Southeast Asia, namely Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Burma, Indonesia, and even tiny Singapore, is one of the last remaining quarters of this plant where adventure is still very much alive. According to the author, there’s a misconception about Southeast Asia that’s hard to overcome. The world views Southeast Asia as the most populated place on earth, with crowded cities and masses or humanity, and the only positive thing about it is that it has wonderful temples, snake charmers, good food and good shopping. This is all ture, but Southeast Asia has more to offer than that, and Return to Adventure Southeast tells readers what’s out there, and where to look. What makes this book different is that it’s not a how-to-do guidebook to the outdoors. As the author points out in the introduction, Return to Adventure is not a guidebook, and is not intended to be one. It was written to make Southeast Asia’s outdoors known, to introduce readers to a side of Southeast Asia that has long been ignored. To do this, Stephens takes us with him to bottom of the sea diving on wrecks, such as the HMS Repulse, the invincible British battleship sunk by Japanese bombers in the opening days of World War II, to the simmit of the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. We search with the author for lost cities, elusive one-horned rhinos, and the source of the Rejang River in Sarawak.
We visit with aborigine Negritos in the jungle, dig for relics in archaeological sites that pre-date anything in Europe and the Middle East, and sail the South China Seas in sailing schooners and age-old junks. But not all is Indiana Jones. Readers will learn about motor trips they can take, while seated behind the driver’s wheel, or about train excursions, like the Orient Express from Bangkok to Singapore, the Reunification Express that runs fro Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi in Vietnam; the Toy Train to Darjeeling in the Himalayas; the Tenom train through the jungles of Borneo; and others. As the author tells us, he has spent all his adult life in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, searching out the forgotten as well as looking for the rainbow’s end. He started writing travel-adventure for the Bangkok Post in 1965, and the same year became travel corresponded for Thai Airways International, taking him on assignments to every corner of the globe. He has authored 21 books from travel and adventure to books of fiction and biographies. Return to Adventure Southeast Asia is a book that is certain to make us aware of the beauty of the world we live in.