1. Â Chasing the Dragon: Into the Heart of the Golden Triangle, Christopher Cox (1996). Cox traveled to the shadowy zone where Burma, Thailand and Laos meet. Â An area of drug smuggling, tribes and jungle, Cox reports on a region where few Americans have ventured. Â Bought new.
2. Â The Forgotten Kingdom, John Murray (1957). A rare and revealing account of of a largely forgotten kingdom. Â Murray’s book draws on the life of Â a Russian-born Depot Master in the Tibetan province of Nakhi–on the border of China and Tibet. Â Great black and white photos showing village markets and the arduous trail on the way to Nakhi. Â Bought used at the State Department Bookstore.
3. Â Tropic Temper: A Memoir of Malaya, James Kirkup (1965). Account of Malaya by a Englishman who lectured at the University of Kuala Lumpur and traveled the country extensively. Â Bought used at a garage sale.
4. Â The Lands of Charm and Cruelty: Travels in Southeast Asia, Stan Sesser (1993). Sesser travels to Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, and Borneo. Â Sesser sees Singapore as a mini-capitalist theme park in drastic contrast to the dark and forgotten countries of Laos and Cambodia. Â Bought used at the Globe Bookstore in Seattle.
5. Â Burma Road: The Story of the World’s Most Romantic Highway, Nicol Smith (1940). Published at the beginning of WWII, the road had become a high value military asset linking British Burma with China. Â The author drove the entire route despite warnings from locals that he’d be washed down in the gorges and attempts by Chinese military authorities to block his way. Â Maps of the area in front and back end papers. Â Bought used at the Globe Bookstore in Seattle.
6. Â Explorers of South-East Asia: Six Lives, Victor King, ed. (1995). Profile lesser known European explorers of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Â Explorers who penetrated the remote jungles of Borne0, mountain ranges of Laos and Burma and the headwaters of the Mekong River. Â Illustrations, sketches, and maps showing the region. Â Bought used at Globe Bookstore in Seattle.
7. Â The Menacing Sun, Mona Gardner (1939). A narrative of travels through pre-WWII Indo-China, Thailand (or as the author calls it, Siam), Malaya, East Indies, and India. Â Maps at endpapers. Black and white pictures. Inscribed by the author, “Dear Mrs. and Grew (?), I hope you find something in this that you like, Mona Gardner Tait.” Â Bought used but can’t remember where.
*Title from Stan Sesser’s book of the same name.