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Read This First: Asia & India: Essential Predeparture Travel Guide Paperback – Dec 15 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 1st edition (Dec 15 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1864500492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864500493
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,886,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Many travellers tend to dismiss organised tours as only for older people and the terminally unadventurous; certainly, organised tours can be restrictive and over planned, but they do have some advantages. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is not very detailed but is still useful asa pre-departure guide. it has 2 main sections. the first part ha basic travel information such as packing , getting around, hostels and transportation.
The second, more useful section comprises of country information. for the 21 countries covered there is a map and to 4 pages of text for each country with background country information. details on visa requirements, expected costs, other resources ( books, film, internet). The most useful aspect is the suggested itenarys by country. suggested travel itenarys are provided for each country for various durations, 3 days, 1 week , 2 weeks and a month. these are also marked out on the map to give the reader an idea of how much travel is involved.
This book is useful to those considering a Asian trip as it can help one find the places they may want to visit. It would be of little use to anyone in Asia as there are no local maps or details on where to stay, eat and drink.
The Lonely Planet India guide and Spouth East Asia on a Shoestring guide would be a good companions to this book. use this book in your planning stages then use the regionalal guide in your travels
As with all LP guides it has many interesting first person anecdotes that make interesting reading.
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Format: Paperback
no, this is not a travel guide. it does not give listings and directions for sights, food, and lodging. it is a practical guide for backpackers (and other independent travelers) heading off to asia. this guide lists visa requirements for all of the asian nations (for visitors from many countries), gives suggestions on routes throughout asia, generalizations about transport, lodging, and meals, recommendations on what to take, and insights on what to expect. it is a very useful tool, packed with necessary information. you could leave for asia without it onhand, but do not leave for asia before reading it.
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By A Customer on April 28 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book very helpful in planning my trip to Asia. While I wouldn't use this book on my trip, it got me focused on what to think about when getting ready to go and deciding how I wanted to divide my time in such a large region.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 9 2002
Format: Paperback
This could be useful if you've never traveled before in your life, but it's a bit too simplistic to be of use to anyone else. More than half of the book is "general" content, basics such as how to pack and eating precautions, that really doesn't apply to any more to Asia & India than to anywhere else in the developing world. There was only 4 or 5 pages on every country, and most of the information was trivial. There was less than a page about what there is to see and do that is unique or interesting in a given country. Most of it was taken up by things like visa requirements, which are useless, because you'll have to check with the embassies anyway to make sure there hasn't been a change. There are a few suggested itineraries for each country (a line on a map), but they are useless because they don't even give a one-sentence description of what why a particular city is of interest.
This book is for you if you want to know about "how to travel", but it's not very useful as a tool for planning your itinerary for a pan-Asian trip. For that Lonely Planet will make you buy the guidebook for every single country you are considering visiting before giving you an idea of whether or not you want to go to that place
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Helpful in planning a trip April 28 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this book very helpful in planning my trip to Asia. While I wouldn't use this book on my trip, it got me focused on what to think about when getting ready to go and deciding how I wanted to divide my time in such a large region.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
a must read before trekking off to asia Dec 6 2000
By IndigoKare - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
no, this is not a travel guide. it does not give listings and directions for sights, food, and lodging. it is a practical guide for backpackers (and other independent travelers) heading off to asia. this guide lists visa requirements for all of the asian nations (for visitors from many countries), gives suggestions on routes throughout asia, generalizations about transport, lodging, and meals, recommendations on what to take, and insights on what to expect. it is a very useful tool, packed with necessary information. you could leave for asia without it onhand, but do not leave for asia before reading it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great regional travel planner - experienced or not Aug. 12 2004
By Dustin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the past 2 years I have been on the road for over 1 year. Most recently returning from a 7 month trip which included Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, India, Nepal, UAE, and Qatar among others.

