An Englishman in Beijing

What other guides fail to tell you

by Brian Salter 

Publication Date:  25th Nov 2022


An Englishman in Beijing – travel guidebook about the real Beijing. This expat journalist’s take on China’s capital combines what to see and do with pithy cultural observations and 849 colour photographs. It features 150 amazing tourist attractions, many off the beaten track and unknown even to locals, such as temples, parks and museums.

About this book

An Englishman in Beijing is a travel guidebook about the real Beijing, written by expat journalist Brian Salter, who spent several years thoroughly exploring China’s capital city from a unique perspective while working for China Daily Online and CGTN’s English-language TV channel. Combining what to see and do – across the whole of Beijing – with pithy cultural observations, detailed travel instructions and 849 colour photographs, this guidebook reveals what others fail to tell you. Some 150 amazing tourist attractions are featured, many off the beaten track and not even well known to locals.
The guidebook of course covers the must-see destinations that feature on the itinerary of every foreign visitor to Beijing: The Forbidden City, Yonghegong and The Great Wall. But Salter differs in taking readers to places that other guidebook-writers do not reach, notably Beijing’s amazing 150-plus museums. Of eight transport-oriented museums, three encompass aviation alone – including a candidate for the world’s best – while other esoteric offerings include: probably the world’s sole eunuch museum (which, bizarrely, also boasts a mummified corpse); museums devoted to tap water, taxation and diabolos; and a museum that proudly displays cars used by Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders.
In his exploration of hidden Beijing, Salter also showcases temples (one featuring the 76 departments of the Taoist afterlife) plus numerous parks that are off the tourist radar, including one containing old metro-train carriages, and another dedicated to dragons but which also houses an old fighter jet. For something different, why not visit an establishment focused exclusively on watermelons, featuring the fruit’s seeds, watermelon-flavoured toothpaste and a watermelon-sculpture garden?
Very much a journalist’s take on the city, An Englishman in Beijing explores Beijing in a way that is probably unique to journalists. Salter writes only about what he has seen himself, taking with a pinch of salt information on the internet and staying clear of what others have written. He describes Beijing in an engaging, informal style that conveys readers to the heart of the capital – producing a book that is perfect for travellers, historians and cultural enthusiasts seeking a holiday with a difference.

About the Author

Brian Salter ( is a journalist, broadcaster and communications expert who began his career in the BBC, where for a number of years he produced and presented features and current affairs programmes on the World Service. He has also worked for PR and marketing firms, has been a journalist working for many publications worldwide as well as being a news anchor, contributor and producer/presenter for various international broadcasters. Salter lived in Beijing for several years, working as a journalist and broadcaster for China Daily Online and CGTN’s English language channel (formerly known as CCTV9). Salter has written or co-authored over 35 books, some translated into up to seven languages. In addition to two guides to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), his books cover covering subjects as diverse as PR, marketing, medical subjects, art, and business planning.

Additional Information

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Central Beijing
Chapter 2 Northeast Beijing
Chapter 3 Northwest Beijing
Chapter 4 Southeast Beijing
Chapter 5 Southwest Beijing