book is to present a popular narrative of the Asiatic Zoological Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History to China in 1916-17. Details of a purely scientific nature have been condensed, or eliminated, and emphasis has been placed upon our experiences with the strange natives and animals of a remote and little known region in the hope that the book will be interesting to the general reader.” – Preface
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The New Conquest of Central Asia: A Narrative of the Explorations of the Central Asiatic Expeditions in Mongolia and China, 1921-1930
Andrews, Roy Chapman
With 128 plates and 12 illustrations in the text and three maps at end.
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in Burma, Malaya, Siam and Indo-China
Hugh Clifford (1866-1941) was a career British colonial administrator. As a young man he spent 20 years serving in Malaya (Malaysia), studying the language and culture. He later served in Trinidad, Ceylon, the Gold Coast (Ghana) and Nigeria. He authored short stories, novels and nonfiction, particularly about Malaya. – Wikipedia
Boston: Little, Brown 1909
Renowned linguist Jeremiah Curtin, said by Harvard’s President to have mastered 60 languages and dialects, traveled through Siberia in 1900 at the age to 60 to “visit the birthplace of the Mongol race” and to study the Mongols’ modern-day survivors, the Buriats. This book describes the journey, the mode of life of the Buriats, and their customs. The author describes in detail their religious tradition and beliefs, and completes the book with a collection of Mongol folk tales.
Images Collection – Historical Photos from Around the World
My Journey to Lhasa: The Personal Story of the Only White Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City
“An exemplary travelogue of danger and achievement by the Frenchwoman Madame Alexandra David–Neel of her 1923 expedition to Tibet, the fifth in her series of Asian travels, and her personal recounting of her journey to Lhasa, Tibet’s forbidden city.
In order to penetrate Tibet and reach Lhasa, she used her fluency of Tibetan dialects and culture, disguised herself as a beggar with yak hair extensions and inked skin and tackled some of the roughest terrain and climate in the World. With the help of her young companion, Yongden, she willingly suffered the primitive travel conditions, frequent outbreaks of disease, the ever–present danger of border control and the military to reach her goal. The determination and sheer physical fortitude it took for this woman, delicately reared in Paris and Brussels, is inspiration for men and women alike. David–Neel is famous for being the first Western woman to have been received by any Dalai Lama and as a passionate scholar and explorer of Asia, hers is one of the most remarkable of all traveller’s tales.” -Publisher.
“One of the best adventure books of the last one hundred years” – Outside Magazine
In the late 1980s, Christina Dodwell moves from a Greek Easter into a chilly Eastern Turkish spring, not improved for the cold and hungry traveller by the fairly strict observance of Ramadan. Retreating east, she visits the buried cities and rock-hewn churches of Cappadocia on the first of a number of hired, borrowed or bought horses, the ideal liberating companions for her unconventional style of travel. While the snow still clothes the eastern mountains, the Long Rider moves further east over the border into Iran, to a ranch breeding miniature Caspian horses near the Russian frontier, to the salt desert villages of the south-east, and on into Pakistan for a visa renewal, the unity of her journey maintained by the fact that she is still within the confines of the Persian empire, as she celebrates the end of Ramadan in a festive village near the Afghan border. Back in Iran, she visits the crumbling grandiloquence of lost empires at Pasargad, Naksh-i-Rustam and Persepolis, as well as the trouble spots of yesterday and today in the valleys of the Assassins and Kurdistan.
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Peter Goullart was born in Russia and spent much of his adult life in China until the Communist takeover in 1949. He learned to speak Chinese and lived in Shanghai for a number of years, working as a tour guide in East and Southeast Asia. He also lived for eight years in the city of Lijiang in northwest China. This is one of several travel books that Goullart authored.
– Volume 2 – Books by Asia Explorers PDF
(with notes upon Ceylon). An account of a journey to Madras and the Southern Provinces, 1826, and letters written in India
Heber, Rev. Reginald
London: Murray 1828
Heber was the bishop of Calcutta.
Maps Collection – Old Maps from Around the World
Vol 2 – Read Books Free Online Library
with nearly 300 illustrations from sketches and photos by the author.
