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Streetwise Guide Beijing: Handy and Compact
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By Valerie Sartor

In late 2007 China's Foreign Language Press published a Beijing city tourist guide called: Streetwise Guide – Beijing. This 5 by 8 inch 300 plus page guidebook is extremely handy and well organized the ten districts are color-coded and addressed individually compared to the Insider's Guide to Beijing, which I personally find clunky and too heavy to lug about, this small, bright and very useful book is a treat to consult.

Publisher: Foreign Languages Press
Author: Glenn Alexander and Ouyang Weiping

Beijing is a very big, populous and diverse metropolis. By dividing the city into ten regions, each prefaced with a separate map, with each region displaying outstanding highlights the city become understandable and manageable. Each district proceeds to outline sightseeing attractions for tourists. Bus and metro routes are clearly listed, along with interesting nuggets of trivia only a local would know, as well as historical information and bargains for sightseeing, transport and eateries. Each of the ten areas contains a food and entertainment section, with directions, prices and a quick but valid restaurant review. Additional zoom maps are provided to help travelers find these eateries. Shopping, accommodations (with hotels rated and priced), more itinerary information, and extensive bus route and bus stop information end each section. The names of transport, places and locations are clearly designated in English and in Chinese characters.

The latter half of the book also provides a "travelers' survival guide" for Beijing newcomers and tourists. Vital basic information covering visas, insurance, budgets, packing and itineraries from outside are covered. A second section called "getting around" instructs guests about the airport shuttle, the metro, taxi and bus systems, as well as how to rent and ride a bicycle around Beijing. The last section of this guide offers banking, communications, etiquette, religious, shopping and security tips. The top ten budget tips are great, as well as the listing for useful telephone numbers and the concise but practical language guide.

A passel of experienced ex-pats from home countries around the world in conjunction with long time Beijing residents wrote this guide. The 2007 version is the first edition and now it has been revised with New Olympic Insert/Map. At 80RMB it's a great bargain as well as a good read. Catchy, unusual and very appealing pictures adorn this little book; reading it you will sense the thoughtfulness of all of the people who contributed to creating this book. It's not just a guide: Streetwise Guide – Beijing is the way the Foreign Language Press has attempted to warmly welcome foreign guests to the capital city of China.

How to buy it:

Buy it on amazon.com.

In Beijing, you can purchase the Streetwise Guide to Beijing at the following retail locations. Or you can place an order through phone calls at 010-68995842, or by sending emails to streetwiseguide@flp.com.cn.

Free delivery anywhere within Beijing's Fourth Ring Road. Orders from other parts of China can be made with additional postal charges. Readers in North America can purchase online at www.chinabooks.com.

Foreign Languages Bookstore
No. 235 Wangfujing Street, Beijing
北京外文书店 - 北京市王府井大街235号 

The Bookworm
No.4 Building, South Sanlitun Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing
"书虫 - "北京朝阳区南三里屯路4"号楼

Capital Airport

Xidan Bookstore
Third Floor, Xidan Book Building

First Floor, Unit 4, No. 3 Building, Tianshuiyuan Beili, Chaoyang District, Beijing
光合作用 - 北京市朝阳区甜水园北里3号附楼四门底层 

Baiwanzhuang Foreign Languages Bookstore
No. 24 Baiwanzhuang Road, Xicheng District
外文书苑 - 百万庄路24号 

Forbidden City Bookstore
Imperial Garden, Palace Museum, Beijing
北京故宫御花园书店 - 北京故宫御花园内 

Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall
East of the Old Qianmen Train Station, Qianmen, Beijing
北京规划展览馆 - 北京前门(老前门火车站东侧) 

Beijing Guanzi Culture & Media Co. Ltd
D09-17, 798 Art District, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
北京罐子文化传媒有限公司 - 北京市朝阳区酒仙桥路2号798艺术区D09-17 

Dangdang Online Bookstore
Fourth Floor, Sanli Plaza, No.208 Andingmenwai Street, Beijing
当当网上书店 - 北京安定门外大街208号三利大厦四层 

Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore Distribution Center
Taihu, Tongzhou, Beijing
新华书店物流中心 - 北京通州台湖 

Beijing Xinhua Bookstore Distribution Center
No. 15 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing
北京市新华书店图书批销中心 - 海淀区学院路15号 

China International Book Trading Corporation
No. 35 Chenggongzhuang Xilu, Beijing
中国国际图书贸易总公司外文书刊部 - 北京车公庄西路35号  

Out of Beijing:

Shanghai Foreign Languages Bookstore
No.390 Fuzhou Road, Shanghai 
上海外文图书公司(外文书店) - 上海市福州路390">号 

Shanghai Shangtu Bookstore
No.1555 Huaihai Zhonglu, Shanghai 
上海上图书店 - 上海市淮海中路1555号 

Shanghai Wenyuzhai Bookstore
Room D22, Shanghai Pudong International Airport 
上海文语斋书店 - 上海浦东国际机场机景观墙D22室 

Zhejiang Xinhua Bookstore
No. 7, Cuibai Road, Hangzhou
浙江省新华书店 - 杭州市翠柏路7号 

Jiangsu Xinhua Bookstore
No. 98, Xianxin Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province
江苏省新华书店 - 江苏省南京市仙新路98号  

Inner Mongolian Xinhua Bookstore
No.94 Zhongshan Road, Hohhot
内蒙古新华书店图书大厦 - 呼和浩特市中山路94号 

Shanxi Foreign Languages Bookstore
No.167 Jiefang Road, Taiyuan, Shanxi
山西省外文书店 - 山西省太原市解放路167号 

Guangdong Xinhua Distribution Corporation
No. 161, Changfu Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
广东新华发行集团股份有限公司 -  广州市天河区长福路161号

(China.org.cn May 30, 2008)

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