One for the Road – China: Time Out Beijing

As a sidebar to this month’s Chinese Buffet series, throughout August, One for the Road will highlight travel guides, reference books and other recommended reads related to life or travel in China.

Time Out’s new city guide to Beijing was published in late June, right before I left for China. I was lucky to get hold of a copy just days before my departure. I’ve read Time Out’s magazines before, but this was the first trip during which I used one of their guidebooks.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I’m not familiar with their city guide format. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself turning to Time Out Beijing at least once every day during my trip. And I think I carried it with me almost every day too, since it’s so lightweight. The color maps in the back are not that great, and I wish they had Chinese translations for all the entries. But the content is good, and includes side bars with valuable tidbits about food, business, history and trends. I like how they break out the sightseeing chapter into different sections for each geographical neighborhood. That made it easy to flip through when I found myself lost somewhere, in search of something to do :)

It’s a stylish, pretty guide with color photos that provides an excellent overview to the city. Check it out if you’re headed to Beijing soon — the info is all fairly current, since it was published recently.