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Shanghai (Lonely Planet Regional Guides) Paperback – 1 Mar 2004
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As usual the guide-book standard is set by Lonely Planet-- Outside --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The book seems to have been written by someone who had not been there in at least more than a decade, or on a wintry day where everybody is an annoyance?
It just didn't gel. If I had not decided to go anyway, I would have given Shanghai a miss based on this book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In addition to this book, be sure to get a good map, complete with Chinese charaters. Also be sure to pick up a copy of the Rough Guide Mandarin phrasebook, which is an essential resource for ordering in restaurants, getting around town via taxi, asking directions, etc.
This also would be a great guide for long term business persons, foreign students and expats living in Shanghai. Mayhew's has unearthed information that would take you a massive amount of time and energy to retrieve on your own. His list of clubs, organizations and charities are great. .
For those who will be in Shanghai more than a few days, his section 'Excursions' takes you outside of Shanghai and these areas are well worth the effort to see. He is a co-writer for 'Lonely Planet China' (see my review) and, even though some of the information is found there too, it is only cursory compared to this guide.
Bottom line: Shanghai is a marvel, a modern urban Lazarus. A study of a city's resurrection. Never has any city come back so new, so fast. There is not a better guide out today to introduce you to this resurgence than Bradley Mayhew's, Lonely Planet Shanghai. Highly recommended
As an introduction to Shanghai, the Lonely Planet does a decent job for anyone who only has a few days to a week to spend in this dynamic city. The author covers the typical tourist areas well, including the Bund, Old Town (Yu Yuan), and the French concession. The walking tours described in the book are very nice as they go into the architectural history of some of the amazing colonial and art deco buildings in town. The history of Shanghai that is noted in the guidebook is not exhaustive but adequate.
The guidebook falls short for anyone seeking more information on Shanghai. Shanghai is larger than New York city and the guidebook is "thin", literally and figuratively. The coverage is hit-and-miss as well, and the section on bars and restaurants does not begin to cover the plethora of fun and exciting western and Shanghainese restaurants in town.
My wish list for improving this book:
- note in the eating section which restaurants offer English menus and which do not
- provide Chinese addresses (to show to taxi drivers)
- provide more recommendations on some of the best values in town, e.g., massages and buying CDs/DVDs (genuine ones)
- provide an online supplement for sections that have changed since the last edition
My advice to anyone coming to Shanghai would be to
- get the most recent guidebook available
- spend some time online browsing the Shanghai expat sites.
- once in town, look for a free Shanghai map from a hotel and
- for dining, arts and leisure activities, pick up one of the weekly magazines that are available in hotels, bars, and restaurants
This will help you come up with a more current flavor of the city and provide a must-see/do list while in this amazing city.
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