Most helpful critical review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good, but lacking in some important areas...
on June 13, 2004
I bought this book because it was the most recently published travel guide on Beijing at the time (Dec '03). I have been living in Beijing for 3 months and have been to several of the places the book recommends. The facts in it are usually accurate; some prices, restaurant names, and phone numbers have changed since the book was published.
My main qualm with this book is the referencing... it is completely inconvenient. First of all, the Chinese characters of location names are listed in the back of the book, instead of with the desriptions (like most books). This makes is difficult to show people the characters of the place you are looking for if you're lost.
Also, if you are looking at one of the book's maps, and want to find out more about a certain location, there is no page reference. You have to look the place up in the index and then flip to the description.
Similarly, there are no map references in the sight-descriptions. (The book has several maps.) You have to guess which map the place would be on, based on the very basic directions given in the description. This can be a pain!!!
Otherwise, the book proved useful. My friends that had the Lonely Planet guide said that is was much less acurate than my book. Also check out Let's Go when deciding which book to buy.
I bought this book, Frommers Beijing, and Frommers Shanghai. Altogether they were pretty useful, but had a lot of repeating info between the main book and the city guides.