Have you noticed the userbase jumping ship on Thorn Tree? Repeated server-down, heavily-moderated postings, mass deletions and buggy interface as they try to resurrect the site. Travelfish is a solid alternative and I've said so over there. Don't shoot the messenger.
I haven't been following it at all - noticed the server admin stuff a few days ago but that was it.
Don't envy them running that board!
Lonely Planet is an ego driven forum and their guidebooks are full of misinformation. It must only be novices buying their books anymore.
#4 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Yeh, and the Thorn Tree seems to be getting worse. Couldn't even log in yesterday. And all my posts from the last several years have gone into "archived". Can't blame Tony Wheeler for selling out and taking the money, but he must be saddened by what has happened at LP.
I stopped using LP guide books some while ago - I'm a Rough Guide fan these days.
Lp isn't perfect, but their 'Handbooks' of South East Asia and South America were IMO easier to use than the competitors. with quick facts and good maps to boot. They might let themselves down with accomodation and food, but i always have a walkabout to suss out the other guesthouses about anyhow since no guidebook can convey 'reality'.
Thing is, once one has the basic facts, one can pretty much do the rest alone anyhow.
Yea, their forum is well buggered.
I prefer to buy a real good map or use free ones. Guidebook maps are rather limited.
#7 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
These days I just get everything off the internet before I go - and can cross reference stuff that way. I think the days of a 'guidebook' company will be around for awhile though as many people aren't seasoned travelers and just want an easy port into things. It isn't like the thing steers you into a dead-end.
It won't be too long before web-based travel resources totally dominate over printed books. So it's oddly sad to watch a once great resource like the Thorn Tree crash and burn, and chase off most of their once-loyal users. There are now about five regulars that pretty much "answer" every (repetitive boring) question of which there are very few lately (sound of crickets chirping). Feels like you just walked into a really boring party. I mentioned TF on there and the mods deleted it. Doh!
The haughty, sometimes condescending tone of the LP guidebooks is what I find irritating about them. The style of writing tries to be too clever and consistently fails at being clever at all. As for content, the reviews are painful. They need to go to areas more often than they do for updates. The 2012 Lonely Planet Thailand's Mukdahan section list the Riverview Restaraunt as a good spot to eat. It's been closed since 2008. I also found it inconsistent. It lists nightlife in one place, but then not in another. For me it's just not very useful.
#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
LP isn't perfect, but they all have something wrong with them i guess. None are right all the time. You might find another has more information, but how much does one need. Then they won't have much space for a basic city map, etc, etc- or the pages will be thin as a telephone directory...
That's why on line venues like this are good Snookie. It's your best chance of getting current info. The world changes all the time. Mukdahan, where i live, is vastly different from when I moved here in 2007. To keep up, you need a medium that is able to change quickly and that people can querry. Which won't always work - how many travelfishers live in Khemerat? But it will work sometimes.
#15 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
The worst is that they are charging for a book that they are not really bothering to update. If you put out a new edition - I feel like all the accommodations and eateries should at least be checked to see if they are still open. Accommodations really need regular reviews as they can often slip really fast from ok to really poor.
I agree that printed guidebooks are going away - but there is probably a lot of money still to be made on guide-apps. I'm sure thousands upon thousands of people who visit SE Asia will never hear about Travelfish and will just got to the online store and purchase a Lonely Planet guide for their iobject.
Yes online is the go. You can book your hotels and flights online. You can work out a route plan from google maps. You can research day trips online. You can also look at restaurant reviews online but in small places just walk around and see what looks good. Guidebooks are largely redundant.
I even found out the transport situation online by contacting a local hotel and they told me what the prices were for mini buses and the name of one of the operators.
#17 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
When I travel I find a combination of factors is the best way to go. Guide books have the advantage of having a lot of (sometimes useful) information in a compact format and can be easily carried around in a day bag. I also find LP/RG very good for the history of an area - even to read on the plane over, it can provide a useful context for your visit. I think their maps are also good and can be very useful for finding where is the best area to stay in a city (e.g. where is the old town in relation to the train station etc).
However, as alluded to above, I would never solely go off their restaurant or accomodation recommendations (been burnt a few times). I find it useful, before I leave, to check off their recommendations against tripadvisor etc and mark in the guide book whether it's a hit or miss and to add in a few places on their map that they haven't included.
