The Rough Guide to China – review

The Rough Guide to China It’s no good thinking you’ll buy a guide book when you get there, or get by with a bit of assistance from other travellers. That just does not work! If your fellow voyagers are any help at all it will probably be because they have A Rough Guide to China in the backpack.

You need to plan your trip and take advice from the experts. They have no axe to grind and nothing to gain by sending you to this particular museum or those particular restaurants. They have a long-standing reputation as one of the best travel guide companies around. Their guides are not one bit rough and you’ll be glad!

The Rough Guide to China is a chunky volume as you would expect. It’s a big country after all! This is the essential guide that you’ll need first to plan your trip and then to enjoy it. It’s full of relevant information and answers all your questions about customs, food, sights and…Oh, yeah, night life. You’ll stay out of trouble (don’t worry mum, I’m not a kid), healthy (but I thought it was just a bit of a rash), eat REAL Chinese food (can I have a fork please?) and you’ll get to see the most fascinating places. You have come a long way and you don’t want to miss anything.

Those nice people at Rough Guides seem to have thought of everything. They lead you through the basics from vaccinations (you don’t need any) to visas, from weather to wildlife. There are the things to avoid (drugs, ladies of easy virtue, being the target of any kind of scam, and policemen), and things that you should know to make your trip the most memorable for all the right reasons.

The Rough Guide to China is easy to use and it’s divided into regions to help you plan your travel. So let’s start with Beijing. Your Olympic gold medal is on its way back home with the rest of the team but you plan to stay for a while. The information on where to go, what to see and where to stay is well researched. There is a detailed street map, and transport information which even tells you where the ticket offices are. There’s a subway map and a list of bus routes. The accommodation section is comprehensive with prices indicated.

There are pages and pages of places to go and things to do. All the places of interest are listed with the English name, the name in Chinese characters and pronunciation so you can ask when you get lost. People will appreciate you being able to exchange a few words in Chinese.

I expect you’ll want to eat at some point during your trip! China is, after all, home to some of the best food in the world. The list of restaurants is impressive and you’ll even find street food, as well as food courts in shopping malls. You’ll be able to ask for common dishes IN CHINESE!

Talking of shopping, that has got to be high on the agenda for a lot of people. The Rough Guide to China tells you all you need to know about where to buy some jade at a reasonable price, clothes (as long as you are the size of an average Chinese), antiques and souvenirs ranging from tacky to tolerable. This book could save you time and money.

A trip to the exotic east isn’t just like a day trip to Calais. It’s good to have a bit of advice to give you confidence. Read The Rough Guide to China before you go and start dreaming!

The Rough Guide to China
Author: David Leffman, Simon Lewis
Published by: Rough Guides
Price: £18.99
ISBN 978-1-84353-872-1


Travel review by Chrissie Walker © 2018