The Great Railway Bazaar
The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia is a 1975 travelogue
Travel literature
Travel literature is travel writing of literary value. Travel literature typically records the experiences of an author touring a place for the pleasure of travel. An individual work is sometimes called a travelogue or itinerary. Travel literature may be cross-cultural or transnational in focus, or...

 written by the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 novelist Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux
Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work of travel writing is perhaps The Great Railway Bazaar . He has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his...

. It recounts Theroux's four-month journey across Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 by train, travelling through Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, before finally returning via the Trans-Siberian Railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

. Many people consider this a classic in the genre of travel writing. The first part of the route, to India, follows the hippie trail
Hippie trail
The hippie trail is a term used to describe the journeys taken by hippies and others in the 1960s and 1970s from Europe overland to and from southern Asia, mainly India, Pakistan and Nepal...


In 2006, he retraced the tracks of the original journey, finding people and places had changed, that he was famous for his earlier work but not recognised in person. He wrote an account of this journey, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is a train travel book by Paul Theroux. In this book, he retraces some of the trip described in The Great Railway Bazaar...



  1. "The 15:30 - London to Paris" - Victoria to Gare de Lyon
    Gare de Lyon
    Paris Lyon is one of the six large railway termini in Paris, France. It is the northern terminus of the Paris–Marseille railway. It is named after the city of Lyon, a stop for many long-distance trains departing here, most en route to the south of France. In general the station's SNCF services run...

     via Gare du Nord
    Gare du Nord
    Paris Nord is one of the six large terminus railway stations of the SNCF mainline network for Paris, France. It offers connections with several urban transportation lines, including Paris Métro and RER...

  2. "The Direct-Orient Express" - to Istanbul
    Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

     via Venice
    Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

     and Belgrade
    Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

  3. "The Van Gölü ('Lake Van') Express" - from Haydarpaşa to Lake Van
    Lake Van
    Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey, located in the far east of the country in Van district. It is a saline and soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. Lake Van is one of the world's largest endorheic lakes . The original outlet from...

     via Kayseri
    Kayseri is a large and industrialized city in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is the seat of Kayseri Province. The city of Kayseri, as defined by the boundaries of Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, is structurally composed of five metropolitan districts, the two core districts of Kocasinan and...

  4. "The Tehran Express" - from Van
    Van, Turkey
    Van is a city in southeastern Turkey and the seat of the Kurdish-majority Van Province, and is located on the eastern shore of Lake Van. The city's official population in 2010 was 367,419, but many estimates put this as much higher with a 1996 estimate stating 500,000 and former Mayor Burhan...

     to Tehran
    Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

  5. "The Night Mail to Meshed" - and onward to Kabul
    Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

     via bus and plane
  6. "The Khyber Pass Local" - to Peshawar
    Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

  7. "The Khyber Mail to Lahore Junction" - including visit to Shalimar Gardens
    Shalimar Gardens (Lahore)
    The Shalimar Gardens , sometimes written Shalamar Gardens, is a Persian garden and it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore, modern day Pakistan. Construction began in 1641 CE and was completed the following year...

  8. "The Frontier Mail" - from Amritsar
    Amritsar is a city in the northern part of India and is the administrative headquarters of Amritsar district in the state of Punjab, India. The 2001 Indian census reported the population of the city to be over 1,500,000, with that of the entire district numbering 3,695,077...

     to Delhi
    Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

  9. "The Kalka Mail for Simla"
  10. "The Rajdhani ('Capital') Express to Mumbai" - via Mathura and Baroda
  11. "The Delhi Mail from Jaipur"
  12. "The Grand Trunk Express" - to Madras via Madhya Pradesh
    Madhya Pradesh
    Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

  13. "The Local to Rameswaram" - and onward across the Palk Strait
    Palk Strait
    Palk Strait is a strait between the Tamil Nadu state of India and the Mannar district of the Northern Province of the island nation of Sri Lanka. It connects the Bay of Bengal in the northeast with the Palk Bay and thence with the Gulf of Mannar in the southwest. The strait is wide. Several...

     to Ceylon
  14. "The Talaimannar Mail"
  15. "The 16:25 from Galle" - to Colombo
    Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo...

  16. "The Howrah Mail" - from Madras Central to Howrah station
    Howrah station
    Howrah Station is one of the four intercity train stations serving Howrah and Kolkata, India; the others are Sealdah Station, Shalimar Station and Kolkata railway station in Kolkata. Howrah is situated on the West bank of the Hooghly River, linked to Kolkata by the magnificent Howrah Bridge which...

    , Calcutta
  17. "The Mandalay Express" - from Rangoon
  18. "The Local to Maymyo"
  19. "The Lashio Mail" - to cross Gokteik Viaduct
  20. "The Night Express from Nong Khai" - to Bangkok
    Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

    , after visiting Vientiane
    -Geography:Vientiane is situated on a bend of the Mekong river, which forms the border with Thailand at this point.-Climate:Vientiane features a tropical wet and dry climate with a distinct monsoon season and a dry season. Vientiane’s dry season spans from November through March. April marks the...

     in Laos
    Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

  21. "The International Express to Butterworth"
  22. "The Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur"
  23. "The North Star Night Express to Singapore"
  24. "The Saigon-Bien Hoa Passenger Train"
  25. "The Hué-Da Nang Passenger Train"
  26. "The Hatsukari ('Early Bird') Limited Express to Aomori" - from Tokyo
    , ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

  27. "The Ozora ('Big Sky') Limited Express to Sapporo" - from Hakodate
  28. "The Hikari ('Light') Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Kyoto"
  29. "The Kodama ('Echo') Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Osaka"
  30. "The Trans-Siberian Railway"
    1. "The M. V. Khabarovsk" - sailing from Yokohama
      is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

       to Nakhodka
      Nakhodka is a port city in Primorsky Krai, Russia, situated on the Trudny Peninsula jutting into the Nakhodka Bay of the Sea of Japan, about east of Vladivostok...

    2. "The Vostok" - to Khabarovsk
      Khabarovsk is the largest city and the administrative center of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. It is located some from the Chinese border. It is the second largest city in the Russian Far East, after Vladivostok. The city became the administrative center of the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia...

    3. "The Rossiya" - via Sverdlovsk
      Yekaterinburg is a major city in the central part of Russia, the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountain range, it is the main industrial and cultural center of the Urals Federal District with a population of 1,350,136 , making it Russia's...

       and Moscow
      Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

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