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China Survival Guide: How to Avoid Travel Troubles and Mortifying Mishaps Paperback – February 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press; Revised Edition edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933330511
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933330518
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.4 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #812,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"As I was reading the second edition, I felt as if I was reliving my magical Asian adventure. The Herzbergs use wit, wisdom, and warmth in relaying essential China travel tips on etiquette, cultural history, and traveling frugally but in style."
Sally Starrfield, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, Duke University Talent Identification Program

"Thank goodness for Larry and Qin Herzberg! Their book was invaluable in helping me anticipate some of the more foreign aspects of traveling in China, not to mention that the book is hilarious! Travel groups will benefit from their expertise on surviving in China with grace and humor."
Susan Glassburn Larimer, China Travel Coordinator, Indiana University School of Social Work

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Larry and Qin Herzberg are a married couple, and are both professors of Chinese language and culture at Calvin College in Michigan. They travel to China every year, both with students and without. Qin and Larry are a married couple, and are both professors of Chinese language and culture at Calvin College in Michigan. They travel to China every year, both with students and without.

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Customer Reviews

Easy to read and full of useful information.
Stacey Segil
I highly recommend this book if you are traveling to China.
Bamanate
The book is well written with a sense of humor.
Benjis Dad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 102 people found the following review helpful By THoward on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not every book for tourists has humor. Lots are coffee table books for armchair tourists. This book has us laughing out loud!

Ok, we never thought that the Chinese people carry around their own toilet paper in their bags, but I guess this is so! I asked our Chinese friend and he said that the country feels that toilet paper may be wasted if supplied in each stall (wasted also equals stolen) and that paper stored in the bathroom might not be as clean as that you bring from home. Who would have thought to tell me this before our trip? I've certainly sat down to take care of business before realizing the stall was out of paper! Now I know the toilet paper rolls in China are at the entrance to the restroom and NOT in each stall.

We've learned about "black" taxis and due to US travels we know this isn't exclusive to China. But now we are a more educated tourist. Our trip to China is June 2012. We are super excited and I am sure this book will get an update when we return.

In the meantime, if you know you are going to China - you will need to know HOW to potty and this book has a great explanation without getting too graphic. Excellent writing!

Update from July 2012.

We have returned from our nearly 1 month trip to China. To say this was an experience of a lifetime is inefficient. WOW!

We loved the parks. People go out at night and dance in the streets, the parks and other community areas. This is a very social time and people move to get some daily exercise. JOIN IN! They love participants. Don't worry about having two left feet, the enjoyment is the most important part. If you can, use the exercise equipment because it is made for adults and not children.

We loved the food. We were able to eat lots of variety.
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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By microtute on August 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am ethnic Chinese but do not speak or read Chinese. However I was raised with Chinese sensibilities so the subtleties of the culture were already ingrained in me. I went to Shanghai,Hangzhou, Xi'an and Wuhan. I traveled with a friend from China who now lives in the US. There are some good tips especially about etiquette in the book but there are others that are missing. Some tips may be dated because the pace of change in China is so fast. Foremost is that you don't need to bring US $100 bills. There are Bank of China ATMs with English menus everywhere that work fine and have much more security features than in the US. At Shanghai airport, there is a currency exchange machine that sucks your money in and dispenses RMB but that is the only place I used dollars. You need RMB for everything because the only places that accept US credit cards are hotels. The other cards you see people using in store are debit cards that require PIN numbers and they only accept debit cards from Chinese banks. You should warn your bank that you will be in China so they don't freeze your cards. Bring a couple of cards because they will be refused sporadically. Hotels charge 8% service charge to exchange money which is pretty steep so go to the ATM.
Make sure you write down the taxi driver's cabby license number so you can report him if necessary. We were taken for a ride (over an hour)in Xi'an to drive up the fare from the airport and we were terrified that he would drop us by the side of the empty highway at 10pm.
The biggest problem when using the squat potties is the stray puddles of urine. I don't know how women wear sandals! You have to roll up your pants and swing your handbag across your back so it doesn't touch the floor. Most places do have Western style toilets but you have to wait.
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90 of 96 people found the following review helpful By JanS on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a book with a publishing date of 2008, this is stunningly out of date. Just got back from my trip to China (Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an) and virtually nothing stated in this book was true. One stand-out: yes, they're right: most toilet stalls don't have paper. But no, there is none for sale or available by the door. BYO tissues or moist towels - those are useful anyway for keeping your hands clean through the day, too. Also, the info. on how to bargain is good; yes, skimpy tops do raise a few eyebrows [more amused and surprised than angry]; and certainly, non-queueing is an art form especially among seniors.

But dead wrong (for my three stops): taxi drivers are literate and can read your hotel address in Chinese if you bring it with you; crossing the street is fairly easy as long as you keep your eyes open and obey the electronic signs (which even count down to tell you how many seconds you have before they are going to change to red); taxi drivers are aggressive but don't drive particularly fast so it's hardly a white-knuckle experience; western-style toilets are available at almost all markets, tourist sites and restaurants; and everything in our hotel rooms was clean and in full working order (4 hotels). Shorts are fine, too.

The stories of the authors' travels are cute, and I can't comment on the business etiquette or medical info., but unless you are traveling back in time or to the remotest hinterlands I doubt you will encounter many of the problems mentioned here. I also found the politics somewhat suspect although I understand that praising dictatorship as the only way to control so large a population may go down well with the officials the authors have to deal with to get their forthcoming documentary made.
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