Reference Points

November 13, 2005|By JUNE SAWYERS

Beijing

(Insight; $15.95) From the Forbidden City to Tiananmen Square, this guide offers an overview of the city that will host the Summer Olympics in 2008. The guide features essays on Beijing's population, religion (Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism), food and drink (and culinary etiquette), the arts (including Beijing opera) and the Great Wall, as well as survival tips (look out for pickpockets; avoid street food not cooked in front of you). It includes listings of accommodations, nightlife and shopping areas. Also useful is the section on Mandarin Chinese, with a phonetic pronunciation guide.

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