• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Media

Travel Marco Polo's Silk Road - Media

Travel Articles

  • The Great Silk Road
  • The Golden Road to Samarkand
  • The Middle East
  • The Swat Valley Pakistan

Is the Silk Road China’s Most Exciting Travel Destination?


The Silk Road has long been a popular tourist destination. The number of tour companies and travel agents that offer tours and tourist services has increased dramatically. China is modernising fast and soon the original Silk Road experiences will be gone forever. Travel there is safe, affordable and reasonably comfortable. Ask anyone who has travelled the Silk Road and they will tell you that is was an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.

The Silk Road has become one of China’s most popular tourist destinations. It is already offered by heaps of travel agents and tour companies in 2010. So why is it so popular?

Going back in history, the Silk Road extends from Xian in central China to either the Middle East or Europe. In fact there are many routes, some to Moscow in the north and those into India and Pakistan in the south. Just like travellers in the time of Marco Polo – thirteenth century – the ancient trade routes still exist although the type of goods sold and the method of transport have changed. The reason why the Silk Road starts/ends in Xian is that it was the ancient capital of China and internal trade routes, in many cases along the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, were already established to distribute goods within China.

Most tourists start their Silk Road journey in Beijing. The Imperial City, the Great Wall of China the many places of historic interest will make a 3-5 day stay worthwhile. Add to it a little shopping and time to experience northern Chinese cuisine and you are ready for your Silk Road experience.

How to get there
Most international airlines fly into Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. There is a lesser choice of flights to and from western China and most of these are based out of the capital of Xinjiang Province, Urumqi.

China has rail connections north to Mongolia, Hong Kong, Tibet and west to Moscow. For the more adventurous there are multiple rail links into Vietnam.

Coach access from/to Pakistan is available along the Karakorum Highway, apart from November though April, when it is closed. Delays and discomfort can be part of this route so be prepared. Travel in Pakistan needs serious consideration. We spent 12 wonderful days travelling there in late 2007 but with the rise of the Taliban the risk for westerners has increased dramatically.

Visas are required for all access points to China and I recommend that these be obtained well in advance.


How to get around
Train travel is popular in China although it does have an extensive coach network. Of course you could fly but that would really defeat the main purpose of visiting China - to meet the people. Train travel is reliable, fast and cheap. “Soft” sleeping compartments either for four or on some routes for two persons are available or if you want to join the locals try the “hard” class, but unless you are on a tight budget, it’s not recommended. You will need assistance buying the rail tickets as few station staff speak English. The timetables and options can be complex. Ask a travel agency with China experience to help.

Many companies offer tours along the Silk Road. Most of these use a combination of coach and rail travel. International companies include GAP, Peregrine, World Expeditions, Travel Indo-China. You’ll find these using Google. Some tours include a lour leader and guide. Standards of accommodation and comfort are reflected in the pricing.

Another option is to hire a guide through Chinese companies like Xinjiang Silk Road Adventures in Urumqi. Local guides can be provided on a per day basis or overall for a tour, at very reasonable prices. Tour guides are required to be licensed in China.

When to Go
China is a vast country covering eight time zones. It’s climate varies considerably. Summers can be hot and sticky and the winters extremely cold so the best months are in Spring and Autumn. Consult a good guide book for the temperatures that you can experience at the time of your planned travel so that you can dress appropriately.

Silk Road Highlights
To get the most out of a Silk Road journey it should not be rushed. Allow a minimum of 14 days in addition to any stay in Beijing. If you are including Uzbekistan add another ten days:

The major attractions are:

• Xian the Terracotta Army and other historic sites

• The Labrang Monastery in Xiahe, in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous region

• The Fort and Great Wall of China Museum at Jiayuguan

• Dunhuang for riding the two humped Bactrian camels in the vast sand dunes. Nearby are the Buddhist Mogao Caves set into a desert backdrop of the Flaming mountains.

• Urumqi has an excellent Xinjiang Regional Museum. Two hours away is the spectacular lake district of China, the Heavenly Lake. Here you’ll find Kazakh people living in yurts and grazing their herds of horses, sheep and goats. If you have the time, stay overnight and experience the food and hospitality of the locals.

• Turpan is famous for its grapes, and nearby are the ancient cities of Gaochang and Jiaohe, the Bezeklik thousand Buddha Tombs and the underground water systems called karez that link Turpan to much needed snow melt from the distant Tian Shan mountains.