Vol I Sections: A winter journey over the Pamirs – The Mus-Tagh-Ata and its glaciers – Across the Takla-Makan Desert.
Vol II Sections: A summer trip to the southern Pamirs – Across the desert of Gobi to Lop-Nor – Through northern Tibet and Tsaidam – From Tsaidam to Peking
A popular account of travels in the 1890s by Swedish geographer Sven Hedin. Vols 1 & 2 contain 388 illustrations from photos, sketches and drawings by the author, and 10 maps. Vol 3 has 156 illustrations and 4 maps.
Lattimore, Owen and Eleanor
“A vivid contemporary glimpse of the appearance, climate, customs, commerce, rulers, and happenings of Asia as seen through the eyes of international travelers and explorers.” -Publisher. Contents: The First Explorers – Rome and Asia – Asian Discoverers of Asia – Missionaries and Traders before 1500 – Ocean Discoverers and Empire Builders – When the White Man was a Burden.
“Irish travel writer and memoirist Murphy has in the past bicycled from Ireland to India and traveled Ethiopia by mule. Here, she recounts a perhaps more daunting adventure—taking her five-year-old daughter wandering through southern India with little money and only what they can carry on their backs . . . Leaving behind the vividly described poverty of Bombay, the pair head south. Inland from the Malabar Coast, they come upon the lush, remote, comparatively prosperous region of Coorg: local people are curious and hospitable despite the danger of pollution by associating with casteless foreigners . . . Engaging writing and interesting view of rural India.” —Kirkus Reviews
National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society 1982
Until the early 1970s China was a closed society, off-limits to Americans and most other foreigners. It opened only gradually. In about 1980 National Geographic, after a year of negotiation with the Chinese government, was able to send a team of 20 writers and photographers to China to produce this large book. It contains travel accounts and essays by a dozen writers covering history and geography in various regions of China, along with 400 photos.
Norins, Martin R.
NY: John Day 1944
“Long a land of mystery, China’s “new dominion”, now opened up, has become her land of opportunity, her Wild West, her El Dorado, calling for pioneers to tap its resources to find a new life. It can also be a land of opportunity for China’s allies. For as this book shows, this “heartland”, this strategic wedge between India, Russia, and China Proper, may offer one direct military supply line for the final assault on Japan…” – Book cover overleaf.
The narrative of a journey, in 1890 and 1891, across Siberia, Mongolia, the Gobi Desert, and North China
Price, Julius Medes
London: S. Low, Marston 1892
“Journey made by special artist of the Illustrated London News including travels in Krasnoyarskiy Kray.” -Publisher. Included are about 100 illustrations.
Pumpelly, Raphael, Davis, William M. and Huntington, Ellsworth
This volume contains the following chapters, which were all reports from their 1903 expedition: Archaeological and Physico-Geographical Reconnaissance in Turkistan, by Raphael Pumpelly; A Journey Across Turkestan, by William Davis; Physiographic Observations Between the Syr Darya and Lake Kara Kul, on the Pamir, in 1903, by Pumpelly; A Geologic and Physiographic Reconnaissance in Central Turkestan, by Ellsworth Huntington; The Basin of Eastern Persia and Sistan, by Huntington.
Charles, Rajah of Sarawak (Brooke, Charles Johnson)
London: Tinsley 1866
The Raj of Sarawak was a small country on the island of Borneo, founded in 1841 by the British Brooks family, It continued as a monarchy until 1946. The author assumed the position of Raja in 1868.
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Diary of a Journey through Mongolia and Tibet in 1891 and 1892/h3>
Rockhill, William W.
William Woodville Rockhill (1854-1914) was an American who spent much of his youth in Paris, where he studied the Far East and learned the Tibetan language. After school he joined the French Foreign Legion and served as an officer in Tibet. He then returned to the U.S., and among other activities, studied Tibetan, Sanskrit and Chinese. In the 1880s he obtained a diplomatic position with the American legation in Paris, and in the following years continued to perfect his language skills while traveling in China, Tibet, and neighboring countries. This book is one of several travel accounts that he authored.
