“Someday there will be an Asia without borders, one, big happy family,” was the Thai immigration official’s reply to author Steve Kaffen’s comment that this was the most relaxed international border Steve had ever crossed. The Thai official and his Malaysian counterpart had established an open border used by bicycles, vehicles, and pedestrians across the east coast’s Sungai Golok Bridge. In a further goodwill gesture, they passed Thai coconuts and Malaysian bananas to each other throughout the day.
Join Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96) on an autobiographical journey across South Asia. Explore the region’s great historical sights, marvel at its landscapes, meet its residents in often humorous encounters, and have a succession of adventures along the way. Visit Thailand’s Mekong region and the great temples of Bagan in Myanmar, trek in Nepal’s Everest Himalayas, cross India’s desert state of Rajasthan and Pakistan’s Khyber Pass, (foolishly) scuba in the waters of the Maldives’ Shark Point, and at long last, reach “The End of the World” in Sri Lanka. Besides the 14 sharks, be prepared to encounter a leopard, rhino, yaks, elephants, hundreds of camels, and a curious gharial crocodile. The book’s unexpected ending takes place in the cockpit of a British Airways 747, as the Captain offers up a toast, “To the next six months,” and an itinerary and contacts to make that happen. Original photos capture the excitement, joy, and realities of travel in this fascinating region, an Asia without borders.