• Kashgar, a trade route city for thousands of years. Visit the old city before it’s demolished and attend the famous Sunday animal market which although dusty is a great spectacle.

• Those with extra time may find the southern Silk Road oasis towns of Yarkand and Khotan of interest. This area is less visited but does have some interesting side trips including camel safaris and treks into the Taklamakan desert. This predominantly Uyghur area has much of interest for those that are looking for something a little different.

• A short train journey or flight will take you across the western Chinese border and then on to Tashkent the capital of Uzbekistan. Here the real gems of the Silk Road are to be found in the ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Coach travel in Uzbekistan is comfortable and affordable, although the rail line west offers an alternative.

If you are looking for a vacation with a difference and you are a little adventurous, then travelling the Silk Road should be on the top of your list. It is safe and affordable. And it is a hugely rewarding experience. Yes, it will have its challenges but what a story you can tell when you get home, not to mention your fantastic digital photographs of the highlights of this scenic journey.

You could, like Marco Polo, even write a book about your experiences. I did. It’s called Following Macro Polo’s Silk Road.


The Golden Road to Samarkand

Is the Golden Road to Samarkand your next holiday destination?


You might not have thought about it, but perhaps you should. Take the ‘stan’ out of Uzbekistan and suddenly it looks a lot more attractive. Uzbek tourism is growing and travellers returning are reporting high levels of satisfaction.


Uzbek tours are offered by the overland operators like Dragoman, Oasis and Exodus, and the international travel companies like GAP, Peregrine Adventures, World Expedition and Intrepid Travel.  You’ll find reputable local Uzbek tour operators on Google. Always ask for and check references. Taking a tour will provide a secure environment and help overcome any language issues. Independent travel is risky and is only recommended for experienced nomads.


So where is Uzbekistan and how do you get there?


Getting there

Uzbekistan is bordered by Afghanistan (south), China (east) and Kazakhstan and Russia to the north. Tourist visas are required. These are relatively straightforward for group travel but individuals will be required to provide a letter of invitation. Local travel agents in Uzbekistan can assist here.


Uzbekistan Airways operates a fleet of modern aircraft from a number of international destinations into its hub, Tashkent. Airfares are expensive because of their virtual monopoly. Try Asiana or Turkish Airlines, who also have flights.


Upon arrival, you’ll find that customs clearance is chaotic. Some of the officials forms are in Russian and you will need the copy of your arrival form to be able to exit. You may be required to show your cash in all currencies. Take a reasonable amount of low denomination US dollar bills. Outside the terminal beware of the hordes of “taxi” drivers that are after your business. Many hotels will send a car. Arrange this before you arrive. Allow four hours for departure.


Tashkent is linked by rail to neighbouring states (and on to Moscow in one direction and China in the other). Moscow is a three day journey. There is little information in English. Tickets usually are paid for in US dollars inside of Uzbekistan.


Train travellers should develop a security plan as there are many stories of personal item theft.


Travel to and from the borders by car is possible but you’ll need to be picked up on the other side. Buses do the complete journey but they can be crowded, uncomfortable, not air-conditioned and many do not all have toilets. Seek the help of tour operators with this.


Getting Around

Uzbekistan Airways operates almost daily flights to most cities. This is practical for groups with a guide but more difficult for independent travellers due to language difficulties of purchasing tickets. There can be delays.


Don’t take photographs in or near airports.


Soviet style trains connect most cities.  The daytime express linking Tashkent and Bokhara is the fastest, taking 6 and ½ hours. Most overnight trains are slower with four persons to a sleeper. Take your own snacks and bottled water.


By far the simplest way of getting around is by car with an English speaking driver. Don’t expect perfect English. If you are in a group you’ll find a modern, clean coach service is available.


Most of the top tourist interests are located in the city centres and within easy walking distance. Taxis, which are old and unregistered, are the major means of getting around. But they are cheap. Negotiate your fare in advance. Ask your hotel reception to tell you how much the fare should be. Few drivers speak English so carry a map or guidebook that shows your destination. Carry a hotel card to indicate your return. If you are going somewhere remote, you can usually negotiate a waiting fee and the return fare.


