Most helpful critical review
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Do you like McDonalds?
on February 22, 2003
I couldn't help but feel disapppointed in this book. It really seems to miss the point of foreign travel. For example, in the section on Taipei there are 23 listings for Western restaurants and only 13 for Chinese restaurants. Taipei is one of the best cities in the world for Chinese food, and the writer could only manage 13. This seems terribly unbalanced to me. To make it worse, some of the western restaurants introduced are Planet Hollywood (yeah, I went to Taipei to get the Hollywood experience), TGI Friday's, McDonald's and Subway (which in the author's own words, "needs no introduction" -- my point exactly). I went to Taiwan for the food, so this was a big shortcoming in my point of view. Another point , he only lists two teahouses and both are in (or near) a museum. He gives the excuse that teahouses are always closing all the time (of course that didn't stop him from listing a lot of nightclubs). It just seems like he wasn't interested in researching teahouses. He just couldn't be bothered. Also, he writes very little about the excellent night markets. In fact he devotes an equal amount of space to tell us about food courts. Come on!
It's sad, really. I've used a lot of Lonely Planet guides with good results before, which is why I bought this one without looking at it. However, I can't recommend this one unless your idea of a good vacation in Taipei is eating at TGI Friday's, having coffee at Starbucks, and going to a club (why are you going to Taipei? You can do that at home.) Well, to explain why I gave it two stars instead of one, the transportation and hotel information is useful, so I couldn't bring myself to trash it completely.