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3.8 out of 5 stars57
3.8 out of 5 stars
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HALL OF FAMEon 4 March 2004
Rough Guide Thailand is one of the best in the range, and it strikes just the right balance, although the book still weighs in on the heavier end in a backpack, its pretty much all useful. especially for the traveller who is exploring thailand, which is after all a very big country.
The books coverage strikes a good balance, and the design is very user friendly, the features of the (not so) new design which are particuliarly useful are the end of chapter transport connections overview with approx times, and the 40 things not to miss photos at the front is a great selection, and can serve as an inspiring hit list.
The book is very well suited to the independant traveller, and the accomodation on the whole was more accurately on target than in many other guides, to agree with 50% or more of the reccomendations is a very good sign, although thailand moves quickly, not least in accomodation, so it is very difficult to keep coverage up to date.
On the whole the food selections were ok, generally this is the weakest point in the rough guide series, Bangkok is least well served in this respect, but when pushed and feeling lazy outside the capital it will deliver somewhere to eat pretty quickly. (not that finding somewhere to eat is a problem in thaialnd).
there is a small but quite useful language section which could be expanded to double its length and be even more useful, and the history section isnt too overwhelming, but i guess more thai phrase books are sold separately than history books and hence the obvious imbalance here.
The Rough guide to Thailand is nicely pitched, accurate and informative.
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VINE VOICEon 29 December 2007
Although I travelled just before a new edition of this book was published, I thought this book was excellent in helping me plan my holiday in advance. We knew we wanted to go to Thailand but weren't quite sure where - this book helped us decide based on not only things to see & do but weather condtions etc, which I found were excellent compared to many internet sites and travel brochures (which portray Thailand as one climate area, when in fact it has many different weather systems). The book was excellent and still felt 'up to date'; for example it helped us find the most fab little boutique hotel "Buddy Lodge" in Bankok which was exactly what we were looking for and never would have found otherwise. Also it had fantastic and accurate info on the Grand Palace, such as tours times and prices, not to mention a complete guide to the whole complex, building by building!

These books make such a fantastic read in terms of filling you in on culture and traditions - because I had read this before we travelled I spotted lots of things I would have missed otherwise. It seemed a shame that we only went on a two week tourist holiday - the book made me want to go back packing around the whole country!
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on 16 March 2011
Rough Guide's content and pics are good, plus it seems to be up to date, however the way in which information and maps are organized in the book are my main criticism to R.G.

Having used Lonely Planet editions for years I first blamed myself for my inability to make good use of the R.G. But after days of trying to get a grip on how to easily browse through it and neither I or my -smart- gf could, I decided to stick to L.P. next time.

R.G also lacks a very useful feature in L.P. when you don't have much time in a city: the Walking Tour / what to see if you are staying just 1 or 2 days. Quite convenient when you are under time constraint as it gives you an idea of the main sights, tells you distances as well as an estimate of time needed for the walk.

Also yes I agree with previous reviews that the printing quality should be improved.
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on 30 May 2011
Just returned from a 6 week trip to Thailand last night, and the trip was made a million times more enjoyable by this book. I compared with someones lonely planet, and I much preferred the content and layout in rough guide. If you want an informed, accurate and authentic guide to Thailand and it's culture, this has to be it. Along with my sunscreen and backpack, this was an indispensible item. The only reason I have dropped a star is because (like the reviewer before me), the pages near the front fell out. I can only assume this is because those pages are glossy, and perhaps the binding glue could not hold them in the heat. However, the actual content of the book is 5 stars without a doubt! I will be purchasing Rough Guides in the future :)
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on 11 March 2010
I looked at quite a few books on Thailand before we went and put off buying this one several times due to the lack of pictures and it seemed a bit too wordy. I bought it in the end and we found it invaluable - don't be tempted to buy an older publication to save money because it helps to have up-to-date information. Generally - would recommend. Oh, and if you go to Patpong in Bangkok it might be worth doing a bit of online research too before you go :-)
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on 19 September 2006
This is about the tenth Rough Guide I've used, and as usual it has been an excellent source of most importantly accurate information. All Rough Guides have evidently been well researched and give step-by-step procedures of what to do on arrival, finding accommodation and local transport etc. I've never understood why so many travellers use 'Lonely Planet' guides. The title may very well sound ethereal and full of the romatic allusion (illusion?) of travelling, but I have found them at best very mediochre. I can think their popularity lies more in the fact of their reputation. If you're a 'serious' traveller you only ever get the Lonely Planet. Well don't bother, get a Rough Guide which you will almost certainly find more useful.
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Great book for content (the up-to-date-ish Oct 2009 edition) but like many of my Rough Guides it is starting to fall apart before it has even got to Thailand! The first chapter is gradually dropping out of the binding, a maddening weakness which I have never had with the better-bound more robust Lonely Planet series. I have treated it gently so this is a poor result. Be warned!
UPDATE JULY 2010....I telephoned the company to complain that the book was falling apart, and I was told they've had a problem recently with a new glue which didn't work. They immediately sent me a new copy which so far has held together. Steve Riches.
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on 31 December 2009
I'll keep this brief, but basically I have found this rough guide book extremely useful! Straight to the point, informative and current - provided you get the October 2009 edition.

Not only does it have names of places to stay, but it also provides you with web addresses and telephone nos!

Lots of facts and includes price comparisons for taxis, tuk tuks and boat journeys. Although fairly accurate, when you get to Thailand, you'll find that the locals here do their own price fixing, especially during the peak seasons. So budget for a little extra on top!

Other than that its a good read and fab guide!
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on 22 February 2010
This is a very detailed guide on Thailand - aimed at the independent traveller. I reckon this list just about every place you could possible visit in Thailand. There is however great general advice on customs, food, getting about etc which I found very useful. We are going on an organised trip so not sure how relevant alot of the info is for us but an interesting read. Quite a large book - over 870 pages so could be a bit weighty for a backpacker.
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on 26 March 2010
After reading reviews of this guide, I bought it for my short 2 weeks trip in the land of smiles.
Overall, I was impressed by it, the accomodations they recommend are good and there are many interesting facts and important informations about the country.
I really like their honesty, they are not trying too hard and their advises on some locations are precious.
But there is a but ! I know its mainly my fault, I should have checked before buying but a detailed detached map of Bangkok would have been very useful.
Bangkok is a big city and very very exhausting and it was hard to find our way by reading the guide.
So one advise, if you do stay in Bangkok for a few days, do buy a map of the city as well, they do provide free maps at the aiport but its not really accurate !
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