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    $21.95 $14.23
    1. Impact Guides the Treasures and
    $13.59 $13.30 list($19.99)
    2. Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma)
    $10.88 $5.20 list($16.00)
    3. The Trouser People: A Story of
    $10.17 $10.01 list($14.95)
    4. A Prayer for Burma
    $35.00 $14.75
    5. Beyond the Last Village: A Journey
    $7.19 $5.23 list($7.99)
    6. Lonely Planet Burmese Phrasebook
    $15.61 list($22.95)
    7. Finding George Orwell in Burma
    $33.96 list($16.95)
    8. Myanmar (Burma) Handbook (Footprint
    $10.20 $9.96 list($15.00)
    9. Letters from Burma
    $8.06 $4.99 list($8.95)
    10. Myanmar Country Map: (Burma) (Periplus
    $44.10 list($70.00)
    11. The Seven Sisters of India: Tribal
    $21.95 $15.13
    12. Golden Earth: Travels in Burma
    list($19.95)
    13. Burma (Myanmar)
    $9.00 $8.19 list($12.00)
    14. Burmese Looking Glass: A Human
    $8.75 list($17.95)
    15. Guide to Burma
    $12.21 $3.25 list($17.95)
    16. Hard Travel to Sacred Places
    $24.95 $14.80
    17. Welcome to Burma: And Enjoy the
    $4.65 list($16.95)
    18. Lonely Planet Myanmar Burma (Lonely
    $37.95 $9.98
    19. Among Insurgents : Walking Through
    $15.00 $13.55
    20. The Native Tourist: A Holiday

    1. Impact Guides the Treasures and Pleasures of Thailand and Myanmar: Best of the Best in Travel and Shopping (Impact Guides)
    by Ron, Ph.D. Krannich, Caryl, Ph.D. Krannich
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $21.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1570232032
    Catlog: Book (2004-08)
    Publisher: Impact Publications
    Sales Rank: 370966
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    2. Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma) (Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma))
    by Steven Martin, Mic Looby, Michael Clark, Joe Cummings
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740591909
    Catlog: Book (2002-01-09)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 36114
    Average Customer Review: 2.25 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Should you go to Myanmar (Burma)?
    There are strong arguments both for and against visiting the country.We highlight both sides of the argument in our guidebook and believe that individuals should make a fully informed decision about whether to visit the country.

    Read our full introductory chapter now
    This chapter from the latest Myanmar (Burma) guide offers more detailed information in the following sections:

    • Should you visit Myanmar?
    • Reasons not to go v. reason to go
    • Myanmar Today
    • If you decide to go... ... Read more

      Reviews (4)

      1-0 out of 5 stars Hopelessly outdated and frequently just wrong
      I'm currently on a round the world trip. So I've read a lot of guidebooks. And this is the most outdated and frequently simply wrong guidebook I've come accross (I visited Myanmar in January 2004). Of course I realize that e.g. prices go up, service might go down, owners change etc.. But this guidebooks has almost been more miss then hit. I've been to guesthouses where the architecture of the place was so completely different from what the LP described that it's simply impossible that the author was there! On top of that there are tons of things where the LP is simply outdated to the point of being useless: In Yangon and Mandalay busses leave from different places then described, all of the country markets are open at different days etc. etc..
      Btw: You can NOT cash travellers cheques or use your visa card in Myanmar and you do not have to change money into FEC any longer.

      1-0 out of 5 stars Totally surreal!
      I have visited Burma with this book recently and I m pretty sure that this book can misguide a lot of people who wants to go to Burma like I m. As soon as you arrive to the airport you will be forced to change your money(i.e 300 USD) with goverment exchange counter whether you want to spend your cash or not. They are not unexchangeable so that means U will have to spend all your 300 usd before you leave Burma.
      The authors of this book did not really show the reality of Burma as a matter of a fact, most of their topics are sugar coated! SO BEWARE AND MAKE SURE U DO ALOT OF RESEARCH BEFORE U GO!

      2-0 out of 5 stars Update not realy update
      Lonely Planet published this updated version in September 2002. I have visited Myanmar in August 2003 (a very good experience!), and found the guidebook only usefull for the descriptions of places to visit (although even there some interesting places are not mentioned in the guide), and the maps. For places to stay and eat, the guide is completely outdated. For instance, new hotels have started business long before 2002, that are not mentioned in the guide. It looks like the 2002 "update" mainly concerned the (important) political situation.

      5-0 out of 5 stars Essential - but always be sure to get the latest edition.
      I don't know if or when any of you is going to find himself / herself in this particular area, but anyway here it is...

      This is the latest edition (8th) that was released only about a year ago. Things really changed in this edition compared to its predecessor; more authors are involved and new and updated information is added (though many sections remain).

      Important note: When it comes to Myanmar, things can change for better or worse overnight due to the nature of the ruling government, while some other things tend to stay the same. Especially here, pay close attention to all the small details given in the chapters "Facts for the visitor", "Getting there and away" and "Getting around" - they matter greatly.

      =============================================================

      As a whole, the guide will be a valuable asset for you if you're planning on traveling there, and there is absolutely no doubt whether to buy it or not - it's an essential purchase. To a great extent it will help you plan your budget, your destinations, how to get there and when, what to bring and so forth.

      You should know that there are some beautiful places to visit in the country. One of them, the Shwedagon Paya in Yangon, strikes me as one of the most beautiful man made structures in the world. Imagine a 100 meters high Stupa (Buddhist religious monument), all covered with golden leaves, set on top of a hill, in the center of smaller golden temples and Buddha statues. The sight was breathtaking and alone was worth coming. Another famous place, yet less astounding, is Bagan, the city of Stupas in the north. There you can find numerous Stupas some of which were built more than 1000 ago. And yes, almost in every city and town you will see at least one golden Stupa (that immensely contradict the poverty of the people) that give Myanmar the name "The Golden Land".

      The tagline on the cover of this book is "should you go?" It is misleading due to the fact that the answer they give inside is "yes". If you want to go - go, the political status is not of your concern, you're a traveler not a world freedom fighter. You wouldn't help the local people by avoiding the country - they benefit from your staying there - and that is all that you should care about.

      Nevertheless, the authors don't really prepare you for the level of poverty you're going to meet there (the same way another author hasn't done in the Cambodia book yet); this is one of the poorest countries in the world and that's why you should always be careful and never trust anybody - they're there for your money (mostly). I really don't like, after being around, the attitude of "the locals are so nice and we can learn so much from them"; some of them are really nice and helpful, but others are nice because you spend your money there and it's downright blatant. Expect it; don't fall for it and BE CAREFUL of forced and immediate friendliness. Remember that as a tourist you're regarded as very rich and compared to them you are.

      I want to mention the fact that as a traveler and a guest you will receive the best services even in budget hotels - they treated my friend and me like royalty in each and every hotel, and that was something we really enjoyed and appreciated. It's the best service all over South East Asia, and it does say something about the people as a nation.

      I hope their days of freedom will come soon. ... ... Read more


    3. The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire
    by Andrew Marshall
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1582432422
    Catlog: Book (2003-07)
    Publisher: Counterpoint Press
    Sales Rank: 91721
    Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Two journeys, one hundred years apart--that of the eccentric British explorer George Scott, who introduced the game of soccer to Burmese natives, and that of the author, charting the same dangerous terrain in a country vastly changed by colonialism, war, and politics.

