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Lonely Planet China (Country Travel Guide) Paperback – June 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
No travel guide to the largest and fastest-changing country in the world can get everything right, but this guide gets a lot more wrong than it has any excuse to. I first encountered this in Macau, when, after wasting a fair bit of time following its maps, I was assured that the official "Tourist Map" had full bus information. It in fact has no bus information, which was not a pleasant thing to learn at night, far from my Hong Kong hotel room. But things only got worse from there.
One problem is that the hours posted in Lonely Planet are very often wrong, but, even more so, misleading. Thus, when the guide indicates that the Forbidden City closes at 5:00, what it doesn't tell you is that the officials close all buildings and start kicking you out at 4:30, which can be a huge disappointment if you waited to see a particular exhibition that has closed. Contrast this with the Old Summer Palace, where no one cares if you stay well after closing, making it the perfect cap to a late afternoon. These two places also illustrate a huge problem with the maps in the book: They don't tell you where the entrances and exits are. Thus, you could walk an extra mile than you need to get to the only listed entrance in the Old Summer Palace, and another extra mile to get to the ruins therein. Or, you could waste lots of time in the Forbidden City because Lonely Planet doesn't deem it important to distinguish doors from walls.
Costs and cost structures are often far off or ill-explained, and I checked with locals who insisted this wasn't because of any recent changes.Read more ›
In Shanghai it talks about the most popular snack food street in the city near Nanjing Rd. We walk about there to find out it was completely razed. In fact, half the street has been rebuilt into a nice street filled with chain restaurants. My point: the area wasn't just bulldozed yesterday. It's been at least a year!
The sad fact is that we didn't use this book for most of the trip. In Beijing and Shanghai we used the Eyewitness book that was extremely helpful. In Xi'an we ended up using local maps and actually used this book to determine which sights we wanted to see.
I had a few other issues with this book. I felt like the sight recommendations were weak. There were some places this book advised people to visit but I'm not sure why because the places were either boring or there was nothing to see. An example is the Shanghai Museum. Highly recommended? NO WAY!Read more ›
It was handy to jump from a list of suggestions to a description to a map, but it needs to be better formatted! I am pleased that Amazon were able to refund the cost of this book.
I sampled the Discover China Lonely Planet which worked much better on my Kindle- and much lighter than a guide book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The info in this book was so helpful in planning trips around China. I lived in Shenzhen for a year, and planned many day, weekend, and week long adventures using this guide. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very good, extensively researched book. I traveled independently through China and down to Hong Kong, both on the tourist trail and off the beaten track, and wore this thing out. Read morePublished 7 months ago by The Doctah
I love the Lonely Planet series. I have been using it for more than 25 years and it was also true for China. Great, great book.Published 14 months ago by Victoria Wreden-Sadeq
Great categorizations of regions, plenty of information.Published on August 4, 2014 by Kristie Leahy
Maps are unreadable on Kindle or cellphone, wouldn't recommend it over the printed version. Not a step forward on my opinion.Published on November 20, 2013 by Julio Noyola Loya
Good enough tips to move around and help you save time and money. It helped me a lot during my trip and everything was accurate and updatedPublished on November 11, 2013 by Juan Antonio Vazquez Durazo
A few words for clarification before I begin this review. I am not in possession of the 2013 Lonely Planet and thus cannot comment on the most recently updated version of the book. Read morePublished on October 12, 2013 by Niuyueren
Just what I needed the first time out., After that, it became a liability more than an assist. myriad, anathemaPublished on October 2, 2013 by Billy Quinn