I used this guide as a general planning tool. Such as correlating the maps with the weather charts provided. As well as utilizing the helpful regional travel tips and anecdotes provided. One of them I read while in India gave me a good laugh and perspective when I needed it most! Every region has its own idiosyncracies - once mastered or "internalized," travel only gets easier - it is nice to have alot of them described in one place.

While certainly not a detailed guide (No specific lodging, food, or city maps) it provided me just the right level of information to help me determine where I wanted to go, how to get to and from those points (quick border info) and roughly how much time I wanted to spend there via the sample itineraries. The maps are colorful and excellent, they include different colors showing the sample itineraries which are based on trips of different time lengths (1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, etc...) and little flags indicating land border checkpoints. Paper quality is also nice and glossy.

I will return to this region again. Next time I will travel with few if any pre-bought air tickets (I was on a One World world trip ticket). This guide should be even more useful then. I generally don't like the huge regional guides (Like Shoestring), instead opting for specific country guidebooks. (Although I will note that Southeast Asia by Mark Elliott for Trailblazer Publications is an excellent guidebook using a very innovative map system instead of text)

While I used specific guidebooks for most of these countries (Not all LP I'll add), as a "1 stop shop/read" in a compact format the LP RTF series is unbeatable in my opinion. Like taking it to a cafe to high level plan the next few weeks of travel! Also using it before one might have the opportunity to buy a guidebook for the next country (Especially applicable for longer term travelers).

Another useful feature of the book is the chart showing all the countries listed in the region and whether a visa is required (For US, UK, Aus citizens) and the length of stay allowed.

For the real adventurous this might be the only guide one needs to BRING TO the region. Confidence in travelling "lite and harder" and/or picking up guidebooks / tourist pamphlets / searching out internet sites on the way would be recommended.

Great book, if used the right way. If you are only planning on going to a single country, then I wouldn't bother with this book. But, if you are planning a multi-country trip (And don't care for the big, thick, small print regional guides), or just need a better idea of where to spend your time in the region - this could be a book for you. Useful as a pre-trip planner that stays at home when you leave, or used during a long multi-month trip.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Too general and simplistic Aug. 9 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This could be useful if you've never traveled before in your life, but it's a bit too simplistic to be of use to anyone else. More than half of the book is "general" content, basics such as how to pack and eating precautions, that really doesn't apply to any more to Asia & India than to anywhere else in the developing world. There was only 4 or 5 pages on every country, and most of the information was trivial. There was less than a page about what there is to see and do that is unique or interesting in a given country. Most of it was taken up by things like visa requirements, which are useless, because you'll have to check with the embassies anyway to make sure there hasn't been a change. There are a few suggested itineraries for each country (a line on a map), but they are useless because they don't even give a one-sentence description of what why a particular city is of interest.
This book is for you if you want to know about "how to travel", but it's not very useful as a tool for planning your itinerary for a pan-Asian trip. For that Lonely Planet will make you buy the guidebook for every single country you are considering visiting before giving you an idea of whether or not you want to go to that place
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
not very detailed but still useful. Jan. 4 2004
By Ravi Desai - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is not very detailed but is still useful asa pre-departure guide. it has 2 main sections. the first part ha basic travel information such as packing , getting around, hostels and transportation.
The second, more useful section comprises of country information. for the 21 countries covered there is a map and to 4 pages of text for each country with background country information. details on visa requirements, expected costs, other resources ( books, film, internet). The most useful aspect is the suggested itenarys by country. suggested travel itenarys are provided for each country for various durations, 3 days, 1 week , 2 weeks and a month. these are also marked out on the map to give the reader an idea of how much travel is involved.
This book is useful to those considering a Asian trip as it can help one find the places they may want to visit. It would be of little use to anyone in Asia as there are no local maps or details on where to stay, eat and drink.
The Lonely Planet India guide and Spouth East Asia on a Shoestring guide would be a good companions to this book. use this book in your planning stages then use the regionalal guide in your travels
As with all LP guides it has many interesting first person anecdotes that make interesting reading.


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