Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Colin Thubron's The Amur River

One of my 2022 goals is to read ten books. With Covid keeping us at home once again, I finished the first book already. It's Colin Thubron's The Amur River. Thubron is one of my favorite travel writers. His books about Central Asia and Siberia inspired me to travel to exotic places via inconvenient means and opened my mind to less-studied cultures.

Thubron, incredibly, followed the entire length of the Amur River from Mongolia to Russia to China and back to Russia. He rode horses (and broke two ribs and a femur), walked, hitchhiked, rode buses, and even went on a hydrofoil. He did all this at the age of 80. This is in all likelihood his final adventure, and I got melancholy while reading his journey. It's a story about how China and Russia influenced this area for a thousand years, and how the people of the two nations see each other now. Russians in general distrust the Chinese. The Chinese in general see Russia as a source for raw materials. 

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