Lonely Planet go local: Chinese language guide to Yunnan

Travel | by Aimee Groom
Posted: August 12th, 2010 | Updated: August 12th, 2010 | Comments
Lonely planet Chinese language guide to YunnanHere's an interesting and rather thought provoking review of the first of a series of Chinese-language provincial level guidebooks from Lonely Planet. The review, featured on Go Kunming is written by Chris Taylor who is closer than most to the mother of all guidebooks, having penned parts of two China editions in the 90s and contributed to more than 20 others. Here's a taste to whet your appetite. Check out Go Kunming for the full article:
There is perhaps no greater irony of modern travel than being photographed by the natives with digital SLRs. Times have changed and now foreigners are part of the colorful backdrop for Chinese on personal journeys of discovery in their homeland. Add another layer of irony: in Yunnan, some of those Chinese travelers are now armed with a Chinese-language Lonely Planet guidebook to the province. Lonely Planet brought individual travel into the mainstream with the release of its pioneering Across Asia on the Cheap in 1972 – followed by an empire-building slew of guides, including China in late 1984, shortly after the country flung open its doors to individual travel. The travel revolution made Lonely Planet the world's biggest independent publisher – before the sale of a 75 percent stake to the BBC in late 2007 – and guided many of us through our first forays into China. By January of this year, 100 million books had rolled off the Melbourne publisher's presses. Today, amid economic recession, terrorism scares and borders closed by conflict, the revolution, it appears, is shifting to China – and, if you know Chinese and the Lonely Planet formula, you are in disconcertingly familiar territory in the guidebook publisher's first provincial-level release. Yunnan – the first in what is slated to be series of Chinese-language regional guides to China – is less a guidebook with Chinese characteristics than a tried and tested template applied to a nation that for the first time in its history is enjoying the luxury of mass tourism. Read more...
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