The Magic Ginseng Tree (神奇的人参树)

The Magic Ginseng Tree (神奇的人参树)

A Story in Simplified Chinese and Pinyin, 1200 Word Vocabulary Level, Journey to the West Book #10

In this, the 10th book in our “Journey to the West” series, the monk Tangseng and his disciples have been traveling for two or three years.   They arrive at a secluded mountain monastery which turns out to be the home of a powerful master Zhenyuan and an ancient and magical ginseng tree.  As usual, the travelers’ search for a nice hot meal and a place to sleep quickly turns into a disaster.  Although Zhenyuan has gone away for a few days, he has left his two youngest disciples in charge.  They welcome the travelers, but soon there are misunderstandings, arguments, battles in the sky, and before long the travelers are facing a powerful and extremely angry adversary, as well as mysterious magic fruits and a large frying pan full of hot oil.

This book is based on  Journey to The West (西游记, xī yóu jì), an epic novel written in the 16th Century by Wu Chen’en. The novel is loosely based on an actual journey by the Buddhist monk Tangseng (called Xuanzang and Sanzang in earlier books), who traveled from the Chinese city of Chang’an westward to India in 629 A.D. and returned 17 years later with priceless knowledge and texts of Buddhism. Over the course of the book the band of travelers face the 81 tribulations that Tangseng had to endure to attain Buddhahood.

All of the stories in this series are all written in simple language suitable for intermediate Chinese learners. Our core vocabulary for this book is 1,200 words, made up of the 600 words of HSK-3 plus another 600 or so words that were introduced in the previous books of the series. These words are all in the glossary at the back of the book.  Whenever we introduce a new word or phrase, it’s defined in a footnote on the page where it first appears, and also appears in the glossary.

In the main body of the book, each page of Chinese characters is matched with a facing page of pinyin. This is unusual for Chinese novels but we feel it’s important. By including the pinyin, as well as a full English version and glossary at the end, we hope that every reader, no matter what level of mastery they have of the Chinese language, will be able to understand and enjoy the story we tell here.

Free audio versions of all books in this series are available on YouTube.  Go to and search for the Imagin8 Press channel to find all of our free audiobooks.  Or just click the “Listen Free on YouTube” link on this page, or use the “Download” link to download the audiobook to your computer.