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    $16.50 $16.40 list($25.00)
    1. Japan (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    $16.50 $16.37 list($25.00)
    2. Turkey (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    $16.20 $12.06 list($18.00)
    3. To Asia with Love: A Connoisseurs'
    $7.19 $5.16 list($7.99)
    4. Lonely Planet Korean Phrasebook
    $12.89 $12.68 list($18.95)
    5. Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route
    $12.23 $11.48 list($17.99)
    6. Lonely Planet Hong Kong &
    $14.93 list($21.95)
    7. Tahiti & French Polynesia
    $14.93 $14.34 list($21.95)
    8. Moon Handbooks South Korea (Moon
    $8.96 $6.79 list($9.95)
    9. Culture Smart Thailand: A Quick
    $23.95 $16.40
    10. Mapping the Tibetan World
    $14.95 $14.43 list($21.99)
    11. Lonely Planet Bhutan (Lonely Planet
    $10.87 $10.65 list($15.99)
    12. Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Railway:
    $39.99 $31.00
    13. Great Escapes Asia (Jumbo)
    $14.95 $14.67 list($21.99)
    14. Lonely Planet Nepal (Lonely Planet
    $23.95 $16.23
    15. Mongolia: Empire of the Steppes
    $13.57 $13.21 list($19.95)
    16. Comrades and Strangers : Behind
    $17.95 $11.82
    17. Kids Love Israel Israel Loves
    $16.49 $14.81 list($24.99)
    18. Frommer's China
    $16.49 $16.36 list($24.99)
    19. Lonely Planet Korea (Lonely Planet
    $14.25 $11.73 list($20.95)
    20. Mongolia: The Bradt Travel Guide

    1. Japan (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    by John Benson
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789497190
    Catlog: Book (2003-09)
    Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
    Sales Rank: 12129
    Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Includes: Tokyo, Central Honshu, Kyoto City, Western Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa, Northern Honshu, and Hokkaido. ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars These are Fabulous Books
    Japan is a place one does not visit every day and it is expensive. Also I like to go well armed with maps and books because unlike the USA or Canada some areas have no english signs so the more information the better. I would recommend this book, and at least one book on Japan's society - see Amazon.com plus a good map book.

    I first discovered these books (a series Eyewitness Travel) by accident. The photos and desicriptions and cutaway drawings are excellent. Plus they throw in some history and details on the art and many other things of interest including places to eat. A solid effort - lots of stuff to see and absorb. What is attractive about this book is that it pulls a lot of things together such as history and culture and urban areas. But the book brings it all to life with just magnificent photos and maps.

    Jack in Toronto

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eyewitness is the gold standard in travel guides!
    I do hope DK will publish individual Eyewitness guides to Kyoto and Tokyo. To fit all of Japan into one guide is an unreasonable task, so I considered this book to be an overview at best. Even so they managed to include a great deal of detail and I found it extermely useful throughout my recent trip to Japan. There were many instances where Eyewitness Japan gave more detailed information on a particular sight than the Lonely Planet city guides for Kyoto and Tokyo.

    I love the way the Eyewitness guides organise the information in a way that is similar to how you will actually tackle it when traveling; first by region than neighborhood. It is all very visual and user friendly, but also quite meaty when you dig into the information. One word about the maps, which I found excellent; very few streets in Japan are labeled, only the major ones, and many streets don't have names at all, so street names are not really relevant. I often found myself orienting myself by the last shrine I passed.

    Like many people I find the Eyewitness guides to be an excellent resource in planning and navigating my travels, as well as a nice keepsake for my bookshelf when I return. I find their strength to be in guiding you around and explaining the major sights, I look elsewhere for information on dining, lodging and the off-beat. No single guide is good for everything. In fact if it were up to me I would eliminate the hotel and restaurant sections of the Eyewitness guides all together because they are so weak. I loved this guide for what it is, an excellent overall view of Japan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eye-catching guide is a worthy investment
    This is sort of a "Japan! Wow!" type of guide, full of eye-popping graphics and catchy factoids. It is a very fun guide, and does a great job of engaging enthusiasm for Japan and its wonders. The makers definitely know their audience, and all of the weird and wild parts of the country and its culture are captured.

    Nothing off the beaten path here, only the major attractions of each city/region are represented. It is wide but not deep. Pricing information and such is well done, and gives an accurate picture of what to expect. Tidbits of culture and history help explain what you will be seeing and make for interesting overall reading.

    Even as someone living in Japan, I find this guide to be valuable and fun. It has sparked my interests in several sites and is a great reminder of places that I have been.

    For a deeper travel guide, I recommend "Gateway to Japan." That combined with "Exploring Japan" should be all you need to plan a snazzy and enjoyable trip.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, yet still the best
    I agree that this Eyewitness guide is perhaps best for shorter trips to Japan - depth is lacking for more extended journeys. It is perfect for main stops - Tokyo and Kyoto are covered really well, and there is a good section on more rarely visited Okinawa (you get the sense that the authors really love that most southerly of all Japan's prefectures). The coverage of other places is perfectly adequate for a one-day stop over there.

    I can nit-pick on small things: maps could be more detailed, more subjective focus could be given to sightseeing in order to prioritize more meaningfully (Frommer is the best for this at the moment) and there is the old problem of being too sparing on useful websites. However, it is still head and shoulders above the competition, and if you want to lug around just one book, this is it.

    The section on accommodation and restaurants is superb, I have not seen more inspired (and inspiring) descriptions and depictions of Japanese food anywhere else. True, graphic representation of communal bathing facilities in ryokan guesthouses made me firmly make a choice of a Western-style hotel; but at least I am glad that the guide was honest with me.

    Transport section (buying railway tickets, finding your way) could have been more helpful and give some handy tips instead of noting that findining an address is pain in the neck. Language section is perfectly adequate for the scope of this book.

    Unless you intend to spend more than three days in Tokyo or Kyoto, you really do not need separate guides for these cities.

    The best thing? Guiding you towards reasonable prices and not selling the usual story of price doom and scare travellers off with proverbial $10.00 cups of coffee. Yes, you can spend this kind of money in Ginza - so what? You don't need to. Of course if you eat Kobe steaks and fugu fish every day, meals will be pricy. But who says you need to do that? What's wrong with noodle bars and bento boxes? Thanks Eyewitness for not trying to bang the old drum of scaremongering and gently leading the reader through the maze of a totally different culture.

    If you are going to Japan for, say, a week or ten days, this will be money well spent. Highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book...
    Having travelled to Japan on two occassions (once as an exchange student and once travelling throughout the country alone), I was have mixed feelings about this book.

    Although the book is very well designed and has beautiful pictures (it is nice to show to guests who don't know about Japan), some of the most interesting things are skimmed over (for example Arashiyama in Kyoto has only a short description). I was also very disappointed when I visited Osaka-Castle, as the inside was very much like a museum, and I had expected the reconstruction to have replicas of the original interior decoration. The travel guide did not explain that the interior is completely modernized.

    The other problem is that some of the rural areas - Toyama and Akita for example weren't really covered.

    Nonetheless, there is no better travel guide of Japan on the market (at least designed for English speakers.) There is also coverage of the Ken-rokuen and the various temples.

