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    $16.47 $16.39 list($24.95)
    1. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind
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    2. Chinese in 10 Minutes a Day
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    3. River Town : Two Years on the
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    4. Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook
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    20. Mongolia: Empire of the Steppes

    1. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China
    by Rachel DeWoskin
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393059022
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 636
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A smart, funny, insightful peek into modern China through the eyes of a "foreign babe."

    Hoping to improve her Chinese and broaden her cultural horizons, Rachel DeWoskin went to work for an American PR firm in China. Before she knew it, she was not just exploring but making Chinese culture—as the sexy, aggressive, fearless Jexi, star of a wildly successful soap opera. A sort of Chinese counterpart to Sex in the City revolving around Chinese-Western culture clashes, the show was called Foreign Babes in Beijing.

    Living the clashes in real life while playing out a parallel version onscreen, Rachel forms a group of friends with whom she witnesses the vast changes sweeping through China as the country pursues the new maxim that "to get rich is glorious." In only a few years, billboards, stylish bars and discos, international restaurants, fashion shows, divorce, foreign visitors, and cross-cultural love affairs transform the face of China's capital. Foreign Babes in Beijing is as astute and informative as it is witty, moving, and entertaining. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the mouths of babes ... come the truest words . . .
    This is one of the most entertaining and informative books I have read in a very long time.I have been to Beijing once and I now live in thevery multicultural city of Toronto.The author deftly weaves the scripted story of the soap opera in which she acts with her real story on the streets and clubs and offices of Beijing.In a style of writing that is clear but deeply nuanced and humorous, she relates the lives of young men and women in a rapidly changing China, dealing with their own kind of culture shock, even as she deals with hers.

    The chapter "Model workers" talks of the emerging, very non-Maoist profession of runway models.Brief, capsule biographies of the author's friends in China who are both typical and extraordinary, painters, actors, and fellow office workers, provided me insights that I will long carry with me.The story is told in part with quotations from her actual conversations, quotations from the show script, lyrics from popular songs, and brief quips about historical women recorded in the ancient "Lives of Eminent Women." Together these constribute to a fine tapestry that reveals many truths about our complex multicultural lives without judgement and with considerable affection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Crisp, Clever, Fast-paced, and Funny
    This book is both smart and fun. On the one hand it is about an American babe who stars in a Chinese TV soap with funny stories to tell; and on the other, a glimpse into China's vast cultural landscape that is shifting as we speak.The seduction by the foreign babe is a metaphor for the impact of the West on the middle kingdom. DeWoskin has a smooth as silk grasp of language that is kind to the reader. Well done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Social Commentary - Served Hot and Spicy
    Rachel DeWoskin arrived in Beijing during the mid-90s, among the first wave of Westerners to see the city since the protests and reprisals at Tiananmen Square a few years earlier. During her stay, China relented from rigid socialism, opened up to foreign capital, and incorporated western business practices. On one level, "Foreign Babes" is the story of this process. DeWoskin's descriptions of these cultural convulsions are pithy and delightful. From the introduction of Coke and McDonald's (and the resulting obesity epidemic), to the latest trends in Chinese rock music and performance art, she was a witness and an insider - the perfect guide.

    DeWoskin was not just an anonymous tourist, though, she was a pop-sensation. Starring as an American temptress in China's version of Beverly Hills 90210, her weekly seductions were seen by half a billion people each week. Hundreds of fans mobbed her on the streets of Beijing and followed her through stores, buying whatever random products she put in her bag.

    But the heart of "Foreign Babes" is not the fascinating backdrop of Beijing in bloom, or the glamorous and sexy soap opera, but the relationships between the characters. Sparring across a huge divide of language, politics, and culture, they must shed stereotypes and find a personal space in which to understand each other - not as American or Chinese, but as individuals and friends. DeWoskin possesses an astute social sensibility, a pitch-perfect ear for conversation, and the gift of spot-lighting the most awkward - and revealing - moment in any interaction.

    Just going to China after college was adventurous. Signing on for the TV-show was audacious. Most impressive, however, was DeWoskin's ability to bridge the gaps and surround herself with friends in a foreign country. Impressive, but not surprising, since the author's warmth and grace are apparent on every page.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Telling Look at Late 1990's Beijing
    Having lived for much of the period from 2001 - 2004 in Suzhou, (about 50 miles west of Shanghai), I can categorically say that Rachel DeWoskin's new book, FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA, gets nearly everything right when it comes to Chinese culture and interpersonal relations. Her book is a fascinating account of a city, a country, and a culture in transition. The people around her, and she herself, suffer the contradictions of tradition versus modernity, socialism versus entrepreneurial capitalism, blind patriotism versus Westernization, and government control versus individual freedom, yet everyone zooms ahead to find their own way even as the book's timeline approaches the millennium.

    Ms. DeWoskin arrives in Beijing on something of a lark, a college grad with an English degree, a little Mandarin, and a desire for something adventurous. She has taken a position with the Beijing office of an international public relations firm (we later learn that "P.R." sounds uncomfortably like the Chinese word for an unflattering body part) but quickly finds the work empty of content. She unexpectedly gets offered a spot as one of the two foreign female leads in a new Chinese soap opera entitled "Yang Niu Zai Beijing," or "Foreign Babes in Beijing." She is duped into signing a contract for far less than she's worth to the producers (there are still relatively few attractive young Western women in Beijing in 1995), and a series of acting misadventures and cast romances ensue. DeWoskin can barely separate her real-life feelings for her hunky co-star Wang Ling from their respective romantic roles in the soap opera. In the end, "Foreign Babes" is a huge success throughout China, and Ms. Dewoskin is recognized everywhere she goes as Jiexi, the "loose" Western woman who steals a married Chinese man (Wang Ling's character, Tianming) from his wife and takes him to America.

    The author eventually quits her P.R. job and takes on a series of small acting and spokesperson roles, and even takes a brief turn as a runway model. Along the way, she meets and briefly profiles four young Beijingers (two female and two male, despite oddly labeling their chapters, "Biographies of Model Babes") and describes their lives, beliefs, and aspirations. Each is fiercely independent and nontraditional, seeking to find their own identity and purpose in a newly-opened society. These four people are sometimes misinformed and often obstinate, even foolishly obstreperous, but there's no doubt they are brave, going where relatively few in their country have gone before.

    DeWoskin develops close relationships with each of her four Beijingers, including a live-in relationship with the actor/screenwriter Zhao Jun. The last one-third of the book details her post-Jiexi life, which seems to devolve into clubbing and bar-hopping punctuated by occasional vague hints at working. Two tragedies -- the sudden death of a close Chinese friend juxtaposed against the mistaken U.S./NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade -- bring DeWoskin's relationships and her Chinese life to an abrupt end just as the 20th Century is drawing to a close. It is time to go home, to find her place in her native country.

    Ms. DeWoskin tells her story in casual prose with easy pacing. Her writing is sometimes poignant and other times humorous. The reader feels her confusion about Chinese life and language; she doesn't even learn until later that her Chinese name, Du Ruiqiu (Du for DeWoskin, Ruiqiu to sound like Rachel), actually means "Bumper Harvest." She finds huge cultural gaps and differences with everyone around her. She makes repeated cultural faux pas, but muddles through nonetheless, just like any American in her place. Interlaced with her story are bits and pieces of Chinese history and language. Ms. DeWoskin also offers a number of surprisingly on-target, passing observations about Chinese life and culture: the importance of face, women covering their mouths when laughing, lack of winter heating, foreigners' prices, women holding hands but not hugging, and a host of others. Combined, these little bits add to a greater whole, creating a "Beijing atmosphere" that effectively complements her personal story.

    It is hard not to see FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA as a coming of age story, both for the naïve, young college graduate author and for the country in which she is perpetually an outsider. She uses China and the Chinese for her own adventure story as surely as they use her for her "exotic" foreignness. This book is also a story about cross-cultural personal relationships, about roles assumed and played out, about what is thought and said, and not said, between any two people, complicated a hundredfold by cultural differences and ways of thinking. In the end, Ms. DeWoskin's confused, conflicted, and ultimately lost relationship with Zhao Jun may well serve as a metaphor for the instability, and perhaps the utter hopelessness, of the larger Sino-American relationship.

    3-0 out of 5 stars interesting, and impressionistic
    A good read, funny at times. In a way, this book is not exactly about the "new new China," but "recent new China," for the described events happened more than 5 years ago, a generational period on the Chinese time scale. DeWoskin is charming, self-deprecating, and going out with interesting people including Cui Jian. Do not look for any substantial, observant description of the capital and its people in this chattery book. She is after all a babe, living a half-real, half-dreamy life in Beijing. Never an insider, she is but a sweet, lovely guest who is invited to watch China and be watched at the same time. ... Read more


    2. Chinese in 10 Minutes a Day
    by Kristine K. Kershul
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $17.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0944502105
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
    Publisher: Bilingual Books (WA)
    Sales Rank: 69227
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction for travellers
    Before buying (or reviewing) a language instruction book, you should consider the purpose of the book. This book intends to give you some basic speaking ability in Chinese in a relatively short amount of time, to help you express yourself while traveling, shopping, eating, and doing other typical tourist activities. It does an excellent job of that. If you're looking for more than that, choose a book that better meets your needs.