    Andrew Marshall has written an unforgettable adventure story, the wry account of two journeys into the untraveled heart of Burma. Part travelogue, part history, part reportage, The Trouser People recounts the story of George Scott, the eccentric British explorer, photographer, adventurer, and later Colonial Administrator of Burma, who introduced the Empire's best game (soccer!) to Burmese natives and to the forbidden Wa state of headhunters, who were similarly enthusiastic about it. The second, contrasting journey is Marshall's own, taking the same dangerous path one hundred years later in a country now devastated by colonial incompetence, war, and totalitarianism. Wonderfully observed, mordantly funny, and skillfully recounted, this is journalistic travel writing at its best. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Eye opening
    This book is a travelogue of journeys the author took into Burma to retrace George Scott's adventures of the 1880s. The author, Andrew Marshall, seems to be a journalist based in Thailand, from where he has been able to travel to Burma relatively easily. While in Burma, he tries hard to make contact with tribal people, especially the Shans, who Scott spent so much time with 100 years before. The narrative is split between Scott's travels in the nineteenth century, and Marshall's present day experiences.

    Occasionally, Marshall's informal style of writing, with his use of British slang, gets a bit thick for me. Nevertheless, the case that he makes against the Burmese military is quite compelling. I've heard friends and acquaintances argue on both sides of the question of whether traveling to or working in modern day Burma provides support for the brutal government there. After reading this book, however, I don't see myself going anywhere near the country until there is a regime change.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A superb book, with a glitch
    This is not an even-handed scholarly study of Burma -- thank goodness. It moves along just like a journey, in fits and starts, pausing here, rushing there.

    Focusing on Sir George Scott, British Empire-builder of a hundred years ago, Marshall paints a vivid picture of Burma today. His writing is extraordinarily full of life, leading the reader from sympathy to outrage, from suspense to laughter. This is not a book you want to give to someone recuperating from surgery: Marshall is one of the funniest writers I have ever read, and would play havoc on surgical stitches.

    One point I would like to debate: his discussion of the Kayan/Padaung families working for the Hupin Hotel in Yawnghwe/Nyaungshwe. I know the family that runs the Hupin personally -- several branches of the clan, actually, and count several of the staff among my friends. Yes, they are not running the hotel for their health, and yes, they are making a profit, but in all sincerity, I do not think their dealings with the Kayan are as heartless as Marshall depicts.

    There are two families of Kayan by Inle Lake. Marshall met the ones hired by the Hupin, not those moved in by the government. The Hupin went into the mountains and made a deal with the family: they would build a house for them, give the men jobs in factories around Yawnghwe, the women would work for the hotel, and the kids would go to school at Hupin's expense. They are paid monthly salaries and medical expenses, and any weddings and what-not are paid for by the Hupin. Some of the children have reached high school, and are still going strong. Few children in the countryside get so much schooling. One little girl envied all the attention her big sister got from tourists because of the rings on her neck. The little girl raised such a fuss that her parents agreed to let her have rings on her neck, even though she had not reached the traditional age for that. BTW: she refuses to go to school.

    The price for a photo with the Padaung is US$3: this is split 3 ways, between the guide, the hotel, and the Padaung (US$1 is a good day's wage for someone working in Yangon, a week's salary for the countryside.) The Padaung are free to go back to Kayah state. When they go, they bring handicrafts back to the hotel, which they sell to tourists; this money goes into their own pockets. My friends from the Hupin asked the Kayan to lower the price of the bracelets I was buying, and let me tell you, it was a struggle! These are not listless zombies meekly obeying a master's wishes.

    Marshall describes a concrete compound. I am not sure what he is talking about, unless it is the area outside their compound, beyond the bamboo bridge. Their wooden house was built Kayan style, in accordance with their specific wishes. They are an extremely conservative tribe. Marshall makes much of the women not leaving their compound. The Padaung are shy people, and the women do not speak Burmese, so they are not willing to range far. Also, I have heard from separate, unrelated sources that there is a danger for Padaung women to roam, because there have been cases of their being -- not exactly kidnapped, but taken off for show in Europe.

    Marshall says "the hotel staff member broke into a practiced spiel." We may not be talking about the same man, I did not speak English with the Padaung man I went with, but I suspect the "practiced spiel" may be memorized word for word by someone who speaks minimal English, and may not have confidence in leaving the beaten path.

    I deeply feel that the Hupin is more than fair in its dealings with its staff, whether they be Burman, Shan, Chinese, Kayan, or others. When I told the Hupin family what Marshall had written about them, they were quite hurt. Frankly, they are making enough money from tourists, they do not feel the need to exploit the workers. Marshall went to Burma expecting to see the disadvantaged being exploited, so when he saw the disadvantaged, he assumed they must be getting exploited. In the case of the Hupin, I can vouch that he was wrong.

    All in all, though, this is an excellent picture of Burma, including parts most of us will never see. I hope Marshall is hard at work on his next book. This is an author to keep an eye on.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Sad Case of Burma
    Let's get one thing clear from the begining, if you're looking for a comprehensive history of Burma/Myanmar with analysis on how it has become one of the most repressive nations in the world, this is not your book. Rather, Marshall's book is a sometimes witty, sometimes heartbreaking "in the footsteps of" style travelogue, in which he manages to travel around modern Burma/Myanmar, following the path of an obscure Victorian adventurer/explorer (and fellow Scotsman) who laid the groundwork for British colonial rule. The core theme is that in Scott's day, Burma was a little known area unpenetrated by the West and populated by a diverse assortment of tribes with varrying degrees of hostility-and some 125 years later Burma/Myanmar remains that way in many ways.

    Marshall scoured Scott's unpublished diaries and other sources (all thankfully listed in a comprehensive bibliography) before embarking on four sparate trips. The most straightforward of these was a journey from Rangoon upriver to the old imperial capital of Mandalay and then into the some of the hinterlands. Another trip involved travlling through northern Thailand to the border, where ethnic Shan rebels are attempting to resist Burmese army genocide. A third trip took him from northern Thailand across the border and into the hills near the Laotian and Chinese border. And the most harrowing trip involved slipping across the Chinese border and into ethnic Wa territory where he searches for a legendary lake from which the Wa say they evolved from tadpoles. These trips are crisply related, intertwined with accounts of Scott's travels and life, and background history.

    While Marshall certainly doesn't defend British colonialism, he does credit it for introducing modernity to the region and for creating a nation-allbeit juryrigged -from disparate tribes. Marshall lays Burma/Myanmar's current status as human rights disaster area and its herion-exporting based economy firmly at the feet of a military junta that seized power in 1962 and has held an iron grip on the country ever since. An iron grip that is assisted by ethnic Wa drug lords, whose operations rival that of their more famous Colombian counterparts. Burma/Myanmar's economy is wholy dependent on the exporting of illegal drugs by Wa drug lords in collusion with the military. Historically this has been heroin, but in recent years, mehtamphedamine and ecstacy production is said to rival the most sophisticated European operations, and the drug lords have branched out into music and software piracy. With the country's money and guns all linked together in such tidy self-perpetuating interests, it's difficult to see how the stanglehold will ever be broken short of outside intervention.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and evocative book
    A great book about tragic events in a beautiful country. The author shadows the travels and travails of Victorian adventurer/administrator, George Scott. The result is a narrative that is readable and engrossing. Marshall presents a wealth of historical material in a relatively short volume (quite unlike the typical contemporary non-fiction book). He is at his weakest when he romanticizes Scott's relationship with the locals in Burma and skirts the excesses of colonial rule. He also neglects Scott's more patronizing and condescending writings about the people of Burma. On the other hand, Marshall presents a very readable account of comtemporary history in the country and a credible portarait of the current regime.