For what it's worth I thought the LP nailed China when I travelled there. But I do agree it's getting a litle tired now and the writing style can be stomach churning.
#18 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
I agree Madmac.
Like you say, you need an interactive rescource, and this is a great site. I was well impressed by Writeups on Sihanoukville and find them very interesting indeed. The quality of reports and write ups here are second to none!
@chinarocks - They do have some good information on China, and seem to update it more often than others. Perhaps the best with China are the town and regional maps, as these cities and areas are pretty hard to get around as an independent traveler otherwise (I even recommended just reading LP's history of China on another thread about books for China).
In that sense, I think the books have worked better as regional guides more than precise locations. China is vast, and having a book to help you through is very useful. If you are looking at a whole SE Asia experience, then a guidebook could probably help, just like getting a Europe or South America book. I think where it has gone wrong is actually trying to be really precise and comprehensive for each individual country.
Travel information (on- or offline) is by its nature out of date the moment you walk out of the cafe/hotel/salsa club. So a best case response is to try and update the material as frequently as possible.
We have some information on Travelfish that is very up to date, and other sections which are woefully out of date. We're working to address the latter obviously, but really it's a bit like herding cats and short of having a writer in every town -- we have 18 writers at the moment, we'd need 600+ to have a writer in every town , you're always going to have a mixed bag of results.
I'm currently in Burma, my first time ever here, and a friend gave me the latest Lonely Planet (side note I really HATE this new blue format they have). For a fast changing destination like here, the book was out of date before it came off the press, but the background info (history/culture/food etc) is quite comprehensive and very useful for someone like me (a first time visitor) as the authors have considerably more expertise on the country than I do. The actual listings (hotels/food/sights) I haven't even looked at other than to see if the place I booked was listed and I doubt I'll use that section of the book at all.
I don't do all my food prep with one knife, but I do like all my knives to be sharp
Speaking of food - I have nothing against trying something different, but can the appraisers of same be honest? Baked bamboo shoot tastes like nothing. Really. It has no flavor. My mother in law used to make it. Dig up a shoot on the farm, toss it into a fire, peel it and eat it. I'd eat it and it had almost no flavor. Like a baked pottato without butter. It's just there. Or insects. I mean they're gross. Let's not pretend it's a delicacy and delicious. When writers talk about ant larvae as delicious and a delicacy they're just trying to show how cool they are that they can appreciate this exotic cuisine. These are the same guys who bash a McDonalds Cheeseburger principally because it is so bourgeois. I find these kind of attitudes revolting. Lonely Planet drips of them.
#22 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Bamboo isn't meant to have a lot of flavor. You have to make it with a good sauce or curry. It does add good texture to a dish though and I like eating it.
I like ant eggs and I love frogs - the crispiness of them I really dig and I seek out these foods. Is it cool to eat them? I couldn't care less.
Mcdonalds do make some good burgers but not cheese burgers. They are made with cheap meat and cheese. Their deluxe chicken and angus burgers are nice though.
My first guidebook was a LP and I would never buy another one. While it's useful for somethings I see little value in them with web info and maps so good nowadays.
I find tripadvisor reviews to be good most of the time and often very recent. Some claim they are biased and self written but something gets good reviews across 3 or 4 sites it's a good sign.
#24 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
I love the McDonald's cheeseburgers. It's the only menu item I really enjoy. I don't care if the meat is cheap. This weekend I am fighting in Khon Kaen and you can bet I'll get two cheeseburgers and fries when I'm done fighting. Hmmmmm good.
My point on bamboo was I was watching one of those food shows and a guy was eating bamboo shoots prepared exactly like my mother prepared them. As he takes a bite he's going "Hmmm, delicious". I'm watching it thinking - what a crock. Just once I'd like to watch one of those shows and see the guy say "God damn, that's horrible. People around here eat this crap?"
Frogs - Damn Leonard. I hate 'em. And I'm not eating anything birds eat as a matter of principal. They have those fried bugs at the night market. They're pricey too! My daughter will buy them and chew them with relish just to screw with me. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Little bug leg parts stuck in her teeth. Disgusting.
@ Casey - Hangzhou style. Of course, what the hells the matter with me. I forgot all about that.
#25 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Fighting boxing, muay thai?
I like the crunch of some bugs. They taste like chips!! It's not something I want to eat everyday but every now and then it's good to have something different.
