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People's Daily Online>>China Society

On the road

By Yao Minji  (Shanghai Daily)

10:21, November 29, 2011

Have backpack, will travel. Chinese young people increasingly are hitting the road for adventure and self-exploration. Very personal amateur travel books are big sellers. Yao Minji reports.

Zhang Jinpeng from Tianjin is planning a trip to South America while rushing to complete his second book, likely to come out in April.

Zhang is a professional backpacker rather than a writer, and his second book is about his adventures on the road, like his first book ("Ten Years As A Backpacker" (2010). The title for the second is undecided.

In his first work, Zhang tell 100 stories he collected on the road and traces his own 10-year journey from an ordinary university graduate to a professional traveler. Today tourism bureaus invite him to write about their destinations for Chinese readers. His books are in Chinese.

Published last October, the book sold more than 300,000 copies, according to his publisher, Citic Press. In a market where 50,000 is a success and 100,000 is a best-seller, these sales would have been impossible for a travel book just two years ago.

Now the book is the top-seller of its kind so far, but not the only success. Many personal-experience travel books have been published since 2010, and many have made good profits, encouraging publishers to produce more.

In the past, Chinese travel books were of two main types - practical "tool box" books providing tips on how to get someplace and where to stay and in-depth "cultural" travel books written by well-established writers.

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