Asia Overland: Tales of Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road
Bijan Omrani

Asia Overland: Tales of Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road

What was it really like to travel the iron rails of the Trans-Siberian Railway in its early years, the dusty, parched tracks of the Silk Road in its heyday, or the rugged, dangerous mountain passes into and out of the Indian subcontinent? Eurasia’s great land routes, offspring of the ambition of Russian tsars, Chinese emperors and Mughal khans, have served human history well, acting as conduits for trade, religion and cultural conventions, and as avenues down which conquering armies and commercial pioneers swarmed in the forging of empires. With wit and humour, Omrani weaves a tapestry of tales and reports by a panoply of travellers down the centuries, taking the reader on an exciting journey that crosses continents and spans epochs. Richly embellished with stunning photography, detailed maps and fascinating archival illustrations, Asia Overland is a compelling piece of travel literature that will appeal to both modern-day explorers and armchair travellers alike.

Book Details:

  • Author: Bijan Omrani
  • Published Year: 2010
  • Rights Sold
    • UK & US: Odyssey Publications

Bijan Omrani

Bijan Omrani is an historian and classicist specialising in the history of Afghanistan and Central Asia. He was educated at Wellington, and then read Classics and English at Lincoln College Oxford, where he contributed to the Spectator as an undergraduate. He produced his first major publication, Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide, in collaboration with the seasoned Afghan traveller Matthew Leeming in 2005, and since then has edited and published numerous works, articles and book reviews on Afghan and Central Asian history. A special area of research has been the controversial area of the ...
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Book Reviews

  • "...First-class storytelling... will take you through the ups and downs, and leave you aching to take off.... -"
    Time Out
  • "...I think it looks wonderful: wish I'd had it when I did In Xanadu..."
    William Dalrymple
  • "...Asia Overland is a taut single volume which skilfully collects 2000 years of travelling experiences in Russia and Central Asia ... but its real aim is to create a sense of timeless wonder, tempting the latent Romantic to explore the wonders of a vast region still relatively unknown in Western Europe and the United absolute must-have for anyone with an interest in Russia and Asia and their history, people and customs..."
    Julian Gallant for the GB-Russia Society
  • "Beautifully illustrated...well-written and drawing upon numerous resources, Asia Overland should appeal to readers fascinated by the region's history just as much as it would to travellers planning to set out along either of these great routes. Omrani succeeds in painting a vivid picture of the peoples seen along the way...A very engaging read from start to finish. ..."
    Real Travel (Book of the Month, August 2010)
  • "From recollections of the drunks who stumbled out of Moscow and St Petersburg's bars to the traditional nomad tribes of Mongolia, this engaging book reveals in candid detail what people thought of the rough - and often savage - landscapes they encountered..."
  • "...The historical and geographical scope of this book is vast, and the sheer variety of peoples, customs and anecdotes can be dizzying; but then, the distances travelled astonished even locals. Anton Chekhov, riding the newly built Trans-Siberian in the 1890s, commented on the never-ending larch, spruce and pine forests: 'Over the first 24 hours you pay no attention to it, by the second and third day you are full of wonderment, and by the fourth and fifth you experience the sensation that you will never manage to emerge from this green monster' ... Asia Overland is richly researched and well organized ... a fine addition to the travel trunk and warm encouragement to anyone looking to offset their carbon footprint. ..."
    Steppe magazine