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Showing 1-10 of 41 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 56 reviews
on December 31, 2015
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. Very typical Lonely Planet book - you can use it to survive, get around effectively and enjoy yourself in a very different culture, where you only have a handful of phrases in the local language. Did run into some confusion and difficult circumstances at times (got badly lost more than once where no one spoke any English), which was probably more my fault than the book's. In a couple of cases, the English to Cantonese and English to Mandarin glossaries at the back were more or less life savers. I literally just pointed at the words and helpful people took pity on me.
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on September 16, 2012
Info in the guide is good.
Description of sights I found to be very helpful. It doesn't spill words, and mentions what one needs to know. The maps are great. The small maps per province help the reader to get oriented.

I found that some indexes, that come with the maps, have actually links to the item. For example, on the map is the Grand Theater hotel marked as '4'. Item '4' in the index says 'Grand Theater hotel' and that index line is clickable, taking the reader immediately to the entry in LP that give the information about the hotel. I think this should be a model for the whole guide and all pieces of information. From the item description there is a link back to the map.

They say it is 100% updated, but I found this not always the case. In some cities, not all the long-distance bus stations are mentioned (for example: Xiamen has 4 stations - 3 on the islands, 1 in Jimei). Just listing the names & addresses would help, even it cannot list all connections.

Second: they should list more bus routes as alternatives to the trains, since the trains can be quite crowded nowadays, and some people want to get a (private)bus to their destination. And what is even more: there are 'unofficial' hotels and bus companies, not the ones with the big signs. It would be great to give suggestions where to find them or how to recognize them, since they usually hang around the same area, waiting for customers, and can be great help in finding a ride to place where another bus or train does not go. Many locals take these services nowadays. And that is what we have travel guide for!

Kindle edition:
Table of contents is a farce. Should in IMHO list all the places, provinces in bigger print than cities. From the cities no link back to Table of Contents. Should have links from the sub headings (like 'getting there and away') and from the subheadings there should be a link to the start of the city-section. Also, since every city has an 'getting there and away' section, end up at the next city's sub-section without knowing it. This happens easily when after a large city there is a small city or a village with only a few pages of information. It easy to scroll past the big city's section into the smaller's city section without realizing it.

Because of the limited linking, only 3 starts.
With good linking, it would get 5 from me.
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on July 13, 2013
I started using Lonely Planet guide books over 20 years ago while traveling through the continent of Africa. At that time I kidded that I should buy stock in the product since virtually every traveller I ran into overseas was carrying it at the time. Over the years these books have gotten larger in size due to the increase in information that is being included in them. This fact makes the books for some countries (like China) a little burdensome to carry due to the weight: Especially if you are a budget traveller like me who carries one softsided travel bag and spends alot of time abroad on boats, trains, and buses and doing a whole lot of walking. But, in the end, this book has everything you need and, even though I never use the information on the resorts and the higher end conveniences and amenities that are included in the book, the book works well for every type of traveller from shoestring budget to the 5 star accomodation type and I highly recommend it for any traveller to China.
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on September 6, 2010
This book has a lot of outdated information. I just spent 2 months in China. Things are changing rapidly with the rise of the new middle class that likes to travel and see their country.

For example, the book recommends going to yangshuo instead of guilin in order to see the Li River, Rice fields, and other sites in this area. Well let me tell you I am so glad I didn't follow the recommendation. Yangshuo is overrun by Chinese tourists. Almost impossible to walk the main street due to the crowds. Guilin is much saner, less touristy, lovely.

The book also doesn't tell you to expect crowds on the Li River and when bamboo rafting on the Yulong river. I do recommend these trips, but be advised you will be on the rivers with 50 or 60 other small boats or rafts. China is on the move and this book needs to be updated to help readers avoid the worst of the crowding.
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on September 6, 2012
I bought this shortly before we left for a 10-day visit to HK and Macau. The description calls it a chapter, but it's really quite extensive (around 200 pages). Like all Lonely Planet guides, it was hit-and-miss as far as recommendations (maybe in the digital age, LP books on the Kindle or iPad will update with the necessary frequency), but we were able to see some sights, find a few good restaurants, and spend a couple of good nights in hotels because of the "chapter". All in all, I got much more than my money's worth out of it. If I had to choose a better book for touring, though, I'd go for National Geographic Traveler: Hong Kong, 3rd Edition.
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on May 20, 2012
I bought this on my Kindle, however it was not very useful. The Chinese characters sometimes appeared as square boxes and the maps were very difficult to read.

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!
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on December 18, 2012
from my experience, Lonely Planet is the most rounded guidebook available. There is just a massive amount of information here, and it covers all spectrums of travel. Foders/Frommers and other guides tend to spend too much time covering hotels, restaurants, etc. and not enough time showing you detailed maps and giving you information on where you can find great places to go/eat/things to do that fit budget minded travelers, also. Plus, a concentrated yet complete historic overview always helps provide relevance to where you are. The China book is a perfect example...a massively complex and fascinating place, covered well in this one book.
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on May 8, 2016
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. I couldn't have done it without this. Navigating China is tough, solid information from this book is essential.
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on December 27, 2012
I am a confirmed Kindle user and prefer e-books to printed books whenever they are available (especially for traveling). But guidebooks are one huge exception. Maps are hard to find in a flash and almost always unreadable. Much better to have well-thumbed pages to guide you than to fumble with an e-reader. This is entirely about the medium, not the message. The guidebook itself is fine.
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on June 28, 2013
I had an older copy of this book when I traveled to China 12 years ago and purchased the most recent edition for my trip this year. It is very accurate and provides great insight to visitng the country. My tour guide in Shanghai actually recommended the book as well and confirmed that their information was accurate.
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