The smart cookies over at Lonely Planet were kind enough to send us a complimentary review copy of their new guidebook to Laos, released August 2007. So, if you're planning on going to Laos and are still looking for a guide, you may find our review of interest.
Our verdict? It's terrific -- easily the best on the market.
You can read the full review of Lonely Planet Laos 6th edition here.
If you've an opinion on the latest edition, please feel free to add it in here.
We've just added a three part skype-interview with coordinating author Andrew Burke to the review. The broad ranging discussion touched on a diverse range of topics from human rights concerns and the challenges Laos faces managing its tourism industry through to itinerary planning, how to get off the beaten track, what's it like being a Lonely Planet author and of course, just how good is BeerLao?. The interview is in three parts -- and it's a bit rough and ready -- we're not tried this before!
You can download or stream the interview from the main review page.
Just received my copy in the post - absolute bargain. Lonely Planet have a 30% off and free postage. I received mine here in Oz within 4 days!
Only started reading it tonight but it is sooooo good. Really informative and comprehensive! I also have the Rough Guide and I have to say this one is alot better. There is the same stuff as RG but also alot more...
I bought the previous version of LP Laos. How is it compared to the latest one? I haven't gone there yet, so have no idea about it's usefulness. Should I discard it and go for the new one?
#4 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154
Definitely worth buying the new guide, it's worth every penny/kip/dollar! It's a vast improvement on the earlier edition, which - to be honest - I found to be quite lacking compared to other publishers guides. Not so the new one. Cheers. Mark.
I'd say the new guide is significantly better than the previous one, so unless you're planning a very brief trip to Laos, I'd invest in the new guide.
There's also a discussion about my review running over on Lonely Planet's Thorntree which you may want to take a look at -- not everyone is as impressed with the title as I was.
I purchased LP's Laos 6th Edition, and really only have one gripe - and I suggest it's a major failing: the lack of maps.
Unlike their texts on nearby nations, LP's Laos isn't designed for independent travellers.
While the scale of the North and south Laos maps are OK to plan a journey, there should be additional maps at a regional scale .
For example, the 'Around Vientiane' map on page 117 shows some 160km from margin to margin.
The 'Northern Laos' map on page 133 shows some 550km from margin to margin.
Compare this with Thailand where the 'regional' maps show on average between 100 to 200km margin to margin.
While I agree that the LP is the best text on Laos, I think it needs volumes of brickbats for the lack of mapping at an appropriate scale.
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING. THE NEW LONELY PLANET IS NEXT TO USELESS. THE PRICES THEY MENTION ABOUT BUSES, GUESTHOUSES, ETC, ARE TOTALLY OFF THE MARK. PRICES IN AREAS SUCH AS VANG VIENG HAVE GONE UP BETWEEN 100 TO 300 PERCENT. BESIDES WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD EVER SPEND A NIGHT IN THAT PLACE. IT HAS BEEN TOTALLY RUINED FROM JUST THREE YEARS AGO. ITS NOW FULL OF ARROGANT EURO-TRASH, SEX TOURISTS WITH THEIR BARGIRLS FROM THAILAND ,AND TOPLESS WOMEN HANGING OUT BY THE RIVERSIDE. ALSO NOW THE LAO LIKE THE THAI COUNTERPARTS HAVE GOTTEN DOWN RIGHT NASTY AND GREEDY. WHO CAUSED THIS PROBLEM US. DO YOURSELF AND THE LAO A FAVOR AVOID THE PLACE.
#10 jamesspignesi has been a member since 18/8/2008. Posts: 29
Who looks at a guidebook for prices?
Vang Vien? all that's pricey is the internet, still some of the best prices on rooms, great Lao street food, rode a Kaolao to Phou Khoune today, great scenery, yesterday down at Namon for a typical sukwan blessing for someones house, no foreigners in site.
Town is overflowing but then so is Huay Xai, Ngoi Nua, Luang Prabang etc. Things are what you make of them. I find the Lao people to have exactly the same freindliness quotient as the rest of the country. I'm even learning to speak a little pasa Vang Vien.
I'll look for the bar girls and topless ones and report back.
Pobe gun meh!
ITS NOW FULL OF ARROGANT EURO-TRASH, SEX TOURISTS WITH THEIR BARGIRLS FROM THAILAND ,AND TOPLESS WOMEN HANGING OUT BY THE RIVERSIDE.
This sounds good. Rufus, maybe we make a road trip of it.
#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957