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Trailblazer South East Asia: The Graphic Guide Paperback – May 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Trailblazer Publications; 1st edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873756674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873756676
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Exotic yet bargain value, accessible and full of variety, South-East Asia is quite deservedly the most popular region for travelers in Asia. Whether you're looking for deserted beaches or busy resorts, jungle adventures or a hassle-free stopover, there's something for everyone here.
Travel in the region is now so easy that a new type of guide is needed. In Graphic Guides information in concentrated on maps making it much easier to plan routes and visualize journeys.
Inside you will find: all you need to do the standard backpacker circuits and plenty more to help you escape from them; alphabets explained, important place names in local script; entertaining anecdotes to give you a feel for the place; 210 maps and 40 color photos; key websites; information on Yunnan (China).

About the Author

Mark Elliott was a radio presenter, chemistry teacher, and vacuum salesman. He's played blues harmonica in a Turkmenistan club, danced rain dances in a Gambian village, eaten pig's brains with Borneo dayaks, and nibbled chocolate strawberries with US presidents. He is the author of several guidebooks, including two other guides for Trailblazer.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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What a great book to use for information during travel.
John F. Boulukos
By the way with all the SARS paranoia it is a great time to be out here in SE Asia!
roger jones
I don't need to do a lot of research, just grab the book and get going!
Louis Jezsik

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Dustin on August 12, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the past 2 years I have been on the road for over 1 year. Most recently returning from a 7 month trip which included Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, India, Nepal, UAE, and Qatar among others.

I took this guidebook with me (No chance of finding it in bookstores I suspected correctly).

The author uses a very innovative map system with symbols to quickly show the traveler what is worth visiting, what is not, and how to get there - by bus, air, or train. The symbols and limited text also show where to stay. Train schedules in small tables too. The author provides just the right amount of descriptive text about the various countries to keep yourself out of trouble and/or pique your interest.

What this map system does is help eliminate the "Head stuck in guidebook" that can befall any traveler - experienced or not.
Many guidebooks like to "hand-hold" travelers almost to the point where some of the fun of traveling is removed. This book gets rid of alot of that feeling. It is also very quick to use once understood (Which doesn't take long). Don't expect long winded descriptions - that is often best saved for discovering for yourself when you travel.

The main caveat is that this book is aimed at low budget and "harder" traveling folks. If you enjoy/desire to go up market once in a while (Mostly with lodging I suspect) another guidebook to supplement this one might be advisable. (Or maybe you can just use the Internet for that "every now and then treat/respite") The author does provide links for numerous useful websites that I didn't know about prior too.

While I was in Thailand (Supplemented by a LP) I was using this book to plan an overland route through Cambodia (Originally Vietnam too).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Hock on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having spent 3 months in SE Asia the last part of 2005, this was the only book we really needed. It is so much easier to navigate than a more traditional guide book. Though some of the information was a tad dated, especially travel times(it was published in 2003), it was our bible as we traveled. We met a few others who also had it (as opposed to the throngs who had Lonely Planet) and who were equally impressed. Long-timer travelers we met who we showed the book to were amazed to see so much accurate, easy-to-access information (ie to get to Burma cheaply from Bagkok, take a Bangladesh airline flight that stops in Yangon on the way to Bangladesh).

The maps take a little time to understand, but once you do, everything is laid out for you in one concise picture. It's like a friend drew you map showing the highlights and inside scoop. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words--what his maps say on one page, it would take LP 6-7pages.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Donald W. Stein on January 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is easily the most engaging and useful travel guide I have bought. I love the "treasure map" style and it is a perfect fit for Southeast Asia. This book was very helpful in getting around Southeast Asia and made me excited to go. The where's nice section is better than the highlights section in other travel books. I especially liked language sections as it included very information transliteration guides.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Louis Jezsik on December 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
I say "ultimate" guide insomuch as I found myself using it, and nothing else, on a 5-month sojourn through Southeast Asia. Although I purchased a number of other guides, I ended up leaving them with other travelers because this one is just so darn handy. It's small enough to fit in a cargo pocket, so it accompanied me everywhere.

What makes Mark Elliott's guide so great is that it gives me just enough knowledge to be dangerous. His schematic maps orient me and highlight the sites worth seeing and the places worth visiting. I don't need to do a lot of research, just grab the book and get going!

What it does NOT have is detailed histories and background information on the many locals. That's OK by me because I can pick that up from locals or other travelers hauling their heavy guidebooks everywhere! I lost count of how many times people offered to buy my copy once they'd seen the practicality of the design.

Note that there is a slight learning curve in understanding the schematic maps. Elliott does a great job introducing them and provides opportunity to learn. Once you've understood the design, you're a master of your own destiny.

***** Highly Recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Luong on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This guidebook is indispensable. It's easy to use once you figure out the map key, lightweight, and had tons of very accurate useful information. I loved it!! I ended up having the most reliable guidebook of anyone else I met.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John F. Boulukos on November 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
Wow! What a great book to use for information during travel. This book has all the requirements for an excellent guide: small in size, packed with the best types of info, and maps included. I plan to take this to Southeast Asia and use it to its fullest. The book is ingenius in that each map takes up only one page but includes information that would have taken up 10 pages if not for the symbols and abbreviations used. Nice piece of work!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Sean Bramble on July 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Did you ever wish you were the 19th-century Richard Burton, looking at the white spaces on the fringes of a map and wondering what lay inside them? I have; I suppose you have too. Those days are gone for good, though. Mark Elliott's book, however, turns that concept on its head. In it he presents a series of lovingly crafted maps of Southeast Asia, packed with enough information to get me there in the first place, yet vague enough to encourage me to explore it on my own. Some guidebooks can be so overwritten as to make me feel like, "Why bother going? I've already read about it." This book, though, sits inside my briefcase and tantalizes me. It's fun to read, too; I read it on the train and laugh out loud, and everyone in the car is shocked. It answers all the essential questions -- especially what to do if you just can't finish your dinner of dog meat. (Think about it!) What I've seen of Southeast Asia matches what I have read in this book. And for the places I haven't made it to yet, well, this book goads me into going farther.
If all a real sailor needs is a ship and a star to steer her by, then all a true traveler needs is a backpack and this book to journey by. Buy it -- you will not be disappointed!
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