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Himalaya

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,397 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Michael Palin's travel books have repeatedly topped the bestseller lists. In this book he is back at his adventurous best tie-ing in with a major BBC TV series. The book/series will travel through many countries little known to the West, providing opportunities for Palinesque adventures to please the large and loyal audience who followed 80 Days, Pole to Pole and Full ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 17th 2005 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2004)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,397 ratings  ·  127 reviews


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Pramod Nair
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travelogue
I was introduced to the travel adventures of 'Michael Palin' in 2006 when a friend presented me with the DVD's of 'Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days' and 'Himalaya with Michael Palin'. Both these travel shows were immensely enjoyable and Michael Palin as an engaging travel show host was simply great with much information on local wisdom while always keeping things light with right amount of humor. This left me with a need to catch up with more works from Michael Palin, and I discovered ...more
W
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I read this book because it contained a chapter on Pakistan,and it was very enjoyable.
His trip to Concordia,where several of the world's highest mountains peaks,can be seen together was of particular interest.This dangerous aerial trip is not for the faint of heart,and he needed the help of army aviation to get there.
In Pakistan,he also travelled through some very challenging routes including the Karokoram Highway and the Kailash valleys,where primitive tribes have lived for centuries,isolated
...more
Tracey
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-read-i-own
As I mainly enjoyed the wonderful photographs in this book my rating is based on that.
Manu
Mar 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: review
Michael Palin's amazing journey across the whole length of the Himalayas, beginning in Pakistan and ending in what was once known as East Pakistan, and covering on the way India, Nepal, Tibet, a small part of China, and Bhutan. What really comes through is the range of perspectives the author gains and shares with us through the journey itself, but more importantly, through the people he meets.
Isolated tribes beyond Peshawar who would seem to be living in a different era altogether, the
...more
HomeInMyShoes
Enjoyable enough but I know I was expecting something a little heavier on some laughs from someone like Michael Palin. Probably unfair on my part. It's well written and the people met are interesting and lively. Overall a good read for the genre if a bit on the dry side at times. I will probably try another with different expectations.
Stephen Dawson
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another classic Palin adventure. Here he spends four months travelling along the Himalaya (though ending with a trip through Bangladesh to the Bay of Bengal). In one sense the journey is a bit of a cheat, in that it isn't a continuous trip but a series of trips presented as a continuous whole, but with such formidable geography (and politics), the team can be forgiven that.

As always, the writing is excellent, and the geography is inspiring, and ably captured by the photographer Basil Pao. He
...more
Virna
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: photographers, himalayan travelers
One of my personal treasure; bought at New Delhi airport at the last leg of my himalayan adventure. I've never heard of Michael Palin before, but upon looking at the beautiful photographs in the book (taken by the famed Basil Pao who went with Michael almost anywhere BBC sent him to) and Michael's no-nonsense account of his journey across the Himalayan countries, I was hooked.
Waqietalin's prayer flags and Tintin!

I did get to visit some places Michael described in the book, but where I went, he went further. While I didn't get to
...more
Pradnya
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another treat from Mr. Palin! One line that beautifully sums his and most other, if not all, travel experiences - "The enjoyment of the world is immeasurably enhanced not just by meeting people who think, look, talk and dress differently from yourself, but by having to depend on them."
David (דוד)
Enjoing travelling, I see travel documentaries or reading travelogues as the next best thing one can do to it. This time I had decided to pick this book up along with viewing its corresponding documentary series.

In Himalaya Palin travels to parts of Pakistan and India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Bhutan and Bangladesh - in the areas that are connected or related to the Himalayan mountain range. Amongst the several places that he visits, personally I have visited only McLeod Ganj in the state of
...more
Lynne
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
I listened to this book on tape, but I think that it would have worked better as an actual book. I could have used some photographs and a map to break it up a bit. It started really slow, but I enjoyed it by the end. Although it was published in 2005, the commentary hasn't aged well. He refers to "the end of (this) Iraq war" several times. Oops!
Robins Roy
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stumbling upon this book was quite serendipitous. The title caught me and I was totally unaware of the author.
Having had a small experience trekking in the Himalayas I decided to explore what more the book could tell me.

