This is a first-hand account of how a tall blonde Western woman travelled in disguise as a Chinese man (in Pathan cap, old grey jacket and big padded trousers), through the remote, forbidden and perilous parts of Southern China, in search of an ancient kingdom and the fabulous 2nd-century wall paintings left untouched for thousands of years. Christa Paula, a young German student of Central Asian art and archaelogy has something of the same adventurous spirit as her friend Nick Danziger. The area she set out to discover in 1989/90 was under military rule, closed to Westerners as well as to most Chinese, and it was in the company of Chang, a taxi-driver and self-styled Chinese James Dean, that she continued her journey. They travelled through an area dotted with nuclear testing sites, forced labour camps, and mines in which prisoners dig and process asbestos without protective clothing.
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Christa Paula, an intrepid young student of Central Asian art and archaeology, set off in 1989 to explore an area closed to Westerners as well as to most Chinese, and one which is firmly under military rule. Tall and blonde, she ravelled for the most part incognito, disguised in a Pathan cap, old grey jacket and big padded trousers.
Her goal was Miran, the ancient Buddhist site of fabulous second-century wall paintings left untouched until the beginning of the twentieth century. In the company of Chang, a maverick taxi-driver, Christa Paula travelled through an area dotted with nuclear testing sites, forced labour camps and asbestos mines. She discovered that villages which exist on maps are now radiation-contaminated ghost towns, and she witnessed everywhere the seeds of discontent and political unrest.
Combining scholarship with exotic adventure and an unusual love affair, 'The Road to Miran 'is a travel book of rare distinction – a journey as much through China's past as through its present.
"One woman's remarkable, singe-minded attempt to reach the forbidden desert city of Miran. It is a deeply personal story of self-discovery – a roller-coaster of revelation"
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002551241