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501 Must Visit Cities Hardcover – 15 Dec 2007
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A marvellous read for those seeking to explore the great cities of the world, either in reality or from the comfort of an armchair! This 2015 edition features up to date information and exciting new photographs of the best cities in the world. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Actually Oaxaca is situated at 1550 metres (5080ft)!!! The "State" of Oaxaca does indeed have a Pacific coastline - but the "City" of Oaxaca is a very long way from it.
How can a crass error like this escape all the quality chaecks and proof reading?? Well it is because the people who produce these "List Books" know little or nothing about the places they include within them. The Text is "cut and paste" from other sources, the photos are from stock suppliers and the cities are divided out among the junior editorial team on a basis which takes no account of knowledge or experience.
Despite this, the book does contain some nice photos. Some however are very poor and tell one nothing valuable about the city they represent - which is surely the least such a photo should do! But the "budget" for photos is perhaps somewhat limited. Annoyingly a number of cities have no photo at all - and of course these are the lesser known cities which are exactly the ones which DO need a photo.
Nevertheless, if you can pick it up "cheap", it is probably worth its space on the shelf as a quick reference/aide memoire to many of the world's cities (though to call it a "guide" would be to overvalue it). At least, unlike SOME of these "list" books, it doesn't spend its time promoting upmarket hotels.
The photographs are great, although some (such as Bordeaux) just don't do the beautiful places justice.
All in all this is a lovely book worth picking up, especially if you can find it cheap like I did
From every continent, many great cities are covered - both historical and modern. There are some stunning photographs of landmarks and scenery from each city, with a well-balanced 1-page textual commentary to give a flavour of its heritage and current status. A good reference point for those interested in history and architecture. It's also handy if you are thinking about going somewhere different, but this book is not to be treated as a travel guide.
However, I found that you can buy this book for under £7 at your local supermarket - so it's not quite the bargain you first think.
Five sections: - first is Europe and the Middle East (I presume the last bit is to include Israel and perhaps pretend Turkey is in the EU). Then Asia, Africa, Australia/NZ, and Americas & Caribbean last. The sections are roughly in descending size order, and the edge of the book in effect is colour-coded by continent. There are two indexes - countries, and towns.
There's on average about one page per town, so of course there had to be serious pruning. I'd assumed at first that there must be some internal logic to the selections - maybe someone had planned a cheap world-wide schedule, picking out oonvenient towns to be photographed. Closer examination suggests the whole thing is a desk-job, using library pictures.
If you want a quick official-tourist overview (including 'don't miss' sections) of Lhasa, Timbuktu, Tokyo, Samarkand, Kingston, Lahore, Valparaiso, Arles, Hanoi, Nazareth, Minsk, Irkutsk, Honolulu, Belize... or even Leeds, England or Cardiff, Wales... and 495 others, this is a terrific at-a-glance hardback. The colourful cover is repeated on the hardback jacket, so it won't get lost as yet another dull blackish hardback with hard-to-read spine.
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