Item description for Berlitz Shanghai (Berlitz Pocket Guides) by J. D. Brown...
"The Berlitz Pocket Guide to Shanghai" is packed with all the information you need to get the most out of your visit. From its defining landmarks of the Peace Hotel and the Jinmano Tower, to its peaceful open spaces, from the Shanghai Museum to the Longhua Temple, this guide covers it all. Colour-coded sections help to navigate around the book quickly and the shopping section highlights the outstanding shopping opportunities Shanghai has to offer - including the Jingwen Flower Market, Nanjing Road and Dongtai Lu Antiques Market. Full colour fold-out front and back flap maps provide instant orientation and the laminated covers ensure durability, plus: get the lowdown on entertainment, sports and eating out.
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Studio: Berlitz Guides
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.6" Width: 4.1" Height: 0.2" Weight: 0.05 lbs.
Release Date May 30, 2006
Publisher Berlitz Guides
ISBN 9812467815 ISBN13 9789812467812
Availability 0 units.
More About J. D. Brown
J. D. Brown has lived and worked in China and has written about China as a literary traveler, a travel writer, and a guidebook author. His work has appeared in such diverse publications as the "New York Times," the "Washington Post," the "Michigan Quarterly Review, Islands," and "National Geographic Traveler." He is also the author of "Frommer's Beijing" and "Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips." When he is not traveling in the Far East, he lives in Eugene, Oregon.
Reviews - What do customers think about Berlitz Shanghai (Berlitz Pocket Guides)?
A shoestring traveler's review Jun 11, 2007
The selection of a guidebook these days results in mixed feelings at best and often outright disappointment. Since Lonely Planet has left behind its traditional backpacker demographic, I thought any other guidebook would work just as well, so I passed over its Lonely Planet Best of Shanghai and got the slightly smaller Berlitz guide. Well, the guide works, but it's infuriating.
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. The guide dissuades the traveler from eating at streetside venues, claiming it requires some special knowledge of Chinese, an outright lie in a country where one can point at everything.
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 does indeed cover the sort of things that you'll want to see in central Shanghai, from colonial remnants to the weird contemporary architecture of the new Pudong district. The maps work, I got around with them just fine without having to buy any other one. However, what is infuriating about the guide is its total lack of social commentary. Author J.D. Brown cheers on the spread of American chain restaurants and cafes in Shanghai, never questioning whether the decline of locally-owned establishments is a good thing. Brown is also totally uncritical of the Chinese government. At the same time that Shanghai is thriving, China faces many institutional challenges and corruption, but Brown makes it seem as if only the colonial period had downsides, while today's Shanghai is flawless.
Bottom line, the Berlitz guide can compete with the Lonely Planet, since the latter publisher is increasingly resembling the former. However, you'll be irked, and you'll need to supplement some of the guide's advice with Internet resources. Would that the good guidebooks of yore return.