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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 2 January 2016
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on 30 September 2014
Very comprehensive guide. Covers many areas of China. Informative and a good read also.
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on 15 June 2013
This book is super give`s you good pictures of the place to go with maps very help for when I went to china
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on 16 April 2013
You will never get to see everything in this book in a whole lifetime, but it won't matter because in the usual DK way, the pictures and descriptions are so good, you can imagine that you were there anyway.
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on 9 August 2011
I have bought many DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. They are always excellent - providing images for the possibilities that the book highlights. The images whet your appetite and the format is easy to follow. I generally also buy other travel guides to supplement DK books however as they don't provide information about the type of accommodation I am generally seeking, and are often not detailed enough. This one left out a couple of key highlights that we found in other travel guides and from experience on the ground in China. That having been said, browsing through this book before we left home proved to be one of the important pieces to the puzzle of creating what turned out to be a truly memorable trip to China.
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on 28 June 2011
This book provides a basic insight into the culture and history of China which is interesting to read and useful to anyone who is interesting in visiting the historical sites of China. There is also a section on basic Chinese language, information on etiquette, banking, etc.

I have found this book to be a very interesting read and recommend it to anyone who wishes to tour China. My only negative comment is that it is quite heavy, but taking into consideration the information provided it may be worthwhile.
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on 15 October 2010
A very easy book to read, with just enough information, without going into too much detail. We found it very useful indeed
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on 13 October 2010
I was given this book as a gift before a trip to Shanghai and Beijing. It's a very nicely laid-out book with lots of beautiful photographs and interesting background information. However, I did not find it as practical as the Lonely Planet, my usual choice of travel guide.
For a start, it is far too heavy to carry around with you all day. More importantly, it lacks practical information on exactly where and how to find things and some of the maps seemed quite wrong. Obviously, accurate maps and detailed instructions are absolutely essential when travelling in China without being able to speak Chinese. I also found that the names of underground stations in the book are not exactly the same as those actually used - what the book does is transcribe the Chinese names in roman script, but (in Shanghai at least) when you get the underground you realise that parts of the names have been translated into English. This makes getting around quite confusing.
All in all, I would say this is a good book to read for some background information on the places you intend to visit, but you can't rely on it to get you around because it is not very well thought out. I also bought a Lonely Planet Encounter guide for Shanghai, which was pocket-sized, easy to use and chock-full of useful information. I shall be sticking to those...
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on 28 September 2010
I bought this book in preference to my usual choice of Lonely Planet or Rough Guide because of the previous positive reviews. Big mistake- this book was not for me. It's produced on high quality glossy paper with stacks of pictures. The former means it's heavy to carry around and the latter means you lose the wow factor when you see something in the flesh. I usually cut out the relevant pages to carry around with me when sightseeing but the high finish of this book made you feel you shouldn't.
The other problem with all the pictures and three-dimensional plans is that there is less room for written information so, for example, there are four pages on the Forbidden City and only about half of the space is text, consisting mainly of one sentence tags arrowed at the plans.
I struggled with the structure too. At first glance it looks very sensibly divided into different regions but the map on the inside cover has few cities marked so unless you already know where Guilin, for example, is then you've still got to look in the index. Not that that helps on every occasion. When looking up Shangri-La, the only reference is to the restaurants which are listed separately in the back of the book. This is presumably because the official name of the place known as Shangri-La is Zhongdian. This is pedantic as the Airport there is known as Shangri-La Airport, all the road signs refer to Shangri-La and the only reference I could see to Zhongdian was in the guidebook!
There are lots of interesting snippets of information hiding away in the various sections but these are not easy to find and, anyway, are rather superficial. Why isn't the piece on The Long March in the chapter on the History of China, rather than in one of the Regional chapters? This is particularly confusing since the Long March covered a huge area of China and not just the Zhejiang and Jiangxi regions. Why is the article on the Cult of Mao stuck on P262, in the chapter covering Hunan and Hubei?
There are huge chunks of information missing. It says on P64, 'Having socialised industry and agriculture, Mao called on the masses to transform society itself.' It then goes on to talk about the Cultural Revolution without any further reference to how or why industry and agriculture were socialised and what the long term impact was.
It would also have been useful to have more town maps and to have restaurants marked on them rather than listed elsewhere with no map references.
The positives were the flaps on the front and end covers which could be used as bookmarks, the Phrase Book, easily accessible at the back and with Chinese characters, and the colour coded pages.
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on 3 May 2010
Bought as a gift for neice and delivered very promptly.Full of great imformation for first visit to China with school group.Very accessable and well laid out as are all DK Eyewitness guides.
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