With this pandemic not expected to go away any time soon, better grab these 5 travel books while staying safe inside our homes.

Books are like time machines. They take us to different locations at once. Travel books do more than that. Travel books transport us not only to places but also across time through the culture and heritage featured in these books. Today, we recommend these 5 travel books that feature the fascinating cultures of the Eastern World.

From Heaven Lake by Vikram Seth

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Published in 1987, From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet is a book by Vikram Seth. It follows Seth’s adventure to overland route hitch-hiking across four Chinese provinces and Tibet to reach the Nepal Himalayas while he was still a student at China’s Nanjing University. From heaven, Lake is a compilation of journal entries as well as photos Seth took during his travel. The books won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. Aside from the book, Seth also wrote poetry and the novels The Golden Gate and A Suitable Boy. 

Holy Cow! By Nicki Geigert

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Holy Cow is a travel book by photographer and author Nicki Geigert, The book takes us to India and its unique tradition of worshipping cows. In Hindu culture, cows are considered sacred and are honored in most places in India. They are treated with respect, they are not slaughtered for beef and are given special feedings. Cows are infirmed in institutions called Gaushalas. However, the rest are abandoned and left to die in public places. Nicki Geigert is also the author of the travel book Family Trip to Madagascar and Beyond which showcase the beauty and splendor of the great African nation.

A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia

Source: Amazon

A Geek in Japan is a book by Spanish Hector Garcia. He wrote the book ten years after he moved to Japan in 2004. It features his expectations and his observation about Japan and its People. A Geek in Japan is a comprehensive guide to modern Japan; From Manga to J-Pop, Hector writes his thoughts about the unique culture of the Land of the Rising Sun. It is filled with articles and photographs, providing readers with a closer look at the society and culture of contemporary Japan. The book has been translated into eight languages and has sold over 100,000 copies.

When in the Arab World by Rana Rejem

Source: Amazon

Rana Nejem is a former broadcast journalist. She served the late King Hussein’s International Media Department before working for the British Embassy in Amman. Her book, When in the Arab World is a practical guide that aims to help readers understand the people and culture of the Arab World- the beliefs, values, and social structures that determine how business is conducted and how things are done. The book also aims to demystify certain notions and myths about the culture of Islam and the Muslim people. When in the Arab World is a remarkable read for those who want to have a peek of what it’s like living in an Arab nation.

The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas

Source: Amazon

The Littlest Matryoshka is not strictly a travel book but it features Russia’s unique doll making tradition- the Nesting Dolls or the Matryoshka (the little matron). Along with illustrations by Kathryn Brown, Demas explains the history of the nesting dolls and in a way showing us a glimpse of Russia’s rich culture and tradition. The story follows the adventure of Nina, the smallest among the matryoshka, as she gets separated from her sisters being accidentally knocked to the floor and kicked outside into the snow.