Fodor's China, 2nd Edition: Expert Advice and Smart Choices: Where to Stay, Eat, and Explore On and Off the Beaten Path (Travel Guide)

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9780679003953: Fodor's China, 2nd Edition: Expert Advice and Smart Choices: Where to Stay, Eat, and Explore On and Off the Beaten Path (Travel Guide)
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Fodor's China"Fodor's guides are always a pleasure." -- The Chicago Tribune

"Teeming with maps and loaded with addresses, phone numbers, and directions." -- Newsday

Experienced and first-time travelers alike rely on Fodor's Gold Guides for rich, reliable coverage the world over.  Completely up-to-date, Fodor's Gold Guides are essential for any kind of traveler.

Insider info that's reliable and smart
Local experts show you all the things to see and do -- from top sights to off-the-beaten-path adventures,from sports to shopping, from nightlife to recommended walks.

Hotels and restaurants in all price categories
From B&Bs to luxury hotels, from casual eateries to elegant restaurants, we list hundreds of detailed reviews that show what is distinctive about each place.

Practical info that's completely up-to-date
Useful maps and background information; key contacts; how to get there and get around; when to go; what to pack; local do's and taboos; costs, hours, and tips by the thousands.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Destination: China

The third-largest country in the world, holding the world's largest population, China is chiefly challenged by questions of cohesiveness -- how to bring a country speaking hundreds of different dialects together under one rule. Beginning with the Zhou dynasty (1100 bc - 771 bc), Chinese governors held the country together not only by force but by claiming a heaven-sent legitimacy known as the Mandate of Heaven. The mandate was a convenient claim of legitimacy, as anyone who led a successful rebellion could assert his victory was predicated upon the support of the gods. The traditional belief was that heaven would demonstrate disapproval of evil rulers through natural disasters like droughts and earthquakes, disease, and floods.

On a visit to China, often the best moments are the ones you invent on your own, not what the hotel or CITS recommends. In this way you can enjoy China's hidden secrets -- nature walks, bustling markets, small villages. Of course, the consequence of making up your own itinerary is having to traverse a very cryptic and archaic route, one where the roads may not be paved, the train does not show up, hotels are not where they are supposed to be, and People's Liberation Army officers creep out of nowhere. There is little peace, little comfort, and incredible markups for foreigners. It's best to keep an open mind and an adventurous spirit.

Bicycling

Most cities and popular tourist towns offer bicycle rentals for an average of a dollar a day. Mounting a Flying Pigeon and cruising down wide, tree-shaded bike lanes is an experience not to be missed.

Dining

Dining in China is best enjoyed in large groups so you can sample a variety of dishes. Usually the menus are divided into appetizers, meats, vegetables, seafood, soups, and so on. It's best to order from each category so you dine in true Chinese style- -- dishes at your elbows, across the table, in front of you, stacked up, and sometimes even on the ledge behind to make room for the next round. Although each province, indeed each city, in China has a distinctive way of cooking and eating, there are generally four regional categories of food found across the country: Northern, or Mandarin, Southern, or Cantonese, Eastern, most notably Shanghainese, and the spiciest of the four categories, Sichuan.

Teahouses

Along West Lake in Hangzhou, inside Chengdu's parks, on the fourth floor of a department store, on cobblestone streets, in subway stations, and along China's many rivers -- teahouses are to China as cafés are to France. Relax, chat, and meditate over a pot of Oolong while sampling dried fruit snacks.

Wandering

Wandering and sometimes getting lost in China will reveal an inner logic to the city or town you are visiting. Here is where you get to experience China without a frame of propaganda around it. Encounter charming alleyways that twist behind major streets, hidden outdoor markets, friendly, responsive locals gesturing unintelligible messages, dramatic shifts from poverty to riches, and wild displays of the new and the old.

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