China Travel Resources
- Lonely Planet’s Thorntree Forums: The China page is quite active, and most questions get answered within 24 hours, or less. Frequent posters will happily do anything from critique your itinerary to tell you which bus to take in Beijing. Try to be as specific as possible with your questions, and search the forums to see whether or not it’s already been answered.
- The Man in Seat 61: Mark Smith’s invaluable guide to train travel around the world includes a good section on China. He gives train times and ticket prices for major train routes, and his section on the Trans-Siberian(/Trans-Manchurian/Trans-Mongolian) Railway is especially helpful.
- China Travel Guide’s Train Search: A useful search engine for train timetables all over China. The ticket price information is spotty and sometimes out-of-date, but rarely by more than 10 or 20 RMB.
- Hostelworld.com: China is well represented on this hostel reservations engine. The customers’ reviews are generally quite reliable.
- Travel Independent: This is a good introduction to backpacking, with good advice on how to pack and what to do before you leave. I personally find their discussion of China to be a bit negative — don’t be scared off!
- Appetite for China: Whet your appetite for Chinese cuisine with this site’s recipes and mouthwatering photographs. In addition, Diana Kuan occasionally reviews restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities.
- Savour Asia: Guides to the cuisine and restaurants of Beijing, Hanoi, Luang Prabang and Bangkok.
News about China
- Wall Street Journal: China Journal: Rounds up China news from around the Internet.
- James Fallows’ blog: The Atlantic’s no-longer-Beijing-based correspondent still writes about China often.
- Letter from China: New Yorker writer Evan Osnos, who lives in Beijing, now writes about Chinese politics and culture for their website.
- Pomfret’s China: John Pomfret, the author of Chinese Lessons, blogs occasionally about current events for the Washington Post. Updates here are very sporadic, though interesting.
- The China Beat: This group blog is more academic than the three journalists’ blogs above. Go here for deeper (and much longer) analyses of current events and book excerpts.