[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Panda Guides
Formats: Paperback
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks[/alert]

Do you want to travel to Shanghai? What if you could take along a friend who could speak the language, show you the hottest spots, and help you embrace all that a new culture has to offer? Introduce me to that friend! Fortunately, you don’t have to have an actual human with you — just bring along Shanghai, published by Panda Guides.

This wonderful travel guide is written by Brendan P. O’Reilly, Trey Archer, Sam Gusway, and Ansel Klusmire, four expats who have teamed up to provide tourists with insider knowledge. If you are going to Shanghai, you must invest in this guide. The Overview (and the whole book) is full of historical and cultural information. Color pictures complement the entire guide. There is a section about how to get prepared, which includes tips on air travel, getting a visa, what to pack, and how to handled money and banking (just to name a few of the priceless tips). Once you get to Shanghai, use this guide as much as you can. Chapters on top attractions, side trips, eating and drinking, nightlife, shopping, and a Mandarin phrasebook will help you have the best trip possible.

What makes this guide so special? The four authors left their homes and have become part of the Chinese community. They know the language, the customs, and the people. When you read their words, it is like you are talking to a good friend. They are all funny and have unique travel stories to share. For example, if you aren’t familiar with Chinese celebrities, they recommend that you stop by Madame Tussauds for a crash course on superstars. Better yet, they don’t just focus on typical tourist destinations. The authors include some of the most unique attractions like the zoos, an amusement park, aquariums, acrobat shows, and a movie palace right out of the 1940s.

Their sample itineraries are nice because readers can follow them exactly or mix and match to suit a more personal timeline or special interests. One fun itinerary is called “Shopaholics Anonymous” and another is called “The Shanghai Pub Crawl.” What’s especially great is that the authors have experienced all of this. The scam section (what they are and how to avoid them) is a funny though very serious chapter. The team has been duped by these schemes, so they know exactly how to avoid the Tea House, Art Student, Massage, Bar Tab, Fake Alcohol, and Restaurant scams. The personal accounts are a must-read!

Take advantage of the recommendations for hotels, restaurants, shops, and bars. The authors have made personal connections while living in Shanghai and offer discounts at these “Panda Partners.” Travelers, readers, and wishful thinkers will benefit from this guide. The information is trustworthy and reliable. Start planning today, and enjoy your trip!

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