Jun 20, 09
Read in June, 2009
I've read Troost's two previous travel essay books - Sex Lives of Cannibals and Getting Stoned with Savages, both of which I enjoyed. So, I was very happy to see another Troost book and on China. This book was not quite as entertaining as the other two - perhaps because Troost is now married with two small children. :^) Or maybe, because as Troost claims, Planet China is a bit scary! Or it might be that in this book Troost is a visitor whereas in his other two books he lived "on location."
Personally, I have only been to Beijing and the immediate surrounding areas (on the way to the Great Wall at Badaling), but I was shocked to read about how much Beijing changed between when I was there in 2001 and when Troost was there a few years later. The Beijing I visited had clean air and streets that could be crossed without fearing for your life. The Great Wall at Badaling had many visitors but I didn't feel like I was being pushed and shoved while climbing it.
Still, I'll look forward to the next Troost travel essay!