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China (Lonely Planet Country Guides) Paperback – 9 Aug 2002
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From Antarctica to Zimbabwe, if you are going there chances are Lonely Planet has been there first. With a pithy and matter-of-fact writing style, these guides are guaranteed to calm the nerves of first-time world travellers, while still listing off-the-beaten-path finds sure to thrill even the most jaded globe-trotters. Lonely Planet has been perfecting its guidebooks for nearly 30 years and as a result, has experience and know-how similar to an older sibling's "been there" advice. The original backpacker's bible, the LP series has recently widened its reach. While still giving insights for the low-budget traveller, the books now list a wide range of accommodations and itineraries for those with less time than money.
Just as the authors describe China as "massive and endlessly fascinating", so is the material they have collected in this guide--an important travellers' opus. The 200-plus maps feature keys in English and Chinese script, there are essential details on transport options, a 12-page Chinese arts section, and a useful feature on the Chinese language. --Kathryn True
This guidebook disc usses China's political landscape post-Deng and the Hong Kong handover. There is expanded information on history, culture, architecture and arts, with detaile medicine, techniques and therapies.
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It was particularly helpful in the early planning stages of our trip when we were at home in cold England and trying to imagine the countries that we were going to visit. It assisted us in planning our route and discovering the places that would be of most interest to us.
Of course, when you are actually there and living the experience, you make your own way and your own decisions, but this book was a bit like a security blanket for us - whenever we lost our way or became confused, it was always there to help. Due to any travel book being out of date almost the minute that it's published, of course a few recommended restaurants/hotels no longer existed but we used websites to help us with those things anyway. What was most valuable, was the history and advice about each different country and the things to do/attractions there - most of which we wouldn't have even known about before reading this book.
Lonely Planet is always brilliant, they are my preferred travel guide and I use them every time I travel. I love that the books are really down to earth and offer real advice that doesn't beat around the bush - if a town is run-down and seedy they will tell it like it is!
Before I went to China, I had heard rumours that the Lonely Planet books were banned from the country and that they would be taken away from you if you attempted to cross the boarders with them. That did not happen to us, but I would do your research before travelling there just in case.
If you are planning a trip to China - buy this book! Even if you don't take it with you (it is quite heavy) it will inspire and excite you before your travels. Another piece of advice: if you are planning on travelling light, rip out the pages of the book that you will need e.g. the provinces that you are going to, and take them with you as smaller, lightweight books rather than carrying the whole thing about with you. I'm not ususally one for defacing books, but as any fellow traveler will know, you have to do what you can when you're on the road!
I'm in Russia and just starting to think about the China part of my trip and now realise that it's impossible to use this book on the Kindle.
The maps are the biggest issue, they are not usable - most of them are presented as a complete map and then in four parts on the following pages but with no care over where they've been cut off so information in on the edge. The Beijing map for the area around the Forbidden City is incredibly difficult to navigate, I can't find anything easily and I've been to Beijing before. As least with a pdf edition you can zoom in on a map and nudge around it.
Where there are chinese characters, they are substantially bigger than the rest of the text which make the page layout confusing in places. On one page with a map image I found all the text stacked up one word on each line and the image ran off the edge of the page and I couldn't find a way to view it.
I am also struggling to navigate to sections such as 'getting around' or 'sleeping' as you don't have the headers that you get with the book or pdf editions.
I don't think whoever designed this book for kindle has attempted to use it. It's basically useless - except for the sections that you simply want to read such as 'history'. If you want to use this book to help you get around, it is a complete waste of money. I will have to buy the pdfs instead.
Maybe it's OK on an ipad, they should make it clear that it doesn't work on a regular kindle. Very disapointing.
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