Lonely Planet Vs Rough Guides

Travel Forums Asia Lonely Planet Vs Rough Guides

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1. Posted by chris1 (Budding Member 42 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I am thinking of buying a lonely planet or a rough guide book to give me some extra information about the countries I am visiting around s.e Asia.

Which book do you recommend ?

The countries I will be visiting are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Is there any other books anyone can recommend for travelling in this region ?


2. Posted by Noname2018 (Full Member 126 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Chris,

Go with the lonely planet. Think you can buy a lonely planet which covers all of s.e asia so you wont have to carry around a book for each country

3. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hello Chris

Both of the books u mentioned are very popular, as u know. What makes some of them excellent, instead of just good, is the particular author, who updated them. Some are more accurate and helpful than others.

I have the SE Asia on a Shoestring book. It is by Lonely planet.
It covers all the countries, on your list.


4. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I use LP pretty much exclusivly and have always been happy with them. I've never actually used Rough Guides on the road but having read many of them in the planning stages I've never found them set up the way I like it. I guess it's really a personal choice and nothing beats heading to the book store and browsing through them both. I found for South East Asia that the individual country books were better than the whole South East Asia Shoestring guide because the later lacks alot of useful maps. They are very easy to pick up along the way in the area, and you can get a new book before you enter the next country. Bangkok especially is great for picking up guide books.
The only guide I've been consistantly unhappy with is Let's Go. I find there info often completetly wrong and every time that I've used one I've ended up getting rid of it within a week.

5. Posted by chris1 (Budding Member 42 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the replies people, I was thinking of going for the lonely planet "s.e. Asia on a shoestring" anyway.

I have a birthday coming up so the book will be top of my list.:)

6. Posted by novos (Budding Member 21 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

how about "Let's Go" ?

7. Posted by tommy g (Budding Member 17 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Personally prefer the Footprint series, a better layout and more depth to them in my opinion, but then again it all depends upon the format you yourself get on best with…a particular series may excel in one region, but an alternative may be better for another (obviously depends upon on how recently the edition was published and also the authors involved etc etc…).

Having said all that, for the countries you’ve listed, you’d have to carry a separate book for each (apart from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam where there’s a combined version), not really practical I guess…!?

8. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5673 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Quoting novos

how about "Let's Go" ?

Is that the cheap LP look a like?

9. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

i think Lets Go is also good.
On a par with Lonely Planet and the Rough Guides.
I sometimes use it.

10. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Id never buy rough guides again. On an SE asia trip (Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia Vietnam & Laos) I had a new rough guide (covering all countries). My GF picked up a 5 year old Lonely planet, which was FAR more useful and relevant than the Rough Guide.

One particular example of how LP is better was in Bali. There was a volcanoe I wanted to climb (Gunung Batur). The guide prices were pretty extortionate, so I decided to climb it myself. The Rough Guide gave no warning not to. Fortunately, my GF read the LP guide on it which featured letters from backpackers on 'the mountain Mafia'. Travellers that had refused a guide before had been threatened with murder, rape and violence. One traveller recounted hiding in bushes on the volcanoe when a band of vigilanties searched for him with clubs!!

A rather important omission from the Rough Guides wouldnt you say!!