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Guide books: Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Rough Guide ???

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Guide books: Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Rough Guide ???

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1. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

I've been to the bookstore browsing through the various guide books for upcoming mini RTW trip. Basically I take a country or city I've been to before and read that section of each book to compare. Lonely Planet and Let's Go seem similar with the exception that Let's Go has the train/subway schematics for Paris, London, Munich, etc. which I find very helpful. Rough Guide is pretty good too but shorter. And is there a reason Let's Go is $10 cheaper?

I've read that one guide book is sometimes better than another dependent on the country or region. Which guide books do suggest for:

-Europe
-Middle East (Turkey, Jordan, Egypt)
-SE Asia
-China
-Indonesia
-New Zealand

One other question is how do you pack all these books together. I've heard about tearing out the necessary pages only, photocopying and trade/buy as you travel.

TIA

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

I personally swear on Lonely planet. The LP has "protected" and guided me during all of my travels. Its the only guide I ever used, though. I feel that the travelguides of LP are better organized then rough guide and easier to use.

Maybe I don't understand your question very well. But you should not bring those guides all in once. Do you know how heavy that is in your pack? You will not survive. Especially the Lonely planet guidebooks are very popular. You will find them in all major cities of the world. For sure in the erea's and countries you are travelling in. So maybe you can try to exchange books at the border with travellers coming from the other side. But you could always buy a new book wherever you are.

Please don't squeeze all those books in your pack......;)

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2007, at 2:25 PM by wouterrr ]

3. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

My thought was I could use my stack of guide books as weapons against thieves and robbers. Heck, LP Europe is thick enough that I could probably crack a guy's jaw with it.

All kiddin' aside, I don't think anyone would be dim enough to pack guide books for the entire RTW trip. Otherwise I'll be walking around in my boxers the entire trip!

At the moment, it's toss-up between LP and Let's Go. I kinda like Let's Go for the public transport map/guide. If using LP, do you just pick up public transport route maps at a train station?

4. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting Dezafinado

At the moment, it's toss-up between LP and Let's Go. I kinda like Let's Go for the public transport map/guide. If using LP, do you just pick up public transport route maps at a train station?

I think you should need to travel with two packs. one for your books and one for the rest...hahahaha. Hey, there is the traveller with 60 kilos on his back.

I think that public transport route maps are only useful in Europe and New-Zealand. That are the areas where its much cheaper to use public transport instead of taxis. So maybe it is the best to use Let's go for Europe and New Zealand. And LP for the rest of the countries you are going to.

In the middle east, south east Asia, Indonesia it is certaintly cheap and easy to take taxis within cities. Don't know for sure in China.

Hope this helps, Cheers and goodluck;)

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 9, 2007, at 6:49 AM by wouterrr ]

5. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

ive always been told that lonely planet books are the best! lots of people who backpack will have this book!!!

6. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

thanks y'all. I just checked out 4 LPs from the library! I have 7 in my possession to do my planning. Woo hoo!!!

7. Posted by fra72 (Budding Member 10 posts) 9y

I speak French and I really like Routard, beside being useful it's also quite funny.

8. Posted by mdancy (Full Member 104 posts) 9y

Hi,
I'd say that LP is OK at some things and quite awful at others. But they do tend to have more of a breadth of info than the others. Here's my take on it...

We went on a 5 month RTW trip last year, and also a 3 mo trip in 2000. On the 2000 trip we copied pages from the LP guides and stuck them in a folder - much lighter. Then when the pages were no longer needed we either chucked them or sent them back home. For last year's trip we packed three LP books - China, SE Asia, and Europe. Reason we needed those hefty books was because our trip was longer and we planned on stopping in more places, plus we were doing it all overland.

And you know what? We did not end up using the books that much. We found that in the intervening years most places had caught on that they needed to publish FREE city guidebooks. Those free books were of more use - and easier to carry around while looking at the sights. Not every city has them, but I collected a whole bunch of them and when my pack got heavy, I shipped a box home. I wanted to keep them for notes on a travel blog that I will some day write (right...).

As far as public transport - you can usually pick up those types of maps right at the metro stations in the cities you are in. You can be sure they are up to date - not always true with guidebook maps.

So, really guidebooks should just give you maps & locations of places to see. As far as their rantings about various hostels, hotels, and eateries - they are mostly useless. If they would just provide a list, address, and a simple rating system that would be MUCH more helpful. LP would have you think that there are only 5 budget accommodations in Hue, Vietnam. When there are dozens that are much better than their picks.

Well that's my rant

Martha

9. Posted by mdancy (Full Member 104 posts) 9y

oh, and one more thing

when you get to se asia they will have tons of cheap knock off copies of LP guides - they are a fraction of the price of new, legit ones. beware though that the quality is sketchy as you may find a critical page or two missing...

10. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

thanks!