Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth

Is this just an epic journey through China in the 1980s, or does this writer also have some mad skills?

In the early 1980s, Vikram Seth is in his late twenties and studies at a university in Nanjing. He takes a school trip to the Northwestern parts of the country, where he miraculously gets..

Guillaume de Rubrouck

Guillaume de Rubrouck

How is it possible that sometimes 750 years don’t leave a trace?

Guillaume de Rubrouck was a Franciscan monk who got dispatched to Mongolia by his king, Louis IX of France. He was supposed to find out more about the Mongolians and see if they could be used against the Muslims. Well, they couldn’t, because..

Lois Fisher-Ruge

Lois Fisher-Ruge

Why should young people from China read this today, more than one generation later?

In 1973, the People’s Republic of China is slowly starting to open up to „imperialists“ from the West. US-President Nixon and his aide Henry Kissinger have been warmly received, and now a select..

Colette Modiano

Colette Modiano

What happens when a fashion-conscious European woman visits China at the height of socialism?

Colette Modiano is working as a travel coordinator in France when she decides to assemble a group of wealthy Europeans and embark with them on a trip to China. It is the year 1966, and getting a glimpse on Mao’s..

Matteo Ricci

Matteo Ricci

Is this book more than just a treasure chest for those who are enthusiastic about China?

Matteo Ricci is a Jesuit priest from Italy. He arrives at the Portuguese outpost of Macao in the second half of the 16th century, determined to carry Christianity into China. The Jesuits would very much like to get..

John Pomfret

John Pomfret

Is being critical a bad thing, or does „loyal advice jars on the ears“ still hold true today?

John Pomfret is a young American student who decides to enroll at Nanjing University in the early 80s. At this point in time, China is still struggling with the early stages of the new policy of „Reform and Opening Up“. John Pomfret stays a while, starts..

Liao Yiwu

Liao Yiwu

Is this book still banned in China, and if so, can this decision be at all justified?

Liao Yiwu is a Chinese writer and political activist who takes interest in the lives of the less fortunate around him. He meets up with different kinds of people all over the country and interviews them. He talks to those who..

Fritz Mühlenweg

Fritz Mühlenweg

If this is partly fabricated, why is it still so good?

Fritz Mühlenweg is an 28-year-old accountant when he goes on his first trip with Swedish explorer Sven Hedin. Their goal: gather information about Mongolia and Western China and possibly support a future flight service between..

William Lindesay

William Lindesay

Is this book just about a physical feat, or is there something more meaningful to it?

In the mid-80s, Englishman William Lindesay is primarily a jogger who has a thing for maps. He sets his eye on the Great Wall of China and comes up with a plan to span the entire thing on foot. He would be the first foreigner to ever..

Peter Hessler

Peter Hessler

An instant classic about China?

US-citizen Peter Hessler works as a correspondent for The New Yorker in Beijing. He gets a driver’s license and drives a rental car along some parts of the Great Wall, he rents a house in a small village in the mountains East of Beijing, and he chronicles..

Yan Changjiang

Yan Changjiang

What happens to people and their towns when the water is about to come?

Yan Changjiang is a photographer from the Three Gorges region who lives and works in Guangzhou. He travels back home in 2002 to document the areas that will be flooded by the Three Gorges Dam, and after that, he comes back multiple times until..

Matsuo Basho

Matsuo Basho

Does true poetry flourish in the depths of the wilderness?

Matsuo Basho is a Haiku poet of the Japanese Edo-period who likes to wander about and write poetry in the process. He takes long solo hikes or goes on treks with friends, sometimes..

Evan Osnos

Evan Osnos

Is there a better book to get to know modern China?

Evan Osnos is an American journalist who, after studying China and the Chinese language in the mid-90s, arrives in Beijing in 2005. He is well educated, and he takes his job seriously. He moves into a Hutong, and over the years gets to know a lot of Chinese people from all walks of life. Some are rich, some are poor, some are..

Li Zhisui

Li Zhisui

Are all defectors automatically liars, and which version of the truth do we choose to believe?

Some time in the 1950s, Li Zhisui gets a job in Beijing as Mao Zedong’s personal physician. Actually, it’s not so much about „getting“ a job, but more like he’s being assigned a position whether he wants it or..

Albert von Le Coq

Albert von Le Coq

Was this dude the most educated of all 19th-century explorers?

Albert von Le Coq is a German archaeologist and explorer who ventures into Central Asia, much like Sven Hedin or Nikolai Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky before him, in order to..

