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on 22 August 2001
We ended up calling it "the Bible". Why? Because all the answers are in it.! Several times we said to our selves that this information should have been in LP. And looking one more time - it was usually there. LP helps you plan and avoid vasting time. Of course you shold try to do things which is not mentioned in LP but this can be a major challanges. The guide goes every where and the information is incredibly reliable. So if you go - bring LP or bring no guide book at all - alternatives are poor sustitutions. We also brought a Footprint - but the reality is that nobody is above or besides LP.
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on 21 July 2003
I agonised over a number of guidebooks to take out to Malaysia with me and ended up with this one. Fortunately, I got it right - none of them are particularly cheap and it's a pain to take something out that turns out to be useless.
Seriously, if you're travelling to Malaysia, Singapore or Brunei, don't go without the Lonely Planet guide, it's absolutely invaluable. As well as the usual stuff, there are cultural tips to help you avoid offending the people; the crits about places to visit, hotels and restaurants don't pull any punches so if they're not worth it, you'll know in advance; and there's loads of historical information to keep you well informed.
As a companion to this, the Malay phrase book is a must, although so many people speak English, you don't need to worry. It is nice to be able to say please and thank you in Malay though - the people seem to appreciate it!
You can't do better than this one. As another reviewer says - this is the Bible.
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on 18 February 2001
The Lonely Planet guide to Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei is one of the worst travel guides I have used. Although it does give certain factual information, I found this guide to be poorly written, somewhat cynical, and extremely negative in many points of the text. ...There are numerous references to the lack of alcohol throughout the text. The facts in the Diving & Snorkeling section were clearly written by someone who has had little experience with these sports, and only a shallow knowledge of the area. The entire book is littered with negative statements: Kuala Besut is "grubby" (p.344), Kuala Terengganu's Chinatown "comprises the usual array of hole-in-the-wall Chinese shops" (p. 332), and various other disparaging remarks. Overall, I found the section on Peninsular Malaysia to be highly insulting and did not accurately portray one of the most beautiful countries in southeast Asia.
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on 10 April 1998
Most of us have of course heard of the seven labours of Hercules but few are aware that Hercules had an eighth task which he was unable to complete - to write a guide book describing all the sights accommodations and eating places in Ancient Greece. I'm only joking of course but the undertaking of such a task by anybody could aptly be described as Herculean (if not downright insane). Nevertheless, the writers of the Lonely Planet Guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei have undertaken such a task and that they do it so well it is almost miraculous. For those who have never read any Lonely Planet Guide Books, their target audience is the independent traveller - the sort of person for whom the fully guided tour is an anathema and who would put the label of "tourist" in the same category as "axe-murderer". The front cover of the guide shows a photograph taken in Sarawak of one of those to-die-for scenes of crystalline water through which a villager is pulling a small fishing boat. After whetting my appetite with this picture I looked in the guide to find where in Malaysia it was photographed, only to be told that one shouldn't "expect too much of the beaches.....as is the case with all Sarawak beaches crystal-clear water and white sand are not to be found". There's a metaphor here I think for travel books in general and the perceptions we gain from reading them compared to the reality of being there. There is also the problem that the information provided in any guide book is obsolete almost as soon as the ink dries on the paper and this is particularly so in the case of Malaysia due to the battering which the local economy has recently been taking. My main criticism (and this applies to most guide books) is that it pays scant regard to the needs of families with children. (Quaintly though it does have sections of advice for women travellers and also for gay and lesbian travellers. Family travellers it seems have to fend for themselves -but hey, it is the 90's). Nevertheless, having been to Malaysia recently and having used the Lonely Planet guide as my main source of information I found this book an invaluable asset. Not only does it provide the basics of food, accommodation, sights and transport but true to its vision of travel as a means of broadening the mind it pays some attention to the history and customs of the places it describes. If I was stuck on a deserted Malaysian island with only one book I'd want it to be the Lonely Planet guide because I'm sure it would contain a description of which of the island's plants are edible, which palm trees are the most comfortable to sleep under and which trees make the best timber for building rafts.
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on 28 May 1999
Small enough to carry, big enough to include anything and everything you want to know. Includes all sorts of useful info, we got some good bargains at recommended outlets. Nice maps, everything you could every need to know as a traveller and a nice keepsake of your trip. If you are travelling around, its great but it covers too much land for a one or two centre holiday. I wanted a more detailed book about Penang specifically but on reflection, there wasnt that much there to talk about. Im glad I didnt arrive without it, was most useful, used everyday and even though we had a Rep, this was far more useful. Lonely Planet are the best guides ever.
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on 13 October 2000
This guide is jam-packed full of helpful hints and tips to make your trip to this beautiful land one of the most memorable and exciting of all time. Everything you need to know about this fabulous country and surrounding area is in this guide book. For me it is the most essential part of my luggage! This lonely planet guide is my bible to Malaysia, it is the key to opening one of the greatest ways of life with the friendliest people around.
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on 8 June 2001
The book tries to give a good overview of what to do and see but is misses lots of cheap places to eat and sleep that are much better some on the guide. I have been living in Malaysia for quite a long time, and although this new edition has updated some information, there are still many things that have not been corrected. Some of the places mentioned in the guide do not exist anymore. Some restaurants mentioned from Kuching are exclusively for tourists and the food is terrible compared to Malaysian average!!! I think that you can live woithout it.
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on 1 January 2005
We found it very useful, and the great advantage is it's not too big!!
The one gripe i do have is that it gives border info as if you are travelling south to north (penisular malaysia). I wasn't, so it was frustrating to find the advice for getting to the towns beyond the border only went as far as "...to get to Hat Yai take a bus...etc...".
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on 19 July 1998
I planned a 21 day trip to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand using this book. The book is an excellent source of reference for travellers NOVICE OR VETERAN.
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on 18 July 2001
Provided a useful reference but don't rely on information to be 100% accurate especially information on Lankawi.
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