A Traveller in China by Christina Dodwell

Christina Dodwell s wanderlust, combined with her inventive and unorthodox methods of travel and her unquenchable curiosity about people, make her the ideal guide to the remoter parts of China s vast territory. She visits regions largely inhabited by the many ethnic minority groups, still living their distinctive lifestyles. A four-day bus journey to Kashgar begins Christina s journey, followed by a canoe journey from Lake Karakol. She followed Marco Polo s route to Beijing, past the ruined cities of the Silk Road. In Xinjiang she spent time with migrating Kazakhs setting up their summer camp. Her canoe journey on the Yellow River resulted in her finding a hitherto-unknown portion of the Great Wall, and in Beijing she tracked down the house in which her grandmother had lived in the time of the warlords. In a side trip to Tibet, Christina spent time in a nomad tent, sharing the elaborate plaiting and ornamentation ritual of a women s hairdressing session. Christina joins Chinese tourists when she visits the oldest surviving frescoes in China, the Xian terracotta army, and spends a few days at the famous lamasery of Taer si. She witnessed the dragon boat race on Lake Er Hai, But her most precious moments were camping alone on the edge of an ice-bound lake, finding a way to unvisited beehive tombs in the Gobi, climbing a remote sacred mountain in Yunnan Province and paddling her small canoe cautiously into the mighty Yangtse. Christina s great courage, open mind and unbounded curiosity enable her to go to places few would dare visit, and she almost invariably finds kindness and hospitality wherever she travels.

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