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Beijing and Shanghai (Eyewitness Travel Guides) Paperback – January 15, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: DK Travel (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756625009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756625009
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,626,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a repeat visitor, I can tell you this guide is a great outline of the major sites, map locations, and profuse illustrations and photos. The street maps are thorough, too. It is thinner and lighter than the complete DK China Guide, so it travels with you much more easily. As all Eyewitness Guides, this one is brief when reviewing hotels and restaurants, so Frommers, Fodors and others can give you those.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Except on very major roads, none of the street signs in Beijing are written in English. The book doesn't have any Chinese characters listed for the streets or business names. This means you can't match the Chinese characters on your own, or point to them when asking someone else. Unless you can perfectly pronounce the English versions of Chinese names and ask someone on the street (extremely hard, especially when given no accent marks on the english versions), this book is next to useless. Maybe this wouldn't bother you if you were only going to the main sites, but the book doesn't even show the reviewed businesses (hotels, restaurants, shops) on the maps, only the rough square they are in! Add in the fact that many city facts are just plain wrong (ignore their description of the subway for example, it is all electronic), and I honestly don't understand why there are so many great reviews regarding the maps & locations for this book. Unless you just want to read it for the pictures, stay away.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like all DK books, this one is very glossy and colorful. If you're going on a packaged tour of these cities, this is a fine book to have. It has nice photos and maps of the major tourist attractions, as well as some historical information and suggested walking tours. On the other hand, if you're going to be visiting these cities for an extended period, you will probably exhaust the information in this slim book pretty quickly.

If you're a backpacker or independent tourist, this book will have limited value to you as there are only a handful of hotel and restaurant suggestions. The DK books are published much less frequently than other guidebooks, so I suppose extensive listings (like you find in annually updated guidebooks) would be obsolete a couple of years later.

This book does have a 2009 publication date and the Beijing subway map does include the new routes that were added for the 2008 Olympics.
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Format: Paperback
Since my wife and I would be going to China in 2009 (to see the next total eclipse), I wanted to "get the lay of the land "so to speak and find out more specifically what the cities had for us and more. While we would be on a tour, I still wanted to know more for myself as well as being able to tell more on the videos, websites and presentations I would create. I looked at about 10 books that I thought were good and covered what I wanted. I wanted to find more about not only the sights and traveling (mostly we would be in and around Shanghai and Beijing before and after the eclipse and because of this would not need a book that would include other parts of China)but more about the sights, monuments, art, museums;architecture and more. The layout of the book is splendid. What I really got this book for was the nice color illustrations, photos, maps.It is light enough for me to take with us. The information does have text that is small but that is because the book packs so much useful information (much of what I wanted to know about) . The sections for hotel and restaurant information will help those who might be finding their own way. But since we already have our hotels and most of the places to eat already arranged on the tour, I was not too focused on these but the restaurant information would help when we were had to fend for ourselves. The " Where to Eat " section is quite good and includes what to focus upon in Beijing and Shanghai.I have been all around the world and have cooked and eaten all types of food and recipes but I still found this part well done and helpful.Read more ›
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I enjoyed leafing through this book before going on our trip to China. However, while there, it proved to be pretty much useless. The information given for the major sights were incredibly lacking.

I will site just coverage of the forbidden palace. It makes no mention at all for the treasure museum at the Forbidden Palace. This is by far the most rewarding part and has some magnificent imperial treasures, including some of the largest carved jade ever created. It also provides nearly no stories or narratives for any of the buildings, except mentioning their function.

I did not use their restaurant and hotel recommendations so can't comment, but it seemed overloaded with non-Chinese eateries. One positive are the guided walks provided. We did a modified version in Beijing and it was great.

This book is good for looking at some pictures and getting some ideas before your trip, but useless as a guidebook.
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Format: Paperback
I have all Eyewitness Books on Travel & am hooked because of the photos. Most travel books have great info but nothing replaces arriving & seeing what you have identified from the comfort of your own home. As a person with one eye (due to cancer - too much chemo) this is very important to me. Faster than online....This one is exceptional & therefore I took the time to do a review for my next Asian trip. Hopefully it will help someone have a fantastic trip.
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