Tashkent has a modern metro system with three lines. Tickets were 400 som (about a quarter). The exchange rate in December 2008 was 1380 Som to 1 US dollar. US dollars are widely used for retail shopping. Notes must be clean and unmarked. Most ATM’s don’t accept foreign cards however most shops and hotels do.


The Best Time to go

The winter in Uzbekistan is cold and severe. The Navrus festival is in March but April-May and September and October are ideal.


You’ll need layered, practical clothing. Lots of areas are dusty. Take sunscreen, sunglasses, toilet rolls, antibacterial hand gel, bottle drinking water and a flashlight.


What to See

There are heaps of fascinating and even amazing attractions in Uzbekistan. The country has a rich culture much of which is still intact today. The shops in the markets are like Aladdin’s Caves with a huge range of hand crafted items on sale. These include pottery, embroidery, lacquer work, inlaid brass work, carpets and musical instruments.


You really need ten days, or longer, to see the main Tashkent, Samarkand, Bokhara and Khiva sights.


Nowadays, few people go to the Aral Sea which is an ecological disaster inherited from Soviet times. The water was used to irrigate cotton crops and this drained the Sea. It is now slowly recovering. The Igor Savitzky Art Gallery in Nukus is worth a visit and the only reason that you’d visit that city. This is an impressive art gallery with thousands of paintings done by Russian impressionist painters in the 1920-1930’s.



Tashkent was largely rebuilt after the 1966 earthquake with rows and rows of soviet style apartments. But it does have a number of attractions including the Moyie Mulbarek Library Museum which houses the world’s oldest Quran (7th century). Nearby is the huge covered Chorsu Bazaar which is an active and colourful farmers and craft market.



About the time of Alexander the Great, this city was one of the great trading cities along the Silk Road. After being completely destroyed by Genghis Khan it was rebuilt as his new capital by Timur (Tamerlane). The centrepiece is the Registan (the first madrassah – an Islamic college was completed in 1420) which comprises a square surrounded by three of the world’s most impressive examples of Islamic architecture. Imposing on the outside, with beautiful tile work, the delicate and intricate plasterwork and gilded tiles on the inside of these buildings will long stay in your memory. The main buildings were restored by the Russians in 1999 as a gift to the people of Uzbekistan.


Timur’s tomb, at the Gur-Emir complex, is one of the most revered sites in Samarkand. It has a wonderful collection of buildings with restored tile work, wooden carvings and sculptured brickwork. The Bibi Khanum Mosque (named after Timur’s wife), is impressive and the tale of Bibi’s fateful kiss is intriguing. By the time of Timur’s grandson, Ulug Beg, Samarkand led the world in scientific and astronomical discoveries. The remains of his huge observatory which made Samarkand the stargazing capital of the world, is a fine example of an era now long passed.



Climb to the top of the Kalon Minaret (48 meters – 155 feet high), the site of the Sunday entertainment when those unfortunates who had incurred the wrath of the Grand Khan were trussed in a sack and tossed from the top.    


The Ark Citadel was once the fortified residence of the rulers of Bokhara. It is now a museum and it was brought to life by our guide’s description of Uzbek court life before the Russians arrived in 1868. Within walking distance is the Lyabi-khauz complex in the Old City. Formerly the site of a number of religious schools, it now houses a multitude of craft shops which offer beautiful miniature Persian style art, paintings, carpets and rugs, embroidery and jewellery. Most of the work is inexpensive.



 It is a dusty 6 hour drive across the flat steppes to the desert city of Khiva. This walled city is one of the most historic cities on the Silk Road. It is now a quite, sleepy oasis that awaits the coach loads of tourists like it waited for the caravans of traders of old. The Old City is compact with everything within walking distance. It is a living museum. The site has been used in many films and is a photographer’s delight. Some of the older buildings date to the 16th century but many where built around the late 19th century where the city was the focal point in the “Great Game” – the struggle between Russia and England to control Central Asia.


Trading is a way of life here. It is a great place to sharpen your bargaining skills but do go for quality rather than purchase the cheap tourist souvenirs that are found on the street stalls.


How to organise your trip

Book a tour with one of the tour operators is the easiest. This provides certainty of airfares, accommodation and sightseeing.  You’ll find many Uzbek travel agents if you Google them. You can either fit into a pre-set itinerary or ask them to work out something to meet your needs. Consider a car and driver option. Don’t be rushed, you’ll probably only ever go to Uzbekistan once and you’ll need time to get the most out of your experience.


