A Traveller in China

Overview

Christina Dodwell’s wanderlust, combined with her inventive and unorthodox methods of travel and her unquenchable curiosity about people, make her the ideal guide to the remoter parts of China’s vast territory. She visits regions largely inhabited by the many ethnic minority groups, still living their distinctive lifestyles.

A four-day bus journey to Kashgar begins Christina’s journey, followed by a canoe journey from Lake Karakol. She followed Marco Polo’s route to Beijing, ...

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Overview

Christina Dodwell’s wanderlust, combined with her inventive and unorthodox methods of travel and her unquenchable curiosity about people, make her the ideal guide to the remoter parts of China’s vast territory. She visits regions largely inhabited by the many ethnic minority groups, still living their distinctive lifestyles.

A four-day bus journey to Kashgar begins Christina’s journey, followed by a canoe journey from Lake Karakol. She followed Marco Polo’s route to Beijing, past the ruined cities of the Silk Road. In Xinjiang she spent time with migrating Kazakhs setting up their summer camp. Her canoe journey on the Yellow River resulted in her finding a hitherto-unknown portion of the Great Wall, and in Beijing she tracked down the house in which her grandmother had lived in the time of the warlords. In a side trip to Tibet, Christina spent time in a nomad tent, sharing the elaborate plaiting and ornamentation ritual of a women’s hairdressing session.

Christina joins Chinese tourists when she visits the oldest surviving frescoes in China, the Xian terracotta army, and spends a few days at the famous lamasery of Taer’si. She witnessed the dragon boat race on Lake Er Hai, But her most precious moments were camping alone on the edge of an ice-bound lake, finding a way to unvisited beehive tombs in the Gobi, climbing a remote sacred mountain in Yunnan Province and paddling her small canoe cautiously into the mighty Yangtse.

Christina’s great courage, open mind and unbounded curiosity enable her to go to places few would dare visit, and she almost invariably finds kindness and hospitality wherever she travels.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There could hardly be a better treat for the armchair adventurer than Dodwell's vivid account of her four-month journey into remote areas of China. On a route that took her from Kashgar in the north, across the Taklamakan and Gobi deserts, into Tibet and on south to Canton, traveling by local transport, by canoe, by camel, she followed the ancient Silk Route, visited frescoed caves in the Gobi Desert, lived among Tibetan and Mongol herders, ran the rapids of the Yangtze. Her adventurousness is reminiscent of the intrepid women travelers of Victorian England in fact, her grandmother was a correspondent in China for English newspapers at the time of the warlords. The book's excellent photos acutely observe the region and its people and evoke its painterly beauty. Dodwell's previous works include Travels with Fortune, about her 20,000-mile journey around Africa, and In Papua New Guinea, the story of her two-year sojourn there; she also took part in BBC-TV's River Journeys series, which filmed her river-rafting in New Guinea. Author tour. March 12
Library Journal
Interior China and Tibet are still off the popular tour circuit, but they are increasingly visited by individual travelers. English writer Dodwell's trip is unique in that she carried an inflatable raft in her backpack, which she used on the Yellow, Upper Yangtse, and Lijiang rivers, and even Qinghai Lake. Beijing, where Dodwell's mother lived as a child, is the only conventional tourist spot described. This is an open-minded, crisply written, and nicely photographed book and is well above average in a very crowded field. It lacks only a good map on which to chart the author's route. It covers much the same ground as Vikram Seth's From Heaven Lake LJ 5/1/84 but is less political. A good choice for public libraries. Harold M. Otness, Southern Oregon State Coll. Lib., Ashland
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590481479
  • Publisher: The Long Riders' Guild
  • Publication date: 5/19/2006
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

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