Bibliography Reading List: Classic Travel Reads

Easy-reading travel novels, some true, some less so. Our list of Yunnan holiday reading.

Peter Goullart:

Forgotten Kingdom

Eight Years in Likiang

Peter Goullart's classic account of life in 1930s Lijiang.

James Hilton:

Lost Horizon

James Hilton invented Shangri-La, the mystical place of eternal life and peace in the shadow of a conical mountain in the Himalayas. He should have trade-marked it. Seventy years later, a local government decided to use the idea to promote its tourism business. Hilton had maybe read some of Joseph Rock's articles in National Geographic, but otherwise would have known little if anything about Yunnan. Yet, the book is a classic.

Frank Kingdon-Ward:

In Farthest Burma

The Record of an Arduous Journey of Exploration and Research Through the Unknown Frontier Territory of Burma and Tibet

Travelogue of the famous plant hunter. This book covers northern Burma, with parts that were once coveted by Nanzhao.

George Morrison:

An Australian in China

Being the narrative of a quiet journey across China to British Burma

One of the 'Great China Adventures', as one reviewer called it, Morrison's account became a huge bestseller in its time. We liked the stories about the catholic and protestant missionaries in Dongchuan who, both not having made any converts, would not speak to each other. A classic account, very enjoyable.

Albert Terrien de Lacouperie:

The Cradle of the Shan Race

Totally flawed linguistic analysis of the people of SW China, laid the foundation for the claim that Nanzhao was founded by Tai people.

E. C. Young:

A Journey from Yün-Nan to Assam