The cheese they put on cheeseburgers looks and tastes like it's been processed 100 times. Horrible stuff. The bread is also rather ordinary. For a good burger you need quality bread, meat and cheese.
#26 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"Frogs - Damn Leonard. I hate 'em"
The better version of frogs is phad phed gop in a restaurant. Try it.
Just swap the beef for frogs and bingo.
#27 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"The cheese they put on cheeseburgers looks and tastes like it's been processed 100 times. Horrible stuff. The bread is also rather ordinary. For a good burger you need quality bread, meat and cheese."
Wintess the fact that McDonald's has great burgers (sold billions of the buggers) and it has cheap meat, cheap cheese and cheap bread. Of course, they were made for American tastes and I am an American.
"The better version of frogs is phad phed gop in a restaurant. Try it."
Think I'll take a pass and stick with the beef.
I'm fighting Tae Kwon Do. Too old for Muay Thai. Could probably still box at the level common around here, but I'm doing TKD with my daughter. Keeps me from getting too fat - which I was doing before I starte fighting again.
#28 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I got a sausage, egg and biscuit this morning - fantastic. I avoid the baozi as I don't know what meat are in it, at least in McD I know it is mostly soy product. Still - you want a well prepared frog or bamboo shoot - come on up to China and get some Hunan style food, absolutely fantastic (and that is one absolute minimum above McD sausage and egg biscuit) . . . to say nothing of the Jiangnan (Hangzhou, Shanghai, etc.) styles of these. One thing about living in China is the food - and when I finally leave I'll miss the variety greatly. As much as I love the new experience of food in the Mekong area, there is not nearly as much variety as we have here.
"Of course, they were made for American tastes "
They are made for convenience and they have different burgers in different countries. Big Macs are their worst burger. Horrible sauce.
#30 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
But the cheeseburger in Boston and the cheeseburger in Augsburg and the cheeseburger in Khon Kaen all taste the same. I know because I've eaten them from all those places (plus others) more than one time. That's part of the appeal. You know what you're getting. And it's tough to argue with success. McDs is hugely popular the world over. Like coke and beer. People complain coke isn't healthy, and it's not. But people like it.
As for the Big Mac's - they're OK. I don't have a problem with the sauce. But I prefer the cheeseburger. And this weekend I will eat TWO.
#31 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
It is definitely A measure of success. Not sure if it's THE measure of success. A lot of teenage girls like Justin Bieber, and their opinions count as much as ours. He's not working for me, but hey, I'm just one guy.
#33 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I could not agree more with you (indeed the site is down again as I type). Have you thought of cutting and pasting this whole string and sending it to Andreas or someone at LP. The one thing left where LP scores is that you can read the post (or most of it) and then decide weather to jump in
I am still at a loss to understand what is down to the BBC and what is down to the new owners as far as the changes to the web are concerned.
As for the books that bit is clear the BBC tried to move their target audience more up market and forgot about their core market. I have been exploring bits of Africa recently and found the Bradt guides to be excellent (though their maps are not as good as LP) a pity they are not available for SE Asia
^Yeah I have been a regular on TT for 10 years but this latest trend with them not giving a rat's arse about their once-loyal userbase, deleting years of valuable posts, and unnecessarily bugging up the interface pretty much has me and many others finding better ways to spend time. Probably for the better anyway
I started this thread to see how many others might be shifting to TF and note how not to run a travel forum, but of course any such discussion on TT gets deleted by the mods (doh!)
And now back to bamboo shoots and cheeseburgers...
If we're talking McDonald's cheesburgers then you cant look past the double cheeseburger. Perfect meat to bread ratio. Burgers are all about the balance of their make up ingredients.
#36 9preciousGems has been a member since 13/1/2011. Posts: 82
I hear you Captain. I started on TT about 15 years ago. I got there as part of a doctoral research project about representations of tourism that covered, in part, the then cutting edge area of cyberspace.
So, I've seen a few things and had a lot of fun on TT in my time. The biggest tragedies have been the devaluation of the idea of fun and the way that cyber communities such as those that existed on the Your Choice branch have been wiped out overnight.
I thank a lot of people for a lot of fun, Captain Bob and a few others for great advice always and the current LP management and technical crew for showing me how to completely bugger something up.
