Top critical review
Good content - bad indexing system!
on 1 January 2013
This is a good guide to Shanghai, in my opinion. The introduction/background info-section is informative and enjoyable to read on the plane before arrival, and the rest of the book does the trick as a guide throughout your holiday in Shanghai. The split-up into areas is brilliant (and as expected), because it lets you isolate one area at a time and so forth. The info about where to shop and what to see is good, but the where to eat-section isn't as strong anymore - a common problem for printed guidebooks which also applies here, is that things change fast; maybe particularly fast in Shanghai! Some restaurants were simply gone ("Factory" used to lie in an area now under complete de-/reconstruction), some had changed its name (El Willy -> Elefante) and some had shut down seemingly for good when we visited Shanghai over christmas 2012. The tip here is therefore not to spend ages looking for particular restaurants found in the book, but to wander into the random ones along your path - there are plenty of culinary goodies around this city even if you don't follow a map.
The major downside to this book is mentioned earlier in reviews as well - the indexing system. Instead of grouping every piece of advice and information about a specific area together, things are grouped topic-wise, i.e. into Eating, Sleeping, Shopping etc. This means that if you are walking around the French Concession and would like something to eat, you don't find that under the pages containing maps and information about the French Concession - you need to turn to the Eating section, find the subsection for French Concession, then read about each restaurant, then turn back again to your map in the French Concession-part of the book to find the specified restaurant. A major hassle which made us eventually stop looking up things further back in the book, causing us to miss out on loads of interesting things.
In short - most things in this book are good, but the indexing system may drive you mad. Be warned! And happy holiday in Shanghai - it is an amazing city indeed.