A Land Like None You Know

Awe and wonder in Burma on the road to Mandalay

Author: Patrick Forsyth
Pages: 192
Language: English
ISBN: 9786167270678
Publication date: 22/04/2011
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Travelogue and insight into Burma (Myanmar)
Burma (or Myanmar as it is now called) is in the news for all the wrong reasons. It has been ruled for many years by a ruthless, repressive junta, it suffers regular earthquakes and the cyclone of May 2008 left more than a hundred thousand people injured, homeless or dead.

Yet this is a magical place: a country of contrasts with a rambunctious history and a culture that is both awesome and fascinating.

Largely on a whim, prompted by sitting next to the “neighbour from hell” on a long-haul flight, the author decides to visit Mandalay, the “Golden City” foreseen by ancient Buddhist prophesies. Despite controversy – there are campaigns suggesting you do not travel to Burma on the grounds that doing so supports the government - he makes a trip, flying to Bangkok and on to Yangon (previously Rangoon) and makes much of the journey on the river cruiser Road to Mandalay sailing along the famous Ayeyarwady. Along the way he encounters taxis pulled by oxen; rings the largest bell in the world; learns how to wear a skirt, the difference between a stupa and a pagoda and why florescent pink tiles are used in temples.

In this lively and light-hearted account of his journey he watches the best sunset in the world on the plains of Bagan, and as the sun sinks behind the towers of pagodas stretching in countless numbers to the horizon, concludes that this wonderful country is worthy of everyone’s attention, and perhaps help too.
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Patrick Forsyth has worked for many years as a business consultant and management trainer. Linked to this he is the author of innumerable articles and more than fifty successful business and management, personal development, self-help and career books (for example, Detox your career and Manage your boss).

In recent years his writing has expanded into broader areas. He has had a humorous book published about life in the office jungle, Surviving office politics (Marshall Cavendish). In addition, he has had short stories published and also writes about writing for Writing Magazine for which he also pens a monthly column. He first travelled to South East Asia some twenty-five years ago, and has visited regularly—especially to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand—for both work and pleasure ever since. His first book of travel writing—First class at last!—is a light-hearted account describing a journey on the Eastern & Oriental Express, the luxury train that runs from Singapore to Bangkok. This was well reviewed, one reviewer calling it “…lively, witty and wry”.

He lives in the United Kingdom, in Maldon in Essex, where he writes looking out over the River Blackwater.

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