TO ASIA WITH LOVE
A CONNOISSEURS' GUIDE TO CAMBODIA, LAOS, THAILAND & VIETNAM
This elegantly designed, full-color guidebook offers a rich collection of history, culture and practical information - including an essential list of print and web resources - and is adorned with a series of stunning photographs that captures the magic of Southeast Asia.
Its ten comprehensive chapters explore and illuminate every possible subject, from shopping, dining and sightseeing, to adventuring, sneaking off the beaten path and nurturing the spirit. Within these chapters are hundreds of unique insights and recommendations offered by over 50 expert contributors.
From the back cover:
Imagine that on the eve of your upcoming trip to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, you are invited to a party. At this party are fifty guests, all of whom live in or have traveled extensively through these countries. Among this eclectic and well-versed group of connoisseurs are authors of acclaimed guidebooks, popular newspaper columnists and pioneering adventurers. As the evening passes, they tell you tales from their lives in these exotic places. They whisper the names of their favorite shops and restaurants; they divulge the secret hideaways where they sneak off to for an afternoon (or a weekend) to unwind. Some make you laugh out loud, and others mesmerize you with their poetry and lyricism. Some are intent on educating, while others just want to entertain. Their attitudes are as unique as their personalities, but they are united in one thing their love of the region. If you can envision being welcomed at such a party, then you can envision the experience that this guidebook aspires to give you.
Edited & with contributions by Kim Fay and adorned with photographs from Julie Fay, this book was published in September 2004 by Things Asian Press, San Francisco, USA.
Price: US $18 and available through Amazon.com
Amongst the contributions, I'm very pleased to have a number of my own entries in To Asia With Love. This is how Editor Kim Fay penned my Contributor Profile:
"Words cannot adequately describe the extent to which Andy Brouwer's passion for Cambodia has grown since his first, white-knuckle visit nearly ten years ago. The warmth and resilience of the people, the awe-inspiring temples, and the variety of locations and adventures all go into the melting pot to make Cambodia the fascinating and life-enhancing destination that he has been so fortunate to experience."
Here's a pointer to my website: "Along with being authoritative, this website is just plain fun. To Asia With Love contributor Andy Brouwer adores Cambodia, and it shows in every word he writes. He has been visiting the country for years, and his travelogues are both informative and inspiring. From literature to noble causes, to the heartfelt friendships he's formed during his travels, this tribute to the land of the Khmers is essential reading."
I urge you to buy a copy of this fascinating book full of personal stories and insider advice on food, sightseeing and the love of being in Southeast Asia.
A Review of To Asia With Love
One of the most delightful travel guides I've come across, by Shannon B Davis (Arlington, USA)
This guidebook makes an interesting proposition. Certainly I devoured all the information I could get before my trip to Southeast Asia, and the website associated with this publishing company (thingsasian.com) is one of them. This book presents itself as a series of anecdotes, sorted into topics that interest travellers. The food of Southeast Asia, the famous, infamous, and unknown sites, and the people and customers are all covered here in detail.
It is part of a new trend of guidebooks that, unlike the 'yellow-pages' listings of a Let's Go or Lonely Planet, covers a few topics deeply. You may not be able to look up the closest place to buy stamps, but you will read this and become inspired about where you would like to go. And, unlike many other guidebooks, it's actually entertaining to read even if you are not visiting Southeast Asia. In fact, I read it a year after I returned from my trip. I enjoyed both reminiscing over my experiences and dreaming about future trips. Indeed, it was just like attending a party full of experienced travellers.
This is a beautiful book, with lush full-page pictures and textual illustrations. Although you cannot judge a book by its cover, I certainly enjoyed the aesthetics of this guide. Its small form factor also makes it a good candidate for travel. I would recommend it as a second book, as it doesn't cover every place in encyclopedic detail. Nor does it intend to. It's the kind of book you read as you plan your trip, or to while away a hot tropical day in a Southeast Asian hammock. Each section includes stories, website links, tips, and references. Yes, there are restaurant recommendations here. I like the fact that each piece of information comes from a fellow traveller or expat, advice I can trust.
It also includes the essays of one of my favorite Internet writers, Andy Brouwer. I remember pouring over his website for hours. I'm glad that his writings will now be shared with the reading public. His essays are only some of the great writing in this book.
STOP PRESS - LOOK OUT FOR THE FORTHCOMING
TO BE PUBLISHED EARLY IN 2008...
- following the success of To Asia With Love,watch out for a series of guides to many Asian destinations in 2008
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