Heinz Helfgen

Heinz Helfgen

What were German readers looking for in a travel book after World War II?

Heinz Helfgen is a former journalist turned POW who returns to Germany in 1946, only to find that things aren’t exactly easy work-wise. Thus, after struggling for a few years, he decides to support his family by..

Richard Wilhelm

Richard Wilhelm

Is this an effort in soul searching or rather a classic work about China?

At the turn of the 20th century, Richard Wilhelm moves to China in order to take up a job as a missionary. During the next two and a half decades, he spends most of his time in Qingdao, a harbor city that was at that time..

Odorico da Pordenone

Odorico da Pordenone

Was this a 14th-century fact finding mission or just another Medieval mystery tale?

Odorico da Pordenone was a Franciscan monk who lived in Italy during the Late Middle Ages. He was sent on a mission to proselytize the people of Asia, and..

Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner

Is this a book strictly for fans of mountaineering or can anyone find something enjoyable in it?

Obviously, this book is the story of an awesome feat, and thus it is pretty exciting to read. But it is more than just an adventure story: RM tells us about his motives and his doubts, he describes the..

Jehan de Mandeville

Jehan de Mandeville

Why is it so much fun to read Medieval travel stories that we know are at least partly untrue?

Jehan de Mandeville claims to have traveled around much of the known (and unknown) world of his time. Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, India, China – you name the place, and he almost surely..

Matt Harding

Matt Harding

Could we have expected this dancing/travel book to be a bit more rich in content?

Matt Harding is a young game designer based in Australia who suddenly starts “looking for something” and picks up the delightful hobby of traveling. He lives on a tight budget and tapes himself dancing in various places around the world, and the resulting..

Sven Hedin

Sven Hedin

Are we looking at a career-obsessed explorer or at a blueprint for Indiana Jones?

At the height of the Great Game between the Russian Empire and the British Empire, Swedish explorer Sven Hedin decides to follow in the footsteps of Ferdinand von Richthofen (who coined the term “Silk Road”) and Nikolai Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky. He thus embarks on an epic journey through those parts of Northwestern China that were unknown or scarcely explored until then

Josef Martin Bauer

Josef Martin Bauer

Does it matter to us if it all really happened this way?

Sometime in the early fifties, accomplished German writer Josef Martin Bauer comes across a guy who says he has escaped from one of the Soviet prison camps in Siberia. The story sounds hardly believable, but he..

Johann Schiltberger

Johann Schiltberger

Is this guy our average Joe from the Middle Ages?

This is an interesting book, but there is something to consider before reading it: Johann Schiltberger, much like Marco Polo or Jehan de Mandeville, whom I will be reviewing later, is a writer of..

Ella Maillart

Ella Maillart

If Fleming is a more gifted writer, then why is this Maillart’s book better than his?

I am going to rate this one slightly higher than Fleming’s account, even though he is clearly the superior..

Johann Christian Hüttner

Johann Christian Hüttner

A must-read for people interested in travel in China?

Whenever I pick up an old book, like something written during the 19th or 18th century, I feel myself hesitating for a moment, suspecting it to be another slow and painful read. But this one was a pleasant..

Jürgen Todenhöfer

Jürgen Todenhöfer

Why should you read this book now, and why is there no English edition?

Jürgen Todenhöfer is a German journalist with a background in politics and law who takes a strong interest in the Muslim world, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the winter of 2014/2015, he decides to contact members of the so-called „Islamic State“ (IS) in Syria in order to do some on-the-ground reporting. It takes a while for him to establish a basic level of trust, but he eventually receives an official invitation by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the organization. He travels to Turkey with his..

Heinrich Schliemann

Heinrich Schliemann

Is this guy more than just a worthy rival to Albert von Le Coq?

We’re in the mid-19th century. Heinrich Schliemann is a German businessman with a gift for languages and a passion for history who will later go on to discover the ruins of Troy. But first, he decides to go on a journey to China and Japan, both of which are currently..

Gunther Plüschow

Gunther Plüschow

Can we read about warfare as if it was just an adventure?

At the outbreak of WW1, Gunther Plüschow, a young pilot in the German air force, gets dispatched to the German colony of Qingdao (they called it „Tsingtau“ back then). He is supposed to be one of only two pilots on guard against the..

Barbara Demick

Barbara Demick

Is it valuable to read something that is painful and can only hardly be proven?

