China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Forgotten Kingdom

Of the many books that I have read over the years, I have read a second time only two of them because I enjoyed them so much. One of them is "The Forgotten Kingdom" Among the Nakhis of LiKiang by Peter Gouffart. I purchased the book in LiJiang at the recommendation of my friend who is also a Bai Nationality guide there. The time frame is 1939 when the Russian author lived amongst the Naxi people of LiJiang. I have never read a book with so much clear detail of what life was like at a period of time giving so many insights to historical life in pre-war China before the communist government came to power. LiJiang is on the border of Tibet in the mountains above Kunming in southern China. LiJiang today is one of my favorite small cities in China although becoming a tourist mecca, much of the historical and old China remain in tact. I am not sure if copies of the book can be obtained in the U.S. or not. Another book available here is "Life and Death in Shanghai" which is about the Red Guards in Shanghai written by a woman who lived through that period. For humorous reading, "Coming Home Crazy" is another book written during the 1980's in China some of which I experienced myself before the great Leap Forward of the 1990's. Tours to China is my business; but Chinese history and culture is my passion. Read this fall about my 54th trip to China covering the Western part of the Silk Road and Sichuan province around Chengdu.

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