About the book (from Goodreads):
This is a record of one individual’s journey from Kunming (Yunnanfu) to Tangar(and the great lake of Kokonor); and eventually onto Peking (Beijing) via Chengtu, Kangting, Kantze, Derge, Jyekundo , by way of an unsuccessful attempt to reach Lhasa.
The purpose of his journey was to apply his skills of observation, and physical endurance to bear on researching archaeological and other aspects of the Buddhist religion. It seems needless to say that his fluency in the Tibetan language, and personal leanings towards mysticism, were significant assets.
In Peter Fleming’s words; “The end result is an intimate and detailed portrait of a society outwardly primitive and outlandish but based on values and traditions from which the West has much to learn.”
About the author (from Wikipedia):
André Migot (1892–1967) was a French doctor, traveler and writer.
He served as an army medical officer in World War I, winning the Croix de Guerre. After the war he engaged in research in marine biology, and then practiced as a doctor in France; in his spare time, he climbed in the Alps and Pyrenees. In 1938 he set off to India by bicycle to pursue his interest in Oriental religions. During World War II he worked as a doctor in occupied Paris.
After the war he went to Indochina, whence in 1947 he made a journey alone through Eastern Tibet and China in order to research aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. During this journey he tried but failed to reach Lhasa disguised as a mendicant lama. As he could speak and write Tibetan, he was able to converse with the lamas, and was initiated into the rituals of one of the Buddhist sects. This journey is described in his best-known book Caravane vers Bouddha, translated into English by Peter Fleming as Tibetan Marches.
From Beijing, where that book ends in 1948, he made an equally adventurous journey back through Tibet to Indochina. Later he spent two years in the Kerguelen Islands as a doctor to a French expedition. In 1954 he joined an Australian expedition in the same region.
He wrote many other books on his travels, and on Oriental religion and philosophy.