Barbara Demick is an American journalist based in Seoul in the early 2000s. She interviews defectors from North Korea, concentrating on a mid-sized town outside of Pyongyang. The stories she gathers are those of several different people from..

Yu Chunshun

Yu Chunshun

Is this one of the great adventure stories of our time or rather just a huge editing fail?

Yu Chunshun is a regular dude from Shanghai. In 1988 he says goodbye to his family and starts walking all over China. The reason for this endeavor: it has come to his knowledge that an Englishman has announced the same plan. And Yu Chunshun, being a good patriot, wants..

Nicolas Bouvier

Nicolas Bouvier

Is this a great piece of poetic travel writing, or has it just been overly polished?

In 1953, Nicolas Bouvier, law student from Switzerland, and his friend take a Fiat on a road trip to Afghanistan. They make their way through Yugoslavia and Turkey, hang out in Iran for a while, and they eventually..

Régis Evariste Huc

Régis Evariste Huc

Why is this book not just a perfect adventure story?

Régis Evariste Huc is a French missionary in China during the first half of the 19th century, during a time when many parts of the country are off-limits to foreigners and tensions between the British Empire and China are just about to..

Reginald Fleming Johnston

Reginald Fleming Johnston

What better person to tell you stories about China than the Emperor’s personal tutor?

Reginald Fleming Johnston is probably best known for his role as private tutor to the young Emperor of China, Puyi. Obviously, he was fluent in Mandarin and knew his way around..

Sun Shuyun

Sun Shuyun

Is this book at its essence more about contemplation or about adventure?

Driven by the memory of her own devout Buddhist grandmother, Chinese emigrant Sun Shuyun returns to China, in order to retrace the steps of..

Rob Gifford

Rob Gifford

Are the errors in this book due to poor editing or is this guy an expert who doesn’t know his craft?

Rob Gifford is a journalist with some 20 years of experience in China who decides to travel along the National Road 312 from Shanghai all the way to Khorgas on the border to Kazakhstan. This book is a compilation of some of his experiences on that trip, as well as..

Ji Xianlin

Ji Xianlin

Are these travel memoirs worth reading, or have they been flawed by political circumstances?

This book is a collection of essays and stories from Ji Xianlin’s years in Germany, his visits in India, Japan and Taiwan, and his life in China. I found his style of writing a bit weird at first: here was an outstanding scientist, an intellectual, who seemed to be continuously talking about..

Mildred Cable

Mildred Cable

Is this a book about three ladies taking it slow, or is it an epic adventure?

Mildred Cable and two other British ladies working for the China Inland Mission decide to take it upon themselves to spread the gospel in the Western territories of Gansu and Xinjiang. They undertake several journeys by caravan, talk to the locals, and eventually..

Peter Fleming

Peter Fleming

Would this book have been any better if he had done with a little less irony?

It is 1935, and China is deeply tangled up in the resistance against the Japanese occupation and the inner conflict between the Nationalists and the Communists. In February, Peter Fleming arrives in Beijing and meets up with..

Marco Polo

Marco Polo

Why is this one still so good today, even though a lot of it is untrue?

This could well be the most famous travel book of them all. It’s a slow read though..

Edgar Snow

Edgar Snow

Why is this book so tragic, and what is the author’s role in the history he helped create?

In 1936, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has just finished its Long March into northern China. Amidst increasing Japanese aggression, the Chinese civil war keeps dragging on, and the blockade policy of the Nationalist government doesn’t permit..

Erwin Wickert

Erwin Wickert

What’s wrong with the diplomatic approach to writing about a foreign culture?

In the mid-70s, German diplomat Erwin Wickert gets transferred from Romania to China. He has been there before (as a tourist in the 1930s), and he seems excited about it. He stays in Beijing for 4 years, lives through..

Mark Salzman

Mark Salzman

What made this „Karate Kid“ type collection of stories turn into one of the 1980s classics on China?

Mark Salzman is an American university graduate who decides to move to the People’s Republic of China for two years. His plan is to teach English and pick up some Wushu skills right at the source. He ends up in Changsha, and, being one of the few..

Ernst Cordes

Ernst Cordes

An author trying to get his points across?

Ernst Cordes is a Chinese-born German (apparently the son of an official) who is living in China during the period of the Republic. It remains unclear what exactly he is doing there, but he is fluent in Mandarin, and he keeps quite a few..

Egon Erwin Kisch

Egon Erwin Kisch

What does 1930s China look like through the eyes of a European socialist?