    I have visited Burma in the past few years and Marshall's descriptions of people and places were quite evocative of what I saw. Hopefully, the same will be true for other readers, regardless of whether they have traveled there or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting-A must read book about Burma
    THE TROUSER PEOPLE by Andrew Marshall is simply riveting! Wittily written and packed with historical facts, Marshall retraces the experiences and observations of Sir James George Scott ("Shway Yoe"), that irrepressibly insightful Briton who served his "Great Queen" (Victoria) in Burma in the 19th century, having first gone there as a school teacher and journalist. Posing as a tourist, Marshall, a journalist, made several forays into forbidden Burma to gather material for this tale. Ever under the scrutiny, and never escaping the suspicion of the military junta for being anything but a tourist, he fooled them all. The result is this tragic commentary of Burma which has been under the military boot since 1962.

    Marshall's trek from China's Yunnan province to find the legendary Nawng Hkeo lake in the War hills was indeed a hair-raising experience. The Wa tribe, whose domain straddle the Burma-China border, were, until 1970s, ferocious head hunters. Legend has it that they descended from a tadpole who resided in Lake Nawng Hkeo, which stands hidden in the mist on a ridge 7,300 feet high. The Wa have now substituted head hunting with growing opium and manufacturing methamphetamines.

    The traditionally longyi (sarong)-wearing Burmese derisively called their colonial oppressors "the trouser people." It seems that nothing has changed in the hundred years since the Brits first set foot on Burmese soil over a century ago. They are now oppressed by rulers of their own kind, the generals, who also wear trousers, but who are also beneficiaries of epithets far more colorful.

    Marshall perceptively concludes that the British raj and the present day Burmese generals both share the conviction that they alone know what is best for the country.

    U Kyaw Win
    Boulder, Colorado ... Read more


    4. A Prayer for Burma
    by Kenneth Wong
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1891661280
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: Santa Monica Press
    Sales Rank: 80594
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Returning to his native Burma-a country fraught with political upheaval and laden with superstition-Burmese American Kenneth Wong faced the cultural specters of his own past and the spirit of a land trapped in time. Sealed off from the outside world, first by an oppressive military regime's isolationism and then by economic sanctions, Burma lives on like a lingering ghost of its colonial past. This beautiful and intriguing country is revealed through the eyes of an expatriate battling his conflicting national, cultural, ideological, ancestral, and ethnic identities. In the tradition of George Orwell, W. Somerset Maugham, and Paul Theroux, Wong portrays Burma as an exotic place that invites, frightens, teases, and haunts citizens and visitors alike with its unique mixture of ill-kept Edwardian structures, pockmarked English mansions, and glittering Buddhist temples. The courage, humor, and perseverance of the Burmese people and their endearing yet mysterious way of life are revealed in this moving account of a man rediscovering his culture. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Memory of Golden Land
    Kenneath Wong's beautiful writing style and metaphor of being 'ghost' inspire me in many ways. His book shows vivid scence of unique culture of Burma in which its people are struggled to live under politically deprived condition. With much admiration to his writing, I also want to pray that this unique golden land and its people be escaped from the shadow of military uniforms and oppression.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Offering an informative assessment of Burmese life
    A Prayer For Burma is the personal reflections of Burmese expatriate Kenneth Wong upon returning to his homeland after living in the U.S. for more than a decade. Offering an informative assessment of Burmese life and culture from inside-out perspective, enhanced with bittersweet memories and reflections of this politically and socially troubled nation, A Prayer For Burma is very highly recommended reading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read
    This is a very engaging book, full of lots of quirky humor and insights into Burma as it is now. The author's role as an expat returning to Burma as a visitor give him a rare perspective, understanding local culture and language, yet feeling an outsider and being treated as one. It is more up to date than most literature on Burma, being based on visits during the last 2-3 years. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Priceless Prose
    Even if you have no interest whatsoever in Burma, you still need to read this book. This is a book for people who love beautiful writing. It's about exploring personal identity; it's about culture, about being human, about revisitng and reflecting on one's past, on roots, on time and on what it means to exist on this complex planet of ours.

    But if you do have an interest in Burma, then you'll get quite a bonus with this book. Mr. Wong takes you with him as he walks the street's of today's Rangoon gone modern and reflects on the Rangoon gone mad of the 80s and the movement for democracy.

    Employing a rapier wit and self-deprecating humor throughout, Mr. Wong will have you laughing and yet realizing at the same time the poignant sadness of the kalaidescopic Burmese culture--sad, beautiful, joyful, and endearing all at the same time. A Prayer for Burma is a sensitive, extended essay on what it means to be multicultural, intelligent, and human.

    Read it; you'll be glad you did. ... Read more


    5. Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness
    by Alan Rabinowitz
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $35.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1559637994
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
    Publisher: Shearwater Books
    Sales Rank: 183789
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "A fascinating account of inner and outer exploration and discovery in one of the last remote regions of the world - sharp-eyed, insightful, candid, and well written. "Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopar.

    In 1993, Alan Rabinowitz, called "the Indiana Jones" of wildlife science by The New York Times, arrived for the first time in the country of Myanmar, known until 1989 as Burma, uncertain of what to expect. Working under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society, his goal was to establish a wildlife research and conservation program and to survey the country's wildlife. He succeeded beyond all expectations, not only discovering a species of primitive deer completely new to science but also playing a vital role in the creation of Hkakabo Razi National Park, now one of Southeast Asia's largest protected areas.

    Beyond the Last Village takes the reader on a journey of exploration, danger, and discovery in this remote corner of the planet at the southeast edge of the Himalayas where tropical rain forest and snow-covered mountains meet. As we travel through this "lost world"-a mysterious and forbidding region isolated by ancient geologic forces-we meet the Rawang, a former slave group, the Taron, a solitary enclave of the world's only pygmies of Asian ancestry, and Myanmar Tibetans living in the furthest reaches of the mountains. We enter the territories of strange, majestic-looking beasts that few people have ever heard of and fewer have ever seen-golden takin, red goral, blue sheep, black barking deer. The survival of these ancient species is now threatened, not by natural forces but by hunters with snares and crossbows, trading body parts for basic household necessities.

    The powerful landscape and unique people the author befriends help him come to grips with the traumas and difficulties of his past and emerge a man ready to embrace the world anew. Interwoven with his scientific expedition in Myanmar, and helping to inform his understanding of the people he met and the situations he encountered, is this more personal journey of discovery. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story
    I really enjoyed this book. The way Mr. Rabinowitz intertwined his experiences in Myanamar with his own internal conflicts really personalized the story and captivated me as a reader. I also found his experiences with the Taron amazing - imagine seeing and interacting with the last of a group of humans before their extinction. One of the important ideas which I gained from this book is the idea that animals need to come first when a National Park is created. He showed what happens when the needs of the people living the area come first - extinction! At the same time he is careful to note that if the people living in the area are not given an alternative to their current way of life - no park will suceed. The world needs more Alan Rabinowitz's.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good book
    This was a good book, I think Jaguar was his best book but I liked this one. It must have been amazing to have trekked across such unknown wilderness and interact with the local villagers and see a part of the world that virtually no western eyes have seen. It must have been extremely difficult to deal with the reality of overexploitation of wildlife to trade for something as mundane as salt. Rabinowitz doesn't paint the local people as uncaring monsters. They are just trying to make a life for themselves and their families.