Many experienced travellers rate Central Asia as being one of the “Best Choice” travel destinations. I agree and I’ve written a chapter about our travels there in my book Following Marco Polo’s Silk Road. This is the story of our travels from Venice to Beijing following in the footsteps of the mythical hero, Marco Polo.

The Middle East – an increasingly popular travel destination.

Over the past 20 years the countries in what was once called the Middle East, have become popular travel destinations. Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel by themselves or in combination have a lot to offer. The vast majority of travellers returned satisfied and surprised by their travel experience.

So why is this so? To best answer this, we need to know a little more about these countries and how to travel to and within them.

How to get there
Most travelers come by air. The national capitals of Damascus, Amman, Beirut and Tel Aviv all have international airports that are serviced by a range of international and Middle Eastern carriers.

Both bus and private car travel is possible between most of the countries. Generally these are via a number of single crossing points like Syria-Lebanon and Syria-Jordan (at Derá on the new highway that links the two countries). Land routes exist to bordering countries.

Land travel into/from Israel is more restricted. The most common point of entry is via the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge from Jordan.

Syria has a somewhat dated rail network. Some services only run weekly but those on the popular central routes operate several services each day.

How to get around
Trains, buses and taxi's form the centerpiece of Middle Eastern travel services. Car hire with a guide is provided by many local tourist operators. They generally are cost effective and worth considering. Use Google to find them and always ask for (and check) references. Most will require half of the booking fee wired to them before they will confirm the bookings.

A number of international companies including the overland companies offer tours. Again check with Google. A number of universities offer summer archaeological digs. Many of these are fee based and no experience is required.

When to go
The Middle East enjoys a Mediterranean climate but the summers are hot and the winters cold, especially in the north. March to May is the best time to visit. Those who want to soak up the sun will find the coastal areas mid summer comfortable as temperatures are often influenced by cooler coastal breezes. The area suffers from winter rainfall that can make sightseeing difficult and snow covers the mountains between Lebanon and Syria mid winter.

The Countries
Syria is modern, easy to travel in and relatively safe. It's affordable if you keep away from the more expensive five star international hotels. It has a myriad of charms with excellent food, breathtaking scenery, tons of places of historic interest and friendly people. English is generally spoken in most hotels and markets in the major centers.

Damascus is the major attraction with its wonderful markets and historic mosques and palaces. The Umayyad Mosque and the nearby mausoleum of Saladin (one of the greatest heroes of Arab's history), are a "must see". Plan a couple of days to enjoy Damascus. Consider at staying in one of the renovated boutique hotels that have sprung up in the past ten years. Many of these are ancient palaces in the Old City and are well worth the little extra cost.

Do take the time to drive out to Palmyra for the site of the city that built to rival Rome. Homs with its water wheels in on the road to Apamea. This has an avenue of two kilometers of granite columns. Both are worth visiting and are part of 20 or more major archaeological sites that can be visited by tourists. Wandering around ruins of forts, mosques, churches and palaces provides a wonderful insight into what life was like two thousand years ago. Looping back towards Damascus is the most famous of the Crusader castles, Krak des Chevaliers. It is remarkably intact and it will be enjoyed by castle enthusiasts.

Jordan has a huge selection of fascinating history to offer the tourists. It is steeped in the history of the Old Testament. The ancient cities of Petra and Jerash date back to Roman times when they were great trading cities along the Silk Road. Jerash is the "Pompeii of the East" and needs a little background reading to fully appreciate the historic context of the site. Take your time to explore it; you are walking through centuries of history.

Although Amman is the relatively modern capital of Jordan, you'll find the satellite city of Salt with its narrow streets and quaint houses is worth the visit.

Jordan has a fascinating history of craft, Bedouin weaving, embroidery, pottery and ceramics, jewellery and glassblowing. These crafts are still very much part of Jordanian life today. The Bedouin hospitality and wonderful local cuisine is legendary.

Driving south from Amman you'll find the now spreading town of Petra. To walk down the half mile long suq, you will be surprised by the beauty of the pink stone Treasury at the entrance of the old city of Petra. It will take your breath away. Read about Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, who discovered Petra in 1812, before you go. His is indeed an amazing story.

