Since ancient times, China and India have been separated not only by the towering summits of the Himalayas, but also by a vast expanse of near impenetrable jungle, hostile tribes and remote inland kingdoms, stretching a thousand miles from what is today Calcutta across central Burma to the upper reaches of the Yangsi river. But sometime in the early 21st century, this last great frontier will vanish, the forests cut down, dirt roads replaced by superhighways, insurgencies crushed, leaving China and India pressed up against each other as never before. Though virtually unreported in the West, the implications for the world are immense. A basic shift in geography like the opening of the Suez or Panama canals may soon create an unprecedented bridge between three billion people of South Asia and the Far East. Part travelogue, part history, and part investigation of today s fast-moving developments, The Hidden Map of Asia is a colourful and compelling exploration of one of the world s least known crossroads, a region that may hold the key to Asia s future.