Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
I have been coveting this book for several days. Its title, in big letters on a blue background, caught my eye directly: All Asia, country by country. Yesterday, on my way back from a report, as I was passing in front of the Travel BookstoreIn Rennes, I cracked. And I did well.
I plunged into it with delight. It's a big book, but Lonely Planet had the good idea to make it in soft cover, for the French edition, which makes it easy to handle, to leaf through.
The photos are so beautiful, that we start by turning the pages for a long time, as soon as we have it in our hands. A superb invitation to travel through images! From Bhutan to South Korea, from India to Thailand, from Iran to Papua, from Nepal to Japan, it is Asia in the broadest sense that we explore.
A wise choice was made to put the men at the heart of the illustrations. There is often a look to catch your eye, which makes the pages very lively. A child suspended between blue sky and white sand on a rudimentary swing in the Philippines, saleswomen in front of their garlands of yellow flowers in Kathmandu, Chinese monks in scarlet robes frozen in full jump in front of a basketball basket, peasant women transplanting rice in Laos, the face ravaged by life of an old man in East Timor...
The layout is sober, clear and neat. About thirty authors have collaborated to the book. The texts go to the essential, give historical and social references, teach you a lot of things or refresh your memory, depending on your knowledge of this or that country. The book is subtitled "Reasons to leave"... As if I needed it!
And then there are maps (I love geography) and mythical roads (like in my article of the day before yesterday on the WanderLust interactive map). As well as a series of thematic articles at the end of the book, fascinating. Small extract:
The word Asia has different meanings for everyone. [...] There are, however, certain themes that unify Asia conceptually. We have highlighted several of these in the essays at the end of this book: the profound spirituality of a region that is the cradle of all the world's greatest religions; the importance of environments and their influence on lifestyles and traditions; the endless creativity of a pop culture that delights the world on screens, airwaves, and streets; and the tradition of adventurous travel that inspired this continent long before Marco Polo, that hippies and their backpacks revived, and whose vogue continues unabated.
In short, there is plenty to read and travel and dream about. The book, which has just been released, costs less than 30€. I think you get what you pay for, as someone else would say. Something to occupy pleasantly the long winter evenings, while waiting for the next departure.