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Indonesia (Lonely Planet Country Guides) [Paperback]

Justine Vaisutis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Lonely Planet Indonesia (Travel Guide) Lonely Planet Indonesia (Travel Guide) 3.2 out of 5 stars (10)
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Book Description

1 Jan 2007 Lonely Planet Country Guides
Discover Indonesia Stretch your hand through ancient stone latticework to touch the lucky Buddhas atop Java's majestic Borobudur.Drink with the dead (and don't slip on buffalo blood!) at an elaborate and riotous Torajan funeral.Sniff out the infamous durian or scaly salak at a local fruit market.Step aside as a giant Komodo dragon swaggers by with the confidence only 100kg of top-of-the-food-chain lizard can exude. In This Guide: Eleven authors, more than 300 days of in-country research, 73 ferry trips, 197 detailed maps, 205 bowls of nasi goreng.Includes in-depth information on volcano trekking, surfing, diving, orang-utan watching and the best adventures.Content updated daily: visit "lonelyplanet.com" for up-to-the-minute reviews, updates and traveler suggestions.


Product details

  • Paperback: 924 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 8th Revised edition edition (1 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741044359
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741044355
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 12.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 369,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ryan grew up in Santa Cruz, California, which he left at age 17 for college in the Midwest, where he first discovered snow. All joy of this novelty soon wore off. His first job was in Chicago at a small muckraking publication where he had the impressive title of Managing Editor because he was second on a two-person editorial staff and the first person was called Editor. After a year of 60-hour weeks, Ryan took his first trip to Europe, which lasted for seven months and confirmed his long-suspected wanderlust. Since then his byline has appeared in scores of publications and he has covered everything from wars to bars. He definitely prefers the latter. He wrote Lonely Planet's Chicago and Moscow, co-wrote Texas, Canada and Western Europe, and coordinated Russia, Ukraine & Belarus, Great Lakes, Out to Eat - London, Netherlands, and Britain. In the future, Ryan hopes to add more warm-weather destinations to this list, although covering places filled with pubs is a novelty that never wears out. He currently lives in San Francisco and works as author liaison manager at Lonely Planet's Oakland office.

Books Authored:

Don't Let the World Pass You By!
52 Reasons to Have a Passport
Southeast Asia on a Shoestring
Canada Travel Guide
Caribbean Islands Travel Guide
Bali Encounter Guide
California Trips
Bali and Lombok Travel Guide
Hawaii Travel Guide
British Columbia & The Yukon Travel Guide


Product Description

Review

...Lonely Planet, the intrepid traveler's bible...' --Los Angeles Times, April 2005

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Adventure looms large in this vast and steamy archipelago, where the best of Southeast Asia's spicy melange simmers tantalisingly. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 121 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Amazon has decided to combine reviews of both editions on this page, so I decided to add my thoughts on the 2010 edition to the end of this review, originally written for the previous one. I suggest that you read the whole thing if you are not familiar with the book yet, or scroll down towards the end if you just want to know what has changed in the latest edition.

The 2007 edition:

This is currently by default both the best overall guide to Indonesia for independent travellers, and the only one that is remotely up to date.
The competition (Moon, Footprint, Rough Guides) seems to have given up covering this vast archipelago years ago. For this reason alone, the book still gets 4 stars from me, despite some shortcomings and amusingly striking errors outlined later.
It definitely covers enough attractions to keep people occupied for months, and is more than enough for those with an average interest in the country.
As usual with this series, it covers practical details like prices, public transport and city maps, though unusually for Lonely Planet, many prices in this book (especially for public transport and guiding services) seem to be the result of guesswork by the authors, and even a year after the book was published, I found that they were actually considerably LOWER than those listed here!
There is also more than enough background information about culture and history for most readers, although unfortunately some useful things that were still present in the previous edition, like an overview of national parks and the longer lists of recommended books about various aspects and regions of the country have now been removed. Many less frequented islands, towns and areas that were still described in several previous editions have now been omitted, too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Does the job.. 8 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book needs a thorough review.
It's contents are comprehensive, but far too brief for some locations.
Not as well laid out as other guides, and too few photos/maps.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indonesia rocks 23 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback
The book was very helpful. Indonesia is amazing country. All the information I found in the guide about Jawa island and Bali island were up to date and very useful, rich, detailed and well written.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Only Updated Guide to Indonesia - Reviews of both the 2007 and 2010 editions! 2 Feb 2007
By Laszlo Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Amazon has decided to combine reviews of both editions on this page, so I decided to add my thoughts on the 2010 edition to the end of this review, originally written for the previous one. I suggest that you read the whole thing if you are not familiar with the book yet, or scroll down towards the end if you just want to know what has changed in the latest edition.

