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Tahiti and French Polynesia (Lonely Planet Travel Guides) Paperback – 1 May 2003

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 6th Revised edition edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740592298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740592291
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


...Lonely Planet, the intrepid traveler's bible...' --Los Angeles Times, April 2005 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 13 July 2001
Format: Paperback
Far from being fully comprehensive, this guide is pretty vague. Not bad as a rough guide, and admittedly has some useful numbers that I don't know where else I would have found, which is the crux of this book's success. There is no real competitor (it would seem) that has backpacker budget information. If you are looking for a mid-price or luxury holiday then there are better guides. French Polynesia isn't exactly the budget travellers haven that Thailand or even Fiji can be and there are less options for the financially challenged tourist. However the guide could be a lot more comprehensive with the information there is available.
Do not take any prices or times in the book at face value - I found most prices a little higher in practice and times well out. But this is pretty normal with travel guides considering the time span between writing and publication.
It may be the best on the market for budget (hence the three stars) - but that isn't huge praise! Budding travel writers take note!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before going half way around the world to a previously unvisited place, it is worthwhile getting as much information and background as possible. This book gives good clear basic information but nothing in any great depth. Probably great for a few days on the way through to New Zealand - just enough information about the places and food.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased as a present but it looks good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x96b78e40) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x963db204) out of 5 stars Good, but needed more 23 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've used many Lonely Planet (LP) guides and found this one to be lacking their usual detail. I got the sense much hotel information was pilfered from Web surfing the basic info, rather than first-person investigation. While still a good book to take, next time (and there will be a next time because Tahiti is wonderful) I'll be sure take another guide along with it, and to thoroughly read actual travelers' online reviews. I'll also know the questions I need to ask before booking. My sense was that the reviewers weren't seeing things through the fresh-eyes of a first time traveler. The details, such as directions accommodation features were often lacking.
One thing I've always liked about LP is that they will list small locally owned budget places - that are occasionally hidden gems - whereas many other guides only list "approved" chain-type accommodations. However, in this book key information about lodging was missing. For example, it's very uncommon to find window screens in Polynesia despite a lot of mosquitoes, yet it is not standard for the book to say if there are screens or mosquito netting at each location (sometimes there are neither). Screens would be a big selling point for me. In Lonely Planet's India guide - which I was quite happy with - they deliberately note whether hotels have air-conditioning or not; in this guide this rather important information (for the tropics) is randomly added. Sometimes we'd get there and they'd have AC and sometimes they wouldn't. A more specific example is a pension primarily described as "friendly" - which it was in spades - with no mention that there's one bathroom shared with 8 people and that doesn't have hot water. With what prices are in Tahiti, poor information is very costly. One "resort" (our over-water bungalow splurge) was merely described as "competitive with other luxury resorts." Come to find out it had bedbugs and no air-conditioning.
If level of detail can be evidenced by pages numbers, note that LP's Hawaii guide (five main islands) is 615 pages, while their Tahiti guide (50+ islands/atolls, with ten commonly traveled) is a only 287 pages.
36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9650578c) out of 5 stars Was it really only a bad dream? 25 Sept. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was flabbergasted to find out that one of the most popular guidebooks in the world was not able to accurately describe our accomodation (The Blue Lagoon in Vaitape, BoraBora) as it later turned out to be ... namely, a disaster! In the guide we could not find any details about the REAL condition of the bathroom or the rest of the pension. We also had to share our room with a mouse (rat?) of undefined size (we met him only through his "leavings" and scurryings) and the traffic of wasps coming and going from their nests in our room. The shower was black and crusty, as was the toilet. Walls and floors were peeling, the air was filled with an overpowering stink of decaying fish and dirt, and we were afraid to get into our beds. The exterior of the building looked like a Tijuana flophouse. We traveled all over the South Pacific, staying in many different hotels and pensions, and never did we encounter such a horrible variance from the description in the guidebook. I mean, this is Bora Bora, an expensive, upscale resort area, and it seems incredible that such lodgings could even exist there. They would have to be more accurate in their evaluations of accomodations and be prepared to warn travelers of nightmarish places like this one!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96507498) out of 5 stars I found this guide book to be an amazing asset in the expansive archipelago 5 Jan. 2015
By RDubya73 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having just returned from a 3 week tour of Tahiti and the Tuamotu's, I found this guide book invaluable. Even on the remote atolls, the information was current and detailed, and as comprehensive as I would need or want (digging even deeper is up to you). Its an absolute must for any traveler, whether new to French Polynesia or a seasoned veteran, its chock full of valuable history, facts, trivia, opinions, myths, and data to make your trip that much more informed, aware, and ultimately more enjoyable. Being a "demi" myself (tahitian mother and american father), I have travelled to french polynesia many times throughout my life, but I had never yet visited the tuamotus, where my grandmother is from. I found this guide book to be an amazing asset in the expansive archipelago. I will purchase future updated editions as they become available. Excellent and highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96cfcbd0) out of 5 stars New edition is great! 27 Sept. 2007
By C. M. Richards - Published on
Format: Paperback
This new edition of LP's Tahiti and French Polynesia guide was invaluable on my recent trip. The details of the out of the way islands like Maupiti are wonderful, the writing is funny but clear and informative. It had details of local places and special spots that were not in the old one. I read up on the writers and one of them is an American woman who lives there, I could really tell that she understood the perspective of a tourist. I carried this book in my purse for the two and a half weeks I just spent there and referred to it often. Especially for the directions, cultural details and local customs that I needed. I felt like I had a local friend as my guide. I also find it comforting that they take no freebies from the hotels.
We stayed in small pensions and loved it, no one has screens in Tahiti it seems, but the guide did mention electric mosquito devices which was helpful, it also gave food details on the half-board places, and on the whole seemed accurate and well researched. The enthusiasm of the writing is infectious and I totally fell in love with Tahiti and the other islands we visited, I felt like I really got to know it better than I would have alone because of this book.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9650ecc0) out of 5 stars Good all around book. 1 May 1999
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is very comprehensive. It will help you find all of the places you want to go, and will give you an overview of what to expect. Some of the items could have been a little more detailed though. We found the combination of this book and Jan Prince's book to be the perfect combination for our trip in November of 1998. Read more about our trip and how we used these books at
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