Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lonely Planet vs. Rough Guide

For South East Asia we have been using a Rough Guide guidebook, the first one I've had. Previously in Australia and South Africa we've used the Lonely Planet. I much prefer the latter. The Rough Guide seems to have been printed on toilet paper, and not the good stuff, that horrible waxed stuff you used to get at school. They also seem to be fairly down on a lot of places that seem perfectly OK to me. Alright, places may be more built up than when these guidebooks were started, and may have lost a little of their charm, but they really aren't that bad. For instance, the beach that we stayed in on Langkawi wasn't really given a favourable review at all, when in actual fact it was really rather pleasant. The reason they were down on it was that the water isn't crystal clear. That isn't such a problem really. It's not pollution, just churned up sand and mud in the water. I also just prefer the way the LP lays out information. With the RG you have to search back and forwards within a chapter to find what you want, say information on trains, whereas the LP will bung all of the relevant information in one place. So I don't think I'll be using the RG for the rest of our journey.

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