|photo by le niners|
I'll be going to Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai, China in March!
My main objective in coming along on this trip is to take great photos; To document the beauty & wonder of the location, and of course, be sure to get photos of the people we're going with. To me, nothing can help you keep a memory better than a photograph.
I stopped at Borders bookstore and bought an Eyewitness Travel book that contains info on both Shanghai and Beijing. Perfect combo book! I opted on buying this book instead of one on each city. There's only so much I can travel with - especially when I rely on bringing the smallest bag possible.
I used to think I was a travel snob (one who would never rely on one of these books, and go with the flow instead) but friends bringing them along have changed my mind. There is no shame in bringing information with you on a trip. In fact, I would not recommend going without researching. Especially when you are unfamiliar with the language of the location.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend following them step by step. When you're on a trip, be sure to keep moving. You only live once! Take opportunities that come at you, while still playing it safe. And use the guide book for suggestions if you find yourself looking for more to do. I also love reading about the history of these locations. When you're walking the streets of a new city you've never been to, you can stumble upon important historical locations or works of art that can tell you a lot about the city, about the people there, and about their culture & aesthetic. You'll return from your trip a much wiser person.
I'm curious what the consensus is on Travel books? So many options: Frommers, Lonely Planet, Fodor's, what else? What do you prefer? Do you stick with one brand? Or none at all?