Bob's been around Casey. He knows the deal. He's cool. When I get to Chiang Mai, I'm staying at his place.
Now, as for Mickie Ds. I ate there this weekend, as promised. Two cheeseburgers. Fries. Large Coke. Hmmmmm good. I ain't sayin' it's for ya'. But it's tasty.
#39 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Sugar, fat and caffeine. Take out those things and you ain't got much. I much prefer to make my own burgers.
#40 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Hey, I worked on two meals a day, no beer, no soda... only water for two months to cut my weight to 58 kg to fight. I earned a crappy meal. And man, it tasted good!
#41 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
You must be short. That's a jockey weight. You could ride jumps horses.
#42 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
5' 6". Pretty short. I used to ride - funny you mentioned it. But too heavy to be anything other than maybe a steeple chase jockey. I liked barrel racing.
#43 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Hey MM, re the "gross" factor, how do you feel about slurping down beaver's anal gland juice? Castoreum has been used as a flavouring ingredient by the western food industry for at least 80 years. It's been declared perfectly safe by the FDA so manufacturers are allowed to label it as "natural flavouring" rather than being more specific. Crushed scale insect juice is widely used as a red food colourant in western foods too... I guess they must sift out the legs and bits so they don't get stuck in people's teeth.
I think I'd rather eat a beaver's anal gland than a McDo burger. Who knows what secret ingredients MacDo use to render them totally non-biodegradable (except for the pickle). At least you know what exactly what you're putting in your mouth when you snack on fried crickets and baked bamboo shoots.
I read a news article recently about a guy that found a McD burger in his pocket after it had been there for 14 years. (Which is the obvious place to keep it, of course!). Anyhow, 14 years later it looked just as good (?!) as it did when he bought it. So I guess in theory they must be good to help us all to retain our 'youthful glow' with all those preservatives!
I heard they would last 1 year but 14 years haha that's incredible.
The average western jockey is around 53 kilos while jumps horses can carry 60-68 kgs so at 58 you could easily ride them.
#46 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Castoreum is a bitter, orange-brown, odoriferous, oily secretion, found in two sacs between the anus and the external genitals of beavers. The discharge of the castor sac is combined with the beaverâ€™s urine, and used during scent marking of territory. Both male and female beavers possess a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail.
Castoreum is a product of the trapping industry. When beavers are skinned for their fur, these glands are taken out, and are sold after being smoked or sun-dried to prevent putrefactionâ€¦
Well, thatâ€™s a relief.
The European Beaver was hunted to near extinction, both for fur and for castoreum, which was also believed to have medicinal properties. The North American beaver population was once more than 60 million, but as of 1988 was 6â€“12 million, largely due to extensive hunting and trapping. Although sources report that beaver populations have now recovered to a stable level, some experts say that todayâ€™s American beaver population is only 5 percent of what it was when Europeans first settled in North America.
Castoreum is used in â€œhigh classâ€ perfumery for â€œrefined leathery nuances.â€ It is also reportedly used in some incense, and to contribute to the flavor and odor of cigarettes. In food, castoreum is used to flavor candies, drinks, and desserts such as puddings.
#47 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"have you noticed the user base jumping ship on Thorn Tree?"
Sure have, I'm one of them.
#48 samara400 has been a member since 21/5/2013. Posts: 8
"Hey MM, re the "gross" factor, how do you feel about slurping down beaver's anal gland juice? Castoreum has been used as a flavouring ingredient by the western food industry for at least 80 years. It's been declared perfectly safe by the FDA so manufacturers are allowed to label it as "natural flavouring" rather than being more specific. Crushed scale insect juice is widely used as a red food colourant in western foods too... I guess they must sift out the legs and bits so they don't get stuck in people's teeth."
I'm not concerned about the "gross factor" as long as they're tasty. There are guys here who eat actual insects that have just been chucked into the frying pan - legs and all. Now that's gross.
"I think I'd rather eat a beaver's anal gland than a McDo burger. Who knows what secret ingredients MacDo use to render them totally non-biodegradable (except for the pickle). At least you know what exactly what you're putting in your mouth when you snack on fried crickets and baked bamboo shoots."
One tastes good, two do not. Simple math.
"The average western jockey is around 53 kilos while jumps horses can carry 60-68 kgs so at 58 you could easily ride them."
