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Lonely Planet China 12th Ed.: 12th Edition Paperback – May 6 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1048 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 12 edition (May 6 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741795893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741795899
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Damian first arrived in Beijing in 1992 via a degree in Chinese from London's School of Oriental African Studies. Since then he has shacked up in a sìhéyuàn (courtyard house), worked as a Beijing Radio presenter, lived in Shànghai, wrestled with the Cantonese dialect in Hong Kong, chewed the fat with Shaolin monks and knocked back bags of beer in Qingdao. Married to an outstanding Shandong lass, Damian has been authoring for Lonely Planet for over 12 years, exploring China with a constant swarm of deadlines (Beijing, China, China's Southwest, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel) in pursuit.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lonely Planet seems to ignore the existence of Internet and its wide availability anywhere including China, so it didn't change its format in the last 20 years:

this very thick book is filled up of information you can easily find on Internet and anyway would like to double check with Internet.

*Hotel:
You will have no difficulty to find more up to date information and wider selection of hotels on Internet, especially in the mid-range bracket (US$20 to $US$30/night). which virtually all offer complimentary wireless Internet making your day to day progression in the country pretty easy without this book.

*Food outlet
LonelyPlanet seems to consistently recommend western chain, like PizzaHut, KFC, Carrefour or other steakhouse, as some of the best address in town. Ah!

If you want get some cultural and historical background on the place you visit: LonelyPlanet is not for you.

Bus/train information is weak at best, often out of date:
would you like to know which city bus bring you from the suburban coach station to downtown and how much time it take: LonelyPlanet is not for you.
would you like to know how much should cost a taxi ride for the same journey (or more generally the rate/km...): LonelyPlanet is not for you.
...

I bought the Kindle edition and it is a disaster (the only advantage is that you don't have to carry the book).
+Pages are not numbered, making hard to go back and for. Chapters are too thick you can't access relevant information from the TOC
+ Map are in English only, so of little use in any environment where all is written in Chinese, and not understandable by the local population.
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Format: Paperback
In response to a previous review of this edition that claims LP is politicizing their content as evidenced by their exclusion of Taiwan and commentary about a freer Tibet - I would argue that including Taiwan and ignoring the conflict in Tibet would ALSO be a political statement. While objectivity is a great ideal to strive towards, at some point LP has to make a choice on at least the basic questions in order to produce a guidebook about China:

"is Taiwan part of china?"
"and if so, are we including a chapter on Taiwan as a province of China?"
"what is the nature of the conflict in Tibet?"
"what about Chinese claims to the south china sea?"
"what was the nature of the invasion of India?"

To ignore the behavior of the Chinese government in these regions would do a disservice to both sides of the argument. Inevitably, LP is forced to make those decisions, and usually it seems to come down to drawing on the company mission and/or value statements. Luckily, LP tends to side with 'generally-accepted interpretations' (for lack of a better term) of most issues.

That being said, I do not actually like this specific guidebook. I find the writing format generally lacks opinion and in areas that really do require some color to create a context and broaden understanding. I find the Rough Guide to China is better in this instance.
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Format: Paperback
I bought Frommer's China to help us navigate China for 30 days this past summer. Much of the information was very useful, but there were a couple improvements that could be made.

In China you need to be able to have the Chinese name (and spelling) easily available. Additionally the maps were not easy to use.

Lonely planet had the Chinese names right where you needed them and we used these maps in most of the cities we visited. Lonely planet was easier to use, but is geared towards younger travelers. In addition, a couple of the restaurant recommendations were not as good or interesting as they were made to sound.

Between Frommer's China and the Lonely Planet we were well prepared for our adventures.
It would just be easier to carry one book next time! I will check out Let's Go _____ next time to see if it does the trick.
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Format: Paperback
This Lonely Planet is very complete and very detailed. It is more than 1000 pages. It does not contain a lot of pictures.

It will be in my back pack for my trip to China because even though it will make it heavier, this complete book will make my trip more enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback
The book is quite thick but very easy to read. It has provided me with some great information on where to travel and what to think about ahead of time. I appreciated the maps and colored photos.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We have been going to China for over twenty years and would never go without the latest Lonely Planet travel guide. It has great list of cheap to expensive accommodations and restaurants, and lists of sites and destinations that might otherwise be missed.
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