Turning a page on travel

By Xing Yi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-10-15 07:54:33

Turning a page on travel

A Decade of Backpacking, I Just Want to Stop and See the World, We Always Travel Hand in Hand and Why We Travel are among the most popular travel books in China. [Photo provided to China Daily] [Photo/China Daily]

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Young writers tell stories of their journeys of growth based on their personal experiences, Xing Yi reports.

As he looks up at the Jade Dragon Mountain, Zhang Jinpeng basks in the sunshine on the roof-top of his youth hostel in Lijiang, a popular tourist destination in Yunnan province in Southwest China. He is content and excited at the same time, since the hostel, which he named after his best-seller A Decade of Backpacking, opened earlier this month.

Published in 2010, Zhang's book was considered a milestone in Chinese travel writing. It sold more than 600,000 copies and triggered a wave of travel books by other Chinese writers who were born in the late 1970s and'80s.

Different from travel guides and traditional Chinese travel literature that mainly depict landscapes and scenery, these books by young travelers tell stories of their personal growth through traveling.

In A Decade of Backpacking, Zhang recounts his travels around the world since 2001, after he graduated from Nankai University in Tianjin and decided to see the world.

Writing for magazines and selling them his photographs, Zhang gradually became what he calls "a professional traveler".

"I think the success of my book coincided with the trend of more Chinese people having more spare time and money, and they want to go out to see the world," says Zhang, who subtitled his book My Job Is Traveling.

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