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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia forum

no guidebook

Posted by DannyJ on 7/7/2006 at 18:03

Hey guys, hope everyone is happy today! I'm thinking about not even bothering to take a guidebook with me on my 6 month SEA trip? I'll probably print a couple of maps which i think i may need and will probably jot down a few 'essential' tit bits in my diary but thats about it. I thought that way i could 'go with the flow' a bit easier and make decisions based on what i hear while i'm moving around rather then 'oh the guidebook says i should go to so-and-so'.
Anyone done the same?? Any stories??? good or bad idea??? Cheers for any comments or advise. Peace and love, Danny J

#1 DannyJ has been a member since 5/10/2005. Posts: 36

Posted by wolfman on 7/7/2006 at 18:30

you got it pal! the book says-could be crap, could be help. going with the flow means being in contact with people(fellow-travellers and locals) best thing to do while travelling alone. keep on goin´dannyJ

#2 wolfman has been a member since 31/5/2006. Posts: 80

Posted by exacto on 7/7/2006 at 19:13

i often travel with an old copy of a guide book just to have info with me on things that tend not to change, like phone numbers and maps and opening hours of museums. but the rest of the info, like where to eat and where to stay changes so rapidly that a printed guide is almost useless.

still, most guesthouses will have an old guide you can use if needed, or it is a nice way to meet someone. hi beautiful, may i borrow your guidebook? like wolfman says, you can certainly get by quite happily without one.

having said that, have you tried on of the free efish guides listed here? i haven't, so i don't know how they work, but the idea looked pretty good. perhaps somtam can explain that better. take care.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,814

Posted by DannyJ on 7/7/2006 at 21:46

Cheers guys that was just the kinda thing i wanted to hear! yeah the efish guides... i have a few in my member centre thingie, maybe i will print off a few things, but prob only a couple for stuff i can't be bothered to write!
Thanks again guys, oh and exacto i get the feeling that you may have used that line before?? any success?? he he he!!
Peace and love, Danny J

#4 DannyJ has been a member since 5/10/2005. Posts: 36

Posted by marianwarren on 8/7/2006 at 05:06

Hi Danny

I have traveled with guide books and without. I think talking to locals is where the most valuable info is sourced.

My approach, for upcoming trip, is to take an A4 folder (the kind with plastic inserts) As most of my planning has been online my airticket, insurance policy, visa applications, passport stuff etc are all on the same sized paper.

I have printed out double-sided efish guides for the places I intend to go plus relevant maps, getting there and away info blah blah (my pet hate is trudging around with my bag looking for somewhere to stay). My handwriting is pretty awful so jotting down tips doesn't work for me.

At the moment the folder is up to 665 gms (still less than guide book) but as I intend to arrive with an almost empty pack the weight is no problem, and I will discard pages as I go.

Will report after if this works.
Hope this is of interest


#5 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270

Posted by somtam2000 on 8/7/2006 at 07:43 admin


If I've been to the country before then I tend not to use a guidebook and instead just find my way around -- it can be quite a disarming question for guesthouse/frontdesk staff when you ask what there is to see/do in xyz town -- they'll generally reply "where is your guidebook -- I'll show you" and when I tell them I don't have one, their responses can be pretty interesting -- ranging from "well go get one!" through to them considering you a blank slate and suggesting places that no guidebook has recommended -- you don't always get to the most interesting sites, but particularly with guesthouse staff I've had numerous people take a half day off, throw me on the back of their bike and show me around town -- they're local and they relish the opportunity to "be the guidebook"...

All that said, in a new country, where I'm unfamiliar with everything, guidebooks -- even just for for simple logistics are very handy and a great time-saver.

Marian -- glad to hear you're tryig out the efish -- any comments/suggestions very welcome!

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

Posted by ReneHanoi on 8/7/2006 at 08:44

There's also a very handy pocket guidebook covering the whole area, called "South-East Asia The Graphic Guide", by Mark Elliott (Trailblazer Guides). Doesn't mention any guesthouses or so, but tells you where to go, how and when. It's all you need basically. And most of the times, spot on !

#7 ReneHanoi has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 54

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