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Book Review: Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains

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Published in: Media


After more than a decade of reading every kind of adventure motorcycling book imaginable, I’ve become a little more nitpicky. This approach has landed a few real gems, of which Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent’s latest fits that ticket. She’s not your everyday traveler (think riding a tuk-tuk from Bangkok to the U.K.), but rather a well-connected, in-the-trenches writer/researcher as well as a producer for the BBC.

Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains is an unusual tale for our genre; exploratory motorcycling into a virtually unknown corner of the planet, but with a National Geographic flavor. A tale not so much of random serendipity as of deliberate intent to immerse into a world that’s completely unknown to Westerners.


Set in a region well off the beaten track in the northeastern reaches of India, Arunachal Pradesh is a much-disputed, little known and seldom discussed “outpost” of India. It significantly borders Tibet along the north, kisses Bhutan to the west and Myanmar (Burma) to the east. An area where obtaining a travel permit, if possible at all, is a notoriously litigious nightmare of Indian bureaucracy.

Perhaps because of its proximity to Tibet, there are few places that still harbor as many ancient secrets. It therefore takes a special kind of soul to sniff out a story like this. An author who seeks out spiritual, philosophic, cultural understandings and who, as a result, is deeply affected by these encounters.

Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains captures a rare and extraordinary snapshot of a culture that will soon no longer exist. An inevitable fate thanks to the relentless contamination of capitalism and the forced homogenization of government intervention.

If you have an explorer nature or are fascinated by the mystical beliefs and practices of ancient cultures, this book is for you. And, for those seeking tales of scorching heat, endless mud, animal sacrifice, tales of downed WWII planes, and carb tinkering at high altitude, you won’t be disappointed either. Well researched and executed, Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains fits the criteria of a book that’s far more than just a good read.


Titles: Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains

Author: Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Website: TheItinerant.co.uk

ISBN: 978-1-4711-5656-4 (paperback)

ISBN: 978-1-4711-5657-1 (eBook)



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