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How to Plan a Photo-Tastic Trip to China

I’ve always believed that a seasoned traveler appreciates and grows so much through his/her travels that in the end, he/she will reflect an old sense of contentment and fulfillment through having explored his/her world (even if the journey took years). The only possible exception would be if the traveler is still super serious about the goal and timeline he or she has set for taking that voyage.

But at the end of the day, I think that seeing the best and worst of another culture, however disparate, holds a wealth of experience and knowledge that is unparalleled for people who have never been that far from home.

If you’re serious about this quest or want to go further afield, I suggest consulting The China Travel Guide, an ultimate guide for a first-time traveler to China, in all its richness and ubiquity. Largest written guidebook ever written, it dives deep into the world of Chinese culture, history, and lifestyle while providing a hands-on solution for on-the-ground travel and trade.

The voice is particularly affable, accessible, and fun, and the vibrant artwork breathes with a unique and vivid sense of Beijing and Shanghai, respectively. And just when you find yourself wondering whether any authentic Chinese cuisine was served in said restaurant, it informs you that there are literally thousands of eateries in Beijing alone, all with their own own unique fare.

The essays and features have destinations of over 100 places, with lively interviews and anecdotes in each section. A tasting menu — read the whole book in one sitting! — costs nothing, but the entry for Hong Kong is totally worth it.

There are topics ranging from transportation, destinations, cuisine, and drink, travel segments, and business and finance. There are some 600 photos and 2,000-plus illustrations, and even a sidebar section featuring China-focused articles from USA Today and Business Insider (which will be soon to be replaced by Forbes).

What makes this guide so worth the time investment is how thoughtful and balanced it is. The authors don’t underestimate the challenges involved, but they also do not shy away from revealing the pitfalls. No matter where you go, I guarantee that your travels will be marked by moments of genuine delight, as well as moments of wrenching difficulty. And from the beginning of each chapter, this guide will fully open up your mind and allow you to broaden your perspective on the world around you.

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