Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars16
3.9 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

VINE VOICEon 23 February 2011
It would be unfair to base a review on the penultimate paragraph on page 15 of this book which asserts that Ben Ali will stay in power as long as he wants to but, for the traveler, there are more serious flaws. I used this guide last month in conjunction with a five year old P'tit Fute bought second hand for a quid. Sometimes the prices in the P'tit Fute were more up to date than the Lonely Planet (LP)! Furthermore, despite French not being my first or even my second language, the French guidebook was just easier to read and more communicative than the LP. Nevertheless, and taking into account their misreading of the underlying social situation of the country, the contexts and preambles of the LP guide are not bad. It is a shame that the town and city maps are generally too small, not detailed enough and not extensive enough but I understand the trade-off between text and illustration required. One advantage of this is that you will need to communicate with ordinary Tunisians if you want to get out of the tourist areas and you should find that a real pleasure. The LP is disparaging about louage transport at times but, especially during the uprising, we found this to be socially comforting and a great way to get to know the lives of locals. Yes, it can be a little cramped and uncomfortable but not tiresomely so. I intent to go back to Tunisia once the west of the country settles down as I want to finish the holiday that got curtailed, someone from LP needs to return and get the new situation documented too. It is unfortunate that a guide published so recently should already be out of date but Tunisia (and Egypt) need all the help they can get to re-invigorate their tourist market - it would be great if I could buy, and positively review, a new LP guide to Tunisia before the year is out.
0Comment|11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 March 2012
There is a lot of information in this guide, but the quality and tone varies from the serious and well-informed to a fluttery gushing: there is no sense that the production has been coordinated by a strong editorial personality. The chapter on Tunis (no doubt unfairly, but that's what it reads like) gave the impression that it had been written up after a weekend's visit to some old college friends who'd been living there for a few months as ex-pats and wanted to show the researcher the clubbing scene to the exclusion of much else. Four examples may illustrate my point.

At one restaurant we are advised not to expect Frankie Knuckles in the early 80's disco, and the decor is patronised as "endearingly eccentric". No mention of it being an attractive, extremely well-run and friendly place with excellent food. Another is is described as a "buzzing place . . . heavily curtained from the street so punters can tuck into the alcohol on offer with impunity." I'm sure it's busy when Millwall are playing an away game in Tunis in the Europa League, or there's a New Order concert at the Parc des Sports, but outside of these invasions it is a pleasant cafe to chat with the locals and eat wonderful fish. There is, despite assurances in the book, no view from the bar at the the best restaurant/hotel in Carthage: the view is from the restaurant, the terrace outside, and some of the rooms. And the zoo is written off with a brief reference to parrots and monkeys in cramped and old-fashioned cages. The charm of the zoo is in the family groups of locals that visit it: groups such as married couples in their very early twenties with children, pairs of young men or women walking arm in arm, or little toddlers holding on to a grandparent's hand and listening gravely to what they are being told - four species of human grouping that that are almost entirely extinct in 21st Century Britain.

The book also predates the Jasmine Revolution of 14 January 2011 and although the city feels perfectly safe, there is razor wire and Armoured Personnel Carriers and you might get warned off sensitive sites at gunpoint. On a more complex point, some of the purportedly Western music videos (often Lebanese with European production) are far beyond what would be allowed on MTV in Europe or the USA and imply a routine acceptance of violence and paedophilia in Western culture. Some of the guidebook's praise of "edgy DJs" might have been tempered by some understanding of the view of the West that this is giving to ordinary Tunisians.

And finally, the French and Arabic phrasebook pages would be worse than useless outside the holiday camps. You'll get very little out of Tunis as an independent traveller if you don't speak reasonably fluent French or Arabic.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 September 2012
I have always found the Lonely Planet guides more accessible and readable than the other major guidebooks, and this book was no exception in that regard. It provided a good background to the country (even if the politics section was unavoidably out-of-date) and reasonable coverage of all the sights we wanted to see.

I do however have a couple of criticisms.

- on page 44, under the heading 'Responsible Travel', the guide informs you that it is apparently offensive in Tunisian society for even married couples to hold hands in public. Any "public displays of affection are a definite no-no". My girlfriend and I were therefore dutifully walking a good, culturally-sensitive foot apart at all times... until we began to notice dozens of Tunisian couples walking quite happily hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm! It may seem a minor discrepancy, but it did make us wonder what else might be misleading in the guide....

- by Lonely Planet standards a fairly slim book... it wouldn't have hurt to pad it out with some more detail. For example, when staying in Mahdia, the guide told us there was only one non-budget hotel in the town itself, but plenty in the nearby 'Zone Touristique'.... but then failed to make any recommendations at all.

Overall, though, a good buy.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 March 2012
Caused much amusement with the Tunisia guide who read the paragraph on how stable the government were and how the president would be in power for a long time. May be a more up to date one would have been good, but the rest was adequately up to date for what i needed it for.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 December 2012
We bought the 2010 version of Lonely Planet Tunisia, we are just back from Tunisia now. We found the information in this book to be geared to top notch tourists, and also found the information bore no resemblance to the experiences we had, to the point where we were actually wondering if the author had ever actually visited the country. I know it was 2 years out of date, and I know there have been riots there and civil unrest, but nothing added up, even to the smallest details of which supermarkets to visit and what they were like. I've always had such great respect for Lonely Planet but was dumbfounded when I discovered the BBC own 75% of it now and wonder if this has anything to do with the product being nothing like Lonely Planet used to be - for independent travellers who wanted to avoid the tourist trail.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 September 2014
Would have been nice to have some pictures - lots of text, makes it a bit dull. Full of info. Looking forward to using on holiday. Rather weighty for the suitcase too.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 August 2015
Some howlers in this book, including the visiting times to the main mosque in Tunis, which we consequently missed seeing.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 July 2010
Essential guide, made our trip so much easier. We booked a hotel the first couple of nights before we left and used this book to find the rest, the first hotel was the worst place we stayed in (and 2nd most expensive).

If you've used other LP guides you know what to expect and this won't let you down, just hope their recommendations don't end up spoiling some beautiful, isolated places with hoards of backpackers (c** s***** <-- work it out and you'll love it!)
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 December 2012
I was thinking of going to Tunisia on holiday for a while. I bought the book to try and help me decide. I read the book and went the following day to book my Tunisia holiday. Any information that I needed I found in the book. It is easy to read and very interesting.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 January 2013
We got on really well with this guide book, had lots of info and all hotels were there and although prices were differ were still cheap. made our trip very easy, thankyou.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)