It is the year 1932, we are reaching the bitter end of the Weimar Republic, and Egon Erwin Kisch is a German-writing journalist from Prague who embarked on a fact-finding mission to China. He is widely known in Germany for being a..

Achill Moser

Achill Moser

Is it still a good book if we have to dig through poetic wordiness and outdated travel advice?

We’re in the 1980s, and German adventurer Achill Moser is in his early thirties. He embarks on two different trips through China, one of which is going to take him on foot from Turpan to Dunhuang in the Gobi desert, the other one..

Christian Y. Schmidt

Christian Y. Schmidt

Once we have finished this book, will we then know what being a fan-boy is all about?

Christian Y. Schmidt is a German journalist and satirist who, after having lived in China for two years, decides to embark on a journey: he starts out in Shanghai and follows highway 318 all the way to Katmandu. He is not very fluent in Chinese but..

Karl Boy-Ed

Karl Boy-Ed

Can this book be interesting to anyone except China-enthusiasts?

it’s the first year of the 20th century, and Karl Boy-Ed is a lieutenant of the German army in Beijing. He sees a bit of the city and of its surroundings, and he takes part in the defense of the foreign quarters against the..

Ferdinand von Richthofen

Ferdinand von Richthofen

Is this an exciting adventure, or rather an expedition in coal?

In the mid-19th century, Ferdinand von Richthofen becomes one of the first Westerners to scientifically evaluate larger parts of China. He goes on several journeys through the country, and he seems to be always looking for..

Giovanni DiPlano Carpini

Giovanni DiPlano Carpini

Is it naive to hope for peace with the Khan?

A few years after the Mongol attacks on Eastern Europe, the Pope decided to send a cleric to the court of the Khan. That cleric was Giovanni DiPlano Carpini, and his mission (unlike that of Guillaume de Rubrouck a few years later) was to find out..

Philippe Valéry

Philippe Valéry

Is this just a rather particular writing style, or is it another author distancing himself from his story?

Philippe Valéry is in his thirties when he decides to walk from Marseille in France to Kashgar in China. He gets a few sponsorships and starts on his trek, walking through..

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta

Did conservative ethics turn this great adventure story into such a slow read?

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta is only a very young man when he embarks on his hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. But he doesn’t stop there. Instead he goes on and on and on, and several travels during the next three decades will take him almost everywhere in..

Fernão Mendes Pinto

Fernão Mendes Pinto

If this is a great classic in Portuguese literature, why is it such a slow read?

This book was a big success in Europe during the 17th and 18th century. It was published a few decades after Fernão Mendes Pinto’s death and describes the quixotic ways..

Stephen Spender

Stephen Spender

Is this a coffeetable book or a regular travelogue, and is it worth a read?

At the beginning of the 1980s, during the early years of China’s opening and reform policy, aging English writer Stephen Spender decides to visit the Middle Kingdom. He takes two friends along, one of whom is a painter (co-author David Hockney). They start their tour from Hongkong, and they get to see Beijing, Xi’an, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Shanghai, Guilin and..

Mitch Moxley

Mitch Moxley

Does the expat experience really keep people from ever growing old?

Mitch Moxley is a young Canadian who decides to go to China. He seems to make this decision rather spontaneously. Upon arriving in Beijing, he takes on a job at an English-language newspaper, finds an apartment, roams the bar scene, takes on a few..

Hans Ulrich Kempski

Hans Ulrich Kempski

Are these just some minor slip-ups or are we looking at an expert exposing himself?

We’re in the mid-1950s, and the world has just entered the Cold War. Hans Ulrich Kempski is one of the best known journalists in West Germany. He visits Japan and China, both of which are on the..

Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger

Can a seasoned diplomat really be this naive, or is he just cleverly conning his readership?

Henry Kissinger, a diplomat working for the Nixon administration, gets dispatched to the People’s Republic of China in order to prepare for a rapprochement of the United States and the PRC. Over the next few decades, he..

Helge Timmerberg

Helge Timmerberg

Is it a good thing or a bad thing when travel writers start to write about writing?

Helge Timmerberg is a German travel writer in his fifties who ventures into India to follow the flow of the Ganges river. He takes trains and cabs into the mountain area around the source, smokes some weed, stops..

Thomas Laird

Thomas Laird

When you’re trying to retell controversial historical events, should you reinvent dialogue?

