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Lonely Planet does not endorse Travelfish

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/3/2009 at 13:35 admin

Regular Travelfishers may have noticed a slight change on our homepage. We used to have a great Travelfish recommendation from leading travel publisher Lonely Planet displayed along with a small Lonely Planet logo as attribution for the quote.

Obviously, as a small business, we were extremely flattered to have Lonely Planet say what they did about Travelfish.

This morning, on 19 March 2009, we received an email from the Infringements Co-ordinator at Lonely Planet.

She informed us that they thought our use of the Lonely Planet logo, as attribution for a Lonely Planet quote about Travelfish, on the Travelfish homepage "creates confusion for travellers, who may think we have endorsed a product that in fact we have nothing to do with."

As such, they requested we remove the logo, and went on to say that while we were welcome to use the quote, that we also "include the guidebook edition and year of publication as the source of the quote."

The email also went on to request that we stop showing photographs we took ourselves of Lonely Planet guidebooks on our guidebook review pages (which we complied with) and that we remove a photo we have taken comparing the maps in two Vietnam guidebooks. We have kept the latter online as it clearly contributes to the review as it indicates how the maps in the reviewed edition are not as readable as those in the previous edition.

As the last thing we would want is confused travellers, we've complied with Lonely Planet's request to remove the small Lonely Planet logo from underneath the direct quote above. Just to be sure, here is everything Lonely Planet has had to say about Travelfish (as far as we know -- let us know if you read more!):

Lonely Planet Laos
6th edition (2007) p.20
"The most consistently updated website for independent travellers in Southeast Asia, including excellent coverage of Lao border crossings."

Lonely Planet Thailand's Islands & Beaches
6th edition (2008) p.14
"The best independent travel site for backpackers coming to Thailand."

Lonely Planet Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & the Greater Mekong
1st edition (2007) p.21
"Crammed with opinionated articles and reviews about the region, contributed by independent travellers. Plus up-to-date border crossing info."

Lonely Planet Bangkok
8th edition (2008) p.208
"For an idea of the sort of discounts you're looking at, independent travel website Travelfish has a very handy list of nothing more than the hotel name and current online price at the bottom of its Bangkok pages."

So just to be clear, Lonely Planet is in no way endorsing Travelfish as a source of excellent, the best, up-to-date nor handy travel advice.

If you happen to come across other kind words about Travelfish -- in guidebooks or elsewhere -- please post them below -- just don't paste a logo in whatever you do!

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,062

Posted by VermicciousKnid on 19/3/2009 at 14:37

Here's a quote from me:
"I think this site is fantastic. It's provided me with current information and has given me countless travel tips. Thank you for doing such a great job!"
~Vermiccious Knid

That's my logo above. Feel free to use it anytime you like. You don't even need to give me credit!

#2 VermicciousKnid has been a member since 21/2/2009. Posts: 5

Posted by busylizzy on 19/3/2009 at 16:51

And a quote from me:

Last year I bought a well-known travel guide to carry on my travels through Thailand and Cambodia. A few weeks after buying the guide, I discovered this website, and the fantastic, customisable eFish guides. So - armed with BOTH sets of information, I headed on my travels.

I found time and time again, that the Travelfish guides provided a far superior source of information, in terms of accuracy and reliability of reviews (in particular, of accommodation).

Through Travelfish, I discovered some fascinating places in Thailand that didn't rate a mention in the other guide I was carryng. Some of these places ended up being my favourites!

Good on you Travelfish for doing an amazing job - thank you!

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by citizen on 19/3/2009 at 23:37

I'm very confused...!?!?!?

#4 citizen has been a member since 25/2/2009. Posts: 12

Posted by markyeo on 20/3/2009 at 02:30

Who needs Lonely Planet when there's Travelfish? Honestly, I've been treated better by locals when I carried around a discrete e-fish as compared to a bright blue Lonely Planet guide. Not to mention, carrying a Lonely Planet book screams tourist and I've been subjected to that treatment before, which meant doing touristy stuff and paying tons of money for it. Since then, I've wised up and used Travelfish.

Travelfish makes getting around SE Asia a walk in the park.

#5 markyeo has been a member since 19/12/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 9

Posted by KevinH on 20/3/2009 at 02:59

Congrats! Your officially moving up, you've become a 'threat' to their business.

I think they're beginning to realize that this site is far, far superior for the countries that you do cover. I've been lurking here for months now reading and planning for my SE Asia trip this summer. This site has been invaluable to me. Keep up the great work, I hope you make buckets of money someday :)

#6 KevinH has been a member since 17/3/2009. Posts: 2

Posted by chrispyrolls on 20/3/2009 at 04:18

the irony is there is a google ad on this page for the LP!...

Who needs them anyway... Travelfish is the dogs nads!!

#7 chrispyrolls has been a member since 2/11/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 197

Posted by somtam2000 on 21/3/2009 at 08:40 admin

Thanks people -- much appreciated. The whole thing still has me scratching me head a bit.

Never a dull moment!

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,062

Posted by DLuek on 21/3/2009 at 20:11 TF writer

Just for the record, I personally was not confused by the LP logo on the Travelfish homepage.

Also, for the record, I'm in the midst of a 4 1/2 month journey across Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, and all I'm using for guidance is Travelfish.

The guides are outstanding, and the info on the site, along with the incredibly consistent forums, always clears up any further questions I have. Thanks to somtam and the rest of the experienced travellers who answer all those questions.

