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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Beijing and Shanghai Paperback – July 15, 2013
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"Known… for its four-color maps, photos and illustrations, the [DK] Eyewitness Guides are extremely user-friendly for travelers who want their information delivered in a concise, visual way." – Chicago Tribune
"The best option… Color photos, maps, and diagrams bring the place to life." – The Philadelphia Inquirer--This text refers to the Flexibound edition.
Top customer reviews
The guide has a brief background of China's history and culture; information about etiquette and important phrases; a traveler survival guide,subway maps, and ton of other stuff. We really loved the four walking tours of the cities. They were super detailed and took you to a lot of awesome sights that you might not realize are so close together. The guide also gives outlines of four days in each city. The historical days were more interesting to us than the cultural ones but there is something for everyone.
One of the best features of the book were the tips on the times of day to visit certain places. A couple examples from our experience:
When in Beijing, on the day you visit the Forbidden City, start early in Jing Shan Park to get some great views of the city. This is what we did and when we were in the park it felt like we were the only people there. Later when we were down in the Forbidden City we could see the heights of the park in the distance and it looked overrun with people.
Similarly in Shanghai the book says to visit Yu Gardens right when it opens. Again, following that advice we spent a peaceful hour in a beautiful garden. A couple days later we went back to that area a little later in the morning to have tea in the Huxinting Teahouse and Yu Gardens was a mad house. The garden might still be beautiful but the whole ambiance of the place would be ruined.
I really can't say enough about this guide book. It was literally in my hand the entire trip. I will definitely be buying DK guidebooks for our future trips.
The book did very well covering what I needed and getting me around. I had bought it specifically for the laminated tear out map of the two cities, which was really nice, especially for the subways. However, I ended up relying mostly on the GPS function of my smart phone to pinpoint exactly where I was. The book of course doesn't cover everything, so I supplemented with Lonely Planet's Discover China, which was also very good. Most importantly, both books are very good at preparing for the journey.
I can't think of anything to add or subtract from the book, which is a good sign. There could always be more but weight is a concern with any book. This one is a little lighter weight than the Lonely Planet China, but then again, it only covers Shanghai and Beijing. With electronic versions, weight of course, wouldn't matter.