Fun tales and advice for the independent traveller to China. Lots of pics.
Excerpt: Since you are reading this, I can safely assume that you speak English. The Chinese have an amazing ability to learn foreign languages and English tops the list. You won't have too much trouble finding someone who can understand you. My frustration has been in trying to practise my limited Chinese. Too many people want to practise English. You will find all sorts of accommodation from five-star to no-star. It's amazing just how little impact communism has had on the deeply ingrained Chinese desire to do business. Go north into the former Soviet Union and you will see what I mean. Booking a hotel, or even a guest-house, can usually be done over the internet. There is an extensive network of backpacker hostels and similar accommodation - often run by Westerners. The metro system in the big cities is modern, safe and easy to use. Place names are given in both Chinese characters and Roman (ABC) script. Information boards and public address systems provide advice in Mandarin (official Chinese) and English. Intercity trains are modern and run on time. The Chinese are exceedingly sociable. They are used to meeting people who don't speak their own language since China has a huge number of different languages (like Europe).