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Central Asia (Lonely Planet Travel Guides) Paperback – August 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...for the adventurous traveler who wants to live like a native.' --Real Simple Magazine, June 2005

From the Publisher

Who We Are
At Lonely Planet, we see our job as inspiring and enabling travelers to connect with the world for their own benefit and for the benefit of the world at large.

What We Do
* We offer travelers the world's richest travel advice, informed by the collective wisdom of over 350 Lonely Planet authors living in 37 countries and fluent in 70 languages.
* We are relentless in finding the special, the unique and the different for travellers wherever they are.
* When we update our guidebooks, we check every listing, in person, every time.
* We always offer the trusted filter for those who are curious, open minded and independent.
* We challenge our growing community of travelers; leading debate and discussion about travel and the world.
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We believe that travel leads to a deeper cultural understanding and compassion and therefore a better world.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 4 edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741046149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741046144
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bradley Mayhew was born in Sevenoaks, Kent in 1970 and currently lives in Yellowstone County, Montana. A degree in Oriental Studies (Chinese) at Oxford University kickstarted 20 years of independent travel in the remoter corners of Asia and a career writing guidebooks. With his classmate, he wrote the Odyssey Guide to Uzbekistan, the first guidebook to the country, in 1995. He has since written over 25 guides for Lonely Planet, specialising in Central Asia, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, China and Yellowstone National Park.

In the course of his research trips he's been arrested in the Tajikistan Pamirs, forced to make a self-criticism in Tibet, slept in a cupboard in Nicaragua and spent way too much time eating mutton kebabs across inner Asia. Bradley has also written for Insight guides and Rough Guides and has lectured on Central Asia to the Royal Geographical Society. He was recently seen retracing the route of Marco Polo for a five-hour German TV documentary (Arte/SWR), airing in 2011.

Follow his blog at www.bradleymayhew.blogspot.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sharad Yadav on October 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Central Asia is steeped in rich mediaeval architecture, soul stirring music, amazingly friendly people, complex history, delicious food & a sense of the prehistoric.
Solo or individual travel to this part of the world is not for the squeamish amateur traveler. Travel here will test you and occasionally frustrate you. But, then the warmth of people and the amazing architecture and natural beauty will more than neutralize that frustration.
A guide to Central Asia is your life support system. You won't be able to do without it and as usual LP does a great job. The information is very accurate and up to date.

I only have some minor comments & recommendations for people planning to Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan.
1. The shared taxi prices in the guide are notional. Most taxi drivers will quote a much higher price (usually in USD), which may be 2 to 3 times the price quoted in the guide. Their rationale is that they will take you out in a brand new Daewoo Nexia car and the ride will be comfortable (hardly ever the case).
2. A popular scam is that taxi drivers will negotiate a price for a non-stop shared ride to your city of interest, but they will cunningly drop you at the nearest taxi stand & transfer you to another taxi, which will leave much later (1-2 hours wait) and demand that you pay them the whole amount. Some times, they'll even ask for an advance. The best way to avoid these scams is to insist on the same driver till the destination and do NOT pay in advance even if it means creating a big row & walking out of the deal.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chase A. Mateusiak on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This doesn't answer questions such as, "What kind of winter jacket should I bring", but it does tell you about the traditional Kyrgyz practice of wife abduction. The packing lists on the Peace Corps wiki are a good source if you need to know what kind of clothes to bring: [...]. Type in "Packing list for ___(country)___". Unfortunately, they only have lists for the countries in which the Peace Corps has volunteers. However, most likely they have people somewhere in the region about which you are interested.
This book is full of practical information about each country (and some funny tidbits), some ideas for itineraries, and useful tips. Since I have not seen any alternative, this is your best bet if you want a guide to Central Asia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Stanley on July 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I cannot imagine anyone visiting Central Asia without this guide. I used it on a one-month trip around Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan and found most of the information to be remarkably complete and accurate. The authors obviously did not travel overland between Khojand and Osh via Batken but even the few sketchy references were enough to see me through. I saved $20 by hiring a taxi only to Kyzyl-Kiya rather than right through to Osh, a tactic they will probably include in the next edition. In Dushanbe, the Vakhsh Hotel has tripled their prices but all of the other hotel listings I used were right on. The good news is that tourists no longer need to bother with OVIR registration in Tajikistan. I found Central Asia safe, friendly, and inexpensive. It was intriguing and I am grateful to this book for showing me around.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Biau on November 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again Lonely Planet has done a very good job. This guide is the best introduction to the five Central Asian countries. I used it in Tajikistan recently and intend to use it again.
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