Oh I could ride them. But I'm heavy to ride race horses. Never gave much thought to doing it though.
As for Beavers - they are incredibly destructive little buggers, so large numbers are not a good thing. One Beaver destroys way more environment than one human. They can build a dam (and do) fast, fast, fast. Those dams flood sections of forest, and before you know it, dead swath of forrest. Out at Ft Drum where I used to be stationed, we had to go out periodically and blow up dams to free water flow and prevent the flooded areas from dying.
#49 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
in theory they must be good to help us all to retain our 'youthful glow' with all those preservatives!
Flame retardant is banned as a food substance elsewhere but if you wash your burger down with a soda like fanta or "mountain dew" in the US you can probably significantly reduce your risk of spontaneously auto combusting too.
Well, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a relief.
Yes. Visions of them milking the anal gland juice from live beavers is enough to put you right off your raspberry ripple cone.
Mountain Dew... SBE you just reminded me of it. I love Mountain Dew. I've found it on rare occassion here, but not often. Hmmm.
#51 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Mountain Dew is horrid stuff. But most soft drinks are sickly sweet rubbish.
#52 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Some of the other Thai forums are crazy. There's some mad expats out there.
#53 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"Mountain Dew is horrid stuff. But most soft drinks are sickly sweet rubbish."
Obviously you didn't grow up in Boston. But judging from your verbiage, it's one of the British aligned areas. They consider a lot of American influenced food to be both rubbish and too sweet. I love Mountain Dew. On the other hand, my son is German, and it's his favorite beverage.
#54 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
"There's some mad expats out there."
Yep, there sure are. I know one guy from England who cracks me up. He complains incessantly about Thai weather, Thai food, Thai people, Thai driving, Thai police, Thai roads... but he wants to live here.
#55 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Not too different from you then MM. Does he do salsa?
Is there any mountain dew in mountain dew or is it made of pure petrochemicals?
I bet that stuff causes irreversible brain damage as well as being able to dissolve teeth and mouse carcasses.
I remember when I was growing up the old 'trick' of using Coke to clean up copper pennies. All the gunge was removed, and they came out so shiny and just like new. Imagine what Coke must do to your fleshy insides!
TT has been on a downhill slide for quite some time, five or eight years I'd guess. Expats and others with lots of knowledge have seemingly drifted elsewhere. Maybe to country specific web sites.
Tfish has always been different in that it's moderated by extremely informed people, I mean they write and research the TF web site and I'd assume some of their writers post here. TT is still chugging along, moderated by just people they hire. Some day the whole brand will close up shop.
"Not too different from you then MM. Does he do salsa?"
Hell no. And SBE, you haven't been paying attention if you think he's not different from me. The ONLY thing we share is a complaint about the driving - which admitedly is insane.
1. I love the weather. I'm a hot weather guy. I hate the cold.
2. I like Thai people. Friendly and hospitable and polite.
3. I like Thai food - just not every meal. I don't like any single cuisine every meal, even Somali (my favorite).
4. Thai police are the coolest I've met anywhere on planet earth. Bar none. I've gotten more breaks from Thai police in 6 years here than cops anywhere else my other 45 years combined.
The things about Thailand that someone might consider "dodgy" are things that don't worry me. One of my friends from Germany hates the trash lying around. I ignore it. He also loathes the lack of safety in construction - I don't sweat that either, just pay close attention when it's my house. And so forth and so on. The great thing about this place is it's quite easy to modify your own environment to suit your desires, and you don't need government permission to do so.
"Is there any mountain dew in mountain dew or is it made of pure petrochemicals?"
Oh, Mountain Dew is not good for you. From a health standpoint it's horrible. But it sure does taste good. Coke's not particularly good for you either. But after water, it's right up there with beer in terms of popularity - cause it tastes good. Personally I think any of these is OK in moderation. A can of Mountain Dew with your pizza isn't going to kill you. If your diet consists of a Mountain Dew with every meal, that might spell trouble. Same with beer. If you drink a case a day, you're asking for trouble (I know someone who did - he's dead now).
"I bet that stuff causes irreversible brain damage as well as being able to dissolve teeth and mouse carcasses."
I suspect fighting is worse - which happens to be my single greatest vice. I love to fight. My last opponent (on Saturday) was 19. I'm 51.