    The book is divided into 24 lessons, with the suggestion you study each one for 10 minutes. That's just 4 hours of study, plus however much time you want to spend practicing. This won't make you fluent, won't teach you to read/write characters, and it won't really help you understand someone speaking Chinese to you, but it will give you the basic speaking skills it aims to provide.

    There are flash cards to cut out and practice with, and sticky labels to put on things around your house. The words are written in Pinyin, which is a romanization of Mandarin words based on their pronunciation. Pinyin pronunciation isn't obvious to English readers, so the book includes additional phonetic spelling. For example, it tells you the PinYin word 'jie' is pronounced 'jee-eh'.

    There are a number of exercises so you can practice what you've learned, which helps you remember.

    If you'd like to build a good foundation of common Chinese words and phrases with a minimal amount of study time, then I think you'll be happy with this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 2.5 on a scale of 1-5
    This book is basically a glorified list of vocabulary words. There are no conversations and very few sentences in the book. It doesn't teach much grammar, and seems to encourage using Chinese words with English sentence structures. If this were my only text, it would be very bad, but I'm finding it useful as a suplemetal text. The labels, pictures, and flash cards are all useful, but only when used in conjunction with a course or other book that actually teaches the language, not just the words.

    4-0 out of 5 stars quick way to learn common chinese
    My boyfriend and I are going to be moving to China next year, and since he knows absolutely no Chinese I thought this book would be helpful. Now our whole house is labeled with stickers, and it is working. Its a pretty quick and easy way to learn, I just wish it had the charecters as well.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat useful, but lacks audio
    The system is a pretty good one. There are lots of pictures, pages to help you practice saying and writing the words, etc. The idea of doing just a little bit each day is a good one. Unfortunately, there is no audio tape. Audio is always so important for pronounciation, but this is even more true with Chinese where tones are critical to the word's meaning. I would not recommend this book for that reason.

    5-0 out of 5 stars traveller
    For the traveller this is a great, fairly easy way to learn a difficult language. ... Read more


    3. River Town : Two Years on the Yangtze
    by Peter Hessler
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060953748
    Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 8345
    Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In the heart of China's Sichuan province, tucked away amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this vast and ever-evolving country, Fuling is shifting gears and heading down a new path, one of change and vitality, tension and reform, disruption and growth.

    Its position at the crossroads came into sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the ways of Fuling -- and about the complex process of understanding that takes place when one is immersed in a radically different society. Poignant, thoughtful, funny, and enormously compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that, much like China itself, is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (104)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
    River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze is a skillfully written 'fish out of water story.' For people that have never been to China, they will enjoy the anecdotal stories of Peter Hessler, a 26 - year - old Peace Corps teacher that has been thrown into the thorn bush of a new situation. In his book, Hessler recounts the times that he gets pricked by the Chinese culture. An important theme in the novel is Hessler's time as a teacher in China: "Teaching as a foreigner was a matter of trying to negotiate your way through this political landscape." (Hessler 41) Hessler relates such stories as his dealings with communist slanted textbooks and the quirky differences between the students of China and the western world. I would recommend this book to those people that know very little about China because if the reader knows a lot, the quirky stories that are told become very mundane. Another theme that the book grapples with is the political climate of China. At one point in the book, Hessler tells the story of when he encountered a propaganda sign: "The people build the people's city; if it is built well, the city will serve the people!" (Hessler 313) Such stories serve to show the pervasiveness of the communist ideal into everything that is in China. This political climate is also described in the context of the socio-economics of China. Hessler, in one account, describes how newly weds had to share a bed with a total stranger on a boat trip. He speaks about these terrible conditions, but refuses to give a counter argument. Maybe there shouldn't be any counter balances to such a story as this, but this may be the flaw of this book - that it only reports the stories of Hessler, but refuses to interpret any of that information on a grander and more global scale.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Effort--Hessler's River Town Lives On
    A good friend of mine loaned me a copy of Hessler's River Town during the summer of 2001--just a couple of months before I hopped on a plane to move to China. It's hard to imagine how a book can so significantly affect one's experience in a new land, but this one certainly has.

    I've read the book several times now in the two and a half years I've been living in China, though the experience is different with each reading as I come to know China better. Hessler's work serves as a perfect introduction to the "fishbowl" conditions of a Westerner living in or visiting China's interior. The beauty of his work lies in the fact that it is the result of three distinct gifts that Hessler possesses: his skills as a researcher, his ability to connect with people he meets in meaningful ways, and his skill as a writer.

    I have been fortunate enough to visit Fuling and meet some of the people whose lives were touched by Hessler during his time there: the restaurant owners, the college officials, the priest. In every case, the mention of his name brings about genuine smiles and stories of the ways in which he connected with Fuling's residents during his time there several years ago.

    After you enjoy the book, you will be glad to know that Hessler continues to live in and write about China, with articles appearing from time to time in National Geographic and the New Yorker. There are follow-up pieces about return trips to Fuling available online as well.

    If you are planning a move to China, to visit, or you simply want to learn more about a small, complex corner of our world, Hessler's River Town will not disappoint.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent, apolitical piece
    This is a brilliant book. This young man came to China with an open mind and is fundamentally different from much of the young expatriate population here, both in terms of his intellingence and his goals in coming. (Typical personalities: "I'm a Loser Back at Home, but when I come to China I'm a Big Man on Mulberry Street." Another: "I'm Young and Bored and Trying to Convince Myself That There is a Communist Revolution Somewhere.")

    Some books that have been written have also tried specifically to address the political issues of this vast country. It is more interesting to someone who is not a professional protestor/ academic to see what happens in practice when some of the Romanticized Sacred Cows of Academics are implemented in Real Life (see: Communism, Authoritarianism, Big Government). This is also not taken from the perspective of people that are constantly whining about Human Rights.

    In my opinion, the author does a good job of not reinterpreting China in terms of some of these Sacred Cows, be they of whoever.

    The prose is clear, elegant and not overwrought with detail. But the reading is not overly light, either. It's just the things that any person would think about if they came here to teach. Or that any person might want to know if they wanted a perspective of China independent of political slants of any type.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well-written, marvelous, provocative.
    Peter Hessler spent two years working as a Peace Corps volunteer while teaching literature in the remote Sichuan province in southern China in the late 1990's. Being one the first Peace Corps volunteers in China and possessing an intense curiosity of his new surroundings has resulted in this superb travel memoir that provides the reader with an intimate glimpse into the hill city of Fuling and the history and politics of larger China. During his stay he eyewitnessed the incredible events of the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong and the building of the Three Gorges Dam.

    Hessler reaches far beyond the average tourist by making a commitment to learn Mandarin and become acquainted with the locals and their individual stories. At the beginning of his stay he was easily started by the overt treatment of the locals of having seen a foreigner but was soon transcended more into Chinese society as his new knowledge and appreciation deepened. Throughout his narrative Hessler frequently ponders Chinese politics and their affect on his students in relation to the United States and as a result brings up numerous provoking issues and concerns. Highly recommended, especially for those interested in China or Peace Corp volunteers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very good read
    The man is very good at observing human behavior and even better at writing about it. I was very sad when I hit the last page of this very enjoyable read. 'Nuff said! ... Read more


    4. Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook (Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook)
    by Anthony Garnaut
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740591798
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-15)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 120422
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    Book Description

    There's no need to lose face, forgo the Peking duck or miss the slow boat down the Yangtze.This phrasebook will prove more valuable on the road than a bicycle in Beijing. ... Read more


    5. Lonely Planet Shanghai (Lonely Planet Shanghai)
    by Bradley Mayhew
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740593081
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 5656
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Shanghai fuses the faded glamour of its colonial past with China's dreams for the future. It's the world's fastest-changing city: blink and it's different. Use this definitive guide to keep up with the frenetic pace.

    • special sections: Shanghai's diverse architecture, from Art Deco to 21st-century, and the magnificent Bund
    • excursions to Hangzhou, Suzhou, Putuoshan and other sites around Shanghai
    • the latest word on the rebirth of Shanghai nightlife - from the best bars to where to dance the tango
    • eat your heat out: Shanghai's famous snack food and world-class restaurants
    • walking tours that bring the city's colourful past alive
    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is worth it's weight in gold!
    A friend of mine and I visited Shanghai May-June 2004. Reading this book beforehand was incredibly useful. It does, however, seem to give the impression that the e.g hotels and nightclubs it enlists are the only ones at these price levels, but we found heaps more. Not unexpected in a city of 13 million people.

    We both agreed the book is worth it's weight in gold. Traveling in China where hardly anyone speaks English or are able to read the western alphabet can be a tedious task. Getting this information on location might be feasible for Chinese speaking travelers, but practically impossible for forreigners. Read the book in total beforehand! Make notes! We had so much fun in China, and we owe much to this book. It should have included more on the Chinese language (pronouns, a short dictionary etc) and more extensive information on Hangzhou.

    ...and don't eat the ¥180 meal in the Oriental Pearl Tower. It's absolutely horrible and the service is below street-corner-eatery level.

    - Peder -

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Shanghai starter kit
    Shanghai changes so rapidly; any guide that is written on this city will be half way out of date by the time it sees publication. Keeping this in mind, this is a swell guide book.

