This book was the handiest thing and I got my friends and I out of a bind more than once with it. By looking up words and showing the characters to taxi drivers, waitresses, people on the street, I navigated through a large chunk of China. It was particularly indispensible ordering in restaurants, the majority of which (even in Beijing) housed no English speakers. I managed to set up a day tour (including date and time) with a random taxi driver by using the main dictionary and the special section on public transportation. A number of the larger tourist attractions are listed in the dictionary too, and as I encountered nearly no one who could read pinyin, the Chinese characters were crucial.
Although, as one reviewer noted, the dialogs seem to be laid out in odd places, with a little observation it can be seen that they are inserted where one would look up the verb (usually) or major noun. So "how do you do?" is under "do." But I hardly used this book as a phrase book as practially no one will understand your pronunciation anyway, especially outside of Beijing (if you haven't already had heaps of practice listening and speaking Mandarin).