    Although I think the book is well worth the money, I would also recommend that anyone with Japanese language skills check out the area specific guidebooks designed for Japanese travellers to supplement the information in the book (there are many excellent magazine style ones on large cities such as Kyoto), and ask friends and acquantiances before travelling to spots far from where you are staying. ... Read more


    2. Turkey (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    by Suzanne Swan
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789483297
    Catlog: Book (2003-03)
    Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
    Sales Rank: 18663
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    From Greek and Roman ruins such as Ephesus to busting bazaars to virgin beaches, this guide brings the reader the best that Turkey has to offer. Includes extensive coverage of the different quarters of Istanbul and highlights places such as Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. ... Read more


    3. To Asia with Love: A Connoisseurs' Guide to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
    by Kim Fay, Julie Fay
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $16.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0971594031
    Catlog: Book (2004-07)
    Publisher: Global Directions Inc/Things Asian Press
    Sales Rank: 11701
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Off the beaten path tips for adventuring, eating, shopping and sight seeing, from contributors who live, work, teach, write and travel there. Not your regular travel guidebook. Booking your trip, means how to find a boat to take you down the Mekong River, instead of where to get a cheap airline ticket. ne chapter lists opportunities for giving back to the countries you visit. ... Read more


    4. Lonely Planet Korean Phrasebook (Lonely Planet Korean Phrasebook)
    by Minkyoung Kim, J. D. Hilts
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740591666
    Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 17612
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Annyong haseyo! you say, and gently nod a greeting to your new, han-guk ch’in-gu, who comments on how well you speak Korean. You modestly reply chal mot’aeyo…

    With this phrasebook, you can chat with your hosts in the minbak, let your hair down and sing along in a noraebang, or enjoy the stories of friendly farmers and mysterious monks as they guide you around. With a few words in the local language, you’ll be savouring Korea’s disarming hospitality at its best.

    • all the words and phrases for a great stay in Korea
    • a heaped serving of food terms ensures confident menu ordering
    • buy knick-knacks at the market in the local language
    • all there is to know about Korean etiquette and body language
    • easy to use phonetic transliterations of the Hangul script throughout
    • plenty of phrases to join in the friendly fun at soccer games
    ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, current, concise!
    This is the second dictionary/phrasebook I've orded and this one stands heads above the other. The background explanation of the writing system, language, and grammar are really helpful and the phrases used are current (not archaic like the other book I had). I'm really thrilled to have this in my hands--everything is falling into place now! I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in speaking Korean without formal instruction.

    5-0 out of 5 stars to the point
    Living in Korea, I've seen and used several phrasebooks. In most respects, one is as good as another. But this one has the best elementary explanation of Korean grammar I've ever seen in a phrasebook; if you plan to be in Korea long enough to learn a little Korean, this will be the most helpful phrasebook that I know of.

    The problem is that they created their own system of romanization and a few phrases in the book are presented in it but not in Korean. That is really annoying; the phrases are completely worthless unless you want to study LP's unique romanization.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Could do better
    The Lonely Planet(LP) Korean phrase book contains all the things you would expect from it. Unlike other phrase books the LP book has a great introduction to the language with a brief but useful grammar section. LP phrase books always seem to be much more than just a phrase book.

    However the grammar section only contains the romanisation of Korean rather than using the Korean script, Hangul. I think this would be a simple but very effective addition to the book.

    Also I must say that one of the most useful and often entertaining parts of other LP phrase books I own(German and Italian) has been the "dating and romance" section. This section of the Korean book is neither useful nor entertaining. It is simply far too conservative. I assume it has been kept in line with the old confusion traditions of the country, but Korean is now a modern westernised country and far more open and liberal than in the past. It would be nice for LP to reflect this in the subject matter of their phrase book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars VERY AMAZING BOOK!
    I am a French teacher, teaching students French language in Seoul. As a language teacher and a resident of Seoul, this is THE best phrasebook I've ever encountered.
    If you are done skimming through this book, you can get by perfectly in Korea. The romanization system in this book is different (which I like the most!) but it's more accurate than any other system, so when you read the words out from the book to Koreans, they perfectly understand you. (This was never the case with other books. They NEVER understood me.) It's thrilling that people understand me when I simply read the romanization from the book.
    The grammar section and the dictionary section are what I really needed, too. It's so easy to understand and tells you the things that you really needed to know!
    Lastly, the book is so solidly made that it never falls in pieces even when you abuse the book so much like I do. (I wish the book was a little thinner, though.)
    I LOVE THIS BOOK! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good and useful
    This book is quite pleasant and useful to read and browse from..
    However I missed the fact that the dictionary located at the end of the pocket-sized book only shows romanized korean (written Korean using English letters) and does not show Hangeul (the Korean letters). ... Read more


    5. Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route Guide and 29 City Guides
    by Ramsey Zarifeh
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1873756232
    Catlog: Book (2002-02-12)
    Publisher: Trailblazer Publications
    Sales Rank: 60749
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Japan is steeped in legend and myth, perhaps the greatest of which is the popular misconception that the country is simply too expensive to visit. The truth is that flights to Japan are cheaper than they've ever been, accommodation can be great value, while the warm hospitality which awaits every visitor costs nothing at all. The real secret to travelling around the country on a budget, however, is the Japan Rail Pass. With this pass you can travel on some of the fastest trains in the world as often as you like for as long as you please - and all for one bargain price. Use this comprehensive guide in conjunction with a rail pass to get the most out of your trip to Japan.* Practical information - planning your trip; what to take; getting to Japan from Europe, North America and Australasia* City guides and maps - where to stay (all budgets), where to eat, what to see in 29 towns and cities; historical and cultural background * Kilometre-by-kilometre route guides - covering train journeys from the coast into the mountains, from temple retreat to sprawling metropolis and from sulphurous volcano to windswept desert; 34 route maps* Railway timetables - Bullet trains and all routes in this guidebook* Plus - Customs, etiquette, Japanese phrases and 28 colour photos
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nice but limited guide to Japan
    Another in a rather extensive list of rail-oriented books from UK's Trailblazer Guides series, this one centers around Japan, and budget travelers who use the Japan Rail Pass. While fairly complete, it has some obvious structural drawbacks that require supplementing with a more extensive guide. I'd give it 4 stars, with 1 star knocked off for the following deficits.

    * It's pretty much exclusively centered on Japan Rail lines. Considering that Japan is criss-crossed with the so-called "private lines" (Japan Rail was once a government railroad), this leads to some obvious gaps in coverage.

    * Very little food & dining information. Tokyo, for example, gets only a few paragraphs.

    * NO kanji (Chinese characters) or kana (Japanese syllabary) versions of destination signs. This is perhaps its biggest sin, since English-language platform signs and maps are the exception rather than the rule outside of the Tokyo metropolitan area. Unless you can already read kana or kanji, you WILL be confused trying to work out the signs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth it
    This book explains the ins and outs of travel by rail in Japan. It not only manages that but provides a good source of information for seeing the important sites. It gives the quick and easy way to get to the towns and how to get to the places you will want to see. It may need to be fleshed out with a more comprehensive guidebook but this should be a place to start.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If You Buy a Japan Rail Pass, Buy This Book! I Wish I Had!
    I was planning for my month in Japan - mainly in Tokyo but I knew I'd be doing some traveling so I bought a JR pass for 21 days. I went to every bookstore I could find and spent hours looking through the various guides - frommers, lonely planet, rough guide, insight guides, national geographic, and more.

