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National Geographic Traveler China (National Geographic Traveler) Paperback – May 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: National Geographic Traveler
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792279212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792279211
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Good general information.
Traveler
I guess if you are going on an organized tour and want to get an idea of what you will be seeing without taxing your brain this may be OK.
Alfredo Pizzirani
This is the perfect "advanced reading & planning book" -- by far our favorite for China!
Eric Tilenius

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

206 of 212 people found the following review helpful By Eric Tilenius on March 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
I ordered five different guidebooks on China to plan an upcoming trip. This one was defintitely the best at giving an overview of the various cities and attractions -- the descriptions are just the right length to give you a good overview, the book doesn't shy from giving recommendations and opinions, and there are many beautiful pictures to give you a better sense of each place. My wife and I both fought over this book as the one to read before our trip! NOTE: this is NOT a subsititute, but rather a complement, for a book that lists hotels, restaurants, etc. -- it does not give all the useful info. We'll probably leave it behind when we go on our trip, but will be very grateful we were able to use it in planning where to go, especially for a country as vast as China. This is the perfect "advanced reading & planning book" -- by far our favorite for China!
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Traveler on March 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The National Geographic Traveler China provides a very well balanced guide...gives excellent background...so the traveler can interpret and experience the wonders of China through high quality text, pictures and maps.

As for knowledge of China. The author of National Geographic Traveler China (Damian Harper) co-authored several guides of China, Beijing, and Hong Kong for Lonely Planet. To validate...click the D. Harper's name near the book title above. Same author...but with the quality of National Geographic.

I received a copy of the Lonely Planet China as a gift. I am neutral about the book. Good general information. However...China is so dynamic and changing...it doesn't ring true in many cases. I ended up with many dead-ends and wasted time based upon the book

The Lonely Planet guide is for those that have not travelled much...and as a starting point. But those that have past international travel experience will find it much too basic and generic.

Nat'l Geographic will provide a comprehensive pretrip planning guide so you can best tailor your trip and will enhance your experience while visting.

Update... I traveled to China again...this time with the 'China Eyewitness' travel guide by DK Press. Highly recommend the DK Eyewitness...and still...the NatGeo is still worthy to supplement. Order both.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Bobak Haeri on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
In my travels I've always relied on the trust Lonely Planet series, but for my trip to China I decided to also try a new book --relying on the respected National Geographic name to guide my second purchase. After spending August '05 in China, and reading both books, I must say the Nat'l Geographic book was a disappointment as a practical, on-the-ground guidebook but great as a basic guide to China for someone thinking about going. Here's a quick overview of the good and the bad:

THE GOOD:

It should be no surprise to hear that the photos in the guidebook are excellent, as it carries the National Geographic name. In addition the pieces it has on different aspects of Chinese culture are very interesting. The book acts as one very long National Geographic article and should not disappoint someone who wants to learn more about China without actually going there.

THE BAD:

As other reviewers have noted, the hotel and restaurant listings are inferior. Comparing it side-by-side with other major guidebook labels like the China books by Lonely Planet or Frommers shows that the book pales as a practical guide once you actually hit the ground there. This problem cannot be underemphasized: China is a moderately difficult place to get around for the foreign, non-speaking traveller. You need all the practical help and advice you can get and this guidebook does not offer near the level of the other brands. For the relatively novice traveller, I strongly do not recommend relying on this guide for your travels within China.

After purchasing both the LP and Nat'l Geographic guidebooks last July I read them both cover-to-cover before leaving on my trip.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bruce M. Rappaport on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
The photos and color are beautiful, as you would expect from National Geographic, but the actual guides to major sightseeing areas are fairly poor. They are somewhat "snobby" with too much criticism of places "for tourists." The book is actually hard to handle since, I assume for the sake of the photos, the paper is very heavy and glassy, certainly nothing you could actually bring with you on your trip to China.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald F. Halamka on February 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume is a mine of fascinating and important information, with comprehensive yet succinct narration and explanation about Chinese history, customs and culture, along with a great array of pictures and maps as well as practical guidance for preparing for and making a trip to mainland China.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alfredo Pizzirani on September 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in preparation for a trip to China. It is very short on practical information, no Chinese script anywhere (therefore useless if you are trying to get somewhere independently), and actually pretty brief in the descriptions of the sights, too. The only thing that may have some value are the general sections about culture, religion, traditions, etc.. My 11-year old son read them (he found them a bit shallow). I guess if you are going on an organized tour and want to get an idea of what you will be seeing without taxing your brain this may be OK. If you want how-to information for independent travel, turn to Lonely Planet. If you want good, detailed information on the sights, get the French Hachette guides (not sure if they have been translated).
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