South of Petra is the now modern port of Aqaba made famous by Lawrence of Arabia. West of here you'll find Wadi Rum where the film of Lawrence's war-time exploits was made. Here, an option is to stay with the Bedouins in their cloth covered black tents. They are remarkably comfortable. Take a camel ride out to the secret camp where Lawrence planned his desert campaigns. You might return a little saddle sore but you will have really "ridden" in the footsteps of history.

Lebanon is a relatively small country. The highlights are generally along the coast. Here is the colorful coastal town of Byblos and further north is the ancient Crusader city of Tripoli with it's interesting souqs (markets), mosques and hammams (baths). Turning inland, you will pass through the picturesque villages of the Qadisha Valley, through the Cedars and on to historic Baalbeck which has magnificent Roman ruins said by some to be the best preserved in the world, The route continues through the vineyards at Bekaa and then Umayyad ruins of Aanjar. Nearby is the charming village of Deiral-Qamar and the Beiteddine palace with its wonderful gardens.

Don't ignore Israel as a possible travel destination. Access difficulties can be overcome by careful planning or with the help of an experienced travel operator.

It's the Holy Land and steeped in history. Most visitors head for Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho but there lots of little know archaeological sites like the old Roman capital of Galilee called Tzipori. In Jerusalem, the old City of David, The Citadel and Church of the Holy Sepulcher with the nearby Wailing Wall, draws the most tourists. What is believed to be the oldest church in the world is in Bethlehem. A silver star marks the place where it is believed that Christ was born.

Some tourists choose to visit the Dead Sea. It is off Highway 90 west of Jerusalem. Personally, although unique, I think that it is overrated. Those with more time might consider visiting Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Further a field you'll find Masada with its spectacular ruined fortress.

Take care in Israel photographing or showing interest in border and military installations or personnel. You'll get used the very obvious security presence.

All these countries have different visa requirements.

Generally Israel does not require a visa for most western countries. Tourists are allowed a stay of up to 90 days. However, it is necessary to avoid getting your passport stamped upon entry or exit as this causes problems of entry into Lebanon and Syria. Ask the border officials to stamp your entry permit instead. Better still, put Israel last on your itinerary.

Jordanian visas can be obtained upon arrival at the airport and at most border crossings. It is best to get Syrian visas in advance. USA, most EU, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand passport holders can get a visa to enter Lebanon at the border.

Jordan allows entry/exit to Israel via the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge without a multi-entry visa.

Our Advice
The countries of the Middle East are attractive and exciting travel destinations. The people that you'll meet are friendly and if your leave politics aside, you'll have a very enjoyable travel experience. Middle eastern cooking is a highlight and in all countries you'll find an amazing array of low cost local restaurants. Try the local beers and wines and few of the specialized drinks like Arak (Lion's milk) which is commonly served with mezze.

Talk to your travel agent or check out travel sites on Google. You are guaranteed to have a holiday of lifetime.

The author was in the Middle East in 1986 and Syria and Jordan in 2007. You can read about his fascinating journey in his book Following Marco Polo's Silk Road. It will make a great Christmas present for someone special who loves travelling.

The Swat Valley Pakistan

The one –time peaceful tourist heaven of the Swat Valley in central Pakistan has descended from a rich, peaceful and progressive area into a ghost valley today. The Taliban have taken over. Pakistan’s Zardari  government have signed a deal that gives effective control to the Taliban. This follows a decade of troubles where a rag tag army of 2,500 Taliban fighters lead by cleric Maulvi Fazalullah, popularly known as the Radio Mullah for his sermons given through his at one-time illegal FM radio station, have taken over.


The last two years have been particularly brutal with over 1,200 civilians killed and many people wounded, an unknown number of government soldiers killed and some 300,000 people displaced from their homes. Those who can afford to move have left for Peshawar, the regional capital and the richest have moved to Islamabad to escape the turmoil.


The area once a princely state, annexed by Pakistan in 1969, was once prosperous and its people well educated. Its airport, and attractions like an upmarket ski resort used to attract western tourists. Today the resort is a burnt out ruins. Most of the police force has disappeared or resigned. This leaves the province at the mercy of the Taliban and the system of Sharia law. Although the court system was riddled with corruption, it was once well established in Pakistan. It has now largely disappeared to be replaced by religious courts run by clerics trained in Sharia law.  “We will run the area in accordance with the Holy Book” announced a spokesperson for Fazalullah.