    I used this book about a year and a half ago to negotiate my way around Shanghai for 7 weeks. It served in a pinch for most of the major landmarks in the city; additionally, it was an ok guide for the nightclubs and restaurants. (chances are, the club and restaurant info is getting a bit outdated by now...)

    This book will give you a good jumping off point for exploring an amazing city. You may, however, wish to buy a detailed Shanghai map before you go.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Standard Lonely Planet quality but needs to be updated.
    This is a decent guidebook but I must confess that I like Lonely Planet and I'm very familiar with their format. If you use this along with another guidebook and a really good map then you will be fine. Be warned that Shanghai is a very dynamic city and it is constantly changing. This edition is already out of date so Lonely Planet needs to release a new version ASAP. Overall, it gives you good background about Shanghai and I wouldn't go there without it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Ok but so far out of date its not useful
    First, I should point out that most (~70%+) of LP¡¯s Shanghai guide is just reprint of what is in their larger China guide. No need to get both.

    While the condensing, arrogant, and at time sophomoric attitude that characterizes LP¡¯s china guide in general is absent here it is unfortunate that this guide is so far out of date that it could just as well be about another city. Its high time for a new edition.

    An example; the book talks about a development, ¡°xin tian di¡± that is worth keeping an eye out for some time in the next ten years. (Xin tian di was completed years ago).

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of the few, one of the good
    It is refreshing to see a travel book that is as well integrated, considering the publisher is undergoing a transformation in their editorial dept to include costlier photos. The book's descriptions are diverse in central city, suburbs, provincial environs, as well as covering common aspects of China travel. Lots of practical advice and categorizing tourist expenses into budget, medium priced, & first class. This book has 22 pgs of photos and 9 maps with marked key lists. The photos go well beyond the media touristy stock photos to include children, people at work, everyday scenes, empty freeways, but no massive bicycle or bus traffic jams which I'm sure exists.

    About the first half of the book included general history and descriptions, getting there, and getting aclimated. Then the back half of the book has specific discussions on diverse topics from the usual hotel, eats, and entertainment, to shopping, expat & gay bars, and children's activities. There are many warnings that all things in Shanghai are expensive, more than the US. There are day excursions to famous Suzhou (Venice of the East) and Hangzhou (West Lake) which are very touristy with the natives. There is only one visit "off the beaten path" to Putuoshan, an island and overnight ferry about 150mi SE.

    The book is well made to stand the rigors of travel, bound in signatures, so pages and maps won't drop out after the spine has flexed with rough use, or maps can be carefully razored out for separate pocket use. The 8-page language section has the essentials, including the word for toilet and toilet paper and the men and women characters on p57. I wonder if pronunciations can also be given in Shanghainese dialect as it appears to be Mandarin.

    The most objectionable format issue was the 6 pages of publisher's advertisements (p212-218) which were stuck between the glossary and index, and maps with site lists at the end. These adverts should be placed in the foreword or left out. And the inside of the front and back covers are non-functional, adverts in front and metric conversions in back. They could have been maps and not-to-be-missed sites. And the metric conversions did not include conversion of area, esp sq meters to sq ft and sq km to sq miles.

    Having read Yatsko's New Shanghai (0-471-84352-0, 2001), which has no maps and only 4 pgs of stock pixs, I was anxious to see more. I was pleasantly surprised. When trying to locate the famous Fudan University, however, I was disappointed that there was nothing in the index, which is a scanty 4 pages, with only a few Chinese locations. After scanning the map's key lists which are not indexed, the only Fudan U entry was the last entry on the last page. This turned out to be wrong. In the Harvard U based Let's Go China (0312270348, 2001, p281), I found an obscure reference to take Bus 910 to Wujiaochang, a NE suburb as discussed on p63. Only after looking at the MapQuest-like city map at ShanghaiGuidedotcom did I find Fudan U's location, whose own website had a campus map in Chinese and no street address or directions, a common mistake with website designers. Wujiaochang is a traffic circle, like in DC and Boston. Fudan U is just west of it on Handan Lu. Fudan U could have been marked on Map 3, which includes Tongji U and Shanghai Normal U. This area needs to be emphasized of its location and proximity to the Pudong SEZ.

    As a reader of the author's prior co-authored book, Odyssey's Uzbekistan (962-217-582-1, 99), I considered it excellent in photography and description guides and sidebar stories.

    As a feature LP has a website to support its books, however the support area is not linked from the home page. Only after searching LonelyPlanetDotcom was I able to locate the upgrades area, but they did not have any updates for China (Taiwan, Japan, and Central Asia had Acrobat PDF files).

    This book was written within the round-eye tourist and expatriate's perspective. For the squinty-eye overseas Chinese, those able to blend-in and reading and speaking Mandarin, Taiwanese, or Cantonese, I'd like to see your coverage broadened to include dirt-cheap accommodations and native business interests, especially in the Pudong SEZ and other high-tech areas similar to the Zhongguancun SEZ in Beijing. Or at least include a detailed list of resources, websites, or tourist guides written in Chinese. ... Read more


    6. Lonely Planet China (Lonely Planet China)
    by Damian, Harper, Marie Cambon, Katja Gaskell, Thomas Huhti, Bradley Mayhew, Korina Miller, Mielikki Org
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740591178
    Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 8912
    Average Customer Review: 3.36 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Discover China with its teeming cities, mountain temples and ancient palaces.Walk the Great Wall and take your last chance to visit the famous Three Gorges-this exceptional guide shows you how.

    • NAVIGATE – 235 maps with Chinese script and English
    • COMMUNICATE – Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan and Portugese language chapter
    • DINE OUT – the mysteries of Chinese cuisine explained
    • GET ABOUT – sections on Yangzi River cruises and Beijing’s traditional hutong
    • UNWIND – China’s national parks make an idyllic getaway
    • EASE YOUR MIND – watch the sunset from a sacred mountain
    ... Read more

    Reviews (50)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very hard and very well-managed and great endeavour
    This edition of "Lonely Planet China" is excellent. It is better than the previous one, which was very good itself but had some weaknesses. Despite the immensity of China and the numberless topics and regions that have to be covered herein, the authors have done an excellent job indeed. Most of LP's masterpieces are guidebooks to much smaller countries or regions (it is indeed inevitable for travel guidebooks to be the better, in overall terms, the smaller the region they cover). But this one is an exception: despite its hugeness, China has been covered with superb maestry by people who do know about it. Having said this, we cannot diminish the importance of LP's guidebooks to Beijing and Shanghai - if you are planning to spend much time in those cities, it may be a good idea to get those guidebooks also, since this huge and heavy book cannot cover as much of those cities as the authors thsemselves would obviously love to. The same obviously applies for Hong Kong and Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet, all of which have generated their own LP guidebooks. Xinjiang is instead wonderfully covered in "LP Central Asia". This is not to persuade you to get more and more guidebooks, but China is indeed an immense place and one book can hardly be enough to cover it all in depth. In this book itself, its excellent coverage of some regions is stronger than others: it is better on the Coastal towns than it is on the deep interior of China, which reflects indeed the number of tourists who go to these places. Having said this, this book does nevertheless contain most of what a visitor will need or want to know about big China. And in a place that is chaotic and tough for foreigners like China, this may indeed be an essential tool for the less experienced travellers, and a greatly useful aid to the more experienced ones too. The coverage of places to stay and eat is absolutely excellent, not just for the major cities but also for minor towns and sites (the authors would indeed seem to have been to everywhere in China where the government did not stop them from going !). The section on permits and other legal matters is of immense value to anyone, and well up-to-date. And of course, the sections and special chapters on history, culture, religion, are extremely well written, great for the traveller and the armchair reader alike. Even though the best discoveries are those a traveller will make herself / himself, this guidebook is surely a great tool and help in anyone's discovery of this wonderful land. All in all, a masterpiece despite its limitations. A weakness is of course that things being as volatile as they are in China, information is subject to unexpected changes, and some may have become out-of-date by the time this book was printed. But this is of course inevitable, and it simply means that - as in any country - a traveller should not rely on only a guidebook, but make a considerable effort to gain as much as possible of current circumstances on her / his own, which is in fact part of the wonderful travel experience.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate, sloppy, semi-literate, overrated
    This book is only touted as 'the' book to have by those who have looked at no others, and have spent little time in China. Inconsistent in its presentation (opening times and prices may be included or may be just forgotten), often ill-informed and unhelpful in its descriptions of sites, only partially and superficially updated from the previous edition, this book not only fails to bring China to life, but also fails to do what LP is supposed to be good at, and tell you the cheapest ways to do things and the cheapest places to stay. Lazy updating has failed to find many newer, cheaper, and better value for money hotels and restaurants, and transportation information is too sketchy to be of much use. Not a few of us have already left our copies in the trash in China. Those wanting a single volume budget guide would be much better off buying Rough Guide, even though it's older, and those wanting some genuinely helpful and informed cultural information should buy Blue Guide (both available on this site).

    2-0 out of 5 stars Beware the book
    To echo the words of other readers, this is disappointing and out of date.

    On the second point, bear in mind that many prices have increased (sometimes more than doubled) since this book was published.

    On the first, try to ignore almost every recommendation on accomodation and food that the guidebook makes. In many locations the majority of listed restaurants are Western and those that are Chinese are poor quality, high priced and seem to be recommended only for having an English menu. Go somewhere else, point, go for pot-luck or learn a little Chinese before you go and you'll enjoy everything much more.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good for package tourists; not for exploration
    They say that everything you hear about China is true somewhere. Everything you read in LP China may also be true somewhere but unfortunately not always where you are. Originally published in August 2002 this book is well past its prime. It is still superior to the Rough Guide but could use a serious update. Speaking of which the overleaf promises guidebook upgrades on the Internet but they discontinued this in favour of user discussion.

    Pricing - the cost of tea in China, you say? Like most things in China, prices are in constant flux and I question the value of including them. They are more misleading than helpful. Tourist attractions will generally be higher than what the book says but other prices will be close.

    Locations - I live in the city of Wuhan and in the last two year it has undergone tremendous changes. There is simply no way for a printed book to keep up with them. For example, in the last six months the bus routes in WuChang have changed four times.

    If you are going to travel around China be flexible! Expect that nothing in the guidebook will be where you expected. Expect to bargain for everything, hotel prices included. Remember that any guide book is only a starting place. As I have travelled around southern China I have used this book as a starting point and then asked the locals what they would do. Most have never been to the "tourist sites" but can show you a great street restaurant just around the corner.

    This book is great for those thinking of going to China but who will never make the trip, or for those who are going on a package trip to fourteen cities in eight days. For those who want to explore China on their own I would advise caution.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Complete Crap
    This book is so bad. If I could give it 0 stars believe me, I would. Many of the things listed in this book no longer exist. I went to one city and all 4 places listed in the LP as budget accomodations were no longer in business. Maps were incorrect. Attractions were listed with one address and placed elsewhere (and incorrectly) on the map. It would help greatly of it had more Chinese of the locations listed so you can show cab drivers. I finally gave up, chucked it into the trash and continued my 4 month trip through Asia without consulting any guidebook and had a much nicer time. Down with the Lonely Liar! You don't need a guide book. Just talk to other travelers. ... Read more


    7. National Geographic Traveler China (National Geographic Traveler)
    by Damian Harper
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792279212
    Catlog: Book (2001-03-01)
    Publisher: National Geographic
    Sales Rank: 4713
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The National Geographic Traveler
    Spain

    • In-depth site descriptions and background information
    • Insightful features on history, culture, and contemporary life
    • More than 280 vivid color photographs
    • 31 detailed, full-color maps
    • Mapped walking, biking, and river tours
    • Specially commissioned artwork
    • Clear, easy-to-use design
    • Complete visitor information plus hotels, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and festivals
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great guide to doing advanced research!
    I ordered five different guidebooks on China to plan an upcoming trip. This one was defintitely the best at giving an overview of the various cities and attractions -- the descriptions are just the right length to give you a good overview, the book doesn't shy from giving recommendations and opinions, and there are many beautiful pictures to give you a better sense of each place. My wife and I both fought over this book as the one to read before our trip! NOTE: this is NOT a subsititute, but rather a complement, for a book that lists hotels, restaurants, etc. -- it does not give all the useful info. We'll probably leave it behind when we go on our trip, but will be very grateful we were able to use it in planning where to go, especially for a country as vast as China. This is the perfect "advanced reading & planning book" -- by far our favorite for China! ... Read more


    8. Sailing Through China
    by Paul Theroux
    list price: $23.25
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0395348366
    Catlog: Book (1984-01-01)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T)
    Sales Rank: 182218
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Yangtze thru the eyes of millions
    A funny account of one man's cruise down the Yangtze with a group of American millionaires... Insightful, biting humor.An accurate description of tour-isms. ... Read more


    9. The Heart Of The World: A Journey To The Last Secret Place
    by Ian Baker, Dalai Lama
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $16.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594200270
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-04)
    Publisher: Penguin Press Hc
    Sales Rank: 1196
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    Book Description

    The myth of Shangri-la originates in Tibetan Buddhist beliefs in beyul, or hidden lands, sacred sanctuaries that reveal themselves to devout pilgrims and in times of crisis. The more remote and inaccessible the beyul, the vaster its reputed qualities. Ancient Tibetan prophecies declare that the greatest of all hidden lands lies at the heart of the forbidding Tsangpo Gorge, deep in the Himalayas and veiled by a colossal waterfall. Nineteenth-century accounts of this fabled waterfall inspired a series of ill-fated European expeditions that ended prematurely in 1925 when the intrepid British plant collector Frank Kingdon-Ward penetrated all but a five-mile section of the Tsangpo's innermost gorge and declared that the falls were no more than a "religious myth" and a "romance of geography." The heart of the Tsangpo Gorge remained a blank spot on the map of world exploration until world-class climber and Buddhist scholar Ian Baker delved into the legends. Whatever cryptic Tibetan scrolls or past explorers had said about the Tsangpo's innermost gorge, Baker determined, could be verified only by exploring the uncharted five-mile gap. After several years of encountering sheer cliffs, maelstroms of impassable white water, and dense leech-infested jungles, on the last of a series of extraordinary expeditions, Baker and his National Geographic-sponsored team reached the depths of the Tsangpo Gorge. They made news worldwide by finding there a 108-foot-high waterfall, the legendary grail of Western explorers and Tibetan seekers alike.

    The Heart of the World is one of the most captivating stories of exploration and discovery in recent memory-an extraordinary journey to one of the wildest and most inaccessible places on earth and a pilgrimage to the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist faith.
    ... Read more


    10. Iron and Silk (Vintage Departures)
    by MARK SALZMAN
    list price: $12.00
    our price: $9.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0394755111
    Catlog: Book (1987-10-12)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 23146
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    In 1982, Salzman flew off to teach English in Changsha, China. He writes of bureaucrats, students and Cultural Revolution survivors, stripping none of their complexity and humanity.He's gentle with their idiocies, saving his sharpest barbs for himself (it's his pants that split from zipper to waist whilst demonstrating martial arts in Canton).Though dribs of history and drabs of classical lore seep through, this is mostly a personal tale, noted by the Los Angeles Times for "the charmingly unpretentious manner in which it penetrates a China inaccessible to other foreigners." ... Read more

    Reviews (74)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming, Winning and Well Worth the Read
    This is an autobiographical account of a young man's teaching English for two years in main land China. He also spent his time learning what he could of martial arts, calligraphy, and obviously the wonderfully different and often touching ways of the Chinese people. The vignettes are sketched with humanity, warmth, skill and a great sense of humor. When I told my Chinese friends some of the stories they smiled broadly, nodded knowingly, and assured me that that is the way things are. We appreciated deeply the story of how Mark tried to cash in a dead rat for five cents and ran into bureaucrats who were silly but not stupid. It has been made into a film and the video ought to be readily available. Do see it as well as reading the book. Mark and his teacher Pan play themselves and they're both worth getting to know a lot better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Sense of Wonder
    In 30 short anecdotes, Mark Salzman gives a compassionate and humorous account of teaching English and studying martial arts in Changsha, a provincial capital in central China shortly after the opening of the country in the early 1980s. Changsha has the reputation that "there is nothing to do, nothing to buy, the people have no manners, the food is terrible and their dialect sounds awful" - so the book might have become very different from what it is: insightful, very funny, and full of respect for the often strange customs of traditional Chinese culture. In the best manner of innocents abroad, Mark Salzman knows how to make fun of his blunders in a very charming way. He conveys his sense of wonder beautifully, and does not pass judgment on anything he witnesses. Unlike many other authors who write about China, he is able to appreciate traditional Chinese forms of expression and self-mastery like martial arts (wushu) and calligraphy on their own terms. In his anecdotes he catches the essence of these arts: dedication, commitment, respect. "No matter what the quality of brush or paper," explains his calligraphy teacher, "one should always treat them as if they were priceless."

    What Mark Salzman wrote about China some 15 years ago is not dated in many ways. Strange ideas are still being trumpeted as truths, and bureaucrats still like to harass foreigners (although humiliating unwitting foreigners is not "something of a popular sport in China" anymore; today it may even happen that a young female police officer at a police station first lectures you for half an hour on a minor transgression, but asks you out for a date right after she is finished).

    Mark Salzman has a wonderful, gentle humor, and an admirable open-mindedness. He combines both to focus not on the ignorance of the people he meets, but on the insight which even ignorance can produce. There is no doubt that one little Chinese boy has no idea about the real Hong Kong, but being asked what he knew about this city, he answers "It's a big department store, isn't it?" Finally, let me say that I have never heard or read of a more charming and polite way of telling a Westerner that he has a big nose than in Mark Salzman's gem of a book: "You have a very three-dimensional face."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well written travel story
    This book is an account of the two years Mark Salzman spent as an English teacher at the Hunan Medical College. Salzman arrived in Hunan Province in 1982, fresh from Yale, where he had graduated with a degree in Chinese literature. He took with him his cello and his experience studying Chinese martial arts. Salzman was an ideal American emissary- -he brought his youthful yet serious enthusiasm to the classroom, and forged ties with the local populace through sharing his skills and interests. Once he even consented to attempt to tune a piano for his supervisor, his only qualification for the task being that he was familiar with the sound of well-tuned pianos back home. He befriended local fishermen and shared his art and music with them, but he also got to know Chinese grad students and professors through his interest in calligraphy and Chinese language.

    Foremost in his interests was martial arts. Before arriving in China, Salzman had studied Chinese martial arts for 9 years. He hoped to find a teacher of martial arts, or wushu, so that he could continue his practice while in Hunan. Because of his openness to meet others and because of his language skills, he eventually met and studied with some remarkably skilled wushu teachers in Hunan, including Pan Qingfu, perhaps the most renowned living practitioner of Chinese martial arts in the world. Much of Salzman's account is a record of how he met these teachers, and how they helped him develop his skill, each in his own particular way and style.

    Salzman's interest in calligraphy and martial arts opened doors for him that otherwise may never have appeared. Practicing calligraphy and wushu gave him the excuse for meeting Chinese citizens with similar interests, and for them to seek him out. But Salzman points out the ethical dark side of pursuing these interests as a foreigner. Salzman is very aware of the fact that, while he has studied martial arts for 9 years, no matter how seriously he had applied himself, he had practiced only on a hobby basis, a background to his academic and professional pursuits. On a Chinese scale, his 9 years of part-time study would barely constitute dallying with the sport. Yet because he was a foreigner who seemed to demonstrate such a serious degree of interest in the topic, he had access to the very best teachers, famous superstars that few Chinese wushu students could every dream of meeting. This is not meant to criticize Salzman, as he himself pointed out several times how distressed he was when his teachers would ignore their Chinese students so as to focus on his personal needs. Situations where an interested Westerner is given attention by experts that far exceeds that merited by their skills are unfortunately, quite common. Indeed, many Western musicians of very average talent manage to be accepted as students by famous classical Indian musicians, who may be fascinated by a Westerner who seems seriously interested in Asian music, or who may simply think that having Western students will somehow add to their prestige. I, myself, have benefited from such circumstances while studying Indian music, finding that my teachers give me extra attention or praise that is merited only by the color of my passport. What is remarkable about this book is how much Salzman is aware of this conundrum as he sees it playing out, and how he shows maturity in trying to address the situation both with humility and devotion to his art.

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent and entertaining!
    i was assigned this novel for a course and thought it would be another dry novel such as the ones typically assigned for university history courses. i was pleasantly surprised! salzman's sense of humor and good natured relating of the events surrounding his two years in china is only surpassed by his knowledge and understanding of the culture he lived in for those years. it is an excellent story for anyone who is learning about china or simply wants to know more about the culture. salzman's view as an american looking in is especially helpful for western readers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars what a heartwarming eye-opener!
    Mark Salzman writes of his experiences while teaching in China. His book reminded me a little of the Tony Hillerman and "The No. 1 Detective Agency" series in that they all give us a look at an entirely different culture that many of us know little about. He is a martial arts student and continued learning from masters in China during his stay as a teacher.

    In some ways we could learn a little from their polite culture and they could learn from ours. They are a much more family oriented than I realized, children remaining with their parents until married in many cases and they are more respectful of their parents and others around them than many of us are.

    Their homes did not compare in any way to what we are used to, but, you know, when you've never had it, you don't know what you are missing and as most of them were in the same circumstances, they do with what they have. This is not to say that everything was great, because it wasn't, there were many things that could have been improved upon, but the book wasn't about that. It was an account by the author of his experiences and friendships that he developed during his stay in China. We get to know about a lovely group of individuals and how they lived and worked. The politeness, and their way of showing hospitality was endearing.

    I would have to say that Mark must have had a special touch also for them to react so warmly to him. His sincere interest in their martial arts and learning their calligraphy, etc. drew their support also.

    If you'd like to know more about how many of the people live and their customs this is a wonderful book that will give us a good unbiased view of them. Highly recommended! Enjoy! ... Read more


    11. China (Rough Guide China)
    by David Leffman, Simon Lewis, Jeremy Atiyah, Mike Meyer, Susie Lunt
    list price: $28.95
    our price: $19.11
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1843530198
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
    Publisher: Rough Guides Limited
    Sales Rank: 46090
    Average Customer Review: 3.55 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    INTRODUCTION

    China has grown up alone and aloof, cut off from the rest of Eurasia by the Himalayas to the south and the Siberian steppe to the north. For the last three millennia, while empires, languages and peoples in the rest of the world rose, blossomed and disappeared without trace, China has been busy largely recycling itself. The ferocious dragons and lions of Chinese statuary have been produced for 25 centuries or more, and the script still used today reached perfection at the time of the Han dynasty, two thousand years ago. Until the late nineteenth century, the only foreigners China saw – apart from occasional ruling elites of Mongol and Manchu origin, who quickly became assimilated – were visiting merchants from far-flung shores or uncivilized nomads from the wild steppe: peripheral, unimportant and unreal.

    Today, while there is no sign of the Communist Party relinquishing power, the negative stories surrounding China – the runaway pollution, the oppression of dissidents, the harsh treatment of criminal suspects and the imperialist behaviour towards Tibet and other minority regions – are only part of the picture. As the Party moves ever further away from hard-line political doctrine and towards economic pragmatism, China is undergoing a huge commercial and creative upheaval. A country the size of ten Japans has entered the world market: Hong Kong-style city skylines are rearing up all across China, and tens of millions of people are finding jobs that earn them a spending power their parents could never have known. Whatever the reasons you are attracted to China, the sheer pace of change, visible in every part of Chinese life, will ensure that your trip is a unique one.

    The first thing that strikes visitors to China is the extraordinary density of its population. In central and eastern China, villages, towns and cities seem to sprawl endlessly into one another along the grey arteries of busy expressways. These are the Han Chinese heartlands, a world of chopsticks, tea, slippers, massed bicycles, shadow-boxing, exotic pop music, teeming crowds, chaotic train stations, smoky temples, red flags and the smells of soot and frying tofu. Move west or north away from the major cities, however, and the population thins out as it begins to vary: indeed, large areas of the People’s Republic are inhabited not by the "Chinese", but by more than two hundred distinct ethnic minorities, ranging from animist hill tribes to urban Muslims. Here the landscape begins to dominate: green paddy fields and misty hilltops in the southwest, the scorched, epic vistas of the old Silk Road in the northwest, and the magisterial mountains of Tibet.

    While travel around the country itself is seldom problematic, it would be wrong to pretend that it is an entirely easy matter to penetrate modern China. The tourist highlights – the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army and Yangzi gorges – are relatively few considering the size of the country. In particular, recent modernizations have, quite deliberately, destroyed much of the historic architecture which would have lent Chinese cities the character enjoyed by those in Europe or the Middle East. On top of this are the frustrations of travelling in a land where few people speak English, the writing system is alien and foreigners are regularly viewed as exotic objects of intense curiosity, or as fodder for overcharging – though overall you’ll find that the Chinese, despite a reputation for curtness, are generally hospitable and friendly. ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Up to the usual Rough Guide stardard
    The Rough Guides are considered among the "cream of the crop" in the guidebook world, and this book is no exception. I used it extensively in the planning phase of my recent month-long trip to China, and it was very helpful.

    The background sections of the book are outstanding, giving the reader a solid overview of Chinese history and culture. The primary sites of interest to travelers are adequately covered as well, and so the book is very helpful in planning one's itinerary.

    The main drawback of the volume is it's weight. If you are backpacking in China, as I was, this book is pretty heavy to be lugging around. Therefore, unless you are staying in China more than a couple of weeks, you might consider looking at the smaller city guides.....or ripping the necessary sections out of this book and packing only those in your rucksack.

    Highly recommended for pre-trip planning at home. Recommended for packing and taking to China *if* you are going on an extended trip to the country.

    5-0 out of 5 stars roughguides China
    I traveled extensively throughout China in 1998, and I found the roughguide a much more practical book for getting around. The charts inside the guide allow you to find the information quickly, whereas the other popular guide forces you to flip through pages with apparent random entires of Chinese Characters, which can be frustrating and stressful when you climb into a chinese taxi in the middle of the road, and you need to show the driver where you want to go. Although lonely planet seems to have more detailed information, the well organized layout of the Roughguide makes it ten times more desireable when your actually on the road. I'm looking forward to the new edition, as I left my roughguide in China with a friend who only had a lonely planet!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best guide to China you can get, get it before Lonely planet
    I can't fully agree with negative review of this book. I'm living in China for three years now. I got many guides to China I use them quite a lot during my traveling in here. Sure there is maybe a few thing missing and there are some mistakes in this book but it is still the best. I find it much more accurate and detailed than last edition of Lonely Planet.

    It's best all around travel guide for China.

    If you want to get and bring just one get this one.

    1-0 out of 5 stars 2003 EDITION - VERY ROUGH INDEED
    This book presents itself as a revised edition, but it is very
    little more than a prettied-up reprint of the text from three
    years ago, and some of that was a bit long in the tooth then.

    The first and second editions carried great promise, worthy
    competitors for the boys from LP. To represent the third as
    having been "updated" is merely a deception. It would have been
    better not done at all.

    The book is a curiosity. The title-page has it "written and
    researched" by the same three authors as the previous edition
    more than three years ago, but "this edition updated" by two
    others. It's not clear that the original three have contributed
    any "research" at all that was not reflected in the previous
    edition. Nor is it even quite clear that the two "updaters"
    have actually been on the ground in China. The "updating" is in
    fact so slight that it could almost have been done by a
    desk-bound clerk on the strength of readers' reports, with

    perhaps the odd nod in the direction of the Lonely Planet Thorn
    Tree.

    The new edition has more pages, but that's explained by a
    slightly larger type-face; finer paper; unchanged net weight.
    A second colour introduced throughout, with improved visual
    presentation, a bit prettier. And not many other changes.

    Chinese names and words still without tone-marks in the main
    body of the text - a shortcoming that was never really excusable
    and which has been merely unacceptable since Lonely Planet bit
    that particular bullet.

    There is scarcely a town or locality mentioned that is not
    included in the previous edition. No one who is on the ball in
    the matter of China travel could fail to discover many more
    places worthy of attention than he knew about three years
    before. And circumstances change as well: more than a year
    before the last edition, all of western Sichuan was opened for
    the first time, but the vast treasure of the previously
    forbidden region is still undiscovered by the new edition of
    this (very) rough guide. The wonderfully scenic Muli and
    Yanyuan counties in southern Sichuan have been open for years
    but (apart from one passing reference to Yanyuan) rate no
    mention. Yushu Prefecture in southern Qinghai, with all
    counties open at least since mid-2001, is not mentioned; indeed
    apart from Xining district and Golmud (Geermo) there's hardly a
    mention of any part of Qinghai province at all.

    Of course I can't expect even the best guidebook to discover all
    the places I may have discovered and found worthwhile - the
    Mekong in north-west Yunnan, Yulin in northern Shaanxi,
    Shibaoshan in western Yunnan, Daocheng and the Yading Reserve,
    not to mention secret places in Tibet that I'd perhaps rather
    keep to myself, nor the phenomenal valley of the Salween in
    western Yunnan. The trouble is that this book has found very
    few new places (though there's a tantalising addition of almost
    impossibly remote Loulan and a couple of extra morsels on the
    "southern Silk Road" - a reader's letter perhaps?)

    Then there are the occasions when I've found the previous
    edition mistaken or misleading - Chishui, Matang, Tiger-Leaping
    Gorge, Ruili district, Sanying hotel open to foreigners (well,
    it is if you threaten the PSB with an international incident
    failing their acquiescence), Pingliang hotel; and so on. Any
    corrections? Not one that I can find.

    Some details of hotel tariffs, telephone numbers, admission
    charges and so on have been changed, but they are generally far
    too few to lend any confidence in the reliability of what has
    not been changed; a number I've been able to check are just
    wrong.

    The maps are now far too few, the provincial (or
    multi-provincial) maps just too simplified; the largest scale
    for some provinces is one to twenty million. Even so, how
    revealing for the text to say that "Weixi marks the end of the
    road" (from the east)! Tell that to the mini-bus drivers who
    drive another 220km north to Deqin, from where the road
    continues all the way to Lhasa and beyond! The railway line
    between Changsha and north-western Hunan (which cut the journey
    from Zhangjiajie to Changsha to about six hours when it had
    already been commissioned three years ago) is not shown.

    Good points? There's a new "food and drink glossary", which is
    to say phrase-list. The paper is excellent - strong and
    light, perhaps better than the heavier paper of the Lonely
    Planet, so that there are about 30% more pages but 10% less
    overall weight. There must be more words in the Rough Guide,
    but I doubt there is more information, regardless of its
    accuracy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Among the very best for this unique world called China.
    The question is not how do you cover the world's largest and most populated country (as big as all the countries of Europe combined), but rather, how do you visit such a vast, multi cultured world as China? The first step is to arm oneself with the best travel guides on the market. "China: The Rough Guide" is one such guide.

    "China: The Rough Guide" is designed for those that have more than a week or two in China. It is NOT a pocket guide (almost 2 lbs.) and more than 1100 pages. In this tome, Leffman, Lewis & Atiyah captures the best of China and give you the low down on what you must see while in China

    Straight off the introduction in this guide is one of the most engaging I have ever read, "China is not so much another country as another world; chopsticks, tea, slippers, massed bicycles, shadow boxing, exotic pop music, karakoe, teeming crowds, Dickensian train stations . . . one of the world's largest economies." The maps (a critical element in any guide) are among the best found in a guide to date. Each restaurant and accommodation that is listed in the guide is marked on the maps (ya gotta love it).

    The terse 3000-year history is as well written as objective as history can be, and thorough enough for most visitors. There is an outstanding appendix section, titled: "Context," covering, besides history, architecture, art, film, music and an excellent book list. The recommendations for accommodations and restaurants are reliable and up to date.

    However, this is not a perfect guide (5 stars). One of the weak areas of the guide is the omission of an accommodation or a restaurant index. Thus, if you have a recommended restaurant you want to look up, you have to go through all the restaurant pages 'til you stumble across the name you seek or miss seeing it completely.

    Another significant shortcoming is the lack of website and email addresses for hotels. Phone and fax numbers are provided but, considering the cost, nothing beats email. This is a significant omission, especially considering that the guide has a 2000 publishing date and most major Chinese hotels are now Internet connected,

    Though the 'Basic Section' is up to guide books' standards, and has a few interesting sections (i.e., recommended tours, China Online Etc.) I found some of the information needed updating. Northwest Airlines is NOT the only airline that flies non-stop from mainland US to China, United Airlines also does (though the service is sub-par and the seats very cramped, I would not-recommended you flying UAL). Also, there is NO website information for any of the airlines.

    I am disappointed that the 'boxed' vignettes are few and far between in this guide. There is no mention of Falun Gong and only a scant mention of the Three River Gorge Dam. Usually Rough Guides are much better in this area.

    Finally, an ongoing peeve that I have about Rough Guides, is the use of a number system to quote the price range of a hotel, i.e., the 'Friendship Hotel' is listed to cost a '6'. For a '6' you have to flip back to the numeric legion where you find out that '6' = 600 to 800 yuans, which you then divide by the current rate of exchange. As other guides simply demonstrate, there are better ways to help your reader gage approximate cost.

    If you are going to just be in and around Beijing or Shanghai then this guide at 1100 pages may be an over kill. You would be better off with Rough Guide: Beijing, Cadogan's Beijing or Lonely Planet Shanghai (all highly recommended guides, see my reviews). However if you are going to explore this great country then 'China: The Rough Guide' will be a welcome companion. Recommended ... Read more


    12. Fodor's China, 4th Edition (Fodor's China)
    by Fodor's
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400013267
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
    Publisher: Fodor's
    Sales Rank: 23655
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    13. Lonely Planet Taiwan (Lonely Planet Taiwan)
    by Andrew Bender, Julie Grundvig, Robert Kelly
    list price: $25.99
    our price: $17.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 174059360X
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-15)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 22898
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    Book Description

    Ilha Formosa, the 'beautiful isle', is a modern society steeped in Chinese heritage, a land of tropical islands and mountain retreats, neon-lit noodle bars and teeming night markets.Whatever you crave - a soak at a hot spring, a temple-hopping itinerary - this is the only guide that puts it all in one book.From the practical to the inspirational, let us connect you with Taiwan.

    • BE INSPIRED by itineraries through old Taiwan, new Taipei and the East Coast • ESCAPE to idyllic mountains, tropical islands and coastal strips with our excursion ideas • FEAST LIKE AN EMPEROR - our expert-written Food & Drink chapter is at your service • CROSS THE LANGUAGE BARRIER - with our extensive Language chapter and loads of Chinese script • GET AROUND - with the help of 78 detailed maps ... Read more


    14. Lonely Planet Hong Kong & Macau: City Guide (Lonely Planet Hong KongandMacau)
    by Steve Fallon, Victoria Buntine, Phil Weymouth
    list price: $17.99
    our price: $12.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740594487
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 10960
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    52 Maps ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent Lonely Planet Guide
    Steve Fallon is a perfect guide for walking tours, itinaries, transport (Octopus card), accomodation, eating and shopping in both ancient Western colonies.
    He gives us also an excellent summary of their histories.
    This guide has also a useful map section, although it was not possible to indicate all the street names.
    With its wealth of practical, cultural and historical information, this guide is a necessary companion for all Hong Kong and Macau visitors. It served me every day during my stay in both Western enclaves. I found Hong Kong fascinating. I was there for the 2004 Film Festival which had an excellent program (especially the documentaries) and a perfect organization.
    On the contrary, Macau was a big disappointment. It is still in shambles.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Useful In Most Unexpected Ways!
    I found this guide useful in all the usual practical ways (accomodation, eating, getting around, etc), and I visited the few tourist sites thanks to it, and I LOVED the hikes in the unspoilt New Territories countryside, but I have to say I was grateful for the way the guide alerted me to the unexpected side of Hong Kong - the huge, unruly, pushy-rude crowds, the unpleasant actions and attitudes of so many people, the frankly dreary-quality of much of the over-concreted urban areas (so different from Hong Kong's famous harbour setting, which only looks good from a ferry boat or a hilltop). The comments on why this all was so - the long, sad history of the Chinese refugee movement, pouring into Hong Kong when it was British, the subsequent (also sad) insecurity that resulted, helped me appreciate more the "effervesence" of the city which didn't seem so exhilherating after a few days, but, if anything, more fascinating.

    It also led me to some fascinating books on the subject. I highly recommend Jan Morris's book Hong Kong, which gives great and moving detail on the whole refugee origins of modern Hong Kong and made me realise what an intense human story there lies behind the tourist bureau image of the place (there is much info on the interesting history on British days, too). The book also led me to some fascinating hill walks in the unspoilt north-east of the New Territories (Plover Cove - a world away from the jackhammers, noise and spitting).

    Bo Yang's book The Ugly Chinaman gave me a Chinese account of where all this insecurity and unhappiness and rude behaviour comes from - the centuries of stagnation that went on inside China (he calls the process "the stagnat soy-vat barrel"), the insistance on imitating the past rather than looking forward - there's a lot more to China's story than Confucious and the poetry of Li Po, he insists (I thought Bo Yang's book much more helpful than the Culture Shock guide because it explains to western readers the Chinese actions that actually cause you culture shock; the Culture Shock books tend to just tell you to say "everything's great".)

    Timothy Mo's novel, The Monkey King is a great read and a great description of many Hong Kong Chinese attitudes and actions I encountered on my trip - it centers around a fascinating, eccentric Chinese family living in 1950's Hong Kong but I was amazed at how much was still relevant.

    Paul Theroux's novel, Kowloon Tong, set at the Handover, captures well the sleazy side of Hong Kong money-making and greed, focusing (democratically!) on British, Chinese and American characters living in the city. Really fine description here, and dark irony worthy of Saul Bellow and Gore Vidal.

    And Austin Coates' classic Hong Kong book, Myself a Mandarin, will enrich any westerner's trip (it's the story of a British magistrate in 50's Hong Kong, and I found his stories of dealing with the Chinese, the clash of cultures, the insights he gained, fascinating, hilarious and, once again, oddly relevant and accurate for today's Hong Kong).

    4-0 out of 5 stars A vast improvement over the Ninth Edition
    Disregard Amazon's reader reviews that precede this one. The earlier comments aren't based on this book at all, but were simply ported to this page from the previous edition's. The well-deserved complaints about "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou," Ninth Edition, do not apply to "Hong Kong and Macau," 10th Edition. Note that "Guangzhou" was dropped from the title.

    I never go on vacation somewhere without first buying the Lonely Planet travel book on the destination. So it's been with some frustration that for the last three years, the Hong Kong book has been among the weakest of the series, at least among those I've bought. But the long-awaited update has some badly needed changes and updates.

    The previous edition came out in January 1999, several months after Lonely Planet had released another, entirely different Hong Kong book titled simply "Hong Kong." The "Hong Kong" book was pretty skimpy, including a mere 10 pages or so on Macau. But it did have some helpful color maps at the back of the book.

    When "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou" came out, it included some badly needed material on Macau, as well as the Chinese border cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai. Unfortunately, the book also lumped in about 90 pages on Guangzhou, and another eight-page supplement on "Hong Kong Film." For 99-plus percent of the people who are visiting the Hong Kong area, these pages were only dead weight. Virtually nobody visiting Hong Kong plans to visit Guangzhou, and why should they? It's a long trip, and by the book's own admission, there's nothing there for tourists anyway.

    Even worse, this book was out of date from the moment it hit the streets. Both the "Hong Kong" and "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou" books gave the location of the Hong Kong Museum of History as Kowloon Park. But the museum had already moved when I visited Hong Kong in November 1998, when the "Hong Kong" book had just came out. And so I was more than a little surprised that "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou" repeated the same mistake in its January 1999 printing!

    But what *really* annoyed me was that "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou" didn't have the easy-to-read, easy-to-find color maps of the earlier "Hong Kong" book. Instead, the larger book had ugly, hard-to-read black-and-white maps scattered willy-nilly throughout.

    This has changed under the book's all-new author, Steve Fallon. (Damian Harper does not get credit in this edition, despite what Amazon says.) Fallon has dropped the Guangzhou section and other useless padding, making the book a lot more portable. The Museum of History's current address is in there now. And the color maps from the slim "Hong Kong" book also are in the back of the new "Hong Kong and Macau." The new book still uses the hard-to-read, hard-to-find B&W maps for the border towns and Macau's islands, but that's a quibble I can live with. Other general information throughout also seems to be current.

    I've been looking over the new book for several days now, and overall, it seems that while the worst parts disappeared, the best stuff carried over to the new edition. For instance, I was glad to see that the map of Shenzhen still has the names of landmarks and hotels in Chinese, as well as English. Showing the Shenzhen taxi drivers the Chinese name of where you want to go is usually the only way for non-Chinese-speaking tourists to communicate their intended destination.

    While the new edition is a great improvement, it was at least a year overdue. Three years is a long time to have to wait for an update when so much has changed here, given the change in sovereignty in both Hong Kong and Macau. The ninth edition came out just a couple of months after the Hong Kong handover, and *before* the Macau handover, for crying out loud.

    I don't know if I could have honestly recommended the ninth edition of "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou," but I certainly can do so for the 10th edition of "Hong Kong and Macau." Even if you don't plan on visiting here in the immediate future, it's an interesting read.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Certainly not the best
    I generally love Lonely Planet guides, but this one is factually inaccurate in many of its addresses, locations, etc. The introductory sections, however, on history, language, and such are as good as they get in a travel guide.

    1-0 out of 5 stars What a load of rubbish!
    This really is one of the most inaccurate guides to HK I have ever seen. I have lived in HK for 5 years and when I first arrived I read the LP guide and thought it was OK. However this edition is almost exactly the same whereas HK has changed dramatically in this time. Some inaccuracies from 1994 are still here and sections like entertainment are terrible - there is more to life than the local Hard Rock cafe. It seems the only change is that the author has added 10% of so to prices and that really is insufficient reason to bring out a whole new book. ... Read more


    15. Suzy Gershman's Born to Shop Hong Kong, Shanghai & Beijing, Second Edition
    by SuzyGershman, AaronGershman, JennyMcCormick, Suzy Gershman
    list price: $15.99
    our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0764525603
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
    Publisher: Frommers
    Sales Rank: 32718
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "Gershmans may be the best guide for novice and pro shoppers alike." —The Washington Post

    For nearly twenty years, Suzy Gershman has been leading savvy shoppers to the worlds best finds. Now Born to Shop Hong Kong, Shanghai & Beijing is easier to use and packed with more up-to-date listings than ever before.

    Inside youll find:

    • Whats hot in Hong Kong, from hip new fashions and designer labels to porcelain, jade, and colorful markets
    • The best of Shanghai, from the Old City to the exciting new Pudong area
    • Terrific buys in Beijing, from the Silk Market to the Pearl Market to the famous antiques street of Liulichang
    • A completely new section on Hanoi and its unique treasures such as contemporary art, sophisticated lacquer, and funky ethnic fashions
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good but could be better
    Good solid tips on where to go for good shopping for the 1st time visitor, but it could be organized better as it tends to jump around and return to the same topic. For example, in Shanghai, the book mentions the Dong Tai Market under Bargaining, Old City, Antiques and Antiques Market when it could have been in one section.
    Also, for Hong Kong, the book gives a plug for the Hong Tourism Agency (p.44). However, beware their "QTS" seal of approval for trustworthy stores. I got ripped off at one of their approved stores (Louvre Jewelry) and they said they could not help address the problem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensible shopping guide for a China Trip
    I just returned from a tour of China and this book was a tremendous resource and was the most popular book on the tour. We used it to have a fun shopping trip to the Pearl Market in Beijing and found it a useful resource for items to buy all over China. It had a good section on price bargaining and some helpful tips on transportation within the three cities. China had great prices and wonderful buys. This book is a must have for your trip to China. ... Read more


    16. Frommer's Beijing
    by GraemeSmith, JoshChin, PeterNeville-Hadley
    list price: $16.99
    our price: $11.55
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 076453873X
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-15)
    Publisher: Frommers
    Sales Rank: 102336
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "...A good starting point for those who have felt the lure of the ancient Chinese capital but are unsure how to set about getting there. Should be one of the first books people turn to." —Pittsburgh Tribune, 5/2000

    You'll never fall into the tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. It's like having a friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. Our expert authors have already gone everywhere you might go-they've done the legwork for you, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is, saving you time and money. No other series offers candid reviews of so many hotels and restaurants in all price ranges. Every Frommer's Travel Guide is up-to-date, with exact prices for everything, dozens of color maps, and exciting coverage of sports, shopping, and nightlife. You'd be lost without us!

    This is a detailed, user-friendly, and up-to-the-minute guide to Beijing, China's capital and its major gateway city. We'll take you to the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, and the Great Wall, and show you how to plunge into the city's shopping scene and discover the best local restaurants. It can be difficult for Western visitors to communicate and find their way around in such a vast, fast-paced, and bewildering city, but we've made it easy for you to explore on your own, with detailed directions, accurate maps, practical logistical advice, and etiquette tips. We've also included a handy appendix of useful Chinese phrases, and establishment names are listed in both English and Chinese characters, making it easier for you to get around and find the places you're looking for. Our authors, experienced China travelers who've written about the country for years, offer valuable insights and paint a vivid picture of a city that's undergoing one of the most fascinating cultural and economic transformations in history. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty useful, but missing some important aspects...
    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 accuate; 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. ... Read more


    17. Mapping the Tibetan World
    by Atsushi Kanamaru, Kotan Publishing
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $23.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0970171609
    Catlog: Book (2001-02-01)
    Publisher: Kotan Publishing
    Sales Rank: 130560
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Whether you are visiting the central Tibetan plateau or more easily accessible Tibetan areas in northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, or western China this is the guidebook that gives you all the information you require to truly explore this wonderful region. The Tibetan way of life thrives in many areas outside of the area commonly known as "Tibet".

