Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
Ok but not up to the standard of Lonely Planet/Rough Guides
on 18 February 2013
We are spending 3 weeks in Java and Bali later this year. I struggled to find a guidebook for Java, as most cover Bali and Lombok only. For that reason, I bought this guide to the whole of Indonesia. The book is quite large and heavy (although the Lonely Planet one was bigger), and unfortunately 3/4 of the book is not relevant to our travel plans. As Java is one of the most visited islands in Indonesia, it's a shame that more books don't cater specifically to this island.
The book is ok, it gives a good introduction to the country/islands including history and facts about the area. However, I found it difficult to pick out top places to visit and sights to see. The text is written in long prose, with no lists of top sights or places, or suggested itineraries. There is limited information about sights - no entrance prices, no directions/transport options, no advice about what should not be missed. There are also a very limited number of maps in the book so I've had to print out a few city maps from the internet instead.
For Bali, I did not find the book helpful when trying to choose which coastal resort to stay in, or how much time to split between areas (e.g. Ubud vs beach). The description just listed the places without much further information about what to do in each location. Again, I had to resort to information on the internet and am considering buying a second Bali-specific book.
Overall, this book will probably suffice if you are going on a tour and want a little more information on the places you are visiting, but it would not hold up to a traveller/backpacker exploring Indonesia. The book does not meet my expectations from previous experiences with Lonely Planet and Rough Guides so I would probably stick to these brands in future for longer trips.