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Suggested Readings

A multitude of excellent China travel guides are available to help you research places you may visit on your China Tour. In addition, numerous travelogues have been written in recent years that provide accounts of other people's experiences in China. Below is a small bibliography of suggested titles to help you prepare for your China Tour.

Lonely Planet: China 8th Edition
Discover China with its teeming cities, mountain temples and ancient palaces. Walk the Great Wall and take your last chance to visit the famous Three Gorges. This exceptional guide shows you how. Completely updated and now in its 8th edition, new features of this best-selling guide include a Chinese arts section, expanded coverage of the south-west provinces and more maps.
Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips (Third Edition)
One of the most current guidebooks available on a country that is changing daily. Features abundant sightseeing tips, plus a chronology of history, updated restaurant listings, a guide to the shopping scene, and city maps.
The Yangzi River by Judy Bonavia
A detailed guide to the ports and environs of the Yangtze River. If you are considering a Yangtze cruise, this book will provide you with a glimpse of the magical sights you will experience.
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
Recounts the evocative, unsettling, and insistently gripping story of how three generations of women in her family fared in the political maelstrom of China during the 20th century. "An extraordinary memoir and a harrowing narrative that rivals anything in The Last Emperor" -The Wall Street Journal
Seven Years In Tibet
Originally published in 1953, this adventure classic recounts Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer's 1943 escape from a British internment camp in India, his daring trek across the Himalayas, and his happy sojourn in Tibet. This book is a great read in preparation of a Tibet tour.
Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now by Jan Wong
"An immensely entertaining and enlightening" memoir by a Canadian of Chinese descent, who recounts how her Communist loyalties shifted over two decades' worth of visits to China. Wong begins in 1972, when she was a Beijing University student and impassioned Maoist devotee, and continues through 1988, when she returned to Beijing as bureau chief for The Toronto Globe & Mail.
Yangtze River: The Wildest, Wickedest River on Earth by Madeleine Lynn
This collection of diverse writings about the Yangtze River draws from 13 centuries of authors to provide a literary history of China's mightiest river. Included are classical Chinese poems, Victorian memoirs, contemporary travel pieces, and more. This book is sure to inspire anyone considering a Yangtze river cruise.
Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux
One of the best and most entertaining of recent China travel books.
Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman
Salzman captures post-cultural revolution China through his adventures as a young American English teacher in China and his master-student relationship with China's foremost martial arts teacher. "Charmingly unpretentious…penetrates a China inaccessible to other foreigners." -Los Angeles Times
Daughter of China: A True Story of Love and Betrayal by Meihong Xu and Larry Engelmann
The true account of a Chinese woman trained as an elite member of the PLA, who was denounced as a spy by the Communist government for her love affair with a visiting American professor. The story of her seemingly impossible escape from China and the pair's eventual marriage makes for "one of the most absorbing books of the year." -The Journal
The River Dragon Has Come! by Dai Qing
A Chinese journalist presents a collection of essays that set off alarms about the Three Gorges Dam.
Cultural Atlas of China by Caroline Blunden and Mark Elvin
China's history, politics, society, religion, philosophy, literature and visual arts are examined in this superbly illustrated, 240-page reference guide to the world's oldest civilization.
The Forbidden City: The Great Within by May Holdsworth
The author blends history, anecdotal narrative, biographical portraits, and abundant illustrations to take readers through 500 years of life in Imperial China. Fascinating essays explain what daily life was really like in the palace. May Holdsworth wrote the TV script for the "Forbidden City" documentary shown in 1994 on The Discovery Channel.
China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn Two Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporters take readers into the richly textured, often paradoxical world of modern China, as the country transforms itself from a peasant empire into an economic and political superpower.
Fragrant Harbour: A Short History of Hong Kong by G. B. Endacott and A. Hinton
A comprehensive account of the colony's history from its beginnings to the mid-1960s.

Hong Kong by Jan Morris
A renowned travel writer traces the evolution of the British colony from its birth during the Opium Wars to the 1990s.
A Traveler's History of China by Stephen Haw
Part of a series aimed at travelers, not scholars, this 320-page volume summarizes China's 3000-year-old past from its earliest beginnings up to the 1990s. A chronology of major events and a systematic breakdown of the dynasties and rulers add clarity. An introduction to the Chinese language, historical maps, line drawings, and other illustrations are included.

Culture Shock China! by Kevin Sinclair and Iris Wong
This guide to Chinese social decorum goes one step further by explaining the rationale behind the social traditions and formalities. An excellent way to learn the customs of Chinese society prior to embraking on a China Tour.

Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook by Chris Taylor
Mandarin Chinese: A Rough Guide Phrasebook
Fast & Easy Mandarin: Sixty Minute Survival Program by Living Language. Contains 300 essential words and phrases on cassette.

The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Moss Roberts
Legend of Mu Lan: A Heroine of Ancient China by Wei Jiang

The Last Emperor
Raise the Red Lantern
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