If there were Travelfish's for other parts of the world, LP would be in trouble...

#9 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,344

Posted by markyeo on 27/3/2009 at 14:27

DLuek: I wished more travellers in SE Asia would know more about Travelfish though, I still see many of them totting those bright blue guides, targeted by cyclos in Saigon, tuktuks in Bangkok, and being brought along for a ride to handicraft factories and wholesale jewelry centres where they pay obscene amounts of money for a worthless piece of jade.

But yeah, LP has a business to run. And so do those businessmen.

#10 markyeo has been a member since 19/12/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 9

Posted by dageshi on 28/3/2009 at 14:19

Please remember lawyers are a strange breed of creature not like the rest of us, things like "common sense" are seemingly beyond them.

Personally like others have said I'd be proud of it.

p.s. the best use I've found for lp is using LP China as a kind of brick like weapon, you throw it at your mugger, nine times out of ten it should knock them out cold.

#11 dageshi has been a member since 1/3/2008. Posts: 56

Posted by brucemoon on 29/4/2009 at 12:09


I am not surprised by LP's 'action'.

I'm sure most know that LP was bought by BBC (as in UK) several months ago. Being a big corporate conglomerate, it appears BBC have used their legal team to justify their purchase.

The sad fact, for me, is that BBC are destroying the essential fabric that is Lonely Planet - a useful guide, updated irregularly (and haphazardly) by its authors and with feedback from travellers.

Now, BBC appear not to care what travellers may have to contribute!!!

Lonely Planet - for all its shortcomings - has long provided the structure for travellers:

* It provides maps (sometimes of dubious size - eg. Laos),

* It provides some ideas about accommodation (though generally by the time it is printed, the prices are out of date. And, all-too-often, the accommodation provider ups the so-called 'prices').

* It provides suggestions of attractions - both commercial and non-commercial.

* And, in the broader context, it provides the reader with a means to focus their travel planning.

Both LP and Travelfish have sought to exploit the 'pdf' or 'e-guide' market. This is sad as a paper-printed travel guide is more amenable to more travellers than an electronic guide will ever be. With my own aversion to having to carry electronics with me (other than a trusty Canon camera), I find so many others having a similar point of view. Those with their Ipod's also tell of being 'stranded' when it succumbs to water, dust or too much jolting. I suspect that the electronic 'means' may well be great for travellers in modern 1st world nations, but it doesn't quite cut the mustard in the back-blocks of Asia.

With the Lonely Planet 'structure' comes a need for detail. As far as SE Asia is concerned, Travelfish IS that answer.

If the BBC legal team want to eradicate the hand-in-hand relationship between Lonely Planet and Travelfish, then all that can be said is that Lonely Planet will be the loser.

If, or when, Travelfish can organise a printer to print up its pdf's in a manageable size and post to purchasers, Lonely Planet will be all but useless in SE Asia.


#12 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 2/5/2009 at 20:30

Here’s a quote from me, "FUCK LP!"

Please feel free to put that on your home page. :)

I have bought many guide books and now that the BBC (British Broadcasting CON) is involved I will be buying other guides. My latest book was on Budapest by DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. It's really good! The depth and detail is unbelievable and the maps and pictures are great! I would definitely be looking at more of their guide books for other countries.

TV licence.

#13 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by brucemoon on 3/5/2009 at 06:04


I'd love a little 'link' option in Travelfish that allows me to send an email to you - but I never know your email address until you link to me.

That way, I wouldn't need to use this 'public' page of a 'public' forum to have a chat.

Are you listening SomTam??

Somtam.... Other sites do it....

- - - -

I'm off to the UK later this year, and I wanted to chew your ear as to an appropriate alternative to Lonely Planet for the UK.

Any ideas?


#14 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by somtam2000 on 4/5/2009 at 11:18 admin

Others sites do it, other sites may be run by more than one person!

Yes, there's been a few requests for private messaging. Ahhh, it's on my list .... but it's a long list -- just me here, so things take time, and there's other stuff with priority at the moment, so apols in advance if it takes a while.

#15 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,062

Posted by Pablot on 4/5/2009 at 14:12

LP is dead - it is static. I own a tourism business in VN and I do NOT want LP to put us in their Guidebook! In our business we NEED real people saying real truthful words about us to their friends & on the internet! well done Travelfish!!!

#16 Pablot has been a member since 4/5/2009. Posts: 102

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 4/5/2009 at 18:51


Hi, All I can say mate is check out the 'DK Eyewitness Travel Guides' for UK if they do one. If it’s anything like the Budapest one I just got you won’t be disappointed!

Where in The UK are you going to? London is obviously an interesting place. Salisbury has a few good sites (Cathedral, Wood/Stone Hedge). Some of the places in Wales make good days out too, Conwy Castle, bronze age mines, slate caverns etc..

Also agree that a messaging feature would be THE BEST addition to the already great travel fish. Also, being able to edit post? :)

#17 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by fuckLPnTT on 8/11/2014 at 21:52

LP has lost its credibility and reputation since it was sold to BBC. LP books were written fraudulently. It was mismanaged by bureaucrats. LP "sales dropped 14% between 2010-2011, and then another 21% between 2011-2012." Last year LP was sold at a $100 million loss to a U.S. corporation

#18 fuckLPnTT has been a member since 8/11/2014. Posts: 3

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