    I would have like a few photographs of the animals, but this isn't a field guide. Overall the book was very good. I liked the way the Dr. Rabinowitz made the point that if any conservation effort is going to have even the smallest chance of being successful the local government and more importantly the local people need to be involved from day one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great adventure
    Massachusetts Sierran, March 2002
    Diana Muir

    Alan Rabinowitz has the best day job in America. The Bronx Zoo pays him to fly to parts of the world that have been off-limits to western scientists for generations. He assembles a team and walks into the forest where he treks beyond the point at which effective government ends, beyond the last road negotiable by Land Rover, beyond the last village. He comes back to report the existence of new species of large mammals previously unknown to science. Then he arranges to have vast tracks of wild land set off as protected nature reserves.
    Rabinowitz works for the organization that runs the Bronx Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and he doesn't actually find an entirely new species of large mammal every time he steps into the bush. But the delicate Burmese leaf deer he discovered for science in 1997 is flourishing in forests that his Burmese scientific and administrative collaborators are working to conserve. Their efforts have resulted in the protection of 3.2% of the land area of Myanmar as national parkland or wildlife refuge. And the adventures in Myanmar recounted in Beyond the Last Village are merely the latest exploits in a career spent mapping the last refuges of the nearly extinct Sumatran rhino, tracking tigers in Thailand, and determining how large a jaguar preserve need be to succeed in preserving jaguar.
    No one is perfect. Rabinowitz has a great story to tell, but he attempts to combine a sensitve exploration of his inner self with real-life adventures that play like an Indiana Jones movie. The outcome can be bad enough to make you wince. Here is Rabinowitz, the sensitive male, awaiting the birth of his child.
    "The due date came and went, and I was surprised at how rattled I was. I had helped deliver a Mayan baby in the back of a pickup truck on a bumpy dirt road in southern Belize. I had sewn up my dog, Cleo, after his neck was ripped open by a jaguar. I had ridden for help on a motorcycle in Thailand with a broken leg and a bamboo stake through my foot. I had had to find my way out of the jungle with a subdural hematoma after a plane crash. But nothing compared to this. This was my child."
    When Rabinowitz discovers a species unknown to science, he takes evidence to the Director of Genetics at the Bronx Zoo for expert confirmation. If he had taken the account of his trip to a professional writer for similarly expert help he would have a best seller on his hands. Make no mistake, Rabinowitz has a first-rate story to tell. The sort of story that might have reached millions of readers around the world and persuaded them of the importance of saving the world's last wild places. Instead we have a book that is almost wonderful.
    This is a great read nevertheless because Rabinowitz is the real deal. He goes to places where we cannot go and sees things that we would never see. Had I somehow gotten permission to hike into upland forests of Myanmar off limits to outsiders, I would have seen some pretty little deer. Rabinowitz saw an undescribed species. And while the writing may be clunky, the adventure is real.
    E. O. Wilson's new book, The Future of Life, is an elegant statement of the importance of preserving the biodiversity of this planet by protecting large, intact ecosystems from exploitation. Rabinowitz takes the problem down to cases.
    His new species of leaf dear, along with bear, tiger, rhino and a bevy of southeast Asian species whose names I failed even to recognize, are endangered by poverty, and by a voracious Chinese appetite for bogus medicine and chimerical aphrodisiacs. Sometimes it can take surprisingly little to save them.
    In the remote highlands of Myanmar Rabinowitz and his Burmese colleague, Dr. U Saw Tun Khaing, discovered villages with no access to salt. The only way that they could obtain this vital commodity was by hunting and selling wildlife parts to Chinese traders. Rhino, the species most prized by credulous Chinese men, were extirpated in the area decades ago.
    Dr. Khaing has now set up a system in which payment in salt and other goods is made to villages that preserve the wildlife around them. Erstwhile hunters are employed as game monitors with the cost picked up by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Salt and self-interest will surely do more to induce local people to preserve game than any number of wardens could.
    The pity is that poachers serving the Chinese market continue to hunt Asian rhino elsewhere. My son, the college student, suggests that the only way to protect the last wild Asian rhinos from poachers is to provide free Viagra to every middle-aged man in China. He just might be right. Meanwhile, I'm glad that Alan Rabinowitz is on the job.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Alan's third book and third best
    Alan has a wonderful gift for expressing his expeditions and emotional journeys on paper. He can set you in the middle of his trails and make you feel his inner turmoils and exhilerations. Although Jaguar was by far his best book, this one should not be missed. I will be anxiouxly awaiting his next journey and book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One Last Question
    A wonderful book. Informative and cleanly written. Mr. Rabinowitz is a well informed, engaging storyteller who lays this story out with lots of quality information and a minimum of fuss. A book that's not particularly sentimental even in the sentimental parts.
    But inquring minds, or this one at least, has one nagging question that this book might (and perhaps should) have been able to answer.
    Mr. Rabinowitz freely admits he's got compulsion to travel and explore. Even though this compulsion takes a toll on his marriage Mr. Rabinowitz, for reasons he amply explains in the book, decides to trudge forward anyway.
    The birth of his child is an epiphany, and is wonderfully described. <

    The One Last Question is this: How will Mr. Rabinowitz reconcile the demands of fatherhood with his compulsion to travel?
    ... Read more


    6. Lonely Planet Burmese Phrasebook (Lonely Planet Burmese Phrasebook)
    by Vicki Bowman, San San Hnin Tun
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740590481
    Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 165274
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    Book Description

    Cross-cultural communication is easy in Myanmar – a smile will do the trick. But just a few words of Burmese will reward you with an enthusiastic reception. Test your bargaining skills at the many colourful markets or try your hand at karaoke Burmese-style. Get where you’re going as you tour on a trishaw or chat with the locals as you party at a pwe. Whatever you choose, you won’t be stuck for words!

    • get script savvy to make sense of signs and menus
    • read up on etiquette – don’t sit with you back to a Buddha – get in sync with the seasons of the Buddhist lunar calendar
    • know your noodles – from mohinga to moun-ti
    • find the right word with the comprehensive dictionary
    ... Read more

    7. Finding George Orwell in Burma
    by EmmaLarkin
    list price: $22.95
    our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594200521
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-02)
    Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
    Sales Rank: 122407
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    Book Description

    Over the years the American writer Emma Larkin has spent traveling in Burma, she's come to know all too well the many ways this brutal police state can be described as "Orwellian." The life of the mind exists in a state of siege in Burma, and it long has. But Burma's connection to George Orwell is not merely metaphorical; it is much deeper and more real. Orwell's mother was born in Burma, at the height of the British raj, and Orwell was fundamentally shaped by his experiences in Burma as a young man working for the British Imperial Police. When Orwell died, the novel-in-progress on his desk was set in Burma. It is the place George Orwell's work holds in Burma today, however, that most struck Emma Larkin. She was frequently told by Burmese acquaintances that Orwell did not write one book about their country--his first novel, Burmese Days--but in fact he wrote three, the "trilogy" that included Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. When Larkin quietly asked one Burmese intellectual if he knew the work of George Orwell, he stared blankly for a moment and then said, "Ah, you mean the prophet!"