    Oh, how I wish those bookstores had stocked this book! I ended up buying a few of those books, but when I got to Japan, I found this in a bookstore and bought it immediately - for about 3 times the cost as what you'd pay in the States. The other guidebooks were retired and now this is the book I use. It helps me figure out where I should go to enjoy my time in Japan, given that I am travelling by rail. It gives hotel, attraction, and meal information, plus great itineraries and a sense of the best places to go on the rail lines. Just because there's a stop doesn't mean it worth going to, in terms of your precious travel days. This book helps you figure out where to go and why.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive
    This book is a must if you intend to make long-distance travelling using trains in Japan. Very comprehensive and practically written.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide book !
    The best way to travel around Japan is by rail and this book has detail information about it.
    This book include not only train information, but also accommodation, eating place and etc (these are quite useful).
    If you are planning to travel Japan, I definitely recommend this one. ... Read more


    6. Lonely Planet Hong Kong & Macau: City Guide (Lonely Planet Hong KongandMacau)
    by Steve Fallon, Victoria Buntine, Phil Weymouth
    list price: $17.99
    our price: $12.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740594487
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 10960
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    52 Maps ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent Lonely Planet Guide
    Steve Fallon is a perfect guide for walking tours, itinaries, transport (Octopus card), accomodation, eating and shopping in both ancient Western colonies.
    He gives us also an excellent summary of their histories.
    This guide has also a useful map section, although it was not possible to indicate all the street names.
    With its wealth of practical, cultural and historical information, this guide is a necessary companion for all Hong Kong and Macau visitors. It served me every day during my stay in both Western enclaves. I found Hong Kong fascinating. I was there for the 2004 Film Festival which had an excellent program (especially the documentaries) and a perfect organization.
    On the contrary, Macau was a big disappointment. It is still in shambles.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Useful In Most Unexpected Ways!
    I found this guide useful in all the usual practical ways (accomodation, eating, getting around, etc), and I visited the few tourist sites thanks to it, and I LOVED the hikes in the unspoilt New Territories countryside, but I have to say I was grateful for the way the guide alerted me to the unexpected side of Hong Kong - the huge, unruly, pushy-rude crowds, the unpleasant actions and attitudes of so many people, the frankly dreary-quality of much of the over-concreted urban areas (so different from Hong Kong's famous harbour setting, which only looks good from a ferry boat or a hilltop). The comments on why this all was so - the long, sad history of the Chinese refugee movement, pouring into Hong Kong when it was British, the subsequent (also sad) insecurity that resulted, helped me appreciate more the "effervesence" of the city which didn't seem so exhilherating after a few days, but, if anything, more fascinating.

    It also led me to some fascinating books on the subject. I highly recommend Jan Morris's book Hong Kong, which gives great and moving detail on the whole refugee origins of modern Hong Kong and made me realise what an intense human story there lies behind the tourist bureau image of the place (there is much info on the interesting history on British days, too). The book also led me to some fascinating hill walks in the unspoilt north-east of the New Territories (Plover Cove - a world away from the jackhammers, noise and spitting).

    Bo Yang's book The Ugly Chinaman gave me a Chinese account of where all this insecurity and unhappiness and rude behaviour comes from - the centuries of stagnation that went on inside China (he calls the process "the stagnat soy-vat barrel"), the insistance on imitating the past rather than looking forward - there's a lot more to China's story than Confucious and the poetry of Li Po, he insists (I thought Bo Yang's book much more helpful than the Culture Shock guide because it explains to western readers the Chinese actions that actually cause you culture shock; the Culture Shock books tend to just tell you to say "everything's great".)

    Timothy Mo's novel, The Monkey King is a great read and a great description of many Hong Kong Chinese attitudes and actions I encountered on my trip - it centers around a fascinating, eccentric Chinese family living in 1950's Hong Kong but I was amazed at how much was still relevant.

    Paul Theroux's novel, Kowloon Tong, set at the Handover, captures well the sleazy side of Hong Kong money-making and greed, focusing (democratically!) on British, Chinese and American characters living in the city. Really fine description here, and dark irony worthy of Saul Bellow and Gore Vidal.

    And Austin Coates' classic Hong Kong book, Myself a Mandarin, will enrich any westerner's trip (it's the story of a British magistrate in 50's Hong Kong, and I found his stories of dealing with the Chinese, the clash of cultures, the insights he gained, fascinating, hilarious and, once again, oddly relevant and accurate for today's Hong Kong).

    4-0 out of 5 stars A vast improvement over the Ninth Edition
    Disregard Amazon's reader reviews that precede this one. The earlier comments aren't based on this book at all, but were simply ported to this page from the previous edition's. The well-deserved complaints about "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou," Ninth Edition, do not apply to "Hong Kong and Macau," 10th Edition. Note that "Guangzhou" was dropped from the title.

    I never go on vacation somewhere without first buying the Lonely Planet travel book on the destination. So it's been with some frustration that for the last three years, the Hong Kong book has been among the weakest of the series, at least among those I've bought. But the long-awaited update has some badly needed changes and updates.

    The previous edition came out in January 1999, several months after Lonely Planet had released another, entirely different Hong Kong book titled simply "Hong Kong." The "Hong Kong" book was pretty skimpy, including a mere 10 pages or so on Macau. But it did have some helpful color maps at the back of the book.

    When "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou" came out, it included some badly needed material on Macau, as well as the Chinese border cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai. Unfortunately, the book also lumped in about 90 pages on Guangzhou, and another eight-page supplement on "Hong Kong Film." For 99-plus percent of the people who are visiting the Hong Kong area, these pages were only dead weight. Virtually nobody visiting Hong Kong plans to visit Guangzhou, and why should they? It's a long trip, and by the book's own admission, there's nothing there for tourists anyway.

    Even worse, this book was out of date from the moment it hit the streets. Both the "Hong Kong" and "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou" books gave the location of the Hong Kong Museum of History as Kowloon Park. But the museum had already moved when I visited Hong Kong in November 1998, when the "Hong Kong" book had just came out. And so I was more than a little surprised that "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou" repeated the same mistake in its January 1999 printing!

    But what *really* annoyed me was that "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou" didn't have the easy-to-read, easy-to-find color maps of the earlier "Hong Kong" book. Instead, the larger book had ugly, hard-to-read black-and-white maps scattered willy-nilly throughout.

    This has changed under the book's all-new author, Steve Fallon. (Damian Harper does not get credit in this edition, despite what Amazon says.) Fallon has dropped the Guangzhou section and other useless padding, making the book a lot more portable. The Museum of History's current address is in there now. And the color maps from the slim "Hong Kong" book also are in the back of the new "Hong Kong and Macau." The new book still uses the hard-to-read, hard-to-find B&W maps for the border towns and Macau's islands, but that's a quibble I can live with. Other general information throughout also seems to be current.

    I've been looking over the new book for several days now, and overall, it seems that while the worst parts disappeared, the best stuff carried over to the new edition. For instance, I was glad to see that the map of Shenzhen still has the names of landmarks and hotels in Chinese, as well as English. Showing the Shenzhen taxi drivers the Chinese name of where you want to go is usually the only way for non-Chinese-speaking tourists to communicate their intended destination.

    While the new edition is a great improvement, it was at least a year overdue. Three years is a long time to have to wait for an update when so much has changed here, given the change in sovereignty in both Hong Kong and Macau. The ninth edition came out just a couple of months after the Hong Kong handover, and *before* the Macau handover, for crying out loud.

