Even though China has been open to foreign tourists for more than 40 years, few make it to the magical, mountainous border region between Sichuan and Tibet that inspired the legend of “Shangri-La.” But in this engaging and profound work, Shivaji Das takes us there, helping us to understand the fraught relations between Han Chinese and minority groups, and the country’s vibrant religious scene. Mostly, The Other Shangri-La is an ode to this beautiful alpine region and its people, with the author’s empathy and humanity making him a most excellent companion.
-Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao
Shivaji discovers meaningful moments in his travels, and evokes the environment and history of the place in his writing, connecting the present and the past. Indeed, for a deeper understanding of ourselves, we need to weave our lives closely with everything that surround us.
- Ma Jian, Author: Red Dust, The Noodle Maker, Stick Out Your Tongue, Beijing Coma, The Dark Road, China Dream
Shivaji and Lobo bring alive the unchartered territories of China in a way that you travel along with them. They bring out the life in the obscure hills in a way that you feel like a co-traveler with them, alternating between tourist jaunts and pristine landscapes, between human habitation and solitude.
- Anuradha Goyal, Author and Top Travel Blogger, https://www.inditales.com/
Buckle up – you’re in for the trip of a lifetime! The intrepid Shivaji Das takes the reader – and his good-natured wife Lobo – along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, “one of the most dangerous roads in the world,” stopping on the way to spend the night with nomads (and their yaks), ascend to the world’s highest town, and go down to the valley of beauties, among other adventures. This informative travelogue is often funny, and sometimes scary, but always entertaining.
– Suzanne Kamata, author of Squeaky Wheels: Travels with My Daughter by Train, Plane, Tuk-tuk, Metro and Wheelchair
In equal measures informative and witty, Shivaji Das takes his readers along the dangerous roads of Sichuan’s Tibetan regions where monasteries and mountains meet with neon lights and rapid development. Never romanticizing, The Other Shangri-La captures the region’s cultural complexities while affirming travel’s capacity to transform.
- Piia Mustamaki, Essayist, Travel Writer and Lecturer of Writing at New York University Abu Dhabi
The book is a wonderful confluence of scholarly investigation, interviews and observations.
Sandesh Ghimire, Kathmandu Post (Book Review of Sacred Love) Full Review