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The Ancient Tea Horse Road: Travels With the Last of the Himalayan Muleteers First Edition Edition
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More About the Author
He serves as a Brand Ambassador or The North Face Asia and is a Scholar in Residence at the prestigious 'East-West Center' in Honolulu.
Fuchs is described described by feature writer Bill Roberts in an expedition piece in Outpost Magazine, as a "charmingly volatile mix of Anglo-Hungarian genes", and a "languid hard man with a soft touch".
Fuchs was awarded the 2011 Wild China Explorer of the Year for his first western documentation and expedition along a nomadic salt route in southern Qinghai, province (Amdo).
His written and photographic work, which has been published on three continents, has repeatedly focused on the themes of oral narratives in the Himalayas, ancient trade routes, and tea culture.
As well as acting as a mountain guide in Yunnan province, Fuchs is the co-founder of JalamTeas, which sources rare Puerh teas from southern Yunnan, and is a self-confessed tea addict. He works with Wild China running trips along the Tea Horse Road and deep into the eastern Himalayas.
Himalayan trade routes and ancient tea culture sum up his two obsessions. He has been featured in articles in the Financial Times and the Huffington Post amongst others.
His photos and stories have appeared on three continents in award-winning publications such as Kyoto Journal, TRVL, Outpost, South China Newspaper, The Earth, Silkroad Foundation, China Heritage Quarterly, amongst others. His photo work of indigenous people rests in private collections around the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and Tibetan.
Jeff has worked with schools and universities, giving talks the importance of oral traditions, tea, and mountain cultures. He is currently at work preparing a paper for UNESCO on Tibetan nomad perceptions of climate change.
Top Customer Reviews
I am in the tea business and have been to Yunnan, to some of the tea mountains described in this book. But certainly, very few people, other than the men who made their living plying tea and other trade goods back and forth across the Himalaya to Tibet over this hazardous, unforgiving narrow road of rock and stone, have ventured where this author went.
Jeff Fuchs has done a remarkable job of bringing the reader into the region, the mountains, the remote wind-swept villages and the meager homes of some of the last living Muleteers to record their words and experiences. These are the places that can give even seasoned travelers nightmares.
He weaves a well-constructed story that includes details relevant to a deeper understanding of the history of this place and the lives of those once involved in the Tea Horse Road: some Chinese history, some Chinese tea history, and much about the importance of the Pu-erh tea itself as a trade commodity between Yunnan and Tibet.
As the story unfolded, I realized that this is the kind of story that amazes and educates us about the lives of people in far-off places. I particularly liked and appreciated that he spend quite a bit of time interviewing the old men who were former Muleteers, and that he chronicles how important the tea was then, and still is now, to those who live in remote Himalaya mountain villages.Read more ›
Jeff is a tea fanatic, and the book is flush with tea lore. It's an excellent primer for people interested in "authentic" Asian tea, as well as for those already well versed.
Probably my favorite thing about the book is the casual, yet impassioned way he writes about the people involved in his treks, and the old mountain people he meets along the way. This book is as much about culture and anthropology as it is about mountains and valleys.
Fuchs is clearly no interloper; not the kind of person who pays a big fee and gets lead around for a while and then flies home. No, he organized and lead the treks, and his concerns were to leave a small footprint, while meeting and interviewing the last of the old timers who used to travel the route as traders. There is a rich cultural history there, and it is dying out quickly. This book is about Fuch's quest to capture some of that history before it is gone, as well as to travel some rough roads and to drink an awful lot of tea.
I also think it's disingenuous of Mr. Fuchs to claim that he is the "first Westerner to trek the entire Tea Horse Road". Huge sections of his journey are done by motor vehicle, yet he gives readers little sense that this is the case. The narrative jumps from one place to another, skipping hundreds of kilometers traveled by road. Of course, I understand that parts of the ancient trail are simply not there anymore, and impossible to travel today. Still, it would have been more honest if Mr. Fuchs had made clearly, with maps, just which sections of the trail he did and did not travel by foot.
Note 2: I complained about the pricing and was immediately issued a partial refund. Wow! Great job Amazon US. The accompanying note from them says they are re-evaluating the current price.
Note: This is a wonderful book. It was published in Canada and Amazon is charging the Canadian price and so over-charging American buyers. Amazon Canada is selling the book for $21 Canadian. Read this book, please, but save yourself some money. Now back to our regularly scheduled review:
Author Jeff Fuchs brings life to this gripping tale of a small group of men who decide to retrace the ancient tea horse road, the road that brought tea to Beijing and to Tibet, and brought horses to China. These roads were long and often perilous passing through every landscape and environment imaginable when mules were the best way to deliver goods. Fuchs, adventurer, writer, and photographer, wields a deft pen in recounting this story. The reader comes to know Fuchs and his fellow trekkers and also to know and appreciate the people who live along these ancient roads and who might be the last standard bearers of an age that is rapidly disappearing. Anyone interested in tea, China, Tibet, adventure, and multi-cultural humanity will love this book. Highly recommended.
The Ancient Tea Horse Road: Travels With the Last of the Himalayan Muleteers
Most Recent Customer Reviews
amazing adventure, we feel as if we were with him even better this is true! my son who has been there also recommends this book especially those who want to know more about... Read morePublished 6 months ago by HORACE CHAMPAGNE
I downloaded this book in preparation for a trip to Yunnan Province. It was the best book I found on the region. Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by VermontMama
This wonderful book is not so much about tea, but is infused with tea. Part travel dialog, part history, part adventure story and partly a study of a group of friends who... Read morePublished on November 25, 2011 by David Mason
I read this book last year after my husband became acquainted with the author. At the time, I was hoping to learn something about the area that I would soon be moving to (I've... Read morePublished on July 19, 2010 by E. Collins Zinda