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Korea (Country Travel Guide) Paperback – May 1, 2010

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Review

...for the adventurous traveler who wants to live like a native.' --Real Simple Magazine, June 2005
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

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

What We Do
* We offer travellers 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 travellers; leading debate and discussion about travel and the world.
* We tell it like it is without fear or favor in service of the travellers; not clouded by any other motive.

What We Believe
We believe that travel leads to a deeper cultural understanding and compassion and therefore a better world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Country Travel Guide
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 8 edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741048311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741048315
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've used Lonely Planets for years. I like some more than others, and there's a few issues I have with the series, but they've always been a useful general guide to my travels.

However this book is a new low and I can't recommend people away from it enough. Literally every single time I tried to follow the advice the book gave, the information ended up being incorrect or outdated or amazingly vague.

A quick example is the Sa Rang Chae guest house in Gyeongju - it didn't give an address, and the phone number didn't work, but the description and location on the map indicated a general area to look. When I got to this general area, the guesthouse was nowhere to be found. I later learned that the guesthouse had moved locations four years ago, and had been e-mailing and mailing LP for several editions, trying to get them to update their information. Similarly, the restaurants and cafes they recommended for that city were nowhere to be found - it was worse than useless.

Their maps are terrible, particularly in Seoul. They generally don't list street names on the map. They also tend to skip a large number of smaller streets - but without names, it's hard to guess if the street was skipped or not. So trying to use an LP map involves an awful lot of guesswork. Korean people were often very kind helping confused tourists such as myself, but they also couldn't understand the maps, because even if the street had names on it, there was no Hangul, only Roman characters.

Addresses were very rarely given. So finding their recommendations boiled down to trying to use a small map with no street names. If using this book, make sure to confirm every single destination with a google search.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Jared M on October 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I always buy Lonely Planet guidebooks for the destinations I go to. They are informative, organised, well laid out, list a number of activities which most visitors to the Land of the Morning Calm would be hard pressed to complete. The latest edition of the Korea guide book is no exception, and is a great introduction to this amazingly deceptive country. South Korea is full of contradictions, sprawling metropolises juxtaposed with ancient Buddhist and Confucian temples. The book helps visitors explore those contradictions. Those planning on living in the country (ESL teachers) may find it lacking after they have exhausted all the sights and activities, but for visitors staying a few months or less, and travelling around Korea (not just sticking to Seoul) will find it plenty sufficient.

I reviewed the last edition, and cross referenced the new with old, and it has been thoroughly updated, accomodations, prices, eateries, and so on. No doubt this was aided by the fact that this was one of the first travel guidebook editions to come out in Lonely Planet's new format. A previous reviewer commented on the lack of personality (for lack of a better word) in this edition of the book, and I would have to say I agree with that assessment. The older edition is a little more personable. But hey, this one still does the job, and gets you from A to B. However, note that at the time of review (mid October 2005), the guidebook has been out for well over a year, and thus is already out of date. Realistically, it was out of date that day it rolled off the printing presses, things can change quite rapidly in Korea!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By gang jeong-hi on July 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Took this freshly minted book with me to Korea in June. It services all the main sights well, but there's a general lack of humor and real gritty insight throughout. For example, the Seoul chapter is a perfunctory list of sights, then a list of accomodation, then eating places, etc. etc. Much listing is to be found.

Very different from the main part of the book are the informative chapters on culture and history. These chapters, particularly the one about the North, are fascinating and very well done. Read the history sections for great context.

All in all, this will get you through korea. But once there, utilize tourist information and any locals willing to give you a hand. And hold on to those subway tickets!!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Anil Singapuri on October 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
I always purchase Lonely Planet (LP) books when I travel, and they have never steered me wrong. But, this LP Korea edition doesn't seem to follow the standard format to which I have become accustomed. To start with, the table of contents is almost non-existent. The table of contents in many LP books can be up to 10 pages. In this book, the table of contents is half a page. It is very difficult to find the section you are looking for.

Secondly, this book breaks up the useful facts for the visitor into two sections. For example, the sections regarding health, money, food, embassies and visas are in a chapter called "Directory" at the end of the book. In most if not all other LP books that I have read, these items appear at the beginning of the book, before they start discussing the individual locations. I wish that LP would maintain some consistency.

Lastly, the index is incomplete. They do a good job of listing all the place names in the index, but many key words which you might be searching for are not present. For example, neither "electricity" nor "weather" are listed in the index. For electricity, I just gave up looking in the book, and found the answers on line.

In summary, I believe that this book contains all the information one needs to travel in Korea, but the information can be very difficult to find within the book.
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