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Paperback Lonely Planet Laos (Country Guide) Book

ISBN: 1741045681

ISBN13: 9781741045680

Lonely Planet Laos (Country Guide)

(Part of the Lonely Planet Country Guide Series)

With better access by road and air, travellers are enjoying Laos in unprecedented numbers and this comprehensive guide contains detailed coverage of border crossing and tips for sustainable tourism and responsible travel compiled with assistance from the Ecotourism Laos.


Format: Paperback

Condition: Acceptable

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Related Subjects

Asia General Laos Southeast Travel

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Lonely Planet Laos 6 -- worth every kip

What a difference a new edition makes. Lonely Planet's brand new guidebook, Laos 6th edition, released August 2007, is easily the best on the market. The traveller looking for comprehensive coverage in a guidebook need look no further. An extra 60 pages long, this title packs an impressive punch, with a good balance of exhaustive coverage of the key destinations along with sound information on the lesser known spots. Quite simply, Australian co-authors Andrew Burke and Justine Vaisutis have put together what is the best English-language offline resource for travel in Laos. From a tourism perspective, Laos is a rapidly developing nation, especially in the major tourist centres where new accommodation options multiply at a seemingly ever-increasing rate, yet they've done a fine job of boiling down a snapshot of the country into a guide that will be more than enough for the most demanding traveller. Matters get off to a good start -- a good, easy-to-read colour map (even if some of the roads look a tad sketchy), suggested itineraries and a completely rewritten history section by Professor Martin Stuart-Fox, author of A History of Laos (1997). This is followed by a pretty stock-standard introductory section -- the people, government and culture are all covered, though the government -- arguably the most repressive and certainly the most secretive in Southeast Asia after Burma -- gets off the hook pretty lightly. What does stand out in the introduction is the generous space given to Laos and its natural environment -- particularly its budding eco-tourism industry. As Burke says in an upcoming interview with, "If there's anywhere in Asia where eco-tourism can be a success, then it's Laos". There's an outstanding summary of all the main trekking opportunities in the country's NPAs -- this alone makes the book worth buying (or at least a quick use of the library photocopier). At the other end of the book, the "Directory" section, covering everything from getting a flight to what you should have in a medical kit is informative and rather well organised. As with other Lonely Planet titles, I think it's a bit too lengthy and hand-holding in nature. Listings The guidebook's listings are comprehensive, not exhaustive -- if you expect every place on Don Dhet to be listed, prepare to be disappointed. Perhaps half the available options in Vang Vieng are listed, similarly so in Luang Prabang, but what are listed are the best, and these can be taken as representative of others in the offing. Burke and Vaisutis do a fine job of brushing away the slimy rambutans and spoiled sticky rice to leave you with a feast of the best options to choose from. The accommodation listings are generally easy to digest, with one exception -- Luang Prabang. There, the listings have been divided up geographically into "Near the Mekong", "Historic Temple District", "Thanon Pha Mahapatsaman", "Ban Wat That" and "Elsewhere". This is confusing in a number of ways -- "N

Great traveling companion

This book made traveling through Laos a fantastic experience. Though prices in the book can't keep up with increases, most of the information was very timely and accurate. Very useful as a reference guide and helped make our trip go smoothly.

Not for everyone, but my guidebook of choice

Contrary to what several other reviewers have posted, this is in fact a surprisingly thorough guidebook to a locale that's only in recent years been opened up to the public, particularly tourists. There isn't a lot of material in English about Laos, and Cummings makes a good attempt at showing us the deep richness of Laos and the fascinating aspects of the culture. He approaches Laos with respect, and not like some rampaging farang looking for a good time at the expense of the natives. It's a guidebook that tries to honestly tell you something of the place. Does it always succeed? Perhaps not, but it's quite useful not only as a "guidebook" but a more condensed reference book about Laos, considering there are so few readable books about Lao culture, geography and society out there. And having used it on my own month-long trip through Laos, it got me through things just fine. I also had a Let's Go guide, and between the two, I pitched Let's Go somewhere in Southeast Asia and still kept Cumming's book with me. So I hope this review helps anyone thinking about this book.

great copy, sketchy maps

The book is tops for content, but watch the maps! We went following it in the central coast, and were very surprised to spend three days hacking through the jungle looking for Nokai, becuase even the road it was supposed to be on didn't exist. The towns are mislabled as well, nokai and laksao, so it was tough to get locals to offer advice as we couldn't understand why they were having such troubles finding and explaining where we were ( and weren't!). In general, lao is growing so fast- you can take the number of guest houses listed in any town, and double it. Overall great-- Joe knows his stuff!!
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