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Lonely Planet Malaysia Singapore & Brunei (Country Travel Guide) Paperback – February 1, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

For sheer global reach and dogged research, attention must be paid to Lonely Planet…' --Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2003
--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: 652 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 11 edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741048877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741048872
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,080,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"The Lonely Planet" customarily puts out a very competent well written guide to a country or countries -- and this one is no exception. One problem, however, is that Malaysia and Singapore are hardly "lonely" in the sense of being out of the way, remote places. The Kuala Lumpur skyline may be the most impressive in the world. Malaysia claims that the Petronas Towers are the tallest buildings in the world. Singapore is simply the best run city in the world.

This is by way of warning that I wouldn't put too much stock in the "Lonely Planet's" recommendations on hotels and restaurants in tourist-heavy places like KL and Singapore. For example, I went to three restaurants "Lonely Planet" recommended in KL. One was closed; one was awful; one was a notorious tourist trap. My hotel, the Corus, wasn't mentioned in "Lonely Planet" but was a bargain at $49 per night (booked on the internet) just down the street from the Petronas Towers. (Should it be mentioned in the next edition of "Lonely Planet", the price will go up.) The guidebook also waxes lyrical about the delights of Singapore Airport. I thought it was crowded and unremarkable. Now, KL's airport is really special...

All this to emphasize that you shouldn't depend on the "Lonely Planet" for hotel and restaurant recommendations in big cities. The strength of the guidebook is the detail it gives you about the countries -- their historical and cultural background, the practical emphasis on how to get from one place to another, descriptions of the small out of the way places you might miss otherwise, the sidebars that tell interesting tales.

"Lonely Planet" has become perhaps the best known of all travel guidebook series. They're at their best when they are in fact about "lonely" places.

Smallchief
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Format: Paperback
Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei are the most developed countries in Southeast Asia, and tourism is a long-established business in the first two. English is widely spoken and travel is easy. More than anywhere in the region, you could even get by without a guidebook - local tourist offices are pretty good for info.

That said, if you do want a guide, this is probably the most reliable one for practical details. The 10th edition, published in January 2007, actually seems to have been more thoroughly updated than some previous ones, with some new attractions and accomodation options added - unlike in certain other LP guides, where only prices are changed from edition to edition. Of course practical details may change even by the time the book is published (remember it was researched in early 2006), but in general these 3 countries are pretty stable and inflation is low. Sure, the odd errorous/outdated info did slip in, but is far outweighed by all the useful stuff.

My only complaint about this book might be that it still pretty much concentrates on established, popular tourist attractions and major cities/towns. Don't expect to find many tips on locating hidden gems or exploring remote corners of the country, particularly Borneo. For that kind of info, I found the Rough Guide to these countries better than LP, though RG's practical info is often more dated. Decide what's more important to you!

If you are going to these countries for the first time, and only have a few weeks on hand to spend there, you will probably find the information provided by this guide both sufficient and largely accurate.
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Format: Paperback
It's hard to read this book because of the tiny font, even at home, to say nothing of reading it when you're in another country, sweating in the oppressive heat, and in a hurry. I can do better with wikitravel -- print it out at a readable font size.

Then there's Lonely Planet's penchant for describing everything in glowing terms -- when everything is awesome, you wonder if you can trust the source, and it defeats the point of buying a guidebook.

Consider wikitravel first -- print out the Singapore page, and ones for specific areas in Singapore, like Riverside or Orchid.
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Format: Paperback
Went to Penang with this last month. Typical quality LP job in describing the country and how to get around. What made this one a cut above is that it actually had useful restaurant recommendations, as opposed to the typical LP approach (i.e.: Here's the address of a place that serves food; hope you don't get hepatitis). Hotel recommendations were spot-on as well.

As always with LP, my one regret is they aren't opinionated enough about which sights are worth your time and which ones aren't.
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Format: Paperback
It was Lonely Planet Vietnam that got me hooked on their series, and after traveling throughout Southeast Asia, I maintain Lonely Planet are the best travel advisor books, with the Rough Guide series a close second. I like that I can find what I need as a backpacker, but know where, when and on what to splurge. This particular one is not quite as strong as their Vietnam one, but I think will improve in the next version.
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Format: Paperback
I spent the better part of the afternoon reading this book as I'm planning on a trip to Singapore and Malaysia this week. The Lonely Planet can usually (although not always) be counted on to provide for solid information on travel destinations and this one does just that. It's pretty well written and everything is nicely laid out. I particularly enjoyed the historical overview at the beginning and the section on the national psyche. Malaysia and Singapore (I didn't read about Brunei) sound like thoroughly enjoyable and interesting places. I especially appreciated the description of KL as being something of a nightmare for pedestrians. That's the type of honesty that travelers need, and it's also what helped make the Lonely Planet famous in the first place.

Back from my trip, the LP served me well. Along with the China and Vietnam Lonely Planets, this is one of the best I've read, and Malaysia is a great place to travel around. Asia, with a twist.

Troy Parfitt, author
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