    I don't know if I could have honestly recommended the ninth edition of "Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou," but I certainly can do so for the 10th edition of "Hong Kong and Macau." Even if you don't plan on visiting here in the immediate future, it's an interesting read.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Certainly not the best
    I generally love Lonely Planet guides, but this one is factually inaccurate in many of its addresses, locations, etc. The introductory sections, however, on history, language, and such are as good as they get in a travel guide.

    1-0 out of 5 stars What a load of rubbish!
    This really is one of the most inaccurate guides to HK I have ever seen. I have lived in HK for 5 years and when I first arrived I read the LP guide and thought it was OK. However this edition is almost exactly the same whereas HK has changed dramatically in this time. Some inaccuracies from 1994 are still here and sections like entertainment are terrible - there is more to life than the local Hard Rock cafe. It seems the only change is that the author has added 10% of so to prices and that really is insufficient reason to bring out a whole new book. ... Read more


    7. Tahiti & French Polynesia Guide, 4th Ed. (Open Road Travel Guides)
    by Jan Prince
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $14.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593600364
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
    Publisher: Open Road
    Sales Rank: 239064
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Open Road's best-selling travel guide is fully updated with new hotels, restaurants, cruises and activities!Beautiful French Polynesia is presented by long-time resident and travel writer Jan Prince. Complete coverage of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Tetiaroa, Maupiti, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Tahaa, Tikehau, Manihi, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands, and Gambier Islands. Readers will find out which cruise option is best for them, scuba diving, whale and dolphin watching, where to go for the best Tahitian feasts! Fantastic beachfront resorts, hotels, inns and restaurants, plus fun water sports and land activities. Offers more than double the content for the same price compared to its closer competitor (see below)! ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most used of 3 guide books we took with us to Tahiti.
    Jan Prince's Tahiti & French Polynesia Guide was a great resource to have with us on our trip to French Polynesia. The restaurant and tour references were the most up to date and accurate of the three guidebooks that we took along. We used this book 90% of the time. It was very evident that the book was written by someone that lived in the area. We followed some of the hints on places to see and things to do that were not mentioned in the other guidebooks that we brought along, and could only be known by someone intimate with the area.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best guide book on Tahiti ever published
    My wife and I first went to Tahiti in 1976.Since that time we have bought land and built our vacation home on Moorea,and will always love French Polynesia.We have read almost every guide book ever published and Jan's book is at the very top of the list.Don't go to Tahiti without it as it covers all the questions you will have.This book is much better than the coconut radio for information.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tahiti first glimpse before travelling
    This wonderful book has been highly recommended by my Tahiti specialist Jean-Louis aka Meherio from FlyTahiti.com.
    The suggestion to purchase this book was found on Polynesianislands.com Tahiti forum with many similar recommendations from long time Tahiti travelers.
    According to our travel agent, this book could almost have been the only thing to pack prior to our trip with the children, great advice and suggestions that helped us to keep within our family budget and maximize the fun. We also loved the restaurant suggestions on Moorea like, Le Bateau restaurant or the children's favorite, the Aito restaurant near the Sheraton.
    This book stays on my desk in the office as to keep our promise to return and try the Fare Hamara which we could only see from the road, as it appears to be the true flavor of life on Moorea by Bali Hai! This book is must for any traveler to read before and after visiting Tahiti and her islands!
    DPK

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tahiti to be enjoyed at least once in a lifetime
    Jan Prince has done it again! if not even better yet !
    As a tour operator specializing only to the South Pacific and Part time resident on the island of Moorea, I still find out about the lesser known secret restaurants , activities or those unknown properties on the lesser known islands.

    I recommend to my clients at flytahiti.com this book to prepare for their great and unique vacation to Paradise !

    5-0 out of 5 stars just back from FP
    Jan Prince does an amazing job depicting the islands we visited. I am so glad I picked her book up first. It is quite thorough (even though dated as the US dollar's value has changed). I have to agree with her suggestions of "The Best Hotels". We stayed in Hotel Bora Bora, Kia Ora Sauvage, and the Manihi Pearl Beach Resort and had experiences beyond compare. Ms. Prince also mentions several Polynesian residents (ie. boat owners and hotel managers, and a multitalented Patrick on Bora Bora) who we had the good fortune to meet. I also used Lonely Planet and Hidden Tahiti to research our vacation, both useful but I learned the most from Ms. Prince. I only regret it's size; I chose to bring Lonely Planet with me because it weighed less. ... Read more


    8. Moon Handbooks South Korea (Moon Handbooks : South Korea)
    by Robert Nilsen
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $14.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1566914183
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing
    Sales Rank: 54272
    Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    South Korea is a marriage of ancient and modern: a shopper's paradise where secluded palaces hide amidst skyscrapers, and Buddhist figurines stand tall along hiking trails. How do you create your own mix of new and old? Moon Handbooks South Korea offers thorough coverage not only of major destinations like modern Seoul and the DMZ border area, but also of the country's 3,000 years of history nestled in its quiet temples, secluded palaces, majestic peaks, and emerald-green islands. Thoroughly revised and updated, this guide is packed with fresh information on sights, recreation, accommodation and dining options that cover a broad range of budgets and personal interests. Complete with detailed maps, fascinating sidebars, a newly expanded phrasebook, and a thorough introduction to the country's political and cultural history, Moon Handbooks South Korea is an intelligent choice for independent travelers wishing to experience everything this fascinating destination has to offer. ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful guidebook
    Last year, I lived in Korea for 10 months. I took two guidebooks with me, Lonely Planet and Moon Handbooks. Moon handbooks was by far the superior book. It has everything in it. The first two hundred pages give an introduction to the history, culture, and important travel tips. This was very useful if you're going to the country to learn about the culture as well as see the sights. This book gives a lot of history and even myths and stories about the sites around Korea. Lonely Planet didn't give much information on the cities and sites(Kyoungju, one of the cultural sites of the world, had only a couple of pages on it, whereas the Moon guide had 50); many of the places I went weren't even in Lonely Planet. It tended to focus on hotels and places to eat. I didn't stay in a lot of hotels while I was there, but the ones I did stay at were in the Moon Handbook and were everything they said they'd be. If you're going to Korea and want to learn about the places you're going to, take the Moon Handbook. I never used my Lonely Planet handbook, and left it there when I came home. I still have my Moon Handbook and hope to use it if I get the chance to return.

