I bought this book based on the reviews and because we our trip consisted of about 4 days each in Shanghai and Beijing, therefore a small guide covering both cities was perfect. At first, it looks like a great book. Compact and light, shiny strong cover that did not show signs of wear, small maps included within the guide, pictures and explanatory text.
We did, however, find the following problems when we tried to use it:
- On two occasions in Shanghai the guide suggested getting to places via the subway and then a bus or taxi. Both times, we found a subway station very close to where we wanted to be (Summer Palace and Tian Tan). I appreciate that this is a city that is expanding at a very fast rate and therefore it may be that these are new stations since publication in 2009, however it is not very helpful for the tourist.
- The restaurant recommendations are only in English. We tried to go to one of the suggested places in Beijing but there were only names in Chinese on the buildings. The guide gave the name of the road, but no the building number (these were all clearly displayed on the street and would therefore have enabled us to find the correct place).
- There was a suggestion for a place for dim sum. When we arrived in the evening, we were told that dim sum was only served for lunch and not dinner.
- The guide suggests that restaurants are open until late. In practice, most places close at about 9pm and are quite rude about kicking you out!
- The maps were very useful a lot of the time, however the location of subway stations was not terribly accurate. Several times we found ourselves walking for ages trying to locate and entrance to the trains.
I still recommend DK guides in general (as I have used them in the past on other trips) but would suggest customers get a more detailed up-to-date map and thoroughly check before setting out to visit any restaurant or tourist attraction.