Thomas Laird is an American Himalaya enthusiast who investigates the fate of American diplomat Douglas Mackiernan (1913-1950) and anthropologist Frank Bessac (1922-2010) in Tibet. They got caught up in the chaotic events of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and tried to..

Volker Häring

Volker Häring

Just where exactly is the dividing line between the cultural expert and the ignorant visitor?

Volker Häring is an „old China hand“ from Germany, a dude who’s been staying in the People’s Republic for a few decades. He offers guided bike tours for foreign tourists, and sometimes he ventures out to explore new routes. This book is a collection of his..

Polly Greeks

Polly Greeks

Why is Polly Greeks‘ book so much better than that of Nathan Hoturoa Gray?

In 2001, Polly Greeks is working as a journalist in New Zealand. She does and interview with Nathan Hoturoa Gray (who at the time is trying to walk the length of the Great Wall), falls in love with him and..

Alexandra David-Néel

Alexandra David-Néel

Has classic European explorer lingo turned this lady into a macho?

Alexandra David-Néel is already over fifty years old when she embarks on a trip to Lhasa in the early 1920s. She takes a Tibetan monk along (whom she apparently adopted), and they start from the province Yunnan, making it to..

Karl Friedrich August Gützlaff

Karl Friedrich August Gützlaff

Is this dude a missionary or rather just a spy?

Just prior to the outbreak of the first Opium War between Great Britain and the Empire of the Qing, German lutheran missionary Karl Friedrich August Gützlaff boards a British ship and goes on a few trips around the shores of the Chinese Sea. Obviously, he intends to..

Stanley Stewart

Stanley Stewart

Is China really that strange, or do we sometimes just want things to be a certain way?

Travel writer Stanley Stewart starts in Shanghai – and travels overland through China, all the way to Xinjiang and into Pakistan. He writes about what he sees along the ancient Silk Roads, talks to locals, checks out historical relics – and he even has..

Nikolai Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky

Nikolai Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky

Too much racism even for an imperialist?

During a time when Russia is rapidly expanding into Central Asia, geologist/adventurer Nikolai Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky gladly accepts a mission from the government: to explore and map the Mongolian and Tibetan regions of..

Eric Newby

Eric Newby

Why is this book so legendary when it comes to travel literature?

It is the year 1956, and Eric Newby is an Englishman in his 30s who works in the fashion business. One day, he decides that he’s had enough of it and sets his mind on a mountain climbing expedition to Afghanistan. His friend Hugh Carless, who speaks a bit of Persian, comes along. The problem: neither of them is a seasoned mountaineer. They decide to practice on a few boulders at home first, then they drive to Istanbul and down to Iran. Eventually..

Fabian Sixtus Körner

Fabian Sixtus Körner

Do photos, a lot of countries and a slick design make for a good book?

It is the turn of the first decade of the 21st century, and Fabian Sixtus Körner is a young designer from Germany who wants to see the world. He hears of the German tradition of the „journeyman years“, where young men, after completing their apprenticeship in the crafts, set out to roam about the country and learn from other masters. A sort of medieval „work & travel“ if you will, a tradition that is still..

Alec Ash

Alec Ash

What went wrong when a book can’t exist by itself?

this is not a travel book. It’s a book about China, a book that seemingly aspires to explain a part of China to its readers (think of Peter Hessler, John Pomfret, Evan Osnos, Liao Yiwu, or maybe Rob Gifford. The author of this book, AA, is a young Briton who lives in Beijing as a journalist/writer. He makes friends with..

Nadine Hudson

Nadine Hudson

Why does too much often mean too little?

NH is a woman in her twenties from Switzerland who is struggling with mental health issues, most notably an eating disorder. She decides to embark on a backpacking trip through Asia. She travels on her own for a while, then she runs into a British traveler, marries him, and they continue to go on..

Rob Lilwall

Rob Lilwall

What’s wrong with adventure travel writing if we get bored by it?

Rob Lilwall is a British adventurer who has managed to cycle home from Siberia to the UK. This time, he decides to take a buddy along (Irish adventurer Leon McCarron) and walk from Mongolia to Hongkong, which is his new home. The two manage to..

Yu Ying

Yu Ying

Does the Chinese literary world need to train tougher editors?

Yu Ying is a 20-something girl from Southwest China who lives and works as PA for a fashion model in Beijing. In 2009, she applies for the „Best Job In The World“, a project hosted by Tourism Queensland that places..