John Murray 1958
This is Dame Freya Stark’s account of her third visit to Turkey. Her route was the one which had been taken 22 centuries earlier by Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, and the book aims to provide a bridge into that ancient world. It also offers insights into 20th-century Turkey, along little-used routes through lonely mountain passes, past remote ruins and along the pirate shore, where country people responded gladly to the author’s informed curiosity.
John Murray 1934
Hailed as a classic upon its first publication in 1934, The Valleys of the Assassins firmly established Freya Stark as one of her generation’s most intrepid explorers. The book chronicles her travels into Luristan, the mountainous terrain nestled between Iraq and present-day Iran, often with only a single guide and on a shoestring budget.
Stark writes engagingly of the nomadic peoples who inhabit the region’s valleys and brings to life the stories of the ancient kingdoms of the Middle East, including that of the Lords of Alamut, a band of hashish-eating terrorists whose stronghold in the Elburz Mountains Stark was the first to document for the Royal Geographical Society. Her account is at once a highly readable travel narrative and a richly drawn, sympathetic portrait of a people told from their own compelling point of view.
Ruins of Desert Cathay: Personal Narrative of Explorations in Central Asia and Westernmost China (vol 1)
Stein, M. Aurel
“The Hungarian born Aurel Stein was a British archaeologist and geographer noted for his pioneering exploration of Central Asia. This is an account of his second major expedition, from 1906-8. Returning to Khotan, Stein extended his original explorations farther eastwards for nearly a thousand miles. It was on this expedition that Stein explored the western end of the Great Wall of China and discovered the Cave of the Thousand Buddhas at Tun-Huang, where he made his greatest discovery of a vast library in a cave sealed since the 10th century. He removed thousands of documents including a copy of the Diamond Sutra whose date makes it the earliest printed book.” -Publisher.
Sand-Buried Ruins of Khotan: Personal Narrative of a Journey of Archaeological and Geographical Exploration in Chinese Turkestan
Stein, M. Aurel
“Between 1900 and 1901, the Hungarian-born archaeologist Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943) made the first of several significant trips through Central Asia. In 1903, he published this account of his journey from Calcutta to London via the deserts of Chinese Turkestan. The text is richly illustrated with photographs of locations on the route followed by Stein’s party, as well as of the people they encountered and many of the artefacts they excavated in the vicinity of the ancient oasis town of Khotan. Stein intended his book to be accessible to non-specialists, and his descriptions of the many important archaeological discoveries, such as Sanskrit texts of Buddhist scriptures, are interspersed with compelling human details and anecdotes about traversing the challenging terrain of eastern Central Asia. The work of an indefatigable explorer, this book sheds light on the spread of Graeco-Buddhist culture along the Silk Route.” -Publisher.
“The Direct-Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur and the Trans-Siberian Express – only a few of the evocative names that fill this, the story of Paul Theroux’s epic journey by rail through India and Asia. A journey on which he encounters a huge variety of places and people, food, faiths and cultures, and which has at its heart an enduring fascination with trains and railways.” – Book cover.
Being the account of a journey from Teheran across the Turkoman desert on the eastern shore of the Caspian to Khiva, Bokhara, and Samarcand, performed in the year 1863
Armin Vambery (1832-1913) was a Hungarian who became a Turkish linguist and an expert on Turkish culture and the Ottoman Empire. This book brought him considerable fame as a writer and adventurer.
The Book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian (vol 1) – Asian Exploration – Where to Travel in Asia
Concerning the kingdoms and marvels of the East
Yule, Henry, ed.
With maps and other illustrations. Marco Polo (1254-1324) was a Venetian merchant and explorer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295 and stayed in China for 17 of those years. His account of the travels was first published in 1300.
“This work covers the period which intervened between Drake’s circumnavigation of the world at the close of the sixteenth century and the founding of Calcutta at the end of the seventeenth century. Those were the years in which the initial efforts were made by the English to establish themselves in the East as traders. It was, as far as this part of the world is concerned, pre-eminently the age of the adventurer – the merchant adventurer, if you will, but still of the true adventurer who seeks fortune by his daring enterprise and his mother wit.” – Preface