The 2007 edition:

This is currently by default both the best overall guide to Indonesia for independent travellers, and the only one that is remotely up to date.
The competition (Moon, Footprint, Rough Guides) seems to have given up covering this vast archipelago years ago. For this reason alone, the book still gets 4 stars from me, despite some shortcomings and amusingly striking errors outlined later.
It definitely covers enough attractions to keep people occupied for months, and is more than enough for those with an average interest in the country.
As usual with this series, it covers practical details like prices, public transport and city maps, though unusually for Lonely Planet, many prices in this book (especially for public transport and guiding services) seem to be the result of guesswork by the authors, and even a year after the book was published, I found that they were actually considerably LOWER than those listed here!
There is also more than enough background information about culture and history for most readers, although unfortunately some useful things that were still present in the previous edition, like an overview of national parks and the longer lists of recommended books about various aspects and regions of the country have now been removed. Many less frequented islands, towns and areas that were still described in several previous editions have now been omitted, too.
On a brighter note, there is realistic, up to date assesment of the much-improved security situation in formerly strife-torn regions like Aceh and Maluku, encouraging tourists to return there.
Unfortunately, coverage of the remoter, less-visited regions remains poor.
The chapter on Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) has finally seen some long overdue changes, with non-existing attractions removed and real ones added, but info on almost anything outside the big, boring, modern coastal cities (which are covered in masochistic detail) is so vague that it makes one wonder if the author has ever left the urban jungles at all. My impression is that if she did, she certainly didn't get far!
That is still better than the chapter on Papua (Indonesian New Guinea).
Long the weakest, nearly useless part of this guide, one gets the impression that the Japanese lady "updating" it for this edition has never set foot there, and thus simply lifted all content over from the previous guides, updating hotel and transport prices with the aid of her telephone. Her information about how to cross the border with Papua New Guinea is spectacularly wrong, and there is almost nothing in that chapter that hadn't been there in the previous editions.
There are also some striking errors in the general sections dealing with the whole country.
As in the previous edition, the color section on "Indonesian" fauna proudly includes a shot of a Green Iguana from South America, this time with the added caption "Iguanas can be found in parks such as Taman Nasional Bali Barat" - in reality there are no iguanas anywhere in Asia. Similarly, the "Beguiling Beasties" itinerary recommended for wildlife fans says "you can try spotting the rare bird of paradise on the islands around Pulau Biak". Ironically, Biak and its neighbouring islands happen to be the ONLY part of Papua where there are NO birds of paradise! ;-) Plus covering that entire itinerary would take you several months (which your visa won't allow), and even then you would still have to skip the Foja Mountains of Papua (highly recommended by the author based on news reports) which are in reality so remote and inaccessible that even well-supported scientific expeditions have only made it there a few times.
But my favourite blunder is in the Getting there & Away chapter at the back of the book, listing international border crossings, where the author says "...there are two boats a week between Dili in East Timor and Oecussi in [Indonesian] West Timor." A boat on that route does exist, the only slight difference being that both of those towns are in independent East Timor, outside the borders of Indonesia!
Couldn't LP get authors who at least know where Indonesia ends and its neighbours start this time??? :-)
So those with a deeper interest in Indonesia, or with an interest in a particular region, might prefer more detailed, regional guides to those areas - there are several covering Bali & Lombok to choose from, Lonely Planet has great (if ageing) guides to Java and Nusa Tenggara, while Periplus has eight separate ones to all parts of the country, though the Periplus ones are best backed up with this book for practical details.
Those who have already been to Indonesia and own the previous edition of this book, might as well just keep it instead of investing into this new effort. Most of the content is exactly the same (or missing), with only the layout and prices changed - and the prices will have changed again by the time you get to Indonesia anyway.
For first-timers, this remains the best single-volume guide to buy though - even if only by default.

