The Great Railway Bazaar

The Great Railway Bazaar

First edition (publ. Houghton Mifflin)

The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia is a travelogue by the American novelist Paul Theroux, first published in 1975. It recounts Theroux's four-month journey by train in 1973 from London through Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and his return via the Trans-Siberian Railway. Many people consider it a classic in the genre of travel writing.[1][2] The first part of the route, to India, followed what was then known as the hippie trail. It sold 1.5 million copies upon release.[3]

In 2006, Theroux retraced the journey, finding that people and places had changed, and that while he was famous for his earlier work he was not recognised in person. His account of this second journey was published as Ghost Train to the Eastern Star.


  1. "The 15:30 - London to Paris" - Victoria to Gare de Lyon via Gare du Nord
  2. "The Direct-Orient Express" - to Istanbul via Venice and Belgrade
  3. "The Van Gölü ('Lake Van') Express" - from Haydarpaşa to Lake Van via Kayseri
  4. "The Tehran Express" - from Van to Tehran
  5. "The Night Mail to Meshed" - and onward to Kabul via bus and plane
  6. "The Khyber Pass Local" - to Peshawar
  7. "The Khyber Mail to Lahore Junction" - including visit to Shalimar Gardens
  8. "The Frontier Mail" - from Amritsar to Delhi
  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
  13. "The Local to Rameswaram" - and onward across the Palk Strait to Ceylon
  14. "The Talaimannar Mail"
  15. "The 16:25 from Galle" - to Colombo
  16. "The Howrah Mail" - from Madras Central to Howrah station, 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, after visiting Vientiane in Laos
  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
  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"
  31. "The M. V. Khabarovsk" - sailing from Yokohama to Nakhodka
  32. "The Vostok" - to Khabarovsk
  33. "The Rossiya" - via Sverdlovsk and Moscow
  34. References

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