    In one of the most intrepid political travelogues in recent memory, Emma Larkin tells of the year she spent traveling through Burma using the life and work of George Orwell as her compass. Going from Mandalay and Rangoon to poor delta backwaters and up to the old hill-station towns in the mountains of Burma's far north, Larkin visits the places where Orwell worked and lived, and the places his books live still. She brings to vivid life a country and a people cut off from the rest of the world, and from one another, by the ruling military junta and its vast network of spies and informers. Using Orwell enables her to show, effortlessly, the weight of the colonial experience on Burma today, the ghosts of which are invisible and everywhere. More important, she finds that the path she charts leads her to the people who have found ways to somehow resist the soul-crushing effects of life in this most cruel police state. And George Orwell's moral clarity, hatred of injustice, and keen powers of observation serve as the author's compass in another sense too: they are qualities she shares and they suffuse her book--the keenest and finest reckoning with life in this police state that has yet been written.

    A brave and revelatory reconnaissance of modern Burma, one of the world's grimmest and most shuttered police states, using as its compass the life and work of George Orwell, the man many in Burma call simply "the prophet"
    ... Read more


    8. Myanmar (Burma) Handbook (Footprint Myanmar (Burma) Handbook)
    by Joshua Eliot
    list price: $16.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0900751878
    Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
    Publisher: Footprint
    Sales Rank: 3087098
    Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    1-0 out of 5 stars BRIEF REVIEW
    PRACTICALLY A COPY OF THE LONELY-PLANET GUIDE, WITH FEWER PICTURES AND NOT-SO-EASY PRINT. ... Read more


    9. Letters from Burma
    by Aung San Suu Kyi, Heinn Htet
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140264035
    Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 71893
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much more than just a book !
    This is not just a book. Along with Aung San Suu Kyi's two other major books ("Freedom from Fear" and "Voice of Hope"), this book is destined to be at the heart of the struggle - and eventually the victory - for democracy in Burma. Among the three, this is the one I found most wonderful. Vivid, direct, it makes the reader feel as if she/he is listening to Suu Kyi, with her wonderful Asian voice and Oxford accent. Suu Kyi talks about Burma, about her people, about herself. She tells of the tragedies of her people, in the most natural and serene way, as if she were telling of everyday life - because indeed, this is the Burmese everyday life. She does not inflate things, she does not push for her views, yet she reaches the reader's heart immediately - at least she did with me ! She simply expresses views and feelings along with plenty of thrilling facts and anecdotes. I can't imagine of any reader who won't love this book and won't feel inspired by this account from Burma's heroine. After reading this and the other books, I felt so close to Burma's struggle that I absoliutely had to go there and meet Suu in person. So I did, I took off for Burma and managed to meet her. I had met many world personalities before, but this was truly a unique event in my life. The pages of the book kept coming back to my mind, as I could finally see the source of all that strength and hope, the incarnation of Burma's struggle. In the end I was deported from Burma for having made contact with her. Now these books are my inspiration to keep fighting on for democracy in Burma in all ways I can.

    4-0 out of 5 stars great read
    As this book is a compilation of 52 letters written to be published as a weekly installment in a Japanese newspaper (each 2 or 3 pages long), it is an easy book to pick up when you have a few minutes. (In New York, we would call it a great subway read - you can read a letter or two between when you get on the subway and when you have to get off.) The letters combine Aung San Suu Kyi's political beliefs and accounts of the remarkable work of her political party (the National Democratic League) with vivid descriptions of Burmese culture and countryside. There are probably other books that focus solely on either the politics or the culture of Burma that do a more comprehensive job of describing it, but this seems like a great introduction to both.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Insight into the plight of Burmese Democracy
    This is a collection of 52 essays that Aung San Suu Kyi had written in the mid 1990's for a Japanese newspaper. She discusses a full range of topics including politics, religion, and the daily life of the Burmese people as seen through the eyes of the country's biggest proponent of democracy.

    Her tales are fascinating and well written. They offer a glimpse into the world of an almost Orwellian regime and can peak the interest of readers unfamiliar with Burma's current state of unrest.

    As a recent traveller to Burma, I was looking for more detail into Burma's history and details surrounding the nullified election in 1990. Though these issues are touched upon, each essay is a mere 2.5 page newspaper article which does not lend itself to such depth. It is however a fascinating read and a great introduction to Burma's struggle for democracy. ... Read more


    10. Myanmar Country Map: (Burma) (Periplus Travel Maps)
    by Periplus Editions
    list price: $8.95
    our price: $8.06
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 9625930701
    Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
    Publisher: Periplus Editions
    Sales Rank: 343088
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An essential map .
    The Periplus Myanmar map is an indispensable purchase you must make before you enter the country in order to plan and execute your trip, since you will find it very hard to find one once you are in.
    I strongly recommend it in addition to the Lonely Planet guide (see my past review) as the two tools to the serious and organized traveler.

    Inside, you'll find 6 maps:

    1. A big Myanmar map (1:2,000,000)
    2. A map of Bagan area (1:35,000)
    3. A detailed map of old Bagan (1:15,000)
    4. A city map of Yangon (1:35,000)
    5. A detailed map of Central Yangon (1:17,500)
    6. A map of Mandalay.

    All the maps are well printed and help a lot to get around in the country. The best places to see are highlighted in red. Inside you'll also find a few useful traveling tips for a kick-start. ... Read more


    11. The Seven Sisters of India: Tribal Worlds Between Tibet and Burma
    by Peter Van Ham, Aglaja Stirn, Peter Van Ham
    list price: $70.00
    our price: $44.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 3791323997
    Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
    Publisher: Prestel Publishing
    Sales Rank: 345955
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    Book Description

    This is the first comprehensive publication on India's remote northeast, the area comprising seven states stretching from Tibet in the north to Myanmar (Burma) in the south, among them Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Assam.This area is known as the "Seven Sisters of India".It is a region rarely visited by foreigners where peoples scarcely known to the Western world continue a way of life steeped in ancient ritual.This publication, the very first of its kind, explains and illustrates with numerous high-quality color photographs the various aspects of these fascinating cultures. ... Read more


    12. Golden Earth: Travels in Burma
    by Norman Lewis
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $21.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0907871380
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
    Publisher: Eland
    Sales Rank: 181199
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    13. Burma (Myanmar)
    by Caroline Courtauld
    list price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 9622176089
    Catlog: Book (1998-07-01)
    Publisher: Odyssey Publications, Ltd.
    Sales Rank: 600047
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    An isolated and remote country, unspoiled by mass tourism, Burma is for the traveler, not the average tourist. This guide takes its readers to the far corners of this little-known country. Travel the great Ayeyarwady River to Kipling's Mandalay, the last of Burma's royal capitals, and explore exotic Inle Lake whose inhabitants live on floating islands overgrown with flowers and lush vegetation. And, of course, meet the people of this richly varied land, from the northern hill tribes to the amiable Burmans themselves. This fully revised and lavishly illustrated second edition intelligently evokes the magic and the mystery of what was once the richest nation in Asia. Fully revised second edition. Takes the reader to the far corners of this remote country. Extensive illustrations include fascinating archival material. Detailed background on the history, religion and people of Burma. Personal observations from an author who knows the country extremely well. Indispensable practical information. Evokes the magic and mystery of what was once Asia's richest nation. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    1-0 out of 5 stars shocking and dissappointing
    a glossy superficial look at one of the most underdeveloped and tyrannically ruled countries in the world today. yes , Burma is a beautiful country but tourists are shielded from seeing the horrors committed by the ruling junta.
    forced labour, rape, child soldiers, state censorship and political prisoners , very old and very young - infants even! languish and are tortured in Burmese prisons.
    this book is irresponsible in its depiction of Burma as a tourist destination, as is any tourist guide book touting the wonders of "magical myanmar"

