Asia: a continent of candid contradictions, unmatched mayhem and mystery, where just one experience will never quite articulate the magic of the place. A fisherman's song at dawn on the banks of the Mekong, a chaos of color on the ghats of the Ganges, the silence of the vast steppes of Kazakhstan, a marching mile of red hats along the Great Wall road: Asia is all this and more. From the tropical beaches of Bali to the frozen slopes of Everest, The Asia Book draws together a definitive collection of the sights, sounds and tastes of this captivating continent.Here's how to start - open at any page and begin your own journey. Track the voyage of Lawrence of Arabia, hear the stories of the Silk Road trail, or plan an island-hopping itinerary. Settle back and discover the fascinating people, radical ingenuity, humbling hospitality and inspiring spirit of each country. Let Lonely Planet's photographers, authors and travellers lead you through five regions, 46 countries, and more than two thousand years of stories.