    3-0 out of 5 stars hmmm, not quite what i'd hoped for.
    If you draw only one thing from this book, it must surely be the conclusion that Robert Nilsen has a deep love of Korea. The historical, cultural and practical information he provides is certainly not lacking in detail and for the most part is very useful. However, his partisan attitude is also the root of many of my critisisms. I travelled for 3 weeks with a Japanese friend and found that Japanese (nor English for that matter) is not particularly widely spoken at all, although Mr Nilsen appears to think it is. Some of his descriptions of historical events read like propaganda, somewhat lacking in objectivity, which also applies to some descriptions of places to visit. His tendency to wax lyrical can raise your expectations and leave you a little disappointed. At one point, he compares the: half dozen temples; one worthwhile museum; couple of peculiarities and seemingly several million burial mounds and buddist statues/paraphernalia, which all look exactly alike, of Kyong-ju, to the hundreds of temples, castles, palaces, zen gardens, museums etc, etc of Kyoto, in Japan. My other major critisism of this book is that it is badly in need of an update. Korea appears to have suffered from horrific inflation since the last time Mr Nilsen was there and prices quoted in the book may have risen by as much as 50%. If you use this book to budget your trip add AT LEAST another 30% onto your total. So, in conclusion.... Worthwhile reading, generally useful and informative, but take it with just a little pinch of salt - you've been warned!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just an excellent guidebook!
    South Korea is not as tourist-accesible as other countries and as someone who lived in Korea for two years I really think this was a must-have. I loved traveling all over S. Korea and was able to get many destination ideas from places that Mr. Nilsen described. This book was invaluable in giving information about historic/important sites that I would otherwise have overlooked or just never have known about. Well-researched and clearly written by an author who knows and cares about his subject. That was important to me because I really grew to love Korea in the time I spent there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Robert KNOWS South Korea
    this is the best korea travel book currently in the market.
    much better than the lonely planet one.
    this guy seems to knows everything about south korea,
    maybe more than native koreans.
    the background info sections..(history,culture..)
    is just amazing. a truly recommendable book.
    if you're planning to visit korea, or just interested in
    anything about korea, get this book.
    you won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is Great.
    The Moon Travel South Korean Handbook is one of the finest travelbooks and despite its age remains the best guide to seeing anything of interest to see on the peninsula. I am Korean and I use this guide when I tour temples or others attractions here.
    Posters on this forum complain there are not enough refence to hotels and restaurants but dont realize that in Korea restaurants and many hotels come and go so fast that this information would be useless before the book hit the presses.
    This is also true of bus numbers etc.
    The information with regard to Cultural Attractions has super attention to detail and this is true when Nilsen describes out of the way more hidden treasures Korea has to offer.
    Get this book !!! ... Read more


    9. Culture Smart Thailand: A Quick Guide to Cultoms & Etiquette (Culture Smart)
    by Roger Jones
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1558687785
    Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
    Publisher: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 63257
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    Book Description

    Culture Smart! is a new series of travel guides written for the traveler on the go. Each volume is a quick, accurate guide to customs and etiquette.

    Outstanding features of CULTURE SMART! * All the essential cultural and etiquette points are covered, making you confident in a variety of situations. * You will know what to expect in each particular culture.* You will learn how to behave in specific social and business situations.* Essential attitudes and values are clearly explained.* You will find each topic a quick, easy read due to the concise writing style. * Laid out in a clear and easy-to-read format. * Each book has the same look, page count, and organization for reference use. * Small and light, it tucks into your pocket or purse for on-the-go use. * Your Culture Smart! books are written by a staff of experts consult on world travel as a profession.

    Be smart!Take Culture Smart! along when you travel abroad! ... Read more


    10. Mapping the Tibetan World
    by Atsushi Kanamaru, Kotan Publishing
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $23.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0970171609
    Catlog: Book (2001-02-01)
    Publisher: Kotan Publishing
    Sales Rank: 130560
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Whether you are visiting the central Tibetan plateau or more easily accessible Tibetan areas in northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, or western China this is the guidebook that gives you all the information you require to truly explore this wonderful region. The Tibetan way of life thrives in many areas outside of the area commonly known as "Tibet".

    With a unique collection of over 280 highly detailed, tried and tested maps in combination with more than 400 pages of practical travel information and 339 illustrations, color and black & white photographs, "Mapping the Tibetan World" is a one-stop guide and map book to this entire Tibetan region.

    The more than 280 maps are clear, concise and packed with useful information as well as all the relevant towns, villages, monasteries, trekking routes and base camps as well as other points of interest along the way. There are country maps that cover all of the main Himalayan destinations including double page maps of Nepal and Bhutan. Bus route & highway maps, which help with planning your routes into the region and in getting around. The regional & local maps along with special ones showing large monasteries and sights of special interest will allow you to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the place without those nagging worries that you are missing out on something just around the corner. This collection of maps is the most comprehensive ever offered in a guidebook covering the Himalayas and many of them are simply unavailable anywhere else. Please see the Interior Artwork provided above for a taste of what to expect.

    The travel information provided includes difficult to find bus and train timetables, air schedules, sample budgets and model routes as well as hotel rates, restaurant suggestions and hundreds of interesting sights to see. This is supplemented by a balanced look at the historical, cultural and religious backdrop to the Tibetan way of life.

    There are language sections covering both the Tibetan and Chinese languages. Each town is identified by it's Tibetan and Chinese name (and at times Nepalese) and also by it's local name where the regional dialect is different. To further assist in your endeavors to get from A to B there is a full map and location index alongside an appendix crammed full of place names in English along with their names in Chinese characters.

    Readers who stand to benefit from this book include: *Independent Travelers Any traveler planning to explore any part of the Tibetan Cultural Area, whether in Tibet, China, Nepal, India or Bhutan. *Group Tours Anyone who is joining a group tour to the Himalayas and is in search of background information on the history of the area, the culture and customs of the people or the festivals and complex world of Tibetan Buddhism.*Trekkers Those adventurous souls who are aiming to tackle the Everest routes from either the Nepal or Tibet side, challenging the Annapurna sanctuary or attempting Mt. Kangchenjunga among the many other peaks in the region. *Travel Professionals Travel and trekking agencies will be able to offer better organized and more in-depth travel packages to their clients by using this book. *Scholars & Others Anyone studying, researching or with a general interest in the region will gain invaluable information and gain access to a unique set of maps. You will gain further knowledge of the Tibetan people and the areas they call home and it will act as reference resource for years to come. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ambitious & Successful
    'Mapping the Tibetan World' is a very ambitious project, and one that succeeds brilliantly.

    The once-great Tibetan world, though based on common culture and language, has splintered over the centuries into slabs attached to China, India and Nepal--with Bhutan the sole independent nation remaining. This book reassembles the complex jigsaw into a cohesive whole again, making it the perfect guidebook for travellers keen on visiting overlapping regions of the Tibetan plateau on a single trip.

    The marvel is how all the complex data is compressed into 424 pages. The maps are highly detailed and many are not found in other sources: among them are excellent trekking maps.

    If you want to explore the Tibetan sphere of influence, this is the book.

    Michael Buckley, travel writer, author of Heartlands: Travels in the Tibetan World and the Tibet Travel Adventure Guide

    3-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps my previous review offended...
    I wonder what happened to my original review, which seems to have disappeared...

    I had tried to go against the conventional wisdom about this book and recommend that, if one is not interested in purely religious destinations, another book might be in order.
    This book is concerned only with religious destinations in Tibet.
    Mountain climbers, trekkers, or bikers concerned perhaps with more terrestrial matters would be better served by a book with mile markers, better maps, and more information on lodging.

    I was in Tibet in March of 2002 climbing Mt. Nojin Kansa. I had this book; another guy had a book I won't bother (this time) to name. I constantly referred to the other book for mile markers, pass altitudes, international phone providers, etc.

