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May 23, 2007

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DAVID'S DEN                                        BOOK REVIEWS


Ten Hot Asian Cities Condensed for Reading and Pictorial Pleasure in Compact Box Set by Dave Zuchowski

Singapore, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Beijing, Tokyo and Bangkok are some of Asia's most popular tourist destinations. Whether you’re planning an imminent trip to the world’s most populous continent to visit some of its more bustling and fascinating urban centers or merely want a taste of what that part of the world has to offer, then Citiescapes Asia: Ten Iconic Cities might be just what you’re looking for.

Almost a dozen cities are spotlighted in separate, petite, 96-page, mini-Baedekers that measure roughly six-by-six inches. Each is a compilation of stunning color photography that showcase what is unique and travel-worthy in some of Asia’s hottest cities accompanied by pithy essays on interesting subjects like unique places to take tea in Mumbai and how the residents of Ho Chi Minh City celebrate the Lunar New Year with wild abandon.

People concerned with geographic correctness might take issue with the editors’ inclusion of Sydney, Australia in this compact box set of Asian metropolises, but one glance at the book’s aerial view photo of the Sydney Opera House or a quick read of its text on swinging, night life and local hipsters should soon put their qualms to rest.

Divided almost equally between full-page color photos and literary tracts penned by either current or former residents, the books offer a quick, informative and entertaining overview of each city and give the reader a taste of everything from spiritual highs in Kathmandu and eating etiquette in Hong Kong to Hindu deities and street eats in Delhi.

All 10 books fit snugly in a roughly six by six inch hard paper box that’s a handsome standout to any library, bookshelf or coffee table. The boxed set by Lonely Planet Press (ISBN # 1-74104-943-1) also makes a wonderful gift that retails for $89.99 but can be purchased for $47.59 on The books may also be purchased individually for $10 each.


  • Lonely Planet Citiescape

  • Dave Zuchowski has been writing about travel for 20 years, and his articles have made the pages of many newspapers and magazines across the country, including AAA, Pathfinders, West Virginia Magazine, Southsider, and Westsylvania. Currently, he is the travel correspondent for the New Castle News, a daily in the Pittsburgh area. For the past 10 years, he's also been the arts and entertainment writer for the Washington County section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In his spare time, he also puts his horticultural interests to good use on his 15-acre farm located near Centerville, PA.

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