#59 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
"Please note, your topic will need to be approved by a moderator before it will be posted in the forum"
Translation: We at Thorn Tree are paranoid corporate pussies who can't tolerate the use of salty language, and regard our userbase as delinquent children who cannot be trusted and require constant nanny-style supervision. Welcome to our previously-amusing and useful now pathetic travel forum as it falls to bits. Have a nice day!
I wonder how long captain bkk or bruce moon would last over there...?
#61 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
There's a few travel forums that view posts first before posting them. Most annoying.
Mountain Dew tastes horrible. You might as well just eat sugar cane or refined sugar and chase it with a glass of carbonated water.
#62 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"Mountain Dew tastes horrible."
Leonard my friend, come on. What you mean to say is it tastes horrible to you. Obviously to tens of millions of others, it tastes great.
"You might as well just eat sugar cane or refined sugar and chase it with a glass of carbonated water."
Raw sugar cane is actually quite popular around the world where it grows now that you mention it.
#63 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I'm pretty sure captain bkk = bmta who used to be a regular poster on TT Chinarocks. Very few people are capable of giving highly accurate information in a way that is almost totally impenetrable to the average reader. I caught bmta speaking impeccable English on TT once so I reckon he's an Oxford don IRL. Best and most original troll ever!
There's a huge difference between the way TT and TF are run. Somtam usually responds promptly to any queries or comments about the site and he not only asks for user opinions and suggestions, he often actually acts on what people say. Sometimes there are big technical problems and sometimes he's too busy tweeting or learning how to surf to get on with it but he does show he's listening so nobody really minds when it takes a few years to get an edit function or a button to post pictures. His attitude doesn't put people's backs up and there's a lot of good will on both sides. Because of this most regular posters self moderate. They know that if someone is looking for specific info they usually don't want to have to wade through pages of crap so they try to stick to providing useful relevant information rather than trashing the site by constantly going off topic and starting fights etc.
Compare that to TT where you get the impression that any comments about the site get chucked into a trash bin without being read and nobody in charge gives a toss what the users want or think. If you treat helpful and knowledgeable posters like you're doing them a huge favour by letting them use your site then those posters will very likely to react by leaving and taking all their useful knowledge with them. Or, if they stay, they'll probably use it mostly as a playroom. Why should they spend time and energy helping TT provide reliable travel info when there's absolutely no incentive to do so? Having a hostile, suspicious and authoritarian attitude towards your users is an incredibly stupid way to run a forum.
I've never had a problem with the 'playroom' aspect of TT. The strongest communities on TT actually existed in the non-travel branches. My problem has always been with dominant, know-all posters and the just plain rude.
Tourism is leisure, leisure is fun. Let's just have some fun and meet new friends and find out some information along the way. Mountain Dew - who knew?
I don't understand the problem with 'dominant, know-all posters' . . . usually I post in a travel forum because I'm busy making plans and want a prompt and accurate reply. That, or when I find a thread run through by a few dominant posters that is usually where I get the most in-depth and accurate information. For example, such a thread between tezza and a few other heavy hitters discussing beaches on Lombok was probably more helpful than reading five official travel guides.
I've also been really baffled by how accurate captainbkk can be with information while at the same time overstepping the line of tone. I think somtam handles that kind of behavior really well. He let captainbkk continue that way until the point were people said, enough of that, please calm it down, and then he shot a warning across his bow. I've seen him do the same thing when conversations where getting a little to personal and out of hand . . . some of our dominant posters can get a little feisty and somtam lets it ride for a bit, but simply has good common sense on when some moderation/arbitration is in order.
"Obviously to tens of millions of others, it tastes great."
You trying to promote junk food? Thailand has loads of great tasting tropical fruit and you're talking up highly processed soft drink and burgers......
#67 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
It's hard to even read captainbkk sentences.
#68 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"'dominant, know-all posters' "
I enjoy reading strong opinions as long as those people have spent time there and know what they are talking about. If someone has been to a place 3,4,5 times and checked it out thoroughly then that opinion is totally worth taking seriously.
#69 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"You trying to promote junk food? Thailand has loads of great tasting tropical fruit and you're talking up highly processed soft drink and burgers......"