    This book will get thee to a nunnery in short order. It will not provide the best maps or travel details.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So good I bought it twice!
    At first glance, I thought this guide would be difficult to use as I was so used to the layout of Lonely Planet. However, I quickly adapted to it and found it very informative and reasonably up to date. Most useful was the section on Buddhism when visiting the extraordinary temples in Tibet, as well as advice on routes to take and how to get places. Unfortunately, after a vehicle accident just outside of Lhasa, my book went missing somewhere between the side of the road and the hospital bed (don't let that put you off visiting this remarkable country!). So I was overjoyed when I discovered the guide again in Kathmandu, and bought another copy so I could continue to use it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars portable encyclopedia of the Tibetan world i was waiting for
    Mapping the Tibetan World is the portable encyclopedia of the Tibetan world i was waiting for !
    I have now this wonderful little book always close to me so that i can read a bit here and a bit there whenever i have five minutes to spare.
    It has informations on all aspects of Tibetan life, culture, history and geography as well as Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and symbols.
    The many maps included makes it easy to plan your trip in Tibet and other Tibetan cultural regions.
    The only suggestions i could make to the publisher would be a LARGE PRINT version for people who like me have bad eyesight, and may be a color coding to distinguish the various regions (chapters).
    A wonderful job done by this team of young explorers, many thanks to them !

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best guide to Tibet
    This book is a must for travellers, it has easily the best set of maps to Tibet that I have ever seen and they are really easy to follow. The travel information is also very detailed, especially when it comes to the local public transport timetables and routes. I am also impressed that it covers in detail all the Tibetan areas in the Chinese controlled areas and beyond and not just around Lhasa. ... Read more


    11. Lonely Planet Bhutan (Lonely Planet Bhutan)
    by Stan Armington
    list price: $21.99
    our price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1864501456
    Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 66895
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Trek remote regions and experience spectacular tsechu festivals.Behold sublime mountain monasteries and imposing dzongs.This guide opens the door to the last Himalayan Buddhist kingdom.

    • 37 detailed maps, including a colour country map
    • illustrated sections on architecture, festivals and textiles
    • comprehensive cultural, historical and religious commentary
    • coverage of the world's only yeti reserve
    • notes on a range of trekking options
    ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide for traveling to Bhutan!
    I bought this guide before my first trip to Bhutan, and it helped me immensely in planning my tour. It contains detailed information about the country--history, culture, geography, and facts for travelers. And it gives accurate information about the trekking routes and cultural tours. As is typical for Lonely Planet publications, this one is interesting and well written, and I found the information to be relevant to my trip. It is not easy to travel to Bhutan (there are many government restrictions), and this book made everything easier. I had such a successful, fun trip that I've been back several times (www.jachungtravel.com), and I still refer to this edition of the guide. It's packed with good information, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go to Bhutan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Again, Lonely Planet got there first - excellent outcome !
    I have no bounds whatsoever to the Lonely Planet publishing house, other than a deep emotional affection towards their guidebooks. Yet, as a world traveler, I cannot but admire their comprehensive coverage of virtually every corner of the world. Almost every place you could dream of visiting is covered in one or more of their guidebooks. And as one would expect... they also made it to this tiny Himalayan kingdom, where less than 4'000 tourists visit each year. The guidebook is great and contains all you need - plenty of information, data, tips, advice, as well as very well written (actually fascinating !) sections on the local history, culture, religion, architecture, etc. At first impact, the guidebook may prove a little disappointing to you, as it explains that most travelers can only go to Bhutan on a guided tour. But this is not quite what it sounds: a guided tour will be tailored just for you - with only 4'000 tourists a year you won't mind being 'guided'. Since you are likely to be in Bhutan with your own guide, this book may not be an essential tool for travel survival, but it surely is a wonderful tool that will make your stay more enjoyable and fascinating. It will enable you to tell your guide what you want to see, to make your itinerary, etc. It will enable you to choose your preferred hotels or restaurants (to be agreed with your tour operator in Bhutan), and even decide where to do your shopping (the choice in Thimphu consists in two or three superb local markets !). But the most valuable sections are probably those on the local culture, an unspoiled culture where the people practice their faith through millenary religious traditions. The guidebook will tell you things you will want to know about the people, their monasteries, their life ! If you go and don't have it with you, you may regret it. ...

    3-0 out of 5 stars May be, finally...
    Hello!

    I'd been searching for a book on Bhutan which could provide me with a little bit of everything about the country viz. the history, geography, people and the culture. I have searched for books on Bhutan in several book stores around. It was so hard to find one in English but I think this one will do.

    May be, finally......... I have found the book I'd been looking for.

    4-0 out of 5 stars In the Thunder Dragon Kingdom adorned with sandalwood
    Lonely Planet is unbelieveable! They continually pump out the HIGHEST quality guidebooks, and they've done it again with this edition covering Bhutan. I have spent a good portion of my life researching, and hording information on Bhutan, and have found Lonely Planet's guidebook to contain everything and more that the traveller could ever want...with two exceptions. I think that the lack of the U'cen script in the language chapter is a serious mistake. Lonely Planet has the capacity to print in the U'cen script as they did so in their Tibet edition. My other qualm is with the sparse coverage of the smaller and admittedly FAR less visited dzongkhags (districts) (i.e., Daga, Samdrup Jongkhar, Pema Gatshel, Zhemgang, Tsirang, etc.). Lonely Planet, resolve these issues and your book will be the best it could be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A cut above the rest
    If you're thinking of going to Bhutan, be advised there's not a whole lot out there to read in preparation, and of what there is, this guide is one of the best. Tourist travel in Bhutan is strictly controlled, and your itinerary is usually planned in advance, so lots of info on hotels, etc. isn't all that necessary. This guide focuses on history, culture and the life of the people--food, housing, dress. Along with the Passport/Odyssey guide by Pommerat, it's all you need. Have fun! ... Read more


    12. Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Railway: A Classic Overland Route (Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Railway)
    by Simon Richmond, Mara Vorhees
    list price: $15.99
    our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1864503351
    Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 113397
    Average Customer Review: 2.75 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    From Moscow, past the unique Lake Baikal and on to Beijing or Vladivostok, follow in the tracks of Victoria-era adventurers. Whether you plan to take one week or 10, this invaluable new guide will see you from one end of the world's longest train route to the other.

    • 35 maps covering routes as well as major cities
    • Russian, Mandarin and Mongolian language guides for that essential 'train talk'
    • includes the Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Manchurian branches of the line
    • advice on planning, from organising visas and permits to stocking up on a essentials alongthe way
    • in-depth features on history, literature and nature
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but fast outdated!
    We've used the book in july/august 2002 for a trip from Beijing to Helsinki. Much information in the book, but a lot of it is copy-past'ed from the country guides.
    Another reviewer remarked on the rapidly changing circumstances in the countries... no guide can outrun those.
    We visited Beijing, Irkutsk, Listvanka, Jekaterinaburg, Moscow and Saint-Peterburg. Most of the time we found accomodation from the book. At that time, the Trans-siberian handbook (Thomas Bryn - ISBN 1873756704) was older.

    We had both books: LP fresh of the press and Thomas Bryn's book - THE guide to have.
    Thomas' had a new edition in february 2004. Best to take the most recent editions of guidebooks. The handbook is more interesting to read, so that's a must. You'll have plenty of time to read!

    The trip is recommended to anyone: we found a british couple with 2 kids doing it! Don't be too easily discouraged, try to take the east-west trip (to avoid wagons full of tourists!).

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Nearly Impossible Task
    Given the pace that Russia, Mongolia, and China are changing and developing, it is an incredibly daunting task to write a travel guie attempting to cover all three countries in any level of detail. Inevitably hostels shut down, restaurants move, store hours change, and even train schedules fluxuate.

