Follow our greatest travel writer (and rusty Mandarin speaker) along the far eastern river that separates Russia from China, the two great ex-Communist giants, taking in Mongolia, Siberia and the Sea of Japan
A dramatic and ambitious new journey for our greatest travel writer
Colin Thubron, at 79, will travel the important but almost unknown Amur River - the tenth longest river in the world - that separates Russia from China in the Far East. The river rises in the mountains of north-east Mongolia (heartland of Genghis Khan) then flows into southern Siberia; after that, for over a thousand miles, it defines the Russo-Chinese border, before veering north into the Sea of Japan.
The most tense and interesting part of the journey will be this 1,100-mile stretch at the river's heart, where the two great ex-Communist giants face each other. The Amur is a latent flashpoint between them, with the Chinese - to Russian alarm - pouring across the river to work on the Siberian side.
This will be not only a journey from source to mouth along the banks of a magnificent waterway but an encounter with the local people. Colin speaks colloquial Russian, and is reviving the Mandarin he spoke thirty years ago. Travelling by whatever public transport he can find and sleeping where he can, Colin will draw out local stories in his inimitable style.
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