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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Tahiti & a recipe for the Cooks
David Stanley's Moon Handbook, Tahiti: Including the Cook Islands, is one of the most depressing books I have read. As a travel writer myself I picked up the book to help prepare for an upcoming trip and this guide is so good, the world certainly doesn't need another one from me. However, having lived in Vanuatu and traveled many times to Fiji, I'm familiar with David's...
Published on Dec 28 2003 by Ian

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3.0 out of 5 stars An average travel guide
Comparing this guide with other guides for Tahiti, it's just great!!.. It's far more accurate then the others, but those others it's often plain bad.
Most guides are correct about weather, currency, number of inhabittants etc. But when it comes to accomendations, guiding companies etc. it's a completely different story.
I went to Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas...
Published on May 23 2004 by Christian Halle


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5.0 out of 5 stars A great choice for visiting Tahiti and/or the Cook Islands, Dec 9 2003
I have enjoyed Moon Handbooks guides in the past, and this updated 5th edition of Tahiti is no exception. There are obviously other choices out there on the marketplace such as Lonely Planet, but I've always felt that David Stanley's Moon Handbooks are a step above the competition because the guide is written by someone who has actually lived there long enough to really know the in's and out's of each place. I've used guidebooks to find some highly recommended restaurants and had a terrible experience there, and I've found hole-in-the-wall places that aren't covered by the guidebook and had a wonderful experience. I think this is a result of a guidebook writer having only visited each place once and basing a recommendation on one experience, rather than really settle down and get to know each place. The latter is the sense I received when I bought and read Moon Handbooks Tahiti.
Much like the Fiji Moon Handbooks guide, considerable attention is given to the history, culture and people of the area. While this history may appeal to only certain people, let's put it this way... other areas are not spared in exchange for this information, so consider it a bonus over other guidebooks. The real structure of the book, such as the places to stay, places to eat, and activities on each of the islands is as good if not better than I've seen in better-known guidebooks. Furthermore, the maps are unsurpassed starting at entire islands right on down to city centers.
I often take more than one guidebook on a trip to a destination anyway, but if my budget or my backpack only allowed one, this would be the one for Tahiti. Hope my review helps you plan for your trip. Bon voyage!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent investment for the traveler to and from Tahiti, Nov. 30 2003
By 
Shawn McLaughlin (Arizona, USA) - See all my reviews
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A BRIEF REVIEW OF "MOON HANDBOOKS TAHITI" BY DAVID STANLEY
(with an emphasis on the Easter Island portion)
Anyone familiar with David Stanley's "South Pacific" (one of the Moon Handbooks series) will recognize similarities between its Easter Island coverage and that which is contained in this, the 5th edition of his "Tahiti". And it's apparent that he updates his information regularly (new references to land redistribution and the voyage of the Hokule'a, for example). There are a few errors that I've been told will be addressed in the next edition: Benito Rapahango is listed as proprietor for Mahinatur, for example, despite the fact that Benito died in September of 2002*, plus a few technical errors that probably only archaeologists and anthropologists will notice. He rightly complains about the loudness of the Toroko Disco when staying at the Hotel O'tai (though my solution to this is ear-plugs; I never travel without them). And he properly admonishes people about disturbing bones found at various sites around the island, which includes a new section on how to conduct oneself respectfully on the island (vis-a-vis the archaeological sites). However, a few tourist-oriented corrections are worth mentioning: The ATM outside the bank is open (it accepts Bank of Chile and Mastercard and was operational as of October 2002), and the U.S. airport reciprocity (entry) taxes have gone up to $100 (it was $91 a year ago).
But don't be unduly distracted by this recitation of errors, as they represent a fraction of the coverage that is otherwise clear, concise, and up-to-date. Stanley is refreshingly honest in describing the controversies involving land redistribution and inane development plans (e.g., the 5-star hotel and golf course) -- "one special-interest group clawing against another; the world on a small scale". And he offers extensive details about accommodations that are rarely available elsewhere. His Hanga Roa map is one of the most accurate to date and the two-page spread devoted to Easter Island Internet resources is invaluable.
Although I've focused on the Easter Island portion of the book in this review, I think it's important to note that about 95 percent of David Stanley's Tahiti is not about Easter Island (duh). In fact, of the three main sections of the book, the bulk is contained in the sections on French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. The section on French Polynesia covers Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea & Tahaìa, Bora Bora, Maupiti, Austral Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Gambier Islands, and Marquesas Islands); the section on the Cook Islands covers Rarotonga and the Southern and Northern Groups; and the section on Easter Island covers, well, Easter Island -- but that's what you'd expect unless you are floridly intoxicated after visiting the fruit juice factory on Moorea.
In his very approachable style, Stanley provides loads of information on history, customs, holidays and events, arts and shopping, services, transportation, and lots of little trivia tidbits. His section "Tahiti in Literature" is a rare gem. Two dozen pages at the back of the book are devoted to a rudimentary glossary, a listing of basic Tahitian and French terms, suggested reading, Internet resources, and island facts (which doesn't include Easter Island and indeed any non-"permanently inhabited islands of French Polynesia and the Cook Islands", alas). This makes "Tahiti" one of the best investments for the traveler to and from this region of the world.