    This book is a decent rough guide and the only one of its kind. For that reason I rated it a three. It was sufficient for my trip on the railway, but I wouldn't call it a "Survival guide" as such. I'm usually a huge supporter of The Lonely Planet, but in this particular instance they have not done a supurb job.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Lot of information, but not correct
    I was impressed about amount of information, but there are so many errors, especially in russian words and transcription, I can count up to 5 errors on page. Seems that publisher was in a hurry and didn't correct original text or author(corrector?) was not competent in this stuff.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A poor second
    I recently travelled on the Trans-Sib via Mongolia and so was very keen to see Lonely Planet's new release but having looked through it seems a very poor second as a travel companion to Bryn Thomas' handbook.

    It seems to lack the detail you really need when on the train but does give some useful guides to places along the way, however lacks the concise detail that Thomas' guide gives.

    Glossy, but not the definitive guide and why take two? ... Read more


    13. Great Escapes Asia (Jumbo)
    by Shelley-Maree Cassidy
    list price: $39.99
    our price: $39.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 3822819131
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-31)
    Publisher: Taschen
    Sales Rank: 35247
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Find your inner Zen

    Much more than a travel or holiday guide, Great Escapes Asia is first and foremost a paradisiacal photo album. Featuring opulent photographs of places that seem too perfect to be real, some of which look like James Bond movie sets or National Geographic subjects, this book will quickly convince you that an Asian sojourn is crucial to your mental and physical wellbeing. The icing on the cake is that not only do these hotels really exist, but—thanks to the pricing and contact information provided—you can succumb to their mysterious charms and book yourself a room (or houseboat, hut, or tree house, whatever the case may be).

    Among the gems waiting for you in Great Escapes Asia:
    • In Kerala, India, choose between luxurious tree houses suspended 25 meters off the ground or futuristic-looking, Star Wars-style houseboats made of bamboo poles, palm leaves, and coconut fibers
    • Are you more the resplendent-resort or budget-bungalow type? Find the best of both in Bali
    • The best place for a delectable cup of joe: a luxury lodge and spa on a java plantation in (you guessed it) Java
    • In the Philippines, an organic resort composed of superimposed huts whose every room affords instant access to the beach via rope ladder
    • Tadao Ando’s sprawling minimalist concrete-and-steel hotel attached to the contemporary art museum in Naoshima, Japan—the perfect place to contemplate on the relationship between humans and nature
    • An exclusive hotel on a private island in Sri Lanka, once owned by Paul Bowles and frequented by Arthur C. Clarke and Peggy Guggenheim
    • Thatched-roof cottages in India whose gardens overflow with mangos, nutmeg, and cardamom
    • An Ayurvedic spa in the Himalayas where nothing matters but peace and relaxation
    • In Myanmar, an elegant river cruise boat and a hotel on a breathtaking archeological site
    • Chairman Mao’s former getaway in Beijing, where you can rent his lavish, traditionally-decorated suite complete with adjoining concubine rooms

    Countries:
    Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book to read, admire and love
    This is not just a book, it's a piece to have in your living room, to read, to look and dream about. The photos are fantastic and the descriptions tell all you need to know about the place, includinding the prices and exactly locations. A book for you, your friends and family. ... Read more


    14. Lonely Planet Nepal (Lonely Planet Nepal)
    by Bradley Mayhew, Lindsay Brown, Wanda Vivequin
    list price: $21.99
    our price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740594223
    Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 23267
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Keen on chilling in Kathmandu or hellbent on hiking the Himalaya? Wander the streets of Nepal’s historic Durbar Squares and trek to where the Himalaya meets the heavens with this action-packed guide to the mountain kingdom.

    • 55 detailed maps
    • tips for trippers pursuing a natural high
    • an illustrated colour section on the divine beings who watch over Nepal
    • the scoop on where to nosh out and where to doss down
    • a language chapter and glossary to help tackle the local lingo
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Traveler's Bible for Nepal
    Before traveling alone to Nepal, Tibet and Thailand in the summer of 1998, one of the first things I did was purchase travel books. My main purpose was to find a book which would serve as my travel guide. This was a very important factor since I wasn't even going on a tour. The right or wrong book could make or break my trip. I spent many hours at local bookstores as well as online bookstores looking for the perfect travel guide. Space was a factor for me since I wanted to travel unencumbered by a lot of luggage so I decided to buy an appropriate all encompassing book for each of the three countries. The Lonely Planet's Travel Survival Kit for Nepal was a comfort to have on my travels AND it was also an indispensable source of information for planning the trip, before I even booked my flight! If I had a question, I could usually find the answer in the book. Some particularly helpful information covered vaccines I would need prior to the trip, suggested items I should think about taking with me, highlighted many, many places of interest and included their background and history, covered visas, passports and the necessary documents along with entrance and exit fees charged upon arrival and departure and much more. Also, there are specific sections on women traveling alone, recreational activites, photos and maps, places to stay and even a section of Nepali phrases and words. If I felt uncomfortable or wasn't sure about something, all I had to do was open up my Lonely Planet and find the answer! Above all, I would definitely recommend that you find the right book for you since travelers have different needs. Peruse the books inside and out at your local library or bookstore. You can ask for recommendations and read reviews like mine, but ultimately, you're probably going to be far from home, and you want to make certain you have the essentials. This book, for me, was one of those essentials!

    4-0 out of 5 stars The book doesn't cover the whole country
    It's undoubtely a very good guide, with lots of informations, but it only covers the southern part of Nepal, and contains no informartion about the Himalayan region (for example, cities such as Namche Bazaar and Lo Manthang are not covered). ... Read more


    15. Mongolia: Empire of the Steppes (Odyssey Illustrated Guides)
    by Claire Sermier, Helen Loveday
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $23.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 9622176895
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-20)
    Publisher: Odyssey Publications, Ltd.
    Sales Rank: 123900
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    A colorful and informative guide to the land of the Genghis Khan—whose empire once extended from China to Europe—as it adjusts to life in the 21st century. Much of the old Mongolia is still to be found; herdsmen, horses and hospitality. And yet daily people flock to seek a more modern lifestyle in Ulaan Baatar, the capital city. The Mongolians have only recently shaken off the mantle of communism and are eagerly recreating their own national identity. This book helps the traveler better understand this transition while providing essential information for making a really worthwhile visit to this rugged and incomparable land.

    • Illuminating insights into Mongolian customs and culture • Insightful analysis of Mongolia's different ethnic groups, cultures and traditions • Exceptional color photography • Special sections on traditional crafts, music, customs, etiquette and seasonal celebrations—including the famous Nadaam festival • Practical advice for getting around, what to see and do • The search for the tomb of Genghis Khan • Dinosaur eggs and recent discoveries from prehistory • 60 color photographs, 7 maps ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great information, great pictures
    Like the Iran guide in this series, this book features good facts for people considering going to Mongolia, and enough pictures to make you seriously consider it. As with the Iran guide, it doesn't feature all the indepth fact and figures that would make it a helpful guide inside of the country, but it makes a great fact book. There's a brief section on the language in the back, oodles of address for getting a visa, and plenty of goregeous pictures. I can't think of a downside to this book, because it fulfills its purpose perfectly. Excellent work.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best Mongolia guide on the market
    Unfortunately this wasn't published until a few days after I got back from my trip. This guide contains excellent descriptions of the cities and sites, along with the historic background you need to really appreciate Mongolia in the 21st century. Reading it after I got back helped refresh my memory - and put names to some of the photographs I took.