The 2010 edition:

Most of the comments on the previous edition remain valid, though in general, prices seem to have been updated more carefully for this edition.
The best thing about it is that the the chapters on the long-ignored regions of Kalimantan and Papua have finally been much improved, though it is quite obvious that much of the new info was collected online (eg on LP's very own Thorn Tree travel forum) or from tour-operators, rather than on the ground. Still, coverage of those 2 regions is now much better than it had ever been before!
Coverage of another 2 regions has also improved.
The Maluku chapter once again contains separate entries on the more remote Aru, Tanimbar and Sula Islands and is probably the best part of the whole book now.
The Sumatra chapter has finally added some long-popular destinations that had before been mysteriously missing from the book, such as Tangkahan and Kedah in the north, though it continues to ignore very popular Pulau Belitung down south.
As for the rest, there seem to be very few changes - perhaps due to lack of criticizm, the publisher thought they are fine as they are. Not quite - much of the info in the chapter on Java, Indonesia's 2nd most visited island, is something like a decade out of date now, with national parks like Ujung Kulon and Gunung Halimun remaining poorly and errorously described, others ignored altogether. There has been very little changed about Nusa Tenggara or Sulawesi, either...
The recommended special interest itineraries at the beginning of the book remain as unrealistic as in the previous edition. They recommend touring places widely scattered all over the whole archipelago - you'd need several months! I also find the featured color "Highlights" poorly selected - Papua's Baliem Valley is listed twice, while there's nothing recommended from Sumatra at all!

Conclusion: If you are planning your first trip to Indonesia, get this book by all means. If you already have the previous edition, you can just stick with that, though for Kalimantan and Papua the separate chapters from the new edition are worth having - and can be downoaded separately from the publisher's website! ;-)
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good- but very very broad 24 Aug 2008
By Jonathan Fein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm at the end of my 4 months living in Jakarta. I bought this book in the states before going but when I arrived in Jakarta, i was originally very disappointed by the thinness of the jakarta section. The lack of depth was a problem throughout the book. However, I later traveled to Yogjakarta, Bandung, Bogor, Bali, Lombok, and the Gili Islands, making this book actually pretty useful. Although it doesn't have extensive information on each area, it does cover a lot of areas in a good-enough way.

However.. since the vast majority of people who come to Indonesia do not actually travel to many different places (usually just around Bali, or Java), I would recommend a book which focuses more on the place you will actually go, since you are otherwise paying for and carrying around a lot more bulk than is necessary.

(Update 2009): Last summer, i spent another 2 months in Indonesia during which I was based in Yogyakarta. I again had the great opportunity of doing a lot of internal traveling, particularly within Java. I would like to again say that this book has a huge breadth of knowledge about soo many different amazing places way off of the beaten track of Bali. My indonesian girlfriend had not even heard of many of them... i was able to really get in touch - a deep touch - with indonesia.
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable travel book! 21 Jan 2014
By Capt. Jack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Traveled Indo once and loved it. It is vast and information on it can be sparse. Bought this book after checking out fellow travelers copy and will be heading back soon. There is so much useful information in this, much more than an average lonley planet book. shipping seemed pricy but the book was cheap and well worth it.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 900 pages and not that great 13 Dec 2009
By LilyBart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Highlights of disappointment - The review of Pasar Seni (art/handicraft market) doesn't tell you it's in the middle of some kind of disneyland that you have to pay admission to get into and, once there, has very little of interest. Also, I want to go to the Textile Museum but it doesn't even receive a mention in the book. The hotel front desk says it doesn't open until 2 on Sundays and one website says it opens at 9:30 so I need a tie-breaker. This book weighs a ton but lacks a lot.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book with Dependable Information... 7 Sep 2009
By BookWormGirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We spent a month in Indonesia and found this book to be up to date and thorough.
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