One thing that has always impressed me about Stanley's guides is the fact that they're written by him as a traveler and not as a guidebook writer. He travels anonymously when researching his books and thus doesn't receive special treatment at hotels or restaurants. This makes it a lot easier for the reader to trust his opinions. And since Stanley emphasizes mid-priced accommodations and activities, you have a better appreciation of what it's really likely to cost.
Whether you're settled down, heading east, or heading west, with Tahiti at the center and Stanley's very centered information at your disposal, this book will help you find your way.
----------
* Mahinatur is no longer in operation at the intersection of Hotu Matua and Atamu Tekena in the Easter Island village of Hanga Roa but is still in operation. This is the latest contact information from both SERNATUR and Camara de Turismo on the island:
MAHINATUR
Julio Lagos, proprietor
Residencial O Tama Te Raìa
Hotu Matua
phone/fax: 100-220 /100-420
[...]
mahinatur@entelchile.net
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tahiti Author Reviews Tahiti Handbook, Nov. 27 2003
By 
Robert F. Kay (Honolulu, HI USA) - See all my reviews
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I'm happy to be the first to review this version of Tahiti Handbook which combines French Polynesia with Easter Island and the Cooks. There's nothing like competition to keep one focused and David Stanley has been giving me a run for my money for the past 20 years.
Stanley's own history with Tahiti is advantageous for the reader. He understands the cultural mileu, which provides a sensitivity not shared by most other Tahiti authors. He has had an opportunity to meet some of the more important figures in the country over the past few decades. This includes anti-nuclear activist Bengt Danielsson as well artists, writers and intellectuals.
Having visited the place so often he knows where to put his research time and I can attest has been able to chronicle every decent restaurant and hotel in the country.
The book is well laid out with great maps and helpful sidebars that cover everything from ferry schedules to Internet Resources.
This is one terrific resource you'll want to take before you hit tarmac at Faaa Airport.
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5.0 out of 5 stars David Stanley's book fantastic!, Jan. 2 2004
By 
Jennifer Martin (Bend, OR., USA) - See all my reviews
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David Stanley's guide to Tahiti is by far and away the most complete guide to the region that I have found. Having traveled in the area, it is refreshing to find a book that covers not only the high-profile aspects of the region, but also the out-of-the-way, behind the scenes views of the south seas. Mr. Stanley has a way of getting immersed in the culture and the communities but also sees things from a traveler's perspective. His intensive research, along with up to date information make it a pleasant and an enjoyable read. Not only are there plenty of resources listed, but the information given about the history and culture of the islands is fascinating to know before going. The numbers and prices listed are also current enough to be used at any point you decide to make the journey. This book is a fantastic guide to a magical place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good one., April 23 2012
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This review is from: Moon Tahiti (Paperback)
This book is a good choice and gives lots of ideas. Caution: give yourself lots of time for planning because there are soooo many ideas! It even tells you specific tour operators to contact and also some to avoid. Helpful maps, information on all the islands of French Polynesia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner, June 1 2004
David Stanley has a wealth of personal knowledge of the South Pacific, and it shows. This comprehensive guide to French Polynesia, Rapanui, and Cook Islands is a must for anyone planning to travel to these exotic tropical paradises. Covering everything from history to present day conditions, from the practicalities of getting there to getting around, he tells it like it is. No matter your preffered travelling style, there is a wealth of realistic information to please everyone, from backpackers to luxury seekers alike. You will find this book invaluable; don't leave home without it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't think Tahiti was for me, until I read this book., Sept. 5 2011
This review is from: Moon Tahiti (Paperback)
Unless you are planning a trip soon, you'd better not read this book, because once you're into it, you'll be convinced that the South Seas are going to be the next destination for travel. Once I started this travel book, I couldn't put it down; the maps and pictures are very detailed as is the route to take and daily living expenses and accommodations available. Of course, it is hot, but the sceneery, the experiences are unforgettable and I haven't even left the house yet! Good Job, David Stanley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to paradise!, May 12 2011
By 
L. C. Henderson (Velddrift, South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moon Tahiti (Paperback)
Moon Tahiti, the 7th edition of renowned traveler David Stanley's work in the Moon Handbooks series, is as comprehensive, up-to-date and enlightening as ever. Containing 47 detailed and easy-to-use maps, the guidebook describes the must-see sights, activities, restaurants, and accommodation available not only on Tahiti, but on all the other islands in French Polynesia as well, including invaluable insights into tourist highlights on Moorea, as well as on the Leeward, Austral, Tuamotu and Gambier, and Marquesas Islands. In addition, in his inimitable environmentally aware way, he provides an informed analysis of the land itself, its flora and fauna, its history and government, its economy, its people and culture, and the arts and entertainment opportunities granted by French Polynesia, so that the book is a valuable source of information for tourist and armchair traveler alike. For the former, he supplies a chapter on such essentials as transport, visas and officialdom, customs, and health and safety, while for those who wish to approach their trip with the added insight to be gleaned from other sources he provides a glossary, phrasebook, and a list of suggested reading and Internet resources.

