Asia

Best China Travel Guide Books

Are you planning a trip to China and looking for some great travel books that will walk you through each part of the trip?

Great Wall of China at the Jinshanling section.

China is a great place to visit as it is a vast country that has so much to see and many activities, festivals, and events to experience. Traveling to China is a trip of a lifetime and many who make the trip rely on guidebooks to help them navigate through the land, language, and culture. Here are some of the best travel books to help you plan your amazing trip. These books are available on Amazon, and some may be eligible for free two-day shipping with a Prime membership. That way, you can start planning your trip as soon as possible.

Lonely Planet China (Country Travel Guide)

This book is full of color photos of various areas and scenery located in China. It inspires you to go search for these places so that you can enjoy the most out of your trip. It gives advice on where to eat, what to do, and what kinds of festivals you can find in the different areas at different times of the year. It can also direct you to where to get medical care if needed, bordering countries and what to expect if you’d like to explore them, and animals you might see during your trip. It also has a section about what kinds of things there are to do if you are traveling with your children.

National Geographic Traveler: China

This great travel book will help cater your trip to the interests you have and what you like to do. Many of the tips are from people who have traveled to China themselves. What could possibly go wrong with something that has been written by National Geographic, which is an organization that has been around for a long time? With beautiful colored maps and chapters separated by cities, this 2017 edition can help you figure out what you would like to do during your stay in China no matter how long or short it is. While it is printed on glossy paper and may be difficult to travel with because of its weight, it is the perfect book for you to use to plan your trip ahead of time.

Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip

This is a great book if you are planning a road trip through China. It is complete with information on modern China. Available as a Prime membership discount item, you can get it within two days of ordering it so you can read it before your trip. The author, Peter Hessler, is not a native of China but has lived there for a while, so he knows what to expect when traveling to the country. His road trip involves him following the Great Wall.

China: Portrait of a People

This is an amazing book when it comes to understanding the people who make China diverse. Just like any other country, China has many different regions with different types of people. When you are planning your trip to the country, it is important that you know where you are going and what you will encounter when you get there. Customs and part of the language are extremely important to make your way through the land. This book is written by a man who backpacked his way through China. Even if you are not backpacking, his advice and tales will teach you what you need to know to enjoy your trip. Also available with Amazon Prime.

Frommer’s China (Frommer’s Complete Guides)

This guidebook has a section that can help you determine an itinerary based on the amount of time you have on your trip. From 1-3 weeks, it can help you decide what kinds of journeys you can accomplish and how to go about them. It also tells you what kinds of experiences you can plan on in different areas such as small towns or in the country. It has advice for when you travel to museums, reviews for restaurants, and even gives you a little bit about the history of the country. There are other parts of the book that break it down into the different cities or regions you can travel to and what fun there is to have there. This book is not available on Amazon Prime but will be helpful for your trip.

Fodor’s China (Full-color Travel Guide)

This book is great if you are traveling on a group tour, but not if you are traveling to China independently. It has lots of information about visiting the major cities but is not the best for helping you to navigate your way there. While the maps and photos are in color, you might need to research ways to get to the places you’d like to go. It has helpful tips about how to budget for your trip and tips from local experts who have lived there for quite some time. It is not available with Amazon Prime but can be purchased through third-party sellers.

Lonely Planet China (Travel Guide)

This is different from the book above. The book above helps you to travel through China’s country landscapes. This book covers most all of China. It is a book that is well-respected and will help you with information while you are in the country. It is one of the best travel books about China that you could invest in. It was also published in May of 2015, so is one of the most up-to-date travel books you will find. While it is not available with Amazon Prime, it can be purchased ahead of time so that you can plan your trip.


Getting a travel book is a good idea, especially if you are visiting a place for the first time. There may be so many to choose from that it can be overwhelming when searching for one to fit your needs. These books can help you depending on what you are looking for.

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Leigh Gordon

Leigh Gordon is an avid surfer, writer, and blogger living in San Diego. She spends time hiking and traveling, and enjoys seeing all that California and the world have to offer. She owns a yellow lab named Finn.

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