The people most affected are the women and children. Over 200 schools that once educated female children have been attacked and many have been levelled. Male education has been “revised” to move it away from the western style education to one based upon teachings of the clerics.


The markets have been “cleaned” of offensive western style goods, such items as CDs, DVD’s and cosmetics. The only cinema in Mingora has been forced to close and many people have lost their livelihood. TV is banned as it is “unIslamic”.


Women are now forced to stay at home and 100,000 Swati girls have had an opportunity to have their education drastically reduced. Once the valley was the most literate in Pakistan. Women have largely disappeared from the streets and those that do venture out must wear full purdah which is hot and uncomfortable.


It has been reported that bodies of decapitated people have been hung in public places to set an example to those who chose to ignore their rules. Fear rules the streets.


The soldiers of the government’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have largely left the area under an agreement struck early in 2009. The fighting has stopped but not the killings. The area has a multitude of ethnic Pushtuns not all of whom agree with the Taliban. It remains to be seen how the various tribal factions will co-exist. The government is playing a watching game and trying to balance it’s critics and the requests for “human rights” intervention by the USA. Huge USA subsidies in Pakistan are at stake.


Critics are concerned that the agreement to have Sharia law will spread to other parts of Pakistan. The area of Malakand seems under treat. Just where all this will lead is anyone’s guess.


I was in Swat in late 2007. By this time the Taliban were starting to exert control. This was the only area in Pakistan that I felt distinctly unwelcomed, a definite contrast to other areas of northern Pakistan. You’ll find details of this visit in my travel narrative book Following Marco Polo’s Silk Road published by Amazon in February 2009.





Village Voice Article

Village Voice ALIVE – BOOKS                                                                                            March 09


An adventure in the footsteps of Marco Polo


By Hannah Parks



Breakfast Point resident Brian Lawrenson is used to giving out free travel advice.


Having visited more than 70 countries, he has spent the past twenty five years fulfilling his teen dream, travelling Marco Polo’s historic Silk Road.


Previously available only to close friends and family, Brian’s transfixing travel tales have finally been collated in his new book Following Marco Polo’s Silk Road.


“Friends loved receiving our emails of our travels, they said I should record our journey into a book,” Brian said.


His journey has taken him and his wife, Jill, through some of the most intriguing destinations in the world including Turkey, Syria, Iran, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, China and Tibet.


“People thought we were slightly crazy. In 1986 when we set out it was a very adventurous thing to do, maps of some of the places were impossible to get,” he said.


They trekked through deserts, flirted with war zones and visited villages centred on the weapons trade.


“Many of the places we visited were some of the most inhospitable and dangerous places one could visit,” he said. “But the levels of warmth and the friendship that exists in these places are rarely found in our society. It is this warmth that makes up for the hardships.”


Brian’s book is not a travel guide but rather an adventure tale filled with personal anecdotes, culinary descriptions, historic accounts and geography.


As more people jump on tour buses and stay in air-conditioned hotels, Brian tries to travel on the bare necessities. “In this way, you learn more about yourself, you question some of your own values and beliefs,” he said. “The more difficult the journey you make the better you are for it.”


Following Marco Polo’s Silk Road is out now.


To order a copy head to or email Brian at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .





Concord Library Author Talks

Concord Library Author talks

Kindle Offer

Amazon - Order now

Kindle Books




June 22nd 2010

Marco Polo Press

Announces release

of first eBook.


Following Marco

Polo’s Silk Road

is now available

on Amazon’s Kindle.


front cover revised ebook 









July 9th 2010

Marco Polo Press

Announces Silk Road

Travel Series of EBooks


cover syria whirling d 










 July 16th 2010

Marco Polo Press


Straw Hats

and Bicycles

- travels in


and Cambodia

both from Amazon and

Smashwords in



cover vietnam final 









 July 22nd 2010

Marco Polo Press

Announces  upcoming


Cruising the Inside

Passage Alaska,

 Secrets of Easter


 Machu Picchu

and the Incas,

Patagonia and

Cape Horn and

Grand Canyon

and Beyond.

These are all

in both Kindle

and EPUB


and will be

available for

download soon.

These books

contain color




cover inside passage















and enter the title. 

Some of the Smashwords

books are currently

offered for FREE.