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Southeast Asia Guide: Loney Planet or Let's Go????

Posted by angiulet on 12/1/2008 at 04:16

I am beginning to plan my trip in SE Asia for next summer. I was thinking to buy one of these guides that incorporate the whole region...I know they are heavy but I guess they are worth. Or not?
Which one should I get?...the Lonely Planet "SE on a shoestring" or the Let's Go "Southeast Asia"?? i don't think that buying a guide for each country I am planning to visit would be a good idea. I am afraid that buying these kind of guide I will miss many important info that I would normally find in a regoular guide. what do you think?
Many thanks for the help!

#1 angiulet has been a member since 8/1/2008. Posts: 4

Posted by exacto on 12/1/2008 at 10:32

Hi Angiulet,

I don't think you can go wrong with either option, as they are both pretty good guides. The advantage with the Lonely Planet is that is is the mother of all guidebooks, and the "Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" title is what started this entire backpacker guidebook thing. Lonely Planet typically has well-researched information and good variety of listings.

In my experience Let's Go tends to focus more on budget budget than other guide books I've used, but still contains solid information. One advantage of using this or any other option instead of Lonely Planet is that you'll have recommended listings for different places than most of the other travellers you'll meet, since most folks I know use LP.

By the way, we met one of the Let's Go researchers for Thailand on our last visit. She was a wonderful person, and from the stories she was telling, will have added some great new listings and info to the Let's Go series.

Also, with websites like Travelfish, along with individual websites for hotels, tours, etc. in the places you'll be visiting, a guidebook isn't an essential backpacker travel tool like it used to be. Even so, they are nice to have as they provide background information and maps for the places you'll be visiting.

The delays in research and editing mean that the information in guidebooks can be a year old or more before the book even goes to print. (That's one of the real advantages of online info.) Because of that, I've started looking for older editions of guidebooks to take with me, often picking them up for just a few dollars. The background info and maps that I use the book for are still valid, and I supplement the listings with current online info and (best source of all) suggestions and recommendations from fellow travellers.

I'm afraid that's another long-winded reply from me. Sorry about that. I hope the info helps. Regards.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,708
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Posted by chucky6 on 16/2/2008 at 11:33

Just got back from 28 days in northern and central Laos. Travelers were referring to the Lonely Planet as the LYING Planet. I did all 80% of my pre-trip research on and had an excellent adventure.In its early days the Lonely Planet was the only kid on the block in SE Asia and was very good. Their current dominance is undeserved. Several years ago I used them for a trip to Morocco. I threw the book away it was so useless. check out Rough guides. If you can read some French peruse the Guide Routard online as well as Rough Guides. You can usually get some info from the tourist office or your guesthouse and of course, the best source is other travelers!

#3 chucky6 has been a member since 26/7/2005. Posts: 1

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