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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,005 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
In this his most challenging journey, Michael Palin tackles the Himalaya, the greatest mountain range on earth, a virtually unbroken wall of rock stretching 1800 miles from the borders of Afghanistan to south-west China. Penetrated but never conquered, it remains the world's most majestic natural barrier, a magnificent wilderness that shapes the history and politics of Asi ...more
Published January 1st 2007 by Orion Publishing Group (first published 2004)
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Pramod Nair
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
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.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 dangerou
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 Himacha
Stephen Dawson
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 tal
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
In Michael Palin,I may well have found my next favourite writer.My interest in the book was primarily due to the chapter dealing with Pakistan.His trip to Concordia,where several of the world's highest mountains can be seen together was of particular interest to me.In Pakistan,he travels through some very challenging routes including the Karokoram Highway and the Kailash valleys.The trip continues through India,Nepal,Tibet,China,Bhutan and Bangladesh.He meets the Dalai Lama,the King of Nepal and ...more
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 v
Robins Roy
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 an
Christine Blachford
Michael Palin and his team travel the length of the Himalaya, shooting a documentary for the BBC, interviewing interesting people and gathering gorgeous views. The journey takes you from the flat lands of Bangladesh to the highs of Everest Base Camp, and along the way Palin meets so many unique characters. Monks, farmers, miners, he follows the ways of life for these people, discovering just how different life can be from one side of a mountain to another.

Palin is well known and well travelled,
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travelogue, 2000s, 2016
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 fan
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!
Dean Hamilton
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Sam Still Reading
Dec 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Palin’s 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 it’s 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 haven’t seen the TV series of this one, but I bet it’s maj
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
* I
Shweta Ganesh Kumar

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
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.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, non-fiction
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.
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Lynn Matheson
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Julian Walker
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the nicest possible way, reading of Michael Palin’s travels is like pulling on a pair of your favorite old slippers. You are instantly transported into his perspective on the world and its curios, so, wherever he is, he will have wry observations to make, interesting people to meet and fabulous context in which to wrap it all up.

And this one is no exception.

Transported across the world in an enjoyable journey, without having to leave the comfort and tranquility of your own footwear. You can
Chris F
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, funny and brilliantly observed. Michael is yet again flinging himself into the most uncomfortable parts of the world for our own armchair entertainment.
He has an incredible way of dryly finding the funny in the small details that could go unnoticed!

A trek in The Himalayas is hard work at times but always worth the effort for the spectacular views and interactions with the locals. Glad it was him and not me tho!!
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very different read for me, since I am usually not very fond of non fiction and I had never read a book that was a travel chronicle, this book was given to me by a friend and I have to say I really enjoyed it, the style in wich it was written was very captivating, and I love a book that prompts me to do some research on other topics in this case the political and historical situations of these fascinating places, great end of the year read to get me inspired for the new year.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
An absolutely delightful read. Palin, I am sure writes better than he does documentaries, but then I wouldn't know that as I have not seen him in action. But reading his words definitely took me to all those countries and let me scale all those heights... A complete adventure. I would gush more if I could find the words.. The photographs speak just as much as the words do too.. and the spindrift captured for eternity is the best picture I would say..
Petrina Wetzel
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and insightful view of the countries and their people bordering the Himalayas. Michael Palin brings his humour and quirky comments to lighten this book and his colourful descriptions bring depth and a greater understanding and knowledge of various regions, religions and cultures. Very enjoyable!
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book. Michael Palin himself read it and did a really great job. I enjoyed hearing about the people he met along the way on his trip. I liked the way the book told about not so good things that happened along the way and the things I think he would change if he could. It was a very enjoyable book to listen to.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grown-up-stuff
Aside from being my favorite Python, Michael Palin is far and away my favorite "travel" guide. The audiobook version of this is especially pleasant to listen to.
Cheryl Rego
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed these 'diaries', which are the accompaniment to the BBC Series. The anecdotes of the many people the crew encountered really give insights into the culture of each place.
Grace Phua
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Curiosity level: Armchair traveller

"What the Sahara is to desert, the Himalaya is to mountains." - p. 1

Jump aboard the BBC convoy with Michael Palin, word painter of worlds! It felt like I had insider access to Pakistan, India, China and Bhutan - you lounge and chat with princes, royalty and scruffy guards, drive through death-valley cliffs and deserts, all through Michael's muscular photographic memory and lenses.

Lazy or can't afford to go these Himalaya countries? Fret not, this book reads lik
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Michael Edward Palin, CBE, 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 in some of the
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