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Lonely Planet Philippines (Country Guide) Paperback – 31 Oct 2000
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As usual the guide-book standard is set by Lonely Planet-- Outside
A completely revised edition by a new team of authors. This is a culturally sensitive and insightful guide to the country's political, economic and environmental scene. It has a major focus on adventures under sea and in the hills, and contains an essential language chapter, with handy phrases in Philipino and Cebuano.
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Info in book was roughly correct, and things like info at Cebu airport saved us a few quid on taxis, so book almost paid for itself within a week.
Some proces too high, others too low, some places not to be found, but not an issue for the places we stayed. We did not use the book to select hotels. Map of Manila was accuate and very useful for us, as was sightseeing info, and info in general about history in Manila and Bohol.
Philippines is a pain to travel around due to it's nature of being islands on a big scale, and food was very bland in my opinion. Other SE Asia destinations more interesting and accessible, but if you do wish to go to the Phillipines this book covers here ok. Maybe the county is better if you are a basketball fan, and not a football fan..?
this is not one of the biggest lonely planet guides but sufficiently covers the main areas vistied by the majority of visitors to the philippines, it may be a little out of date on the ground, and the photography and layout seem a littel dated compared top other guides, but in terms of usabilty, it is way out in front.
Of particular note there are some very useful maps of some of the lesser visited islands, and the diving section is a little long winded but useful.
in need of a big update without doubt, but currently the most useful guidebook to the wonderful philippines islands.
However, this proved to be a different case.
If you are going to spend a month or more in The Philippines, there's little to choose between the Rough Guide and Lonely Planet - both are good all-round books, being informative and well written. Yet on this trip, I only had five days of travel - two spent in North Luzon at the Rice Terraces, and three in El Nido in the Palawan Bacuit Archipelago. For such a short journey, buying Lonely Planet's individual chapters is the better option - I only bought the two chapters I needed, rather than the full book, and these took up a tiny ammount of space in my backpack.
My general conclusion - if you're going for a long time, buy the Rough Guide; if you're going to limited places on a very tight schedule, buy Lonely Planet's individual chapters (these are also downloadable and can be printed out when you need them, so you don't have to carry them halfway accross the world with you!)
The Philippines don't have the tourist infastructure we may be used to, so planning what to see and do before going is fairly essential to avoid missing out on some great sites / experiences.
The guide gives a really good background on the history of the country and issues facing Filippinos today. Having said that, it was still quite a culture shock on arrival, with examples of extreme poverty all around.
As with any printed material, there are issues with updating phone numbers, prices etc but these are only minor problems. There are also a number of attractions not in the guide but are still well worth a visit (e.g. the Ruins / Mambukal Resort on Bacolod).
Extreme sports enthusiasts should check out the recommendations w.r.t Planet Adventure in Moalboal, Cebu and their accommodation - I can't recommend them highly enough!
Essential buy - have a fab holiday!!!
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But using it to plan I found it excellent. Very readable and deep coverage