Michael Palin's Himalaya is not about trekking but an account of his travel through the places along the Himalayan ranges. His journey starts from the Karakoram ranges in Pakistan, through Amritsar and Ladakh in India, to the Tibetan valleys , on way to China, Nagaland, Bhutan
...more
Mark Gannon
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-writing
After reading four books on travel by Michael Palin, you would think I would be getting tired of him and his adventures, but no. I thoroughly enjoyed this, the fifth book I have read by Michael. Full of his trademark humor, detailed observations and a zest for travel, one would not think that Mr. Palin was sixty when he set out on this journey. From the political and religious life of Pakistan, to meeting the Dali Lama, to Everest Base Camp, to traveling through China and ending up on the Bay of ...more
Ching-Bing-Ping
I started and completed this wonderful travelogue while on a trip to Puri. Nothing could be more contrasting to one another. The one I was visiting was by the sea, and the one I was reading about was on the mountains. needless to say, I enjoyed both.

The book starts off in Pakistan, and there in a snap by the Khyber Pass, there is a road which is called the Grand Trunk Road. Now, that road runs from Peshawar via Khyber and guess what it also runs in front of my house right up to Kolkata. How
...more
Faiza Sattar
★★★★★ (5/5)

A selection of my favourite passages from the book

What the Sahara is to desert, the Himalaya is to mountains. Both share the same contradictory attractions, appealing and appalling, tempting and terrifying in equal, and ultimately irresistible, measure.
The schedule was very tight, and Im aware that these diaries are stronger on spontaneity than sober reflection.
In short, we found a Himalaya not reticent and forbidding, but permeated by every sort of human activity.

...more
Ellie Mackin
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderfully witty, incisive and well-written Michael Palin book. Loved learning about countries and people I knew very little about and, as always, I now want to go thre myself.
Sportyrod
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The countries/regions of the Himalayas are explored by the BBC, lead by Michael Palin.

The journey involves casual interviews with high profile
people from the Himalaya including the Dalai Lama, Prime Ministers and Royalty. Many more shared experiences with new friends met along the way.

The conversations are mature, speculative and well balanced and gives the reader a fairly unbiased insight into some of the views of the days issues such as religion, gender equality, corruption, poverty and much
...more
Dean Hamilton
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Buddhism is a very steep religion."


This type of trenchent observation is what makes Michael Palin's travels a genuine joy to behold.

Having gone "Around the World in 80 Days", travelled "Full Circle" and traipsed across the Sahara. Michael Palin and his indefatigable BBC crew elected to visit the high peaks of the Himalaya. Covering 1800 miles, from Afghanistan to the China, the Himalaya is the highest mountain range in the world encompassing the top 14 tallest mountains in the world and some 30
...more
Sam Still Reading
Dec 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: armchair travellers
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: read other books in the series
Everyone knows by now that I really enjoy Michael Palins travel diaries of his TV series (even though I have read more of the books rather than watch the series). Himalaya has spent some time on the bestseller list and its easy to see why. Palin and crew cover areas that the average person would be unlikely to visit and give you a warts and all experience, including what it feels like to have altitude sickness and meet the Dalai Lama.

I havent seen the TV series of this one, but I bet its
...more
Deborah
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame) introduces the astoundingly diverse people and places along the greatest mountain range on earth, "Himalaya," in this book-companion to the BBC television production. Photos by Basil Pao lend color and form to the subjects Palin's witty and insightful narration.