    The only downside to this book is that the maps - a handful covering about five aimags (provinces) apiece - are so high-level as to be almost useless. The Lonely Planet guide, though out-of-date and surprisingly negative - has more and better maps. ... Read more


    16. Comrades and Strangers : Behind the Closed Doors of North Korea
    by MichaelHarrold
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0470869763
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-13)
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
    Sales Rank: 129354
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    Book Description

    In 1986, as a young graduate looking for some adventure before settling down to life in the suburbs, Michael Harrold answered, on a whim, an advertisement to become the first Briton to live and work in North Korea.  What he anticipated would be an exciting interlude in the world's most secretive country became seven years in which his initial scepticism, even cynicism, about the regime and society developed into growing empathy with the people around him.  From among the ranks of the VIP guests at the major state occasions, to the paddy fields working alongside the farmers, he saw the country as no outsider has ever done.  He loved, and lost, a young local girl, fell foul of the authorities and yet stood beside the people as they faced the mounting threat of US invasion.

    This sensitive and entertaining memoir give a unique insight into life behind the closed doors of North Korea. ... Read more


    17. Kids Love Israel Israel Loves Kids: A Travel Guide for Families
    by Barbara Sofer
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $17.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0929371895
    Catlog: Book (1995-12-01)
    Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
    Sales Rank: 190635
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide for parents taking their children to Israel
    We used this book every day of our 2 week trip to Israel with 3 children aged 1-8.Our friends then borrowed the book for a 3 week trip with 5children aged 6-16.The sections of the book are broken down by geography,with handy maps to assist you in setting up your schedule, whether yourhotel is in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tiberias or Eilat.The greatest benefitsof the book include the phone numbers of the tourist sites as well as thehours which each location is open.The author even recommends ideal hotelsand activities based on your children's ages.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a great book to help plan your Israel travel.
    Whether you have children or not, this book will help you plan your Israeltravel.It lists many attractions, tourist sites, museums, national parks,etc., including hours of operation, phone and fax numbers, and whetherthere is a fee.As a professional travel planner specializing in Israeltravel, I highly recommend this book to all my clients, even thosetraveling without children! ... Read more


    18. Frommer's China
    by PeterNeville-Hadley, J. D.Brown, JoshChin, SharonOwyang, BethReiber, MichelleSans, GraemeSmith
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0764567551
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-16)
    Publisher: Frommers
    Sales Rank: 60320
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Experience a place the way the locals do. Enjoy the best it has to offer. And avoid tourist traps. At Frommer’s, we use 150 outspoken travel experts around the world to help you make the right choices. Frommer’s. Your guide to a world of travel experience.

    Choose the Only Guide That Gives You:

    • Complete coverage of China’s top attractions, plus introductions to unique places unknown to other guidebooks.
    • Outspoken opinions on what’s worth your time and what’s not, written by former residents with comprehesive knowledge of the language and culture.
    • The most accurate, comprehensive, and practical help for the independent traveler.
    • Exact prices, so you can plan the perfect trip no matter what your budget.
    • The best hotels and restaurants in every price range, with candid reviews.

    Visit us online at Frommers.com ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I think tenley peterson is looking at a different book
    My copy of this title has the Chinese in large, useful characters right next to the maps. Only if there's no map for a small town is the Chinese listed in the back, with the information for each town handily grouped together in alphabetical order.

    And like every other guide book, the map for a town is in the middle of the text talking about that town. So what's hard to find? The hotels and places to see are right next to the map in most cases. And since the towns only have one map, what's to guess about which maps things are on?

    I don't know about the Beijing and Shanghai guides, but of course there will be a lot of repeated information. The sights don't change, after all. The best place to eat is the same. Bus 47 still runs the same route. Of course lots of the information is the same. What do you expect?

    But what I do agree on is that this books is waaaaay more accurate than any other I looked at. I'm no fan of the usual schmaltzy Frommer's style, but this book really tells it like it is. It has the most extensive, detailed and accurate practical information of any guide I've seen, including the do-it-yourself budget guides.

    And while we're on the topic of Chinese, note that for every recommended restaurant there are recommended dishes, and the characters for them are given so you can just point to them to order. There's also a good long list of Chinese favourites you can buy anywhere.

    And while the major destinations are covered, this guide also scores with some remote rural destinations I've not seen covered anywhere else, including LP. Even if you don't want to go there, it's fascinating to read about the real China away from the regular tourist routes.

    You know, the first thing you want to check out when you buy a guide is the author biogs. Most of the writers on this guide speak Chinese and have lived in China. It really shows. All the LP and Rough guide readers were borrowing my copy all the time and making notes.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but lacking in some important areas...
    I bought this book because it was the most recently published travel guide on Beijing at the time (Dec '03). I have been living in Beijing for 3 months and have been to several of the places the book recommends. The facts in it are usually accurate; some prices, restaurant names, and phone numbers have changed since the book was published.

    My main qualm with this book is the referencing... it is completely inconvenient. First of all, the Chinese characters of location names are listed in the back of the book, instead of with the desriptions (like most books). This makes is difficult to show people the characters of the place you are looking for if you're lost.

    Also, if you are looking at one of the book's maps, and want to find out more about a certain location, there is no page reference. You have to look the place up in the index and then flip to the description.

    Similarly, there are no map references in the sight-descriptions. (The book has several maps.) You have to guess which map the place would be on, based on the very basic directions given in the description. This can be a pain!!!

    Otherwise, the book proved useful. My friends that had the Lonely Planet guide said that is was much less acurate than my book. Also check out Let's Go when deciding which book to buy.

    I bought this book, Frommers Beijing, and Frommers Shanghai. Altogether they were pretty useful, but had a lot of repeating info between the main book and the city guides. ... Read more


    19. Lonely Planet Korea (Lonely Planet Korea)
    by Martin Robinson, Andrew Bender, Rob Whyte, John Banagan
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740594495
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 33702
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    Book Description

    Densely forested mountains, colourful Buddhist temples and sleek modern cities - discover all this and much more with this bestselling guidebook.Korea's welcoming people, unique culture and incomparable cuisine make it one of the great destinations of Northeast Asia.Whatever your pleasure, we cover it all:North, South, eats, the works!

    * BE INSPIRED by our new highlights and itineraries sections * GET AROUND with the help of over 100 detailed maps, including a full-colour map of Seoul

    * DINE OUT in the best restaurants with our Korean menu decoder * UNDERSTAND - from religion to politics and war, our history and culture chapters will put you in the picture * GO NORTH! Check out our North Korea chapter - even stranger and more sinister than the plot of the Ian Fleming novel you bought at the airport ... Read more


    20. Mongolia: The Bradt Travel Guide
    by Jane Blunden
    list price: $20.95
    our price: $14.25
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1898323941
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
    Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
    Sales Rank: 108678
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    Book Description

    Outer Mongolia is one of the few places on earth where travelers can still explore with a true sense of adventure. Vast tracts of this "land of blue sky"can be discovered on the back of horse or camel for an authentic cultural experience in the style of Genghis Khan's mounted army, or in the comfort of four-wheel drive. Comprehensive coverage of the opportunities for riding, climbing, fishing, biking, and rafting are provided for this top global destination for adventure tourism. Details of the best ways to enjoy Mongolia's festivals are also brought to the fore, especially the famed Naadam--the colorful annual celebration of wrestling, archery, and horse riding, and Tsaagan Sar--the Mongolian New Year. Mongolian hospitality is legendary, making responsible travel and Bradt's customary "giving something back" advice especially relevant for travelers.
    ... Read more

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