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Walk Beijing: Walking Guide to Beijing (Suzy Guides) Paperback – February 25, 2008

2.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Walk Beijing is as informative as it is easy to follow. It is one of the least daunting travel guides available to date. -- Michelle Warmuz at www.girl.com.au

Walk-loving newcomers to Beijing will find a superb resource in this travel guide, geared toward exploring lesser-known parts of the city on foot. Sightseers will appreciate the book's clear directions, maps and first-timer tips. -- Kirkus Discoveries, 2008
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Product Details

  • Series: Suzy Guides
  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419659073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419659072
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,439,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jonathan Greenlee on October 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Not only are the five walks described interesting and easy to follow, but the addresses of the major sites are printed in the book in Chinese characters so the book can be shown to Taxi Drivers or others when you need assistance! You will want to carry this book with you everywhere. And there are pages for you to take your own notes.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have traveled quite a bit throughout Asia, but I have not yet spent much time in China. Beijing is definitely one of the cities I plan to visit. I was not familiar with "The Suzy Guides" but checked out "Walk Beijing" by Annie Coburn, Zhu Xiaojian, and Lorin Bruckner. As guide books go, this book was okay. It did provide some interesting things regarding Beijing, but lacked information I was really looking for. This book would be a good addition to books you take on a trip to Beijing, but it would not suffice to be the only book to help you on your journey.

The first few pages have some basic travel information. Nothing outstanding, just general basics. There are then five "walks." These are interesting and it would be fun to take these walks, however I think one might find things of interest that this guide book leaves out. I still believe some of the points of interest on these walks would be fun to see, and the walk guide would be a good starting point for a day's outing.

One thing the book lacked was color. All of the photographs were black and white. I would have enjoyed seeing color photographs. I also thought there was too much blank space in the book. There were four pages for your "contact list." Most people have an address book or electronic device that stores contact information. I don't think people are going to copy twenty some contacts into this guide. There were also a lot of "notes" pages, "journal" pages, and "memories of Beijing" pages where you are supposed to take notes, journal your trip, and collect and save souvenirs to turn the guide into a type of trip scrap book. Some people might enjoy this part of the book, but personally I rather keep my journal entries in my journal and will save my trip memories in a different place.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Walk Beijing is a nice companion to more comprehensive guidebooks, although it's a bit on the expensive side considering its brevity. It describes five full-day sightseeing and shopping walks in Beijing, with detailed directions and suggestions. It includes place names in Chinese that can be showed to taxi drivers or used to ask for directions, as well as photos of some signs and storefronts to help you find your way around. However, it does not cover anything else beyond a few general travel tips, and the vocabulary pieces are worthless. (Why some books bother to present pinyin text without using diacritical marks is beyond me -- Chinese speakers WILL NOT UNDERSTAND YOU if you don't speak with the correct tones. It's not like hearing accented English. And on top of that, some of the pronunciations given here are strange enough that they're probably typos.) You'll need one of the general city guides, as well as a decent Mandarin phrasebook, to really get by. This book will help you put together a few days' worth of walking excursions that work best as part of a longer stay, as there are plenty of things to see and do in the city that aren't covered here. But what is covered is solid. I don't care that there aren't any color pictures or lengthy stories about the city; just tell me where to go, how to get there, and a few highlights to look for. There are plenty of other books on Beijing if I want to just read.

That said, I have some nits to pick with the book. (Note that Vine review copies are sometimes pre-release editions, but this book has a 2007 copyright and is targeted at visitors to the 2008 Olympics, so I'm pretty certain that this is the final release.) First, although three authors are listed, there was clearly no editor involved.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been to Beijing and can speak a little Chinese. But I would not like being stuck with only this book, or the few Chinese words given on page 113 to rely on for those 5 walking trips, especially if I got lost or off the beaten path. I think a lot more information concerning the culture and other famous attractions should have been included for the price asked for this book. I might would pay $7.99 for it like it is now.

The book is 10" long, 7" wide, and 1/4" thick. It is unwieldy to keep open especially if you try to use it as it tells you too - meaning to show taxi or pedicab drivers the "direction keys" on the pages inside the book. You will have to open the book and shove it into the driver's face and point to where he is supposed to read the tiny bit in Chinese symbols telling him where he is supposed to take you. Not a good idea in my opinion.

And for $16.99 I would expect at least a few colored pictures of some the sites promoted in this book. All photos are in black and white and not very large. It does mention a few important things about health and safety such as the air is bad and can cause respiratory problems, and it's not the most sanitary city on the planet either. You need to wash your hands frequently and never, ever, ever, EVER drink the tap water unless you are wanting to see how sick you can get. The book implies that you will get diarrhea to greater or lesser degree, but that's not true. If you are careful about what you eat and drink (read other guide books for more information about that) you should not get sick. I never got sick and I was there for approximately 2 months. And bringing your own toilet paper is crucial - even in some stores such as Walmart there is no toilet paper. They sell toilet paper but don't stock it in their bathrooms. Heck!
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