That Stanley truly loves these islands is clear from start to finish. His intimate knowledge of the islands is rivaled only by the fluency of his writing. His balanced outlook on French Polynesia allows him to retain an objective stance throughout, enabling him to pinpoint both the merits and the demerits of the islands. For example, he doesn't hide the fact that the cosmopolitan city of Papeete becomes a ghost town on Sunday afternoons, as "life washes out into the countryside," so best avoid at such times. Stanley's style is concise and factual--he provides you with a great deal of information in a limited number of words. His main intent is to give a complete picture of each place so that you can make informed decisions about how you wish to spend your time in the islands. Stanley consistently keeps the primary focus of the reader in mind, so that no matter whether you are more interested in sports, culture and the arts (his references to the leading French Post-Impressionist, Paul Gauguin, are numerous), the natural beauty of the islands, or the more historic and religious aspects of French Polynesia, you are bound to find much that appeals to your palate.

Moon Tahiti is well illustrated throughout with black-and-white photographs of local architecture and scenes, in addition to maps of many of the 118 islands and towns that form part of this archipelago set in the South Pacific Ocean. Stanley also provides a great deal of background information on various cultural practices, aspects of island lifestyle and fascinating biographical overviews of outstanding local characters that he sensibly sets aside in text boxes scattered throughout the main text, so that they do not disrupt the flow of his central argument. If you have ever dreamed of listening to the rustling of palm trees swaying in the breeze while watching islanders gyrate their sinuous bodies in time to the rhythm of exotic melodies, this book is for you. As Stanley writes, "Welcome to paradise!"
[Reviewer for BookPleasures.com]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Information you can trust, Dec 20 2007
By 
Dan Gordon - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moon Tahiti (Paperback)
My wife and I are frequent travelers to the South Pacific. Every time we have relied solely on Internet web sites, travel brochures and some travel handbooks we have been consistently disappointed in our accommodations. David Stanley's travel books have always steered us in the right directions. The new Tahiti handbook contains clear maps, contact information, traveling tips and pictures. This book is full of well researched practical information and advice. Most importantly it is information you can trust.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moon Tahiti, Feb. 15 2008
By 
Tami Brady "Tami Brady: Transition-Empowermen... (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moon Tahiti (Paperback)
I'm dreaming about a trip to the French Polynesian Islands. With 118 islands and atolls this area has all the enjoyment of a tropical island paradise without all the tourists. There's a lot to do, everything from swimming with the dolphins, scuba diving, hiking, and mountain climbing. Plus with only an average of only 200, 000 visitors a year (as compare to the seven million that go to Hawaii each year), I know I'll actually be able relax on the beach and enjoy my vacation.

About the only issue I have with the French Polynesian Islands is the cost. Prices can be a little expensive, especially in the larger more touristy islands of Tahiti and Moorea. Fortunately, Moon Handbooks Tahiti has come to my rescue.

As I looked through Moon Handbooks Tahiti, I quickly realized this guide was going to save me a lot of time, frustration, and money. The author shares reasonable ways to save a few dollars like making use of discount air passes, camping on the beach, staying with locals on the smaller islands, and buying groceries. When the savings aren't worth the extra effort, the author candidly tells the reader. I like that because I may be willing to make a little effort to save money but I want to enjoy my vacation too.
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Moon Tahiti
Moon Tahiti by David Stanley (Paperback - Dec 28 2010)
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