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Frommer's China (Frommer's Complete Guides) Paperback – March 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Frommer's Complete Guides (Book 739)
  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Frommers; 4 edition (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470526580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470526583
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 5.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,101,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Shanghai is China's most outward-looking, modern, and brash metropolis. See chapter 10 for details on exploring the city.

  • Detailed maps throughout

  • Exact prices, directions, opening hours,and other practical information

  • Candid reviews of hotels and restaurants,plus sights, shopping, and nightlife

  • Itineraries, walking tours, and trip-planning ideas

  • Insider tips from local expert authors

About the Author

Simon Foster was born in London and grew up in rural Yorkshire. Family trips first kindled his wanderlust and after graduating in geography from University College London, he set off to seek what he had been studying. He started work as an adventure tour leader in the Middle East in 1997 and was then posted to India and China. He has contributed to several international guidebooks and magazines. Simon and his wife live in sunny southern Taiwan and lead adventure tours along the Silk Road, as well as in Taiwan and India.

Jen Lin-Liu is a food and travel writer based in Beijing and Cambridge, MA. She is the author of Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey through China and the founder of the cooking school Black Sesame Kitchen in Beijing.

Born in Singapore to a Shanghainese mother and a Chaozhou father, Sharon Owyang graduated from Harvard University, and divides her time between freelance travel writing and film projects in the U.S. and China. She is the author of Frommer's Shanghai, and has also written about Shanghai, China, Vietnam, and San Diego for Insight Guides, Compact Guides, the Los Angeles Times, and several websites. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, and enough Shanghainese to be a curiosity to the locals. Most recently, she was the principal writer of the U.S.-China Media Brief produced by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Sherisse Pham was a Beijing-based freelance journalist for over four years, but recently relocated to New York to study Journalism at Columbia University. She has contributed to several Frommer's guides and has written for WWD, The South China Morning Post, People Magazine, CNN.com, and Zagat Survey among others. She hopes to return to Asia to continue reporting upon graduation.

Before she could even read, Beth Reiber couldn't wait to go to her grandparents' house so she could pour through their latest National Geographic. After living several years in Germany as a freelance travel writer for major U.S. newspapers and in Tokyo as editor of the Far East Traveler, she authored several Frommer's guides, including Frommer's Japan, Frommer's Tokyo, and Frommer's Hong Kong. She also contributes to Frommer's USA and Northstar Travel Media and writes a blog for the Japan National Tourist Organization's website at www.japantravelinfo.com. When not sleeping in far-flung hotels, she resides in Lawrence, Kansas, with her two sons, a dog, and a cat.

Lee Wing-sze is a freelance writer, translator, and avid traveler who hails from Hong Kong where she has been witness to the economic and ideological impact of China on the Eastmeets-West city since the 1997 handover. She studied English journalism at Hong Kong Baptist University and has worked for the city's English-language newspapers, the South China Morning Post, and The Standard, and has contributed to several Chinese publications in Asia. Music and basketball are her passion; but her dream is to step foot in every country on the earth, all the while bumping into people of different colors and collecting their compelling life stories.

Christopher D. Winnan's love/hate relationship with the continent currently known as China has lasted more than a decade. He has lived and worked in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and, unable to keep his comments to himself, has written extensively in both English and Chinese, most recently for Time Out and Intercontinental Press. Last year he bought a retirement house in Thailand, but even that cannot seem to keep him away from China, and he is currently residing in Dali, Yunnan Province.


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Customer Reviews

This book, 3rd edition, was very disappointing, compared to our usual Frommer guidebook.
HoustonSue
The Eyewitness Guide is very attractive and informative visually, while "50 Trips" has excellent descriptive text and not a single photograph!
Michael Gunther
It does have some good information such as bus, train and taxi info, but aside from that it's pretty useless.
Ren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Reiter on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
To begin with, readers should know that this guide was severly pared down, which explains why there are so few budget hotels and budget restaurants listed. Many section writers knew plenty of cheaper hotels and restaurants, but due to space limitations the decision was made by the publisher to list only the upper-level accomodations. This is partly because Frommer's really isn't geared towards the budget traveller.

