Tahiti and French Polynesia (Lonely Planet Travel Guides) Paperback – 1 May 2003
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...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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.