Exploring Asia – Women Explorers – Asia Travel Guides – Travel Accounts

Free online books by explorers, naturalists and archaeologists in Asia, including women. Travel guides for Asia. Accounts by travelers in India and present-day India, Turkey, Iran, Tibet, China, Indonesia, and Siberia. Marco Polo, Freya Stark, Roy Chapman Andrews.

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.

Century Past Library


Asia Exploration Collection

About 90 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Asia Exploration”. Be patient as the page loads.

Asia Travel Collection

About 140 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Asia Description Travel”. Be patient as the page loads.

China: Description & Travel Collection

About 220 free online books on the subject of “China: Description & Travel”.

Free online magazines about Travel, Regional Interest

India Travel & Description Collection

About 110 free online books on the subject of “India Travel & Description”.

Southeast Asia Travel & Description Collection

About 20 free online books on the subject of “Southeast Asia Travel & Description”.

Central Asia Travel & Description Collection

About 30 free online books on the subject of “Central Asia Travel & Description”.

The Affairs of Sinde, Being an Analysis of the Papers Presented to Parliament and the Proprietors of East India Stock …

With an Exposition of the Connection of the British Government with that State

An East India Proprietor
London: Smith, Elder 1844        Dewey Dec.    915.4

Across Mongolian Plains: A Naturalist’s Account of China’s “Great Northwest”

Andrews, Roy Chapman
1921        Dewey Dec.   915

Entering the land of mystery – Speed marvels of the Gobi Desert – A chapter of accidents – New travels on an old trail – Antelope movie stars – The sacred city of the living Buddha – The long trail to Sain Noin Khan – The lure of the plains – Hunting on the Turin Plains – An adventure in the Lama city – Mongols at home – Nomads of the forest – The passing of Mongolian mystery – The great ram of the Shansi Mountains – Mongolian “Argali” – The horse-deer of Shansi – Wapiti, roebuck and goral – Wild pigs-animal and human – The hunting park of the eastern tombs.

Camps and Trails in China: A Narrative of Exploration, Adventure, and Sport in Little-Known China

Andrews, Roy Chapman
1918        Dewey Dec.   915

“The object of this book is to present a popular narrative of the Asiatic Zoological Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History to China in 1916-17. Details of a purely scientific nature have been condensed, or eliminated, and emphasis has been placed upon our experiences with the strange natives and animals of a remote and little known region in the hope that the book will be interesting to the general reader.” – Preface

The New Conquest of Central Asia: A Narrative of the Explorations of the Central Asiatic Expeditions in Mongolia and China, 1921-1930

Andrews, Roy Chapman
1932        Dewey Dec.   915

With 128 plates and 12 illustrations in the text and three maps at end.

Collected books on global history, civilization and the British Empire at World History

Further India, Being the Story of Exploration from the Earliest Times

in Burma, Malaya, Siam and Indo-China

Clifford, Hugh
1904        Dewey Dec.   915

My Journey to Lhasa: The Personal Story of the Only White Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City

David-Neel, Alexandra
Heinemann 1927        Dewey Dec.    915

The author became a scholar of Buddhism and Tibet in the early twentieth century and trekked thousands of miles to reach Llasa, the Tibetan capital.
“One of the best adventure books of the last one hundred years” – Outside Magazine

A Traveller on Horseback: in Eastern Turkey and Iran

Dodwell, Christina
Walker 1989        Dewey Dec.    915

Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India, from Calcutta to Bombay, 1824-25 …

– Volume 2

(with notes upon Ceylon). An account of a journey to Madras and the Southern Provinces, 1826, and letters written in India

Heber, Rev. Reginald
London: Murray 1828        Dewey Dec.    915.4

Heber was the bishop of Calcutta.