The Beijing section is excellent, and you should go with their recommendation of staying at the Far East International Hostel, or the hotel across from it.

I am suprised by the review that felt that the authors had never been to China. In fact, all of the authors were actually foreign residents of China. While this means that they have a more intimate understanding of their region, it often means that they are less focused on the area as a travelling destination, which may explain why they don't go into the kinds of historical and cultural detail that a travel writer (who is experiencing the city differently) might.

Also, it means that much of the recommendations for certain sections of the book are not at all written from a traveller's perspective. In particular, the section on Chengdu focuses nearly all of its restaurants in the middle-south of the city. After hearing locations described in terms of their proximity to the US Consulate three times, it certainly makes me suspect that the writer of the section spent a long time there. In fact, 7 of 12 of the restaurants were located no more than half a mile from the consulate.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful By P. Callaway on November 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
We just took a trip to China, and brought this book as our primary guide. In the store it looked like the best of the bunch, full of details, lots of info to help us find a hotel and get prepped for the trip, but once we got there it was not useful at all.

Our biggest problem was the lack of Chinese characters for any of the places. We took taxis most places, and they would look at the pinyin (romanized) names and addresses in the descriptions section and either not understand or flat out refuse to take us. It was VERY FRUSTRATING not having the Chinese characters, and not having the Chinese addresses. We later realized that the characters for the names were on the map pages, however not all places were on the map, and the full addresses and Chinese street names weren't listed, so it still wasn't what we needed. Not only that but the maps were hard to find, as they were buried in the middle of the descriptions and we kept flipping past them. Even after I'd dog-eared them.

Secondly, once we got out of Beijing, most of the information was way out of date, or flat out wrong! For instance, we went to Kunming, and the first restaurant we tried to go to wasn't there anymore, and the other restaurant had the wrong address! Fortunately our taxi driver figured out it was talking about a vegetarian restaurant that was nearby. At that point I was extremely glad we had a Chinese speaker with us! Otherwise we would have never found it. Not only that, but when we tried to go to the Stone Forest, it recommended to take the train, but the train they mention apparently doesn't run anymore, and the ticket-seller told us that the other train (later in the day) was a really bad option, very slow, and that we should take the bus. We ended up hiring a car for the day.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
My copy of this title has the Chinese in large, useful characters right next to the maps. Only if there's no map for a small town is the Chinese listed in the back, with the information for each town handily grouped together in alphabetical order.
And like every other guide book, the map for a town is in the middle of the text talking about that town. So what's hard to find? The hotels and places to see are right next to the map in most cases. And since the towns only have one map, what's to guess about which maps things are on?
I don't know about the Beijing and Shanghai guides, but of course there will be a lot of repeated information. The sights don't change, after all. The best place to eat is the same. Bus 47 still runs the same route. Of course lots of the information is the same. What do you expect?
But what I do agree on is that this books is waaaaay more accurate than any other I looked at. I'm no fan of the usual schmaltzy Frommer's style, but this book really tells it like it is. It has the most extensive, detailed and accurate practical information of any guide I've seen, including the do-it-yourself budget guides.
And while we're on the topic of Chinese, note that for every recommended restaurant there are recommended dishes, and the characters for them are given so you can just point to them to order. There's also a good long list of Chinese favourites you can buy anywhere.
And while the major destinations are covered, this guide also scores with some remote rural destinations I've not seen covered anywhere else, including LP. Even if you don't want to go there, it's fascinating to read about the real China away from the regular tourist routes.
You know, the first thing you want to check out when you buy a guide is the author biogs. Most of the writers on this guide speak Chinese and have lived in China. It really shows. All the LP and Rough guide readers were borrowing my copy all the time and making notes.
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