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Hawaii the Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook Paperback – Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Wizard Publications; 6 edition (April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981461069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981461069
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Guidebook for Hawaii's Big Island.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives the most detailed information about the Big Island available today. Can't go wrong with this travel guide.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 340 reviews
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Always Spot-on with recommendations, but poorly organized 8 July 2011
By V. Natarajan - Published on
Format: Paperback
The plusses:
Just about every place that this book recommended, and that I've tried, has been spot on. Perhaps more importantly, it's also spot-on with respect to its recommendations of tour companies (e.g. snorkeling tours, van tours). Not one restaurant, attraction, tour company, or hotel recommended by this book has disappointed, and it recommends a lot -- you could spend a month on the Big Island and not go through half of what's in this book. For the most part, the maps are clear and helpful, and the book gives contact information as needed.

The minuses:
The information presented is very poorly organized. Largely speaking, this book breaks down into Sights, Activities, Adventures, and Dining/Lodging, and within each section, the listings are broken by geographic region. The problem with this approach is that, in order to see everything there is to do within a particular geographic area, you have to flip to each section. It would be far more convenient to reverse the ordering -- break down the book first by geographic area, and then by activities within the area.

Secondly, the "Sights" section for each area is presented as a single tour that goes through each attraction, and the directions for each site are only given in terms of the location of the previous site mentioned. The problem is, there are often many more attractions than you'll have time for in each area, so it takes considerable work to figure out the location of individual attractions if you want to skip an attraction or go in a different order than the book describes.

Normally, the I'd treat the minuses much more harshly, but the recommendations are so good that I'm going to be more forgiving here.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Great resource for exploring the Big Island 15 Aug. 2011
By NC Family - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We just used this book to help us navigate the Big Island for a family vacation. The maps were fantastic and the descriptions very helpful. Hawaii tries to hide it's national treasures and signage is almost invisible. This book gave mile marker references and visual landmarks to help you find where you needed to go. The amount of information was a bit overwhelming, but it was great to keep in the car for quick reference as you were trying to decide what to do next. We found the information to be extremely accurate except for restaurant suggestions - some were correct, but rely on your hotel concierge first. We would highly recommend this book if this is your first trip to the Big Island or you are adults traveling alone and a bit more on the adventurous side (lots of hiking and rough terrain not suitable for little legs).
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
The best travel books 2 July 2011
By mlj - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I travel a lot and have looked at and used many types of travel guidebooks. We have found the 'Revealed' guidebooks to be, without a doubt, the best. The authors/editors don't ever hold back when they feel that a hotel, restuarant or attraction doesn't live up to its reputation or is over-priced. You can count on these guidebooks for the truth, not just a glowing report that someone has paid to have printed in a guidebook.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
great guide book, but not good as an e-book 5 Mar. 2012
By yukot - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the information in the guidebook was great. i had the hard copy as well, and used that extensively throughout my trip. however, the electronic version is nearly useless. the maps are hard to see, and it's impossible to flip back and forth like you can a hard copy. even though i underlined and bookmarked pages, i couldn't find it later.

the hard cover gets 5 stars, but the electronic version gets 2 stars.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Good reading, but you need to take a lot of notes before your travel 3 Jan. 2012
By Ling Ho - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book before my first trip to the state of Hawaii. The Hawaii big island was my first destination. I also bought the Oahu Revealed as my second destination was Oahu.

They were both good reading, with lots of good information about the history of the island, climates, people and culture.

As I read further, I can kind of imagine myself being there, driving around the islands.

However, after half way through the Big Islandbook, I realized I am not going to be able to go around the whole island visiting most of the wonderful places mentioned in the book in just 5 days. So, I decided to focus on a few areas.

I spend about 2 evening reading the books, and another 2 hours on the plane reading the book cover to cover.

When I arrived in Hawaii, I found the following problems:

- The books are printed on good quality paper. But they are heavy!

- Both the Big Island book and the Oahu book share many of the information (the history about the islands, and even their stories about powered paragliding are repeated. That makes me having to carry two heavy books when I am having hard time with my luggage with all the snorkeling gears, cameras, etc.

- It is hard to find information about a place using the index. Since each chapters is written like an essay, once you found the keyword, you have to look at 2-3 pages, and then fast reading through the pages to see if some information you have read before is there.

- The author mentioned they used GPS while traveling but often the direction given are turn by turn. I wish they could just give an address or a cross section where I can punch into my GPS.

My suggestion:
Take notes as you read the book. Find a good road map online and print it out, and mark the places you plan to visit. If I haven't gone back and re-read many pages, and take notes, those direction would be meaningless because there is no way for me to read the book while driving. And while driving, I would not have remembered every single interesting points that I have planned to visit while reading the book the first time.

I wish the books can be better organized, or split into multiple volumes. For example, one for carrying with you while actually doing the hikes. I wish the maps can be removed from the book. I wish the photos can be placed next to the next. Sometimes, when I see a photo, I have to look for the texts. I wish it would be easier to find information if I plan to just drive for the day, or plan to hike, or plan to do some snorkeling or diving.

The information on restaurants and shops are not very useful. I would trust Yelp or Tripadvisors reviews more. That's where weight can be reduced also.
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