CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Sophia M. R. Leung.

Surrey (BC), Hancock House, c1982.
263pp, paper, $11.95.
ISBN 0-88839-141-2.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by Elinor Kelly.

Volume 11 Number 1.
1983 January.

Now that the People's Republic is encouraging individual tourist travel, there will be an influx of visitors. Anyone planning to visit China will find this new travel guide very useful. The author is a Chinese-Canadian, born in China, now a medical social worker in British Columbia, who has conducted tours to China since the early 1970s.

The book is not very different in arrangement or type of content from others of past years. It gives practical information on passports, customs, climate, clothes, food, entertainment, shopping, how to conduct business. It offers a brief history, a list of dynasties with dates, sections on women, religion, health care, arts and crafts, major museums. The main body of the book has concise descriptions of sixty cities, listed in alphabetical order, with their history, tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants, entertainment available, and what to shop for.

The illustrations are photographs of famous sights and buildings and objets d'art. There is a fourteen-page English-Chinese vocabulary, maps of the ten biggest cities, and lists of useful addresses.

The Canadian content is minimal except for a few things such as a currency conversion and a list of Canadian banks allowed to do business. Of course, one of the cities visited is Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, site of the Norman Bethune hospital, museum and mausoleum. There are no other references to Canadian connections, such as Davidson Black and the Peking Man. Nor are there any Canadian books in the reading list, e.g., John Eraser's The Chinese,* but it does give the author's own writings on art and medical subjects. Recommended for travellers and public libraries.

*Reviewed vol. IX/3 1981 p.215

Elinor Kelly, Port Hope, ON
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