There is a time and place for everything - including junk food. That doesn't mean I think people should subsist on a diet of junk food - that will make you fat and unable to compete effectively. I'm just saying that there are times when it's OK. Thailand does have loads of great tasting food - and loads of crap too, like every other country in the world. If you're only here for a couple of weeks, then I belong to the camp that advocates eating local for the experience. But I don't belong to the delusional, Kumbaya camp, that thinks it's always going to be "delicious" or "amazing" for a buck or two. Nor do I belong to the rejectionist camp that rejects modernism or western culture.
#70 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I use to use Thorn Tree but am know willing to give Travelfish a go
#72 simond1 has been a member since 6/6/2013. Posts: 4
WTF happened to Thorn Tree? It'd been a while since I last logged on Thorn Tree and was shocked to see so many post deletions, endless arguments between moderators and posters about post deletions, mods' despotic actions and haughty attitude, inept board administration, nonexistent customer service, innumerable software bugs, etc. etc.
#73 nomadic has been a member since 5/11/2014. Posts: 4
Recently noted, if you post anything on the Thailand branch which includes Thai script it gets held for review by the moderators as suspicious content. Heaven forbid you should speak Thai on the Thailand forum, it's the devils pig-Latin
Lonely planet never impressed me and does so less as time goes on. It's information is oftentimes woefully outdated.
It STILL has "the Riverside" listed in Mukdahan even though the restaurant closed in 2008.
It makes ridiculous statements like "Gun violence is rare in Thailand" when in fact Thailand has almost twice the rate of gun violence as the US.
It is full of cliches and the tone is that of some sort of 1970s hippie guide book instead of based in the reality of Thailand.
#75 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Their guide books have always been somewhat of a problem. I long ago gave up notifying LP of closures/new places as I noticed that they never took any notice and wrong entries would continue to appear for several editions.
I have been very impressed with the way that Bradt respond and update their guides and also where they exist side by side with LP then I would chose Bradt any day
I exited from Thorn Tree because I was not happy with the moderators' erratic, illogical, surreptitious deleting of members' posts, and their haughty unprofessional attitude. Regarding LP guide books, I bought one many years ago but it contained so many errors I never bought another LP product.
#77 zoom has been a member since 8/11/2014. Posts: 5
A lot of TT users would agree that some of the TT moderators have an arrogant, condescending attitude, and they suffer from incompetence which explains their haphazard post deletions & irrational decision-making. I'm glad I jumped ship
#78 roam has been a member since 6/11/2014. Posts: 11
Today I wrote the following post to the "Farewell TT" thread that people post to when they leave TT:
It was sad to see OldJoe go, but not surprising.
It seems many people haven't been pleased with the moderating on TT. I as well as others have noticed threads and posts vanishing mysteriously from the forum, the usual suspects being the overzealous censorship moderators. Nobody knows which, if any, post contravened a censorship rule because the moderators didn't say a thing when they deleted the entire thread or post. What's the point of participating in a discussion thread if the mods are prone to delete it without justification and without notice.
Another reason I'm leaving TT is lennythelion found my original username 'cheapfuq' highly offensive and whined to the moderators. No one had any issue with the name until lennythelion ratted to the mods who (Xanthei) sent me a message forcing me to change my name or else they will delete me. The name 'cheapfuq' had nothing to do with sex or anything offensive lennythelion timorously imagined. The name 'cheapfuq' was a comical, humble description of myself as a budget traveller and nothing else.
TT policies are infringing upon the most basic rights and freedoms. I joined another travel forum where the policies are not oppressive, not arbitrary, and do not silence freedom of expression. I will not be returning to TT thanks to the mods and fusty lenny the rat.
#79 witinerant has been a member since 21/11/2014. Posts: 1
I just received an invitation to complete a survey on Thorn Tree. They were asking questions about how I used the forum, and my thoughts on their ideas for the future. I made good use of the ''Other" boxes to ensure that they understood how I felt about the fiasco on their forum, and the fact that my helpful posts (albeit not many) were deleted without explanation.
I suggest others take the opportunity to do the same...
i must be in the minority here, i still use LP guides, download their pdf's and gather information from TT, where i've never experienced any problems with the moderators and gained some very useful advice from their contributors... as with all research, it's always a good idea to spread a wide net... of course, travelfish is a specialist in SEA information... just depends where you intend to travel i guess...
I'm glad it works for you. I just find it kind of haughty and annoying. Tries to be clever, comes off dorky. But hey, different strokes...
#82 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957