Skip Navigation

Guides on the go?

Travel Forums Asia Guides on the go?

1. Posted by trainrider (Full Member 95 posts) 7y

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip back to the UK from NZ, via thailand, cambodia, vietnam, china, mongolia, russia, europe. How easy would it be to pick up roughguide guidebooks on the way? We were thinking of taking (1) asia on a budget (2) china (3) Trans siberian and (4) europe on a budget. 2 books each and selling or leaving them behind as we go, obviously if we can buy them on the way it would be better.

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 7y

You should be fine to get hold of guidebooks, although Lonely Planets may be more widely available than Rough Guides. In Bangkok if you head to Soi Rambuttri (near to Khao San Road) there are plenty of second-hand book stalls where you may be able to find the guidebooks you need. Throughout SE Asia you will see copies of the most popular guidebooks - these are basically photocopies of the originals and are sold for much cheaper. The quality of the copies are generally ok. There's always the option of swapping with other travellers along the way too in hostels etc too.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Apr-2009, at 03:47 by bex76 ]

3. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Save yourself some money. Most of what you need to know can be found on the Wikitravel site. For example, Wikitravel - Thailand Just spend a few hours researching the provinces which interest you and then print those pages.

To get info on the other countries you propose to visit, just enter the name of the country in the search field.

Alternatively, use the travel guides on this site: Travel Guide

4. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 7y

Quoting Blinq

Save yourself some money. Most of what you need to know can be found on the Wikitravel site. For example, Wikitravel - Thailand Just spend a few hours researching the provinces which interest you and then print those pages.

To get info on the other countries you propose to visit, just enter the name of the country in the search field.

Alternatively, use the travel guides on this site: Travel Guide

Yeah right, you'd have to print out pages and pages of stuff to make it as useful as carrying a good guide book, and then do you think its going to be indexed so you could ever find what you wanted? Besides that, the problem with Wiki's is its very much personal from the who wrote it, its also not been proofed. Where as a guide book has been gone over with a fine tooth comb, by competent professionals.

As Bex said, the guide books are available both used, knock off and new, in all the big tourist centers. So no need to buy them at home and lug them around everywhere you go.

5. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting Dodger

......the problem with Wiki's is its very much personal from the who wrote it, its also not been proofed.

That's tantamount to saying that a user shouldn't take anything written on this forum as gospel since there's nothing to back up those claims. That includes your last statement.

6. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 7y

Quoting Blinq

Quoting Dodger

......the problem with Wiki's is its very much personal from the who wrote it, its also not been proofed.

That's tantamount to saying that a user shouldn't take anything written on this forum as gospel since there's nothing to back up those claims. That includes your last statement.

Nope, that's exactly what I'm saying. If you go off to travel around the world, believing everything you just read on an internet forum, then your in for a rough ride. Forums have a nasty habit of attracting people that like to hear the sound of their own voice, be it correct or not, they just like posting "advice" to everyone. Which in the end becomes more destructive than helpful.

7. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting Dodger

Forums have a nasty habit of attracting people that like to hear the sound of their own voice, be it correct or not, they just like posting "advice" to everyone.

Do you include yourself in that statement by any chance?

8. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 7y

I agree with Dodger - for the sake of saving yourself a few dollars it's just not worth the hassle of ploughing through pages of text on a screen, printing it out, and then running the risk of not having all the info you need when you get to your destination. As Dodger said, an online guide is not necessarily objective or even correct. If you buy a decent travel guidebook, at least you know it will contain pretty much all the practical information you need, it will be relatively objective and handy to carry. Carrying a load of printed sheets of paper around with you would not be practical as they would get torn/wet/damaged very quickly. Personally I love buying guidebooks as I enjoy reading about the destination and planning it, and I don't like sitting for ages in front of a PC reading about it. I'm not saying I don't like the TP Wiki guide as I think it's great but I just don't think that ultimately any online guide is ever going to replace a guidebook.

[ Edit: Edited on 01-May-2009, at 01:59 by bex76 ]

9. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting bex76

I agree with Dodger - for the sake of saving yourself a few dollars it's just not worth the hassle of ploughing through pages of text on a screen, printing it out, and then running the risk of not having all the info you need when you get to your destination. As Dodger said, an online guide is not necessarily objective or even correct. If you buy a decent travel guidebook, at least you know it will contain pretty much all the practical information you need, it will be relatively objective and handy to carry. Carrying a load of printed sheets of paper around with you would not be practical as they would get torn/wet/damaged very quickly. Personally I love buying guidebooks as I enjoy reading about the destination and planning it, and I don't like sitting for ages in front of a PC reading about it. I'm not saying I don't like the TP Wiki guide as I think it's great but I just don't think that ultimately any online guide is ever going to replace a guidebook.

Whilst I don't necessarily disagree with you about the compactness of a guidebook, I still take the view that sites like Wikipedia go a long way in providing free information on a wide range of subjects. I think you'll find too that the information is thoroughly checked before it's published.

It depends really on whether you are, as you've already remarked, a bookworm or not. Speaking for myself, I much prefer to look for information on the web than to have to plough through reams of paper looking for the subject I'm interested in. I've got a copy of the Southeast Asia Handbook by Carl Parkes which I bought in 1991 and glanced through it just the other day. But I can find the same info on the Web within seconds whereas it took me several minutes to locate the subject I chose at random in the book.

But each to his own.