In 2012, I traveled overland from Thailand – Bangkok to northern China – Beijing to study Mandarin Chinese. I had no idea what China would be like, and no, “culture shock” doesn’t seem like a strong enough phrase. While Troost describes China and his interactions with the Chinese in an interesting way, his experiences did not always parallel my personal experiences in China. This might partly be because Troost limited himself to only writing about the famous locations like the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors, and the Forbidden City, and about the major cities like Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. These overcrowded locations do not necessarily give an accurate description of China as a whole, just like New York and the Niagara Falls wouldn’t for the United States. My favorite part of the book was probably Tibet, which I have not visited yet, and his comments on the Chinese cuisine of several provinces.
“Lost on Planet China” by J. Maarten Troost
by Sanne ⋅