This is a fascinating read about life in China and Tibet (and a dash of Nepal) in the mid-1980's. I was totally immersed and enjoyed every minute of this story. Aya and Cao Young are a great pair and it's fun to follow them on all of their journeys (also very heartbreaking, sometimes). There is just one thing that completely bugs me - the author spends the entire book writing about her boyfriend/fiance/husband. It's all HIS stories and HIS perspective of the world. We only get brief flashes of insight into HER experience of these countries at this wild time in history. Why? A Japanese woman's perspective of traveling through the People's Republic of China, would have been fascinating to read. It's as if Aya felt that Cao Young's story is more "exciting" than hers. She's such a wonderful writer (and Alison Watts does an excellent translation job), it's a shame we couldn't her more of HER story.