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Lonely Planet Taiwan (Travel Guide) by [Lonely Planet]
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Lonely Planet Taiwan (Travel Guide) Kindle Edition

2.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 392 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Kelly first thought to travel to Taiwan in 1986, at the time when martial law had just been lifted. He didn't make it there, however, until 1996, by which time the first presidential elections were being held. The speed with which this traditional society remodels itself never stops fascinating him. Robert, a Canadian, is married to a Taiwanese woman and has lived with her and their two cats in Taipei for the past eight years. The pleasure in writing this book came not least from discovering so many new museums, beaches, hiking trails and good restaurants. Robert has no plans to leave Taiwan now that he's seen how much this country has to offer.

Product Details

  • File Size: 68767 KB
  • Print Length: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 8 edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 1, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005QINB0W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,472 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have relied on Lonely Planet guides and phrase books to help me through India, Europe, Japan, and the USA and have had nothing but good experience with them up until this new release of the Taiwan travel guide.

First off the strong points:

- The book provides excellent places to check out.

- It has enough variety to accommodated any travelers interest.

- It is nicely laid out to find the information you are interested in with relative ease.

Now the reasons for the Two-Star Rating:

-English spelling of many of the Chinese street and place names were highly inaccurate.

I know Chinese is hard to translate in English spelling, but it really through me for a loop when I arrived in Taipei expecting the street names with the book's maps spelling to line up with the actual street names. It would have been nice to have a warning that, for example, Xio, Zho, Sho are common spelling variations when translating Chinese to English.

- No Chinese on the books Maps + Poor place translation = No help from Locals

It didn't help that there is no Chinese on the book's maps to asks the locals to at least point me in the right direction; and when I did ask proficient English speaking Taiwanese for directions with the books maps, they were just as confused as I was about the spellings.

-Outdated prices and information.

Hotel and transportation costs were usually 30% more expensive then the books advertised price and even sometimes double than what the book said it should be in high season (and I was in Taiwan in mid-low season!). Also a few of the must-go-restaurants in Taipei were out of business, so be sure to call or look on-line to make sure places are still Open.
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Format: Paperback
Summary: Greatly improved over the 2004 edition, which I thought was rather poor compared to most Lonely Planet (LP) guides. LP has a consistent format among its guides, making it easy to use if you are familiar with another LP guide, and it has some of the best listings for details you need to know before and during travel.

The two leading guidebooks for Taiwan at time of writing are Lonely Planet Taiwan (LPT) 2011, and Rough Guide Taiwan (RGT) 2011. Each has its pluses and minuses. RGT used to be better than LPT, but the LPT guide has been improved. I suggest you peruse both at your local library and decide which style works best for you.

Taiwan is a fascinating but underrated set of islands, with friendly and helpful people, many of whom speak at least a little English or Japanese. The Chinese culture here is fascinating, but I had no idea before I came here the first time that there were people other than those descended from the Chinese. The indigineous Austranesian peoples add ethnic cultures, arts, and cuisines to get to know.

The diversity of natural beauty on this island is staggering - mountains, rugged coastline, waterfalls, and unique wonders like Toroko Gorge. You can see it all easily because of the new high-speed bullet trains that can take you from Taipei to the south in just over 2 hours. (Buses from the train to inland areas are not as fast, of course.)

Even if you have to stay in Taipei for work reasons, there are many day trips to enjoy; Wulai is easy and worthwhile, and you could even take a train to see a little of the south, yet return the same day.

PROS

Predictable LP layout makes it easy to find what you need quickly, especially if you are used to the LP layout from using other LP guides.
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Format: Paperback
First, full disclosure: I am a friend of one of the authors of the book. Take that as you will.

Pros:
This book is an solid improvement over the 2007 edition, and it's miles above the 2004 edition. It's better organized, contains an improved variety of activities, and is packed with cultural information lacking in previous editions. I especially like the opening pages showing 20 highlights. I found the information up to date and well researched, particularly given that Typhoon Morakot had caused many places in the 2007 edition to close or be altered. Lots of new insights and ideas have been added for a better appreciation of what Taiwan has to offer the visitor.

Cons:
I found the information for Taipei City to be not as well researched as the rest of Taiwan was. For instance, I saw some inaccuracies regarding Taipei taxi fares. As it currently stands, night rates come into effect at 11:00pm, not midnight; indeed, 11:00pm has been the cutoff time for decades. Also, the day rate is what the night rate was before the fall of 2008: taxi drivers now press the right-hand button day and night, but at night they charge an additional NT$20.

I also noticed the occasional spelling mistake in the book (like Kaoshiung instead of Kaohsiung, and Ihla Formosa instead of Ilha Formosa), but these are of little consequence. Pretty much any book will have a small number of such minor errors.

Comments:

Regarding spelling: Taiwan is a land legendary among travelers and expats for haphazard application of romanization; the author even discusses this in the Language section.
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