Figure out the best place to stay on Khao San Road in Bangkok and where to escape when you've had enough of the mayhem. From Singapore Slings to the changes in Bejing after the 2008 Olympics, gab about it all here.

Lonely planet not allowed in China!!!

Sai

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  • Added on: May 1st, 2007
Hey guys, I crossed yesterday from Vietnam (Lao Cai) into China and for my surprise the customs officers confiscated the lonely planet China from a fellow traveler!! They said it wa against government's policies because it talks or shows in the map (I couldn't understand right) Taiwan and Tibet. The poor guy was so upset!! He manage to rip off some pages about Yunan provinces but that was it. So you know know, if you are crossing overland, keep that LP hidden, although the X-ray your pack...

good luck
Simon
"...la experiencia ajena es ciencia ficción."

Just Strolling Around...

Chinamonty

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  • Added on: May 2nd, 2007
I have had Customs and Immigration people look at mine and give it back. I also have two LP manadrine and one Cantonese language books as well which I carry most of the time.It is just the whim of the official. When I was in Chengdu recently the airport bookshop had the Chinese language Lonely Planet guide to Australia.
As China views both Tibet and Taiwan as provinces I would hardly think that that reason would hold water.

Just happy to be here

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  • Added on: May 3rd, 2007
I had heard that, so I covered mine with electrical tape. That said, I had mine in my bag and no one went through my stuff. I have seen atleast two dozen people with them at tourist sites so I would say that quite a few are making it across the border. In fact, I would recommend the Rough Guide instead of the Loney Planet for China simply becuase so many backpackers here have one. FYI: If you are going to Beijing check out the Lotus Hotel. This place is great. Cheers!

Sai

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  • Added on: May 3rd, 2007
Good trick with the tape!! Here in hostel I'm stayin (Hump Hostel if anyone needs one, cool, clean cheap 25 yuan for dorm)
so many people had got their LP taken away. I don't know about other ports of entry, but from Vietnam in Lao Cai, your pack will be X-rayed and checked for books, so try tearing off pages and put them in more than one place so I doesn't look like a book or tape like Just happy to be here did,
enjoy China
Simon
"...la experiencia ajena es ciencia ficción."

Just Strolling Around...

jv

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  • Added on: May 4th, 2007
quote:
Originally posted by SimonUribeConvers:
I don't know about other ports of entry, but from Vietnam in Lao Cai, your pack will be X-rayed and checked for books


And then I suppose they could bust you for having the Lonely Planet *and* knowingly trying to import a banned book! Let us know if it works, though.

Seriously, though, this is madness -- especially within one year of the Olympics. From what I recall, LP is always very cautious about pointing out that borders/places are "disputed" without actually taking sides.

What great publicity this would be if more people knew ...

Sai

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  • Added on: May 4th, 2007
Yeah I know Jv! A guy I just met had the same problems at the border, only to then buy a brand new copy in Dali for 30 Euros! So what's the big deal with themconfiscatingthem if they sell the book in bookshops?
Great marketing guys, keep it up!
Simon
"...la experiencia ajena es ciencia ficción."

Just Strolling Around...

RalphTheWonderLlama

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  • Added on: May 4th, 2007
quote:
Originally posted by jv:
specially within one year of the Olympics.


I wonder about this. I mean I'm sure the IOC thought, in their naive way, that giving China the Olympics might mean they'd feel forced to do something about their civil rights, but really, did anyone really expect it to happen? I think not. As always it'll just get brushed under the carpet and everything will go on as normal. How much do you want to bet that there isn't a single beggar, vagrant or otherwise disadvantaged individual visible to the international media come the Games? Where do you suppose they'll have gone? Hmm. Wait till they come to London, then they'll see some good old fashioned chaos and fuck-uppery.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...

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  • Added on: May 5th, 2007
You bet. I even heard that they were limiting personal traffic in Beijing during the games. All for appearances. I was there the day before the May holiday and it rained. On my tour to the wall one of the other guests said her Chinese friend told her it was probably artificial rain again. They shoot sulfur into the sky to make it rain, so the next day is clear. Yeah, there will be no beggers in the Capital for sure.

jv

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  • Added on: May 7th, 2007
I agree that it's naive to think the Olympics will just spontaneously change China. But I think guidebook seizures are a good little nugget for Western media to pick up on, and write/broadccast stories that could embarrass the Chinese government. If nothing else, the Olympics offer an opportunity for these types of "shaming" stories that could effect small changes.

(And don't get me wrong: there are of course many more important things to expose than some rich Western tourists being stripped of their guidebooks. But it's easy, it hits home for Westerners, and it's so paranoid and irrational that it borders on self-parody.)

jeninparadise

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  • Added on: May 7th, 2007
hmm...i suppose taking my lonely planet on tibet is out of the question, huh? does that also mean that literature (novels) about tibet and tibetan buddhism should not be carried in as well? i was hoping to do some reading on tibet while traveling through.

great idea on the exposing of this irrational seizure of lp guidebooks. its especially silly if they selling within china. heh.
http://flickr.com/photos/esperanzajenn/

Chinamonty

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  • Added on: May 7th, 2007
Like a lot of things in China it depends on the local authorities. You would have no problems bringing a Lonely Planet in through Shenzhen or Zhuhai for instance. Different areas seem to put their own interpretations on rules and regulations. You should try dealing with chinese Customs. each port or area seems to have different rules specific to themselves and just because you can do something via one port doesn't mean you can do it via a different port.
The ads on TV have started already with instructions on being nice to people and there is even one that shows drivers stopping to allow pedestrians to cross at a pedestrian crossing -fat chance that will take off here. Size is what matters on the roads the heavier you are the more "rights" you take.

Losang

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  • Added on: May 12th, 2007
I agree with Chinamonty. It really depends on the authorities. I have lived in China (Tibet) for more than 5 years. I have entered and exited many, many times and have never had any problems with my bags being searched or having anything confiscated. The border officials at the Lao Cai crossing have been taking LP China guides from people for quite some time now. I think it is very strange however, that you can buy LP China guides in some places in China. LP now publishes a guide in Chinese as well. I have seen it for dale in many bookstores across China.

Life in Tibet

HooleyHoop

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  • Added on: May 12th, 2007
Don't suppose anyone has experienced this whilst entering China from Mongolia have they? I'm going to be on the Trans-Mongolia in August and was planning to have my China guide with me for obvious reasons.

Cheers

chris

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  • Added on: May 13th, 2007
quote:
Don't suppose anyone has experienced this whilst entering China from Mongolia have they? I'm going to be on the Trans-Mongolia in August and was planning to have my China guide with me for obvious reasons


I didn't have any problems and I doubt you will either. Since, you'll most likely be crossing in the middle of the night with a whole train load of people that need to be processed quickly I can't see them bothering.



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