    3-0 out of 5 stars good guide book with beautiful pictures
    Having just returned from a 10 day trip to this beautiful, exotic country, I found the Odyssey guide book which I brought along helpful but it is likely an insufficient source of information for most travellers. The book provides detailed background on the history, politics, culture of the people of Burma. There are also boxes containing interesting snippets of people like Aung Sang, the drug lord Kung Sa, as well as other interesting topics like the making of lacquerware. Unlike most guide books I have used in the past, this one is filled with beautiful, colourful snapshots of the places and people of Burma.

    The major shortcoming is the lack of detailed information about the attractions, i.e., details regarding times of operation, location, costs of admission, as well as details about the sites
    themselves. Also I believe many of the lesser known attractions in each destination were not covered by the author. Overall I think the target audience for this book is the traveller who has signed up with a packaged tour. Such an individual is likely to visit only the major destinations covered by the text, namely Yangon, Bagan, Manderlay and Isle Lake. This individual also is unlikely to require the details mentioned above.

    In summary if I had to buy a guide book again for a visit to Burma, I would choose the Lonely Planet book which I believe remains the gold standard of guide books to relatively obscure destinations of the world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overall Guide to Burma & Major Sites
    Excellent background sections covering basic history, the religious lives of the Burmese, festivals, theater and music. Guide emphasizes Yangon (Rangoon), Mandalay and Bagan (Pagan), and their immediate environs -- if you are traveling more off the beaten path, you need the Insight Guide, which also has more and better pictures. Strong on the "flavor" of the country, particularly the last Burmese empire and the colonial years.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Quality Book
    Having recently returned from my third visit to Burma in three years, I looked forward to the publication of this new guide. Information for the traveler is current and accurate. The historical and literary references greatly add to ones appreciation and perception of the country. The photographs are wonderful and plentiful. This book is a pleasure to read and more importantly it has added to my knowledge of that country which is Burma. ... Read more


    14. Burmese Looking Glass: A Human Rights Adventure and a Jungle Revolution
    by Edith T. Mirante
    list price: $12.00
    our price: $9.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0871135701
    Catlog: Book (1994-05-01)
    Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
    Sales Rank: 602319
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive..........
    It took we a while to warm up to Ms. Mirante. As the story unfolds, one has cause to suspect a liberal, bleeding-heart hand wringer. But, this isn't any emotive flutterer afraid to mar her pedicure. This is a jungle-tramping, malaria-be-damned, human rights activist commando.

    In the late '80's, Mirante traveled to Thailand to enhance her art career. She soon became aware of the human rights abuses perpertrated in Burma at the hands of the Tatmadaw, the Burmese government army under the control of socialist despot, Ne Win. Putting her art aside, she quickly adopts the cause of the Burmese hill tribes subject to brutal repression and in fear of cultural obliteration. Mirante courageously risks life and limb as she illegally moves among the Burmese tribes recording their stories for disbursal to the outside world. Undaunted, intrepid, unfailingly committed, Mirante catalogs the abuses of Ne Win, offers hope and assistance to the refugees, and battles valiantly to make their story known.

    Though she casts some political aspersions stateside that she fails to adequately defend, Mirante manages to write this story without recourse to the shrill and idle finger pointing one might typically uncover in such a book. In fact, any doubts of this woman's admirable pragmatism are shattered when she admits to loathing the song, "We are the World". One is left thinking that she finds the song a piece of overwrought theater blissfully (and, perhaps, all too conveniently) ignorant of life in the human rights trenches.

    Edith T. Mirante is a remarkable woman deserving the esteem of every lover of liberty. She writes a good book and fights a good fight and, for that, I say more power to her.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dining with drug lords and fighting for democracy
    I read Burmese Looking Glass about one year ago, after I had visited the Thai-Burmese border refugeee camps. I wish I had read it beforehand! This is an immensely informative narrative covering many aspects of the complicated and tragic situation in Burma, from underground pro-Democracy activists to drug lords to jungle warfare and women warriors. Its somewhere between political intrugue, war journalism, and travelogue. Much of what she reports is consistent with what I have learned from Burmese students in exile and pro-democray activists in the US and Thailand. I admire her chutzpah and honesty in painting this portrait of a horrendous and confusing situation as well as of herself. I found it totally readable, exciting, and inspiring.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Burmese Looking Glass- Fact ?
    While I enjoyed reading this book, I was continually confused by it. I am one of a few Americans who lived in Burma for several years during the same time period. I found many of the author's descriptions compelling, yet rather sensationalistic. Was she telling a fictional story or a factual one about the tribes and political causes of Burma? Unfortunately, I came away disappointed by this confusion. However, for a reader who has has spent little or no time in Burma, the book would definitely be an exciting read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Part Travel Story, Part Burmese Scorecard
    Edith Mirante's travel goals are pretty much similar to mine - see and report honestly, ignore travel hype, live as the locals, learn about political constraints, try to be sensitive to my gigantic country's effect on people in places where there are few American eyes. Are the people I meet in danger? Are they happy? Are they above the level of survival? Are they threatened by officials? For the reader who routinely asks such questions, Edith Mirante is the ideal travel guide. She rewrites the definition of "intrepid." She goes where no Americans are allowed, walking for days on blisters to visit Karen tribespeople, traveling clandestinely in hill country for the chance to meet a famous druglord and understand how the "Myanmar" army thugs have forced hill tribes to grow opium in place of crops. She braves Thai jail in order to push the envelope, sensing the most profound truths may lie just beyond those travel restrictions. They often do. Everywhere she manages to go, she tells us whom she sees, and what she hears. Everything Edith does stems from relationships. Edith brings gifts to her hosts. She is polite. She is properly outraged when she discovers mistreatment of the people she visits. And most of all, she goes the extra distance to return and hold her own American government responsible for mishandling the regional situation to the point of destruction. Most of us will never be able to travel to the places Edith takes us. If we did, there would be still fewer of us who could understand what we found when we got there. Since I read this book a year ago I have been surprised by how often I hear news items about Burma. What I hear often echoes the book. There are the accounts of farmers enslaved by the Burmese government to dig a pipeline for an American oil company - the farmers are now suing the oil company for enslavement in American court. Two young Karen brothers have had their pictures on the cover of a large-circulation American magazine for their desperate attempts to win back their lands and safety from the "Myanmar" army, which demands the complete destruction of all hill tribes. A much-beloved Burmese leader remains under house arrest. And, of course, American citizens are regularly requested to boycott American firms doing business with the brutal Burmese government. Burma may be half a world from the West. But it is no longer sufficient for westerners to rely on ignorance. It may be argued that increased worldwide communication allows us to be compassionate in new ways. We cannot all go to Burma to find out what is happening there. That is why a book like this is so valuable. Edith Mirante has already been there. She has done some of the preliminary footwork for the rest of us. ... Read more


    15. Guide to Burma
    by Nicholas Greenwood
    list price: $17.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1564407047
    Catlog: Book (1995-07-01)
    Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
    Sales Rank: 1000062
    Average Customer Review: 2.47 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I've been to Burma many times
    For your information (see review below), I am probably the UK's Burma expert with dealings from the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi - to whom my Guide to Burma was dedicated - to academics, diplomats, etc. I am the author of several books on Burma & the leading Burma bookseller; check out my website if you don't believe me (www.mandalaybookshop.biz), or contact the Burmese Embassy in London. This guide book is my opinion a fine example of armchair travel writing.

