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Tahiti & French Polynesia (Country Travel Guide) Paperback – May 1, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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From Antarctica to Zimbabwe, if you're going there, chances are Lonely Planet has been there first. With a pithy and matter-of-fact writing style, these guides are guaranteed to calm the nerves of first-time world travelers, while still listing off-the-beaten-path finds sure to thrill even the most jaded globetrotters. Lonely Planet has been perfecting its guidebooks for nearly 30 years and as a result, has the experience and know-how similar to an older sibling's "been there" advice. The original backpacker's bible, the LP series has recently widened its reach. While still giving insights for the low-budget traveler, the books now list a wide range of accommodations and itineraries for those with less time than money.

If the magical islands of French Polynesia are on your itinerary, here is the perfect traveling companion. Its 29 maps highlight 4WD vehicle tracks, walking routes, and dive sites. The guide features a thorough history section, food section, accommodations for any budget, and useful Tahitian and French language sections. This book also includes all the archipelagos: the Societies, Tuamotus, Marquesas, Australs, and Gambiers--with extensive information in inter-island travel. The authors have personally tested all of the dive sites. --Kathryn True --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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…Lonely Planet, the intrepid traveler's bible...' --Los Angeles Times, April 2005
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Country Travel Guide
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 8 edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741043166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741043167
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,516,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've used many Lonely Planet (LP) guides and found this one to be lacking their usual detail. I got the sense much hotel information was pilfered from Web surfing the basic info, rather than first-person investigation. While still a good book to take, next time (and there will be a next time because Tahiti is wonderful) I'll be sure take another guide along with it, and to thoroughly read actual travelers' online reviews. I'll also know the questions I need to ask before booking. My sense was that the reviewers weren't seeing things through the fresh-eyes of a first time traveler. The details, such as directions accommodation features were often lacking.
One thing I've always liked about LP is that they will list small locally owned budget places - that are occasionally hidden gems - whereas many other guides only list "approved" chain-type accommodations. However, in this book key information about lodging was missing. For example, it's very uncommon to find window screens in Polynesia despite a lot of mosquitoes, yet it is not standard for the book to say if there are screens or mosquito netting at each location (sometimes there are neither). Screens would be a big selling point for me. In Lonely Planet's India guide - which I was quite happy with - they deliberately note whether hotels have air-conditioning or not; in this guide this rather important information (for the tropics) is randomly added. Sometimes we'd get there and they'd have AC and sometimes they wouldn't. A more specific example is a pension primarily described as "friendly" - which it was in spades - with no mention that there's one bathroom shared with 8 people and that doesn't have hot water. With what prices are in Tahiti, poor information is very costly.
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By A Customer on September 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was flabbergasted to find out that one of the most popular guidebooks in the world was not able to accurately describe our accomodation (The Blue Lagoon in Vaitape, BoraBora) as it later turned out to be ... namely, a disaster! In the guide we could not find any details about the REAL condition of the bathroom or the rest of the pension. We also had to share our room with a mouse (rat?) of undefined size (we met him only through his "leavings" and scurryings) and the traffic of wasps coming and going from their nests in our room. The shower was black and crusty, as was the toilet. Walls and floors were peeling, the air was filled with an overpowering stink of decaying fish and dirt, and we were afraid to get into our beds. The exterior of the building looked like a Tijuana flophouse. We traveled all over the South Pacific, staying in many different hotels and pensions, and never did we encounter such a horrible variance from the description in the guidebook. I mean, this is Bora Bora, an expensive, upscale resort area, and it seems incredible that such lodgings could even exist there. They would have to be more accurate in their evaluations of accomodations and be prepared to warn travelers of nightmarish places like this one!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having just returned from a 3 week tour of Tahiti and the Tuamotu's, I found this guide book invaluable. Even on the remote atolls, the information was current and detailed, and as comprehensive as I would need or want (digging even deeper is up to you). Its an absolute must for any traveler, whether new to French Polynesia or a seasoned veteran, its chock full of valuable history, facts, trivia, opinions, myths, and data to make your trip that much more informed, aware, and ultimately more enjoyable. Being a "demi" myself (tahitian mother and american father), I have travelled to french polynesia many times throughout my life, but I had never yet visited the tuamotus, where my grandmother is from. I found this guide book to be an amazing asset in the expansive archipelago. I will purchase future updated editions as they become available. Excellent and highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This new edition of LP's Tahiti and French Polynesia guide was invaluable on my recent trip. The details of the out of the way islands like Maupiti are wonderful, the writing is funny but clear and informative. It had details of local places and special spots that were not in the old one. I read up on the writers and one of them is an American woman who lives there, I could really tell that she understood the perspective of a tourist. I carried this book in my purse for the two and a half weeks I just spent there and referred to it often. Especially for the directions, cultural details and local customs that I needed. I felt like I had a local friend as my guide