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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 17 March 2007
Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei are the most developed countries in Southeast Asia, and tourism is a long-established business in the first two. English is widely spoken and travel is easy. More than anywhere in the region, you could even get by without a guidebook - local tourist offices are pretty good for info.

That said, if you do want a guide, this is probably the most reliable one for practical details. The 10th edition, published in January 2007, actually seems to have been more thoroughly updated than some previous ones, with some new attractions and accomodation options added - unlike in certain other LP guides, where only prices are changed from edition to edition. Of course practical details may change even by the time the book is published (remember it was researched in early 2006), but in general these 3 countries are pretty stable and inflation is low. Sure, the odd errorous/outdated info did slip in, but is far outweighed by all the useful stuff.

My only complaint about this book might be that it still pretty much concentrates on established, popular tourist attractions and major cities/towns. Don't expect to find many tips on locating hidden gems or exploring remote corners of the country, particularly Borneo. For that kind of info, I found the Rough Guide to these countries better than LP, though RG's practical info is often more dated. Decide what's more important to you!

If you are going to these countries for the first time, and only have a few weeks on hand to spend there, you will probably find the information provided by this guide both sufficient and largely accurate.
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on 6 January 2005
This guide book was very helpful for my travels in Langkawi, Penang, KL and Singapore. The accommodation options were extensive, and it was very easy to navigate with this book. However the train times were slightly off, and it worked out a lot faster to take the bus. Overall thanks Lonely Planet.
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on 8 August 2005
Usual good guide book from Lonely planet. Good ideas on places to go, how to get to them and where to stay when you get there. Sometimes a little brief, but enough to get you around and to have a good time. I only used the book for a 3 week holiday around Peninsula Malaysia though (KL, Khota Bharu, Pehentian, Penang, Langkai, Taman Negare), so can't comment on content for Sabah or Sarawak.
One piece of advice: space allowing, if I'm going to one country only I've benefitted greatly from taking both the Rough Guide and the the Lonely Planet. Malaysia is one of the countries where having both books allows you make better decisions by allowing you to compare and contrast what's written in both (which often differs somewhat), and the increase in weight is more than made up for by the increase in knowledge. If you're that desperate on space I'd recommend buying both and using a knife to 'cut out' the sections of places you're not going to (as you bought the book to use, not show to your friends on your book shelf, right?), taping it back together down the spine to make your ultimate boodle book. This technique works well with other bulky Lonely planet books - such as Thailand and Australia - where you're many of the readers will only be visiting small sections of the country and not need all the book, and who wants to carry dead weight?
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on 21 November 2009
I used this guide as a basis for travels to Singapore, Mersing in Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur. I appreciate that events can render guide books obsolete, but so many errors? As examples (and I could go on)... in Singapore the harbour boat cruise company mentioned did not take single travellers. They wanted groups. I got another company there, but that was a waste of a longish journey and taxi fare. The shopping guide led to stores where prices were more expensive than London. In Malaysia, another recommendation for a boat tour company where the person running it had stopped ages ago. Every day it seemed that a piece of information I would rely on was duff.
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on 24 March 2007
I used this book as the only reference to plan a 2 week holiday and to drive around Western Malaysia. It is stuffed with valuable information and organised in the usual fashion for lonely planet books. After arriving in KL and exploring the city for several days my wife and I drove north to Penang. Then we drove east to Kota Bharu and south via Terengganu and Pahang to Malacca and subsequently further south to Singapore. It is a detailed enough guide and shows the major areas of interest and is suitable for the independent traveller. I recommend it without reservation. The only and minor criticism is that the book is slightly larger than the usual small size guides from Lonely Planet and therefore I had to carry it in a rucksack and not in my pocket. However perhaps this is inevitable due to the detailed information it offers.
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on 20 February 2011
As usual, Lonely Planet have produced the best guidebook on the market. I always use Lonely Planet, but take the time to look through other guidebooks as well - I always find LP is the most wide-ranging and reliable. Things change, naturally: prices fluctuate and shops and resturants move location or - occasionally - close down, but overall this edition provides well-balanced information that acts as the perfect starting point for any trip around the Malaysian Peninsula or the island of Borneo.
It does make me smile a little, however, when people write unfavourable reviews of Lonely Planet for being slightly inaccurate with pricing, or 'not providing enough detail' about places to stay, for example. The very essence of Lonely Planet is the idea that you should go and explore - the guide is exactly that: a guide. It's not supposed to be a completely comprehensive overview of every single place to stay, every place one can possibly eat, or every market, shop or watering hole. For me, the whole point of going travelling is to explore; it's fantastic to have recommendations as a starting point from someone trusted who has been there before and that's what I use Lonely Planet guidebooks for. Anyway, straying off the point somewhat... If you want to travel rather than go on holiday, buy.
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on 5 June 2012
Arrived as described and well packaged. I have still to read the book fully but have dipped in and out. Would compliment other books on the subject as this gives a good overview on the different areas.
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on 5 July 2010
Disappointing guide. Felt descriptions of places to stay were so vague or misleading as to offer little or no help in deciding where to go. Repeatedly found entries were laughably off the mark. Miserable back-packer dives were regularly given glowing reviews, when a more honest 'dire but cheap' description would have been more helpful. Entries on a number of places in the Perhentian Islands should be taken with a very large pinch of salt. Other quibbles would be the atrocious quality of the maps, which are very unclear (try telling the difference between a village place name and a minor attraction on the Taman Negara map on p.295, or indentifying where the beaches are on the washed-out monochrome Perhentian map on p.321), and the generally confusing layout of the book, with advice on 'getting around' not often where you'd expect it to be. All these criticisms are in comparison to previous editions, where coloured, topographical maps were much more in evidence and advice on bus, rail and air links always directly adjacent to the relevant section.

This edition seems to have been needlessly 'modified', with a general reduction in coherency and the quality of information compared to previous editions. It's not going to get you into trouble, but it's not going to provide a huge amount of help either. Expect to have to do a lot of internet research in parallel, and try and visit places to stay before confirming bookings - the descriptions here are anodyne in a way you might expect from an advertising brochure.
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on 28 December 2012
I wouldn't use anything other than Lonely Planet when planning my holidays! We prefer to buy flight tickets and make the rest up as we go and Lonely Planet gives us more than enough information to do this.
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on 2 December 2012
Lonely Planets are the bible for all travellers, this one was no exception. We used it on a daily basis on our travels in Malaysia and Singapore. I was once in a cafe in Siem Reap in Cambodia and I counted 16 people with a copy of the Lonely Planets South East Asia on a shoe string!
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