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Lonely Planet Timor-Leste (East Timor) (Travel Guide) Paperback – July 1, 2011
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The 3rd edition of the East Timor guide is the ultimate victory of designer wankerdom over practicality, and (one presumes) of corporate greed over anti-establishment ideology. Not so long ago the structure of LP guides was the work of a genius in its clarity and simplicity: Facts about the country, Facts for the visitor, Getting there, Getting around, a chapter on the capital city, then descriptions of other places. Accommodation and restaurants were ranked by price: First cheap, then mid-range, finally expensive. That nowadays the author's "top choice" businesses are invariably the most expensive in town is already well-known. Now hotels and restaurants are no longer ranked by price, but are all mixed up. The practical information about a town appears illogically at the end of each chapter, and comes in smaller print than the rest of the text. What I consider the ultimate insult is that DHL has been listed under "Post", and in fact appears before the proper post office. How many travellers send their postcards by DHL? (Oh, I forgot. Nobody sends real postcards any more anyway. How silly of me.)
As for the layout, the cluttered pages look like tabloid titles. Page 103 is a particularly ugly example. The main body of text in the centre of the page, two graphs above it, an asymmetrical text column next to it (that one including a vertically typed heading), then a three-column text at the bottom. Even the description of that designer nightmare gives you eye cancer. Incidentally, the graphs in itself are insultingly stupid.Read more ›
Good insight about most roads. Worth having