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Lonely Planet Thailand Paperback – Aug 2003

31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 10th Revised edition edition (Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740593561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740593564
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 385,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

Review

For sheer global reach and dogged research, attention must be paid to Lonely Planet...' --Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Modern linguistic theory and archaeological evidence suggest that the first true agriculturists in the world, perhaps also the first metal workers, spoke an early form of Thai and lived in what we know today as Thailand. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Hazan on 3 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Having been to many countries and used many lonely planet guides. It is fair to say that this is not one of the better editions.

The Good:
*The additional sections are fairly interesting and there are great pictures to keep you occupied for a while.
* Maps and transport links are a lot better than similar travel guides, although they do suffer from inevitable timetebles changes etc.
* Covereage is relatively good for places off the beaten track

The Bad: The main problem with carrying around an LP, is that virtually every other backpacker in Thailand will have one too ( and theres a lot of them.) This means that any hotel with a recommendation can be expected to fill up quickly, to the detriment of other hotels that may be a lot nicer, but are not in the book. Also, once hotels have a mention in LP, standards often deteriorate as they know they are guaranteed custom. This is especially true of very toursity places such as the beaches and Bangkok.

Theres a lot of suspicion regarding how LP chooses its hotels, often they are fine, but often I was wondering why on earth anyone would stay in such a hell-hole. LP has a tendency to be way too optimistic about everything. Also, having seen some old editions, its clear that they have been recycling the same old blurb for almost a decade.

Essentially, this LP has some decent points, but restaurant and hotel listings, take with a pinch of salt.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Jacoby on 4 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
I usually go with Lonely Planet rather than the Rough Guide since I tend to feel it has the edge on accuracy. But the Thailand guide is a little disappointing. The Bangkok and Chiang Mai chapters are fine and full of useful and correct information. But chapters covering the smaller provincial towns - Phrae, Nan, Lampang - are less reliable. Particularly, the maps just don't look like the towns, sometimes I've ended up walking for the best part of an hour to cover a distance that looked like a kilometre according to the scale on the map. Also, lots of important streets are merely drawn, not named on the maps. The combination of these two failings means you can get lost very easily.
I'm not going to complain, like a previous reviewer, that the book assumes you can speak and read Thai. The authors always warn you if a particular restaurant has no English menu or sign, for instance, so if you can't read the language, you know to choose another restaurant. I do think, though, that the authors should take into account that prices tend to be much higher for lots of commodities - taxis and tuk-tuks, above all - if you happen to be a non-Thai-speaking foreigner. I've set out a couple of times on a journey which Lonely Planet has assured me will cost 30 baht by public sawngthaew (pick-up truck), only to arrive at the bus stop as the only customer and find drivers insisting that I charter the vehicle for 500 baht. You would need good spoken Thai and good haggling skills to avoid these sort of situations. Of course if you travel to a country where you don't know the language things are bound to be difficult at times, but I think Lonely Planet should take those difficulties into account.
Of course the chapters on Southern Thailand will now have to be updated in the light of the recent tsunami tragedy, not to mention continuing unrest in the Muslim-majority provinces in the far south. But no guide book can keep pace with events such as those.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LucyL on 21 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I wouldn't recommend spending money on this guide. I found that it was out of date and many of the hotels/restaurants it lists no longer exist. I also expected the guide to be more honest so you know what you are expecting when you go somewhere e.g. it describes some of the loudest and busiest club venues as "beach bars". It failed to warn you about extra costs e.g. extra fees when arriving on an island. It's descriptions were all pretty vague. In the end we didn't really use it and left in our room in Thailand because it was just an unnecessary weight to carry.
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Format: Paperback
We've gotten a lot of use out of LP. The Thailand guide was no exception. The guide prepared us for what we could expect to face and enjoy in every corner of the country. The price ranges quoted in the book gave us the arsenal to haggle for reasonable deals. We found an incredible cooking school in Chang Mai thanks to LP.

I do think, though, the LP guides are outgrowing me.

This seems to be particularly true with this Thailand guide as its demographic may have shifted from backpacker to "flashpacker" (ie: folk who have the cash to patronize $200/night resorts in the south). Granted, Thailand itself is growing up, but I'm still a backpacker, on a budget. The accommodations we discovered couldn't be found in the LP pages--and they were considerably cheaper than the places advertised (in particular, on Ko Phi Phi--we almost avoided going because the "on a budget" options seemed out of our range).

Overall, the LP is a great launching pad, but don't cling to it once you get to your destination.
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By J on 27 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Previously Lonely Planet guidebooks have been great, but with their increasing popularity I think they are letting their standards slip. I took lonely planes advise for the first time in choosing my accommodation on Ko Lanta and it was manky and disgusting, really poor service and really low standards.

I spent hours of my holiday trying to find things shown on the lonely planet maps only to find out later that they either don't exist or are on the complete opposite end of town.

I have got much better information by asking travellers or locals (or a few hostel review websites). This book is not worth the stress it causes. Some guidebooks are written very quickly and pushed out the door long before they are properly checked and reviewed which results in useless paperweights like the Thailand Lonely Planet.
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