Orchid Guides comprises specialized guides to various subjects or geographical areas.
There Before You
by Dawn Rooney
2001. 239 pp., 46 col. plates, 26 b & w, 10 line drawings, 8 maps, bibliography, index, 23.5 x 12 cm., Softbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-79-5 $23.00
This is the second book in the series “There Before You”. It
consists of a selection of early travellers’ impressions of the
Khmer empire’s ancient, 12th century capital and the legends that
inspired the majestic stone temples of Angkor, which were described by
a visitor in the 1920s as “the most impressive sight in the world
of edifices”. The work brings to the reader out-of-print impression
of early western travellers, and also includes tales and legends based
on an oral tradition, published for the first time. It serves as a guide-book
companion, as an introduction to Angkor and as supplementary reading
following a visit. It is also of interest to the arm-chair traveller
unable to venture as far afield as Cambodia. The author has a PhD in
art history, and has written several books on Southeast Asian art and
culture, including Angkor. An Introduction to the Temples (1994).
“Go to Angkor, my friend, to
its ruins and its dreams.”
— P. Jeannerat de Beerski, 1923.
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||Khmer Civilization and Angkor
by David Snellgrove
2000. 170 pp., 80 plates, 5 maps, 23.5 x 12 cm., Softbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-95-7 $19.00
This book is intended for visitors to Cambodia and indeed for anyone
who is interested in a brief account of the history and culture of this
once great empire. David Snellgrove, Professor Emeritus of the University
of London and Fellow of the British Academy, is mainly known for his
publications concerning Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and various Himalayan
regions, especially Dolpo and Ladakh. After his retirement from the University
of London in 1982, he embarked upon a new series of research-journeys
in South-East Asia, first spending much time in Indonesia with subsidiary
visits to Thailand and Malaysia, and then from 1995 onwards in Cambodia.
During his years in Cambodia, the author has traveled widely in the country,
and also visited many of the archaeological sites in Thailand that bear
witness to the vast extent of Khmer civilization. In addition, the author,
driven by his well-known intellectual curiosity and seemingly boundless
energy, has read widely in order to place the many sites visited in the
proper historical context.
||A Climatic Guide to Asia and Australasia
by René de Milleville
With a chapter on health aspects on travelling in Asia by Cecilia Leslie, M.D.
1985. 112 pp., 14 tables, figures and maps, 23.5 x 12 cm., Softbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8299-47-3 Out of print.
Limited number of second hand copies available for $12.00 each.
Climatic tables are given for nearly 100 places in 26 countries. These
tables show for each location altitude in metres and feet, monthly maximum
and minimum temperatures, maximum and minimum rainfall and other climatic
phenomena such as thunderstorms, wet and cold periods, etc. A useful
travel companion or handy reference.
||The Sacred Footprint
A Cultural History of Adam’s Peak
by Markus Aksland
2001. 192 pp., 27 col. plates, 14 line drawings, 3 maps, bibliography, index, 23.5 x 12 cm., Softbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-65-5 $19.00
Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka is one of the five places where Gautama
Buddha left the trace of his foot, but it is also an important place
of pilgrimage for Muslims, Hindus and some Christians. The Hindus regard
it as the footprint of Lord Shiva; the Muslims think that the first
man, Adam, planted his foot on the summit of the mountain when he was
thrown out of paradise, and some Christians consider the footprint to
be made by the apostle Thomas on one of his missionary voyages. This
book examines the Sinhala pilgrimage tradition both from Sinhala and
non-Sinhala sources, and explains the cult of Saman, the white elephant,
and its relation to Adam’s Peak. The author takes on a pilgrimage
to the summit, with detailed descriptions of the route and his own experiences.
In addition, the book contains descriptions left by ancient Arab and
European travellers from the earlier times. The book is intended for
the traveller who wants in-depth information before undertaking the
journey, as well as interested readers and scholars.
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||The Traveller’s History of Burma
by Gerry Abbott
1998. 208 pp., Richly illustrated with 18 col. plates, 27 b/w plates and four maps and plans, 23.5 x 12 cm., Softbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8299-28-7 $23.00
This is the first book in the series THERE BEFORE YOU. Gerry Abbott has
edited and woven together an amazing array of early description of Burma
by travellers of what you can see “there before you” by those
that were “there before you”. The author, who lived in Mandalay
in the 1980’s, has researched past travellers’ descriptions thoroughly,
and has elegantly tied them together in a vivid history of Burma. The book has an extensive bibliography and an index,
and is useful for students, and interested laymen as well as intelligent
||Trees and Fruits of Southeast Asia
An illustrated Field Guide
by Michael Jensen
2001. 242 pp., over 100 col. illustrations plus diagrams, tables, indices, 23.5 x 12 cm., Softbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-67-1 $23.00
This field guide to commonly cultivated trees in Southeast Asia is beautifully
illustrated by the author’s watercolours, and will be an invaluable
help for those interested in knowing more about the domesticated trees
and fruits which one finds all over Southeast Asia. The book contains
useful diagrams and explanations of the botanical characteristics of
different groups of trees, key characteristics of each tree and maps
showing their geographical distributions. Names in local languages are
given along with common English names and scientific botanical names.
Some ethnobotanical information on the usage of different parts of the
trees is also included. For fruit lovers, a “fruit calendar”
showing the seasonal availability of common fruits in Thailand is included,
but with space for readers to note the fruit seasons for their own locality.