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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Lonely Planet or Rough Guide by Wild in Africa on 20 November 2004 6:55pm
Once upon a time there was only one guide book to stuff into your pack and that was anything by Lonely Planet. I still have some of the early Lonely Planets from the 1980s especially for Australia, South East Asia (the Yellow Bible), Papua New Guinea etc.
Now there is a plethora of books on the market and Rough Guide can be said to be close contenders to Lonely Planet for the must have guide books. What do you all use now? I've stuck with Lonely Planet if there is one available for where I'm going but maybe I'm out of date.
Re: Lonely Planet or Rough Guide by rick694uk on 20 November 2004 8:09pm
Lonely Planet guy here, W_I_A. I have bought R_G and there's not much to choose I guess, but I've been L_P for the last few years. Now wouldn't buy any other.

Re: Lonely Planet or Rough Guide by Godfather on 21 November 2004 12:08am

I tend to find it depends on where you're going. One make of guide will be the best for one country,but useless for another. Sometimes LP is best for one, sometimes Footprints has the better book. Here is my take on a few of them.


If you have LP's from the 80's you may be shocked how they've changed. Rather than being just the barebones Survival Kits, they've now trying to be cultural guides aswell. That means,lots of useless but pretty photos,pages and pages on religion and other subjects that will be interesting once you've read them,but will just be extra weight once you've read it. Stories,submissions,etc etc. In short,they're getting thicker and thicker,and heavier and heavier. Much more commerical now, and are creating each book to cater for everyone from budget backpackers to package tourists.


Rough Guide do have a nice layout. Clear. Easy to read and not so cluttered. But they dont cover so many places in the world. That's one of their major downfalls. Their maps are few and far between too. If they expanded a bit in country range,they could be the winner. I always enjoy reading those.


Footprints (new name for the company that have been publishing the South American Handbook since the 1920's). They are very good books indeed. But the layout (still the same since the 1920's) can be cluttered and it's always wafer thin pages with tiny text. Sometimes awkward to use for that reason. Plus the authors dont always travel with budget backpackers in mind (sometimes not immediately apparent). I used their book for Tibet. It was a fascinating book. Very informative indeed. Good maps too. But as time went on,i noticed the author (half tibetan) said he'd been given access to virtually everywhere,and had his own jeep with him. So he wrote for the book fascinating descriptions of all these way off the beaten track places that there was no way i could get to without a jeep. Good for him. But it meant i could only use about 15-20% of the book.


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