    Nicholas Greenwood

    1-0 out of 5 stars blah, blah, blah
    More travelogue than guide. The author seems to be saying "I did this better than you ever could."

    1-0 out of 5 stars Worst
    This is the most inaccurate guidebook I have ever read.
    Dont bother with it.
    Buy Lonely Planet instead.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ground breaking
    A seminal work, to which later guidebooks owe a large debt of gratitude. To say the least.

    1-0 out of 5 stars ...
    I had the misfortune to read this book recently, I found it dull, predictable and it gave nothing that other better books have not said before. I was left wondering whether the author had ever been to Burma, in fact I believe he has just read a few guide books and then produced his own substandard attempt. ... Read more


    16. Hard Travel to Sacred Places
    by RUDOLPH WURLITZER
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1570621179
    Catlog: Book (1995-09-11)
    Publisher: Shambhala
    Sales Rank: 589481
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    On a journey through Southeast Asia, a writer discovers the survival of age-old truths in a world gone mad. "A brilliant corrective to euphemistic travel writing and a profound look at the spiritual life under duress... Wurlitzer sets a new standard of truth for the widening crowd of those who would write about the spiritual life." - San Francisco Chronicle "A dark jewel, sharp and compact...what a rare thing Wurlitzer has written: a book of spirit that cuts to the bone." - Voice Literary Supplement "Favorite 25 books of 1994" ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Dark, moody, but interesting and memorable
    I read this because I liked the title, and thought the idea of the book - travelnig to a powerful place during a difficult time in life - was promising. The book turned out to be darker than I expected - but it was still moving and memorable. I read this book years ago but still recall passages and ideas from it. I think if I went to Cambodia or other places mentioned, I'd reread this short book - just to help give me a deep emotional context to consider while I'm there. Good - easy to read - but it might stay with you.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
    The Publishers Weekly review in my opinion says it all. The book is well and accurately characterised as pretenious, sophomoric and self-absorbed. Every one has experienced loss in their life. Little useful, sustaining or enlightening will be learned from this book. A big disappointment ... Read more


    17. Welcome to Burma: And Enjoy the Totalitarian Experience
    by Timothy Syrota
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $24.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 9745240087
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
    Publisher: Orchid Press
    Sales Rank: 1611358
    Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Shallow ,sophomoric writing about an important subject
    Syrota's slim volume is a first person account of his stay in Burma, including his brushes with immigration and internal security. The book has been well-reviewed in the travel press, but unfortunately, doesn't really add much to the information that one can get from one of the more politically aware guidebooks. There isn't much cultural or historical detail and we often get little depth from his experiences. Mostly, it reads like a paraphrasing of a traveler's journal. Some travelers are marvellous storytellers, but many are not. The tone is whiny in places and the author's unhappiness at having his itinerary curtailed gets in the way of the Burmese own stories.

    The book is a helpful reminder that even important stories can be poorly told. ... Read more


    18. Lonely Planet Myanmar Burma (Lonely Planet Myanmar, 7th ed)
    by Michael Clark, Joe Cummings
    list price: $16.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0864427034
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 602465
    Average Customer Review: 2.62 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    55 Maps ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    2-0 out of 5 stars A necessary evil?
    Generally I am a fan of the Lonely Planet series and I have bought a guide for every destination I have visited in the past few years. This book really disapointed me, mainly because it is so out of date by now. It is PAST time for a new edition (and the update available on lonelyplanet.com is scant at best). Of course with some guidebook companies refusing to write a Myanmar guide because of the political situation, what alternative do travellers really have? Nearly everyone we met on our November 2001 trip was carrying this guide, and everyone complained about it. So what to do? Go to the Internet! Although I cannot list the URLs here, I found several recent travelogues on Myanmar that were extremely helpful.

    We often followed the LP's restaurant tips and found the food at these establishments barely edible. Remember LP's disclaimer "prices go up, good places go bad..."? Well, apparently many of these places have gone bad in the past 3 years since this edition was written. So, I will send my comments to LP and await the next edition. Until then, take what you read in this book with a grain of salt, and do your Internet research before you go. Happy travels.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Buy the 8th edition.
    I don't know why they still sell it here, but this is an old edition now, and when it comes to guide books - obsolete. Go for the 8th edition which is the newest (as for this date), and which I have extensively reviewed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal & poorly researched
    A lot of the content of this book seemed familiar to me - as if I had read it before somewhere in another (superior) guide.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Derivative
    I found the contents highly derivative; moreover, I prefer my guidebooks to be written by specialists in their chosen field. Joe Cummings may be a Thai specialist, but he is no Myanmar expert and, alas, it shows. Not recommended. Readers interested in Burma should try seeking out a copy of a book entitled "Shades of Gold and Green: Anecdotes of Colonial Burmah 1886-1948", which may be available through Amazon.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Plagiaristic twaddle
    The authors plagiarised the Bradt Guide & should be sued for copyright infringement. ... Read more


    19. Among Insurgents : Walking Through Burma
    by Shelby Tucker
    list price: $37.95
    our price: $37.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1860645291
    Catlog: Book (2000-07-14)
    Publisher: I.B.Tauris
    Sales Rank: 738151
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Among Insurgentsdescribes the author's journey into Burma through a border area of China closed to foreigners, through the Shan and Kachin States, and out of Burma via an area of India closed to foreigners. En route, he was detained by Communist insurgents, handed over to Kachin insurgents and arrested by the Indian Army. Among Insurgentsalso examines the symbiotic relationship between the civil war in Burma and the international drugs trade. The author interviewed growers of opium poppies and leaders on both sides of the narcotics divide, and his report to the US National Security Council may have contributed to Washington’s changed perception of the Burmese Army as the main player in the trade.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    2-0 out of 5 stars This book has been written for a specific audience
    This book is different than most other books of a similar subject. In one way, the author has written a very detailed description of World War 2, the history of Burma, and so forth. On the other hand, the author has written a book about a brave and crazy journey through Burma. What has resulted is a book that is too detailed and boring for a reader who is interested in the journey across Burma and not professional enough for a historian or researcher.

    The author does however seem to present what happened honestly, which allows the reader to form an opinion of the author himself. I have traveled through "insurgent controlled" areas of Burma, and as such understand some of the "issues" that he faced. My personal opinion of the author's character is not good, but this may be due to the fact that we are very different people. The way in which he dealt with certain situations made me feel like he was arrogant and did not consider the needs and feelings of the people risking their life to help him, nor did he consider the way that he was representing the western world to the Kachin people.

    I feel that there is a small audience of readers who would greatly enjoy this book. These are people who like great detail, and who can relate to the thoughts and views of a person such as the author. The authors companion on the journey, Mat, would have described the things that happened very differently, and providing that his literacy is good, I feel he would have produced a much more enjoyable book for a larger audience of readers.