Through Asia (vol 1)

Vol 2

Hedin, Sven
1898        Dewey Dec.   915

with nearly 300 illustrations from sketches and photos by the author.
Vol I Sections: A winter journey over the Pamirs – The Mus-Tagh-Ata and its glaciers – Across the Takla-Makan Desert.
Vol II Sections: A summer trip to the southern Pamirs – Across the desert of Gobi to Lop-Nor – Through northern Tibet and Tsaidam – From Tsaidam to Peking

Selected Articles about History Worldwide

Trans-Himalaya: Discoveries and Adventures in Tibet (vol 1)

Vol 2

Vol 3

Hedin, Sven
1910-1913        Dewey Dec.   915

Vols 1 & 2 contain 388 illustrations from photos, sketches and drawings by the author, and 10 maps. Vol 3 has 156 illustrations and 4 maps.

The Siberians

Mowat, Farley
Bantam 1982        Dewey Dec.    916

On a Shoestring to Coorg: A Travel Memoir of India

Murphy, Dervla
Overlook 1989        Dewey Dec.    915

The History of General Sir Charles Napier’s Conquest of Scinde

Napier, William Francis Patrick, Lieut. Gen.
London: Westerton 1857        Dewey Dec.    915.4

Free online Lifestyle Magazines

Journey into China

National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society 1982        Dewey Dec.    915

Journey from the past / Jonathan D. Spence — Peking / Jay and Linda Mathews — Great Wall / Griffin Smith, Jr. — Yellow River Valley / Mike Edwards — Silk Road / Donald R. Katz — Grand Canal / Robert M. Poole — Yangtze River / William Graves — The deep interior / Shirley Sun — Tibet / Roy Reed — Northeast China / Thomas B. Allen — South China coast / David D. Pearce

Books on Asian history, including East Asia and the Pacific, at History of Asia

Ten Years in Sarawak

– Volume 2

Charles, Rajah of Sarawak (Brooke, Charles Johnson)
London: Tinsley 1866        Dewey Dec.    915.9

Diary of a Journey through Mongolia and Tibet in 1891 and 1892

Rockhill, William W.
1894        Dewey Dec.   915

Alexander’s Path, from Caria to Cilicia

Stark, Freya
John Murray 1958         Dewey Dec.    915

The Valleys of the Assassins, and other Persian Travels

Stark, Freya
John Murray 1934        Dewey Dec.    915

Ruins of Desert Cathay: Personal Narrative of Explorations in Central Asia and Westernmost China (vol 1)

Vol 2

Stein, M. Aurel
1912        Dewey Dec.   915

“with numerous illustrations, colour plates, panoramas, and maps from original surveys”.

Sand-Buried Ruins of Khotan: Personal Narrative of a Journey of Archaeological and Geographical Exploration in Chinese Turkestan

Stein, M. Aurel
1904        Dewey Dec.   915

With a map from original surveys and numerous illustrations

The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia

Theroux, Paul
Penguin 1995        Dewey Dec.    915

“The Direct-Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur and the Trans-Siberian Express – only a few of the evocative names that fill this, the story of Paul Theroux’s epic journey by rail through India and Asia. A journey on which he encounters a huge variety of places and people, food, faiths and cultures, and which has at its heart an enduring fascination with trains and railways.” – Book cover.

Travels in Central Asia

Being the account of a journey from Teheran across the Turkoman desert on the eastern shore of the Caspian to Khiva, Bokhara, and Samarcand, performed in the year 1863

Vambery, Arminius
1865        Dewey Dec.   915

The Book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian (vol 1)

Vol 2

Concerning the kingdoms and marvels of the East

Yule, Henry, ed.
1871        Dewey Dec.   915

With maps and other illustrations. Marco Polo (1254-1324) was a Venetian merchant and explorer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295 and stayed in China for 17 of those years. His account of the travels was first published in 1300.

Please visit our collection of 2,000+ selected online magazine and newspaper articles on 40+ subjects, plus online historical maps & vintage photo collections, at Century Past History Resources

Early English Adventurers in the East

Wright, Arnold
1917        Dewey Dec.   915

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