Here are a few interesting facts I learned from "Himalaya":
* Himalaya is Sanskrit for "Abode of Snow."
* The Kalash in Northwest Pakistan are thought to be descendants of Alexander the Great's army.
*
...more
Shweta Ganesh Kumar
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it


This is the kind of book that you feel bad about finishing. Michael Palin takes you on a wonderful journey through the lands that owe a lot to the mighty Himalayas.
The book written as the pages of Michael's diaries is a detailed yet fun narrative of the life in this region.
It is a tale simply told with wit, humor and sensitivity.
As I devoured the book, I felt like I was walking through the North-west frontier province, shivering in a tent on the snow capped mountains, wolfing down exotic meals
...more
Chris Steeden
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another great travelogue from Palin. Lots of detail in this book in the same format as he started back in Around the Word in 80 Days. As he has gone on the detail, both observational and historical, have increased and the books are better for that. Always easy to read and Palin is certainly a great guide. You know what you are going to get with the books. This is not extreme adventure by any stretch but as I will probably never get to go to any of these places it is the next best thing.
Vikas Datta
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic travelogue (but then we can always expect that from Mr Palin) about one of the world's most picturesque and stunningly beautiful - but also harsh and unforgiving - natural sights. A mere description of the range would have been enough to earn this the highest laurels but when teamed with the witty but incisive observations (and the irreverent asides) of the author, it makes it seems that one is reading a descriptive letter sent by a close family member or friend...
Rob
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the disappointment I had in reading Pole to Pole, I took to Himalya quite skeptically, but thank goodness Palin is back on form with his writings. The descriptions he gives of the places visited in the series are amazing and you can feel yourself being transported there. This book has it all, adventure, comedy, tragedy. A real must for travel lovers out there.
Hitbybus
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
I found this book to be kinda slow and boring. I listened to it on audiobook and found myself constantly daydreaming and the story continuously running together. There were a few interesting parts to the book, but ultimately, I was unimpressed.
Ellen
I bought this in Nepal a year and a half ago and never got around to reading it. I love Michael Palin's BBC travelogues and appreciated his behind-the-scenes commentary. I think it's best not as a stand-alone book but as an accompaniment to the series.
Sharon
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good book, I love the way Micheal writes about his travels.

Love the photo's as well.
Max Tachis
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another entry in Michael Palin's travels that is somehow both unfathomably grand and intimately grounded, making it one of his best.

The mountain range itself sets the tone for what the reader is going to experience; terrific highs, substantial lows, uncertainty and triumph. The adventure Palin takes us on this time around is (again with the help of photographer Basil Pao) his most descriptive and harrowing and even the smallest village tucked within the smallest valley is somehow extraordinary.
...more
Emily Richards
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was easy to pick up and put down with anecdotal entries exploring the Himalayan mountain range from India to China. An eye-opener into various cultural beliefs, religion and tradition, sporting competitions, interesting food and the affects of high altitude.

It is funny to think Michael Palin as the joker in Monty Python turned eloquent travel journalist. Ive never seen the BBC series but Im sure they would be worth a watch as these dry pages are so full of life. Palin isnt just an
...more
Lynn Matheson
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It accompanies the TV series on a few years ago. Palin writes about his journey through the countries that surround the Himalayas. There are sumptuous photographs. The writing is accessible, easy going and often funny. Palin is a charming, self deprecating narrator. There are lots of eccentric characters and stunning landscapes as well as some very basic hotels and toilets. I have long been fascinated by Tibet but the description of the dirt, the constant wind and the ...more
Chris F
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably 7/10 rather than 8/10 4/5 stars implies. This is an enjoyable read with Palin keeping it light hearted throughout and making some reasonable insights. The pros are that Palin via his own celebrity and the BBC gains more access that the typical travel writer for example his meeting with the Neplali King.

The cons are it feels a bit like it's a write-up of a TV show, he doesn't stay that long in one place, it's a bit rushed and he perhaps doesn't really get beneath the surface. It's nice,
...more
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Sir Michael Edward Palin, KCMG, CBE, FRGS is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries.

Palin wrote most of his material with Terry Jones. Before Monty Python, they had worked on other shows such as The Ken Dodd Show, The Frost Report and Do Not Adjust Your Set. Palin appeared
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