    Reviewers email: meabs24 AT hotmail . com

    5-0 out of 5 stars Posted by the US Distributor, PALGRAVE
    AN EXCERPT FROM THE SCOTSMAN: Thursday, 30 November 2000:

    "Shelby Tucker's Among Insurgents: Walking Through Burma is the account of an American adventurer who entered Burma illegally from China, was captured by Communist guerrillas, passed on to Kachin freedom-fighters and was eventually arrested by the Indian Army. A hugely informative book of near-lunatic courage."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Comments from the US Distributor
    A BOOK OF THE YEAR! (The Sunday Telegraph, UK)

    "For near-lunatic courage and a unique mine of information, [this book] by Shelby Tucker might belong to another century. At the age of 53, Tucker, a maverick American lawyer, decided to cross North Burma, entering illegally from China and departing illegally into India. He was captured by Burmese Communist guerrillas, passed on to Christian Kachin rebels (with whom he was soon consorting), was arrested by the Indian army, and six months later emerged to write this astonishing book: a surreal mixture of "Boy's Own" derring-do and expert knowledge of an almost unknown region."

    --Colin Thubron, for The Sunday Telegraph (UK), in "Books of the Year" Column

    5-0 out of 5 stars More reviews on behalf of the US distributor, Palgrave
    "I read the book over the weekend and laughed my head off. What an addle-pated odyssey it is. The nonchalance with which he does things that could get him locked up in some bamboo cage for thirty or forty years takes my breath away. I've seldom been more aware of the thinness of the line between courage and lunacy. Luckily for his narrative, he is aware of it too, and has great fun jumping back and forth over it. I take my hat off to him, both for actually doing what he did and for writing so well about it." --Tobias Wolff

    "I cannot recommend Among Insurgents highly enough. Shelby Tucker describes a quite extraordinary trek across the genuinely remote and dangerous mountainous north of Burma. His account gets to grips with an immensely complicated political scenario and is written in the classic manner. I was reminded quite often of Fitzroy MacLean and Peter Fleming." --Justin Wintle "To one familiar with the dangers inherent in such an enterprise, the story almost defies belief. A 53-year-old American teams up with a 22-year-old Swede, whom he has met on a train and known for less than an hour, with the aim of trekking across one of the most inaccessible and least explored areas on earth, in a country which, everyone recognizes, is ruled by a military autocracy and which has been engaged in a vicious civil war for nearly half a century." --Stephen Morse

    "I read it in growing amazement. What a journey and what a lot of research since! Very impressive." --Robin Hanbury-Tenison

    "I think [Shelby Tucker] may have written a classic of modern travel writing." --John McEnery

    "Among Insurgents is a vastly impressive piece of work and life. Shelby Tucker may be a mad man, but he certainly writes wonderfully." --Peter Wolf

    "I read it at one sitting, with my wife providing earthly sustenance at intervals, and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. The vitality and freshness of the enterprise shone throughout." --Robert Pelletreau

    "Those of us who would never go on such an adventure (and that's most of us!) can have something stirred within us, feel a little freer, more willing to take risks, after reading this book." --Fred Fenton

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reviews on behalf of the distributor, Palgrave
    "Every few years there comes along a first book by an unknown author that makes you want to stand up and applaud. This is such a book. Driven by its author's love for a remote tract of the world and its peoples, it tells a tale of gripping heroism in a laconic, elegant style." This is a story of real, risk-taking, old-fashioned travel, not pre-paid by a publisher or faked by a television company. Beautifully written and illustrated with color photos and maps, it deserves to become a classic." --Maggie Gee, The Daily Telegraph (UK) "Surprise hardback top-seller at specialist travel bookshop Daunt's is Shelby Tucker's tale of a lunatic walk through Burma with Karen guerrillas. Reviewer Maggie Gee is among those who have proclaimed it a classic." --The Guardian (UK)

    "Tucker...is...endlessly fascinating and well-informed on this little known region of Asia where the end of A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh elides surreally into Paul Theroux's Mosquito Coast. His book is also outstandingly well written in the insouciant Peter Fleming tradition. I did reflect, on finishing what is the most unusual and distinguished travel book I have read for years, that, single-handed, Shelby Tucker could have started the Vietnam War in an afternoon, if given the chance - and that he would probably regard that as some sort of compliment." --Robert Carver, The Times Literary Supplement (UK)

    "Tucker is an astute observer, a brave traveler and, undoubtedly, something of a nutter: who else would make provision to have his rucksack buried with him? He can be humorous too, as he was with the Indians who imprisoned him after he emerged from Burma. The Indian authorities had difficulty believing his story, and understandably so. Nobody goes for a walk in a country ruled by one of the world's most repressive regimes." --Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times (UK)

    "With humor and gusto, Among Insurgents charts in minute detail [an] extraordinary journey and all its hardships, from sleeping on frozen ground to wading through leech-infested streams and eating delicacies such as dove curried with rosemary. But the story transcends mere adventure. It elucidates the complex politics of post-colonial Burma and the tragic consequences of Ne Win's oppressive, dictatorial régime, dragging a once prosperous country down into abject poverty. This is a fascinating insight into Burma, and essential reading for anyone interested in the rich past and uncertain future of this astonishingly beautiful and tormented place." --Traveller (UK)

    "Among Insurgents: Walking Through Burma starts out as an adventure - a walk from China, through the Kachin hill country of northern Burma, to India, an assertion of the author and his companion's 'right to roam', taunted by Rangoon's closure of its land borders. Tucker, a lawyer, has addressed the US National Security Council on Burma and has acted as General Counsel for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma. But he writes neither as a spy (as suspected by the Indian police) nor as an anthropologist. This book becomes, however, a serious exploration of Burma's troubles - the "hidden colony" of the Kachins, the Civil War and the international drugs trade." --The Telegraph, Calcutta

    "The book throws light on a dark and complicated country ... Into the narrative of the journey itself is woven - in best travel book fashion - a literary and historical appreciation of Burma that is undoubtedly authoritative.' --Spectator (UK)

    "Lunacy and bravery are two words that spring to mind with Among Insurgents: Walking Through Burma ... on Shelby Tucker's China-to-India trek, meeting Burmese hill tribes and being captured by Communist troops." --Wanderlust (UK)

    "[An] extraordinary and exciting story ... provides an analysis of the aims and political maneuvers of the many anti-government elements in Burma representing Chins, Karens, Kachins, Nagas and the Communist Party ... of great interest to all who have followed the fortunes and turbulent times of the country over which we fought." --Frank Cook, Dekho! (UK) ... Read more


    20. The Native Tourist: A Holiday Pilgrimage In Myanmar
    by Ma Thanegi
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $15.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 9749575628
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
    Publisher: Silkworm Books
    Sales Rank: 522237
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    This is the delightful story of an eighteen-day bus pilgrimage to sixty pagodas across Myanmar. As the author settles into her seat, the aisle blocked with luggage, she trains our eyes on the collection of characters that, like it or not, will be her traveling companions for the whirlwind tour. This native tourist amuses us with her adventures of eating at roadside cafes, climbing up pagodas, bathing in rivers, shopping at markets, and sleeping on temple floors. Along the way, she encounters deeply rooted cultural values and develops camaraderie with strangers that become like family for the duration of her travels. ... Read more


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