George, Earl Of Macartney

George, Earl Of Macartney

Was this book meant for those interested in the history of Sino-European relations?

Today, George, Earl Of Macartney is most widely known for his role as the first official envoy of Britain to China. He arrived there in 1793, apparently refusing to kowtow before Emperor Qianlong, and when he tried to establish trade relations, he eventually failed..

Otto Braun

Otto Braun

Will having the correct ideology improve your writing, or is this totally irrelevant?

Otto Braun is a German communist who in 1932 gets dispatched by the Comintern from Moscow to China. He is supposed to help the Chinese communists establish themselves politically and militarily. Otto Braun adopts..

Graham Earnshaw

Graham Earnshaw

If you know China so well, how can you still fail to write a decent book about it?

Graham Earnshaw is a British journalist/entrepreneur who has stayed in China not only for a couple of years, but for a several decades. In 2004, after having read our old friend Edwin John Dingle’s account of his own travels through China 100 years earlier, he decides to..

Oliver Lutz Radtke

Oliver Lutz Radtke

Is China absurd, or does absurdity really reside in those who are always looking for the absurd?

Oliver Lutz Radtke is a German Sinologist – a scholar of Chinese culture. He has spent a considerable length of time in China, and now he’s here to tell us about it: Oliver Lutz Radtke on a plane with Chinese travelers, Oliver Lutz Radtke in language class, Oliver Lutz Radtke in a..

Edwin John Dingle

Edwin John Dingle

How could an awesome feat like this turn into such an uninspiring book?

In the early 1900s, right before the downfall of the Qing Empire, Edwin John Dingle is a British journalist who comes up with the idea to traverse China on foot. He lands in Shanghai, takes a ship to Chongqing, and starts walking..

Andreas Altmann

Andreas Altmann

How was an otherwise good travel book ruined by too much preaching?

German travel writer Andreas Altmann undertakes an overland trip around some parts of Southeast Asia. A few of the people he hangs out with are friends he knows from previous trips, but most of the people..

Serge Roetheli

Serge Roetheli

How can a book about a man running around the whole world be so… bad?

We’re in 1997, and Serge Roetheli has just returned from running all the way from South America to Alaska. He was accompanied by his wife on a motorcycle, and since this „American Challenge“ is now behind them, they decide to..

Nicole Roetheli

Nicole Roetheli

Is this in any way comparable to the works of Ella Maillart?

Remember Serge Roetheli, the guy who fabulously ran around the world and wrote a book about it that just wasn’t that good? Well, NR is his wife, the person who kept..

Xiao Peng

Xiao Peng

If this guy writes so well and goes to so many cool places, then just why is this book he wrote so bad?

Xiao Peng is a young Chinese white-collar worker who decides that he wants to see the world. He first travels around China, then ends up as an exchange student in the Netherlands. From there, he sets out to..

Stuart Stevens

Stuart Stevens

Does this book do anything right except exposing Mark Salzman’s attitude towards China?

Aspiring American travel writer Stuart Stevens is a huge fan of Peter Fleming. He sets out to retrace Fleming’s and Ella Maillart’s route from Beijing to the Northwest of China. And he doesn’t..

Gregor Sieböck

Gregor Sieböck

What’s wrong with Bono, and why do I think you should use this book to smash bugs?

Gregor Sieböck is a young idealist from Austria who walks around the world to promote environmentalism. He sets out in Austria in 2003 and makes his way to the southern tip of Portugal. (Throw in a Camino there.) Then he does..

Ding Haixiao

Ding Haixiao

What happens to a travel story when you get caught up in old books and theories?

Ding Haixiao is a twenty-something Chinese travel writer who embarks on a trip to the Chinese Northwest. He hitches rides most of the way, sometimes alone and sometimes together with different travel companions whom he either already knows or gets to know on the road. He seems to have a strong liking for anthropology and philosophy, and he is..

Rewi Alley

Rewi Alley

Did this guy just hate China or did he want to satirically show how much can you brown nose a dictator?

Rewi Alley has been a friend of Communist China for some decades, living comfortably (and rather overweight) in a special compound in Beijing, when in 1966 he embarks on several trips through the country. His aim: to document..

Nathan Hoturoa Gray

Nathan Hoturoa Gray

Why does esotericism often go hand in hand with ignorance, and just how bad can a book be?

5 dudes decide to walk the Great Wall. Their main objective: to be the First Westerners. Okay, so this is about 15 years after William Lindesay, and almost a century after William Edgar Geil, but..