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Lonely Planet Discover Thailand (Full Color Country Travel Guide) Paperback – April 1, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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About the Author

China Williams grew up in South Carolina in a pretty little town surrounded by pine forests and cotton fields. Fed up with country clubs and frosted hair, China plotted her escape to a quirky liberal arts college in Annapolis, Maryland. After graduation, she packed up her book-learning and landed an editorial job in Washington, D.C., during that city?s crack-smoking mayor?s encore performance. Because of the name, bestowed by now-recovered hippie parents, China was destined to meet and adore Asia. The fated rendezvous occurred with a teaching position in the rural region of Thailand, where she developed a serious rice addiction and more freckles than skin. After her stateside return, she bored co-workers and friends with numerous ?in Thailand? stories. China now lives in San Francisco, the only city wacky enough to think that she is mainstream, with her husband, Matt. She has worked previously as an editor at Lonely Planet?s Oakland office and has written numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks to Thailand, Southeast Asia, San Francisco, and New York State. Her work has also appeared in regional magazines and newspapers as well as Chronicle Books forthcoming titles City Walks: Washington, D.C. and City Walks: Boston.Top Travel Tip: Remember to drink lots of water in hot climates, especially when your mood turns sour (a sign of approaching dehydration).

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Product Details

  • Series: Full Color Country Travel Guide
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741799945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741799941
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,070,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Colan VINE VOICE on September 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lonely Planet (LP) has introduced a new line of guidebooks, the Discover series, including this one. To me they seem similar to the DK series - lots of color photographs, less text, attractively designed, glossy paper, usually one topic per open pair of pages, but that one topic is covered quite well. Color is used for the edges of pages, to make it easy to find a section for the part of the country you are visiting. Overall the graphic design and use of color of whitespace lends both excitement and useability to the guide.

Unfortunately, there appears to be confusion about this new LP series. Although each LP Discover so far covers one country, it does NOT replace LP Country Guides. Some people have bought it thinking it is a new look for an updated country guide and are not happy with it - "This is horrible, this is like a travel advertisement, I'll never buy another LP again, etc.". Needless to say, it is not for everyone. Fortunately, you have a lot of choices in the best guide for YOU, so...


There are many to choose from for your trip to Thailand. There are several from Lonely Planet (LP), plus there is the Rough Guide, DK, Frommers, "Travelers Tales" and "Culture Shock". Start at the library or a big bookstore and look them over briefly.

I usually prefer LP, not because it is better than Rough Guide (for some places, Rough is much better), but because LP is available for more countries. Because the style is consistent, I can quickly find what I need.

Now LP has TWO country guides for Thailand: LP Thailand (LPT) with 820 pages, and the new "LP discover Thailand" (LPDT), a.k.a. Full Color Country Guide, at 408 pages; LPT is larger but they weigh approximately the same.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'd recently ordered the full colour Japan guide, and figured I'd check out the Thailand guide too since I'm interested in Thailand. A lot of what I wrote for the Japan guide is relevant here too so I'll recap with changes specific to Thailand.

What's new:
The highlights of the country are greatly expanded, and the guide starts with "Thailand's top 25 experiences" ranging from markets to visit, islands to relax on and activities to engage in. Everything was in full colour with large photos and a paragraph description. I felt like I was able to quickly get a sense of the experiences I would get in Thailand, and I liked that there were a wide range of activities described from rock climbing in Railay to travelling by sleeper train to which beaches looked the most inviting.

They've also introduced highlights to the beginning of every city or region section, bumping back the overview description to deeper into the guide. The "Things you need to know" section recapping logistical information like emergency contact information, explanations of the neighbourhoods, and other tips are shown right after highlights.

I always find LP's suggested itineraries section really helpful and the latest colour guide is no exception. Choosing what cities to visit in a country is always tough ( I want to see it all!) and the itineraries gives me a good sense of my tradeoffs between visiting one region versus another. I like that the Thailand guide also includes mini suggested itineraries at a city level for Bangkok too. I wish they extended that to all the major regions / cities like Chiang Mai too.

Colour maps are great! They are so much easier to read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I planned a month long trip to Thailand with a ton of help from Lonely Planet Discover Thailand. I went through a lot of other travel guides, and found this one to be the most helpful. We are a young couple and this guide helped us plan every possible activity we would ever want to do, from shopping and eating, to elephant trekking and snorkeling. The most useful part of this travel guide was an in-depth look at each region of Thailand which helped us choose which areas we would like to visit, and decide what exactly we wanted out of our trip. We ended up planning an adventurous week in the Khao Sok Rainforest, a relaxing week in Krabi and on Ko Phi Phi Don, and the remaining time in Bangkok. The only thing that Discover Thailand lacks, is reasonable hotel recommendations. I would suggest searching the internet to make your hotel reservations (or waiting until you get there). You can stay almost anywhere in Thailand for around 750 Baht a night. There was also some important cultural faux pas that this guide doesn't go over very well, such as the importance of women to dress conservatively, refrain from public displays of affection, etc. Overall, it's a must-have for deciding where in Thailand you want to visit, what you want to experience, and all the tools to plan the perfect vacation. Just remember, if you're on a budget, there are a lot more options for lodging and eating that aren't in this book.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lonely Planet's Thailand travel guide begins with a list of 25 top experiences, top itineraries, and information for planning your vacation. Thailand is then divided into chapters covering Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Central Thailand, Northern Thailand, Northeastern Thailand, Southeastern Thailand, Gulf Coast, and Andaman Coast travel regions, each containing color maps, highlights, itineraries, colorful images, and venue details. The travel guide ends with historical and cultural information, travel directories, and transportation details.

The Gay and Lesbian Travelers directory provides little detail, but mentions "a fairly prominent gay and lesbian scene in Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket." However when looking through the chapters, I only found a brief mention of three venues in Bangkok. Since the directory doesn't recommend alternate sources and lacks detail, the interested traveler would be on their own to find a supplemental source.

Venue details, events calendar, and travel tips provide the information needed to plan a vacation. Color images make for a pleasing read, while adding excitement. The itineraries and highlights can make trip planning simple, or one could create their own itinerary from the venue listings.

This guide isn't complete, but for most travelers may be the only guide needed. When looking for information into something more specific, supplemental guides may be necessary. However, I'm confident Lonely Planet's travel guide is a great starting point for planning a vacation.

Enticing color images
Detailed venue information
Ready made travel itineraries

Some information lacking
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