In 1986, Charles Nicholl travels through Thailand to learn about the spiritual traditions of forest Buddhism in the north of the country. But interesting things have a habit of getting in the way. When Nicholl meets Harry, an old French Indochina hand, on the night train north with his tales of Kachin jade and Shan opium it leads to a journey along the banks of the Mekong, into the Golden Triangle and then across the border into Burma, in the company of the book s Thai heroine, Kitai.
A South-East Asian travelogue that s as vivid and exotic as a fever dream Nicholl is a grand guide, good-humoured, inquisitive, and caring, illuminating but never overshadowing the marvellous land he so superbly describes. Kirkus Reviews
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