Berlitz Hong Kong Pocket Guide (Berlitz Pocket Guides) [Paperback]
$ 2.69 (30%)
Item description for Berlitz Hong Kong Pocket Guide (Berlitz Pocket Guides)...
Packed with stunning photographs, easy-to-use maps, and all the information you really need to get the most from your visit! In this compact guide, our writers help you plan itineraries for short and longer stays. Complete with must-see sights on and off the beaten track as well as current hotel and restaurant recommendations. And the convenient size of the guide allows you to take it along in your pocket or handbag. Take the world in your pocket next time and travel with this handy Berlitz guide.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Berlitz Hong Kong Pocket Guide (Berlitz Pocket Guides)?
A shoestring traveler's review Jun 19, 2007
The selection of a guidebook these days results in mixed feelings at best and often outright disappointment. Since the publishers which historically targeted backpackers are now neglecting that demographic, I wanted to explore other options. In addition to the The Rough Guide to Hong Kong & Macau I got the slightly smaller Berlitz guide (tenth edition 2003, updated 2006). Well, the guide will work for some tourists, but it's not ideal.
If you're like me, you stay for free with local hosts from Internet hospitality associations instead of in impersonal hotels or hostels. You also eat in whatever little hole in the wall seems an authenthic local dining experience instead of some totally charmless restaurant. So, the first thing to do with the Berlitz guide is cut out the several pages of lodging and restaurant listings at the back, handily recognizable since they are printed on yellow paper. These are for people willing to pay several hundred euro a night for a hotel room, which few independent tourists would suffer. The restaurant recommendations are also only for houte coutre dining experiences.
So, if you're the sort of traveler who is not going to use the restaurant and hotel listings, there's still the tourist direction itself. The guide covers the sort of things that you'll want to see in the centre of Hong Kong, from British remnants to the Cantonese neighbourhoods. Maps of Central and Kowloon are provided, though they aren't especially readable. However, the Berlitz guide neglects a huge amount of the places a tourist could see in this exciting area. Only Central and Kowloon get much attention. The other parts of Hong Kong Island get scanty coverage, the New Territories are hardly mentioned, and the advertised "Excursion" chapters to Guangzhou and Shenzhen turn out to be single pages each with no practical information, just a recommendation to visit. Macau gets some attention, perhaps enough that a tourist could go there using only the book, but all in all it's not much.
The guide has other problems as well, from a peculiar transliteration of Cantonese phrases that totally neglects tones, to irritatingly unauthentic and uninspiring photographs. And unlike many other guidebooks, which give a balanced view of the history and current events of a region, the Berlitz guide paints only a rosy view of Hong Kong and mentions none of its considerably current challenges.
Bottom line, the Berlitz guide can't compete with the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet in exhaustively showcasing the true wealth of tourism opportunities available here. I'd recommend it only for wealthy travelers who are going to spend a couple of days only, and will visit only Central (and perhaps Aberdeen) and Kowloon. The Rough Guide inspired me to spend several weeks here, keen to see all kinds of things, while the Berlitz guide makes the place sound like a kitsch destination useful only for a bit of shopping and exotic food.