    With a unique collection of over 280 highly detailed, tried and tested maps in combination with more than 400 pages of practical travel information and 339 illustrations, color and black & white photographs, "Mapping the Tibetan World" is a one-stop guide and map book to this entire Tibetan region.

    The more than 280 maps are clear, concise and packed with useful information as well as all the relevant towns, villages, monasteries, trekking routes and base camps as well as other points of interest along the way. There are country maps that cover all of the main Himalayan destinations including double page maps of Nepal and Bhutan. Bus route & highway maps, which help with planning your routes into the region and in getting around. The regional & local maps along with special ones showing large monasteries and sights of special interest will allow you to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the place without those nagging worries that you are missing out on something just around the corner. This collection of maps is the most comprehensive ever offered in a guidebook covering the Himalayas and many of them are simply unavailable anywhere else. Please see the Interior Artwork provided above for a taste of what to expect.

    The travel information provided includes difficult to find bus and train timetables, air schedules, sample budgets and model routes as well as hotel rates, restaurant suggestions and hundreds of interesting sights to see. This is supplemented by a balanced look at the historical, cultural and religious backdrop to the Tibetan way of life.

    There are language sections covering both the Tibetan and Chinese languages. Each town is identified by it's Tibetan and Chinese name (and at times Nepalese) and also by it's local name where the regional dialect is different. To further assist in your endeavors to get from A to B there is a full map and location index alongside an appendix crammed full of place names in English along with their names in Chinese characters.

    Readers who stand to benefit from this book include: *Independent Travelers Any traveler planning to explore any part of the Tibetan Cultural Area, whether in Tibet, China, Nepal, India or Bhutan. *Group Tours Anyone who is joining a group tour to the Himalayas and is in search of background information on the history of the area, the culture and customs of the people or the festivals and complex world of Tibetan Buddhism.*Trekkers Those adventurous souls who are aiming to tackle the Everest routes from either the Nepal or Tibet side, challenging the Annapurna sanctuary or attempting Mt. Kangchenjunga among the many other peaks in the region. *Travel Professionals Travel and trekking agencies will be able to offer better organized and more in-depth travel packages to their clients by using this book. *Scholars & Others Anyone studying, researching or with a general interest in the region will gain invaluable information and gain access to a unique set of maps. You will gain further knowledge of the Tibetan people and the areas they call home and it will act as reference resource for years to come. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ambitious & Successful
    'Mapping the Tibetan World' is a very ambitious project, and one that succeeds brilliantly.

    The once-great Tibetan world, though based on common culture and language, has splintered over the centuries into slabs attached to China, India and Nepal--with Bhutan the sole independent nation remaining. This book reassembles the complex jigsaw into a cohesive whole again, making it the perfect guidebook for travellers keen on visiting overlapping regions of the Tibetan plateau on a single trip.

    The marvel is how all the complex data is compressed into 424 pages. The maps are highly detailed and many are not found in other sources: among them are excellent trekking maps.

    If you want to explore the Tibetan sphere of influence, this is the book.

    Michael Buckley, travel writer, author of Heartlands: Travels in the Tibetan World and the Tibet Travel Adventure Guide

    3-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps my previous review offended...
    I wonder what happened to my original review, which seems to have disappeared...

    I had tried to go against the conventional wisdom about this book and recommend that, if one is not interested in purely religious destinations, another book might be in order.
    This book is concerned only with religious destinations in Tibet.
    Mountain climbers, trekkers, or bikers concerned perhaps with more terrestrial matters would be better served by a book with mile markers, better maps, and more information on lodging.

    I was in Tibet in March of 2002 climbing Mt. Nojin Kansa. I had this book; another guy had a book I won't bother (this time) to name. I constantly referred to the other book for mile markers, pass altitudes, international phone providers, etc.

    This book will get thee to a nunnery in short order. It will not provide the best maps or travel details.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So good I bought it twice!
    At first glance, I thought this guide would be difficult to use as I was so used to the layout of Lonely Planet. However, I quickly adapted to it and found it very informative and reasonably up to date. Most useful was the section on Buddhism when visiting the extraordinary temples in Tibet, as well as advice on routes to take and how to get places. Unfortunately, after a vehicle accident just outside of Lhasa, my book went missing somewhere between the side of the road and the hospital bed (don't let that put you off visiting this remarkable country!). So I was overjoyed when I discovered the guide again in Kathmandu, and bought another copy so I could continue to use it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars portable encyclopedia of the Tibetan world i was waiting for
    Mapping the Tibetan World is the portable encyclopedia of the Tibetan world i was waiting for !
    I have now this wonderful little book always close to me so that i can read a bit here and a bit there whenever i have five minutes to spare.
    It has informations on all aspects of Tibetan life, culture, history and geography as well as Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and symbols.
    The many maps included makes it easy to plan your trip in Tibet and other Tibetan cultural regions.
    The only suggestions i could make to the publisher would be a LARGE PRINT version for people who like me have bad eyesight, and may be a color coding to distinguish the various regions (chapters).
    A wonderful job done by this team of young explorers, many thanks to them !

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best guide to Tibet
    This book is a must for travellers, it has easily the best set of maps to Tibet that I have ever seen and they are really easy to follow. The travel information is also very detailed, especially when it comes to the local public transport timetables and routes. I am also impressed that it covers in detail all the Tibetan areas in the Chinese controlled areas and beyond and not just around Lhasa. ... Read more


    18. China: The Beautiful Cookbook (Beautiful Cookbook)
    by Kevin Sinclair
    list price: $50.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0002159996
    Catlog: Book (1986-09-01)
    Publisher: Collins Publishers
    Sales Rank: 221685
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a must-have!
    This was my very first "Beatiful Cookbook". I used it all the time, until it mysteriously disappeared after a dinner I cooked for friends... I am a Chinese food junkie and felt lost without it until one day at an airport bookstore found it again and was overjoyed to pay FULL price and cram it into my bulging suitcase.
    It was worth it! I had an asian friend who read the book and was amazed at how authentic the dishes are. While I haven't been adventurous enough to make some of the dishes, I still love the photos and history, and have many favorite recipies!

    5-0 out of 5 stars i've been there- and this is for real
    This book encompasses all regions- not just Canton. And its genuinely authentic- just like what you would find at fine restaurants in China (i've been there). A lot of great regional recipes (good schezuan).

    If i had to pick one cookbook for restaurant style chinese food, this would be it. Note,though, that: a) its authentic and assumes some knowledge (not a starter cookbook); and b) its not exactly homestyle comfort food. The dishes are spectacular, though. Beautiful coffeetable book. ... Read more


    19. Fodor's Exploring China, 5th Edition (Fodor's Exploring China)
    by Fodors, Christopher Knowles
    list price: $22.00
    our price: $15.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400014999
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: Fodor's
    Sales Rank: 66283
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    20. Mongolia: Empire of the Steppes (Odyssey Illustrated Guides)
    by Claire Sermier, Helen Loveday
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $23.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 9622176895
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-20)
    Publisher: Odyssey Publications, Ltd.
    Sales Rank: 123900
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    A colorful and informative guide to the land of the Genghis Khan—whose empire once extended from China to Europe—as it adjusts to life in the 21st century. Much of the old Mongolia is still to be found; herdsmen, horses and hospitality. And yet daily people flock to seek a more modern lifestyle in Ulaan Baatar, the capital city. The Mongolians have only recently shaken off the mantle of communism and are eagerly recreating their own national identity. This book helps the traveler better understand this transition while providing essential information for making a really worthwhile visit to this rugged and incomparable land.

    • Illuminating insights into Mongolian customs and culture • Insightful analysis of Mongolia's different ethnic groups, cultures and traditions • Exceptional color photography • Special sections on traditional crafts, music, customs, etiquette and seasonal celebrations—including the famous Nadaam festival • Practical advice for getting around, what to see and do • The search for the tomb of Genghis Khan • Dinosaur eggs and recent discoveries from prehistory • 60 color photographs, 7 maps ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great information, great pictures
    Like the Iran guide in this series, this book features good facts for people considering going to Mongolia, and enough pictures to make you seriously consider it. As with the Iran guide, it doesn't feature all the indepth fact and figures that would make it a helpful guide inside of the country, but it makes a great fact book. There's a brief section on the language in the back, oodles of address for getting a visa, and plenty of goregeous pictures. I can't think of a downside to this book, because it fulfills its purpose perfectly. Excellent work.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best Mongolia guide on the market
    Unfortunately this wasn't published until a few days after I got back from my trip. This guide contains excellent descriptions of the cities and sites, along with the historic background you need to really appreciate Mongolia in the 21st century. Reading it after I got back helped refresh my memory - and put names to some of the photographs I took.

    The only downside to this book is that the maps - a handful covering about five aimags (provinces) apiece - are so high-level as to be almost useless. The Lonely Planet guide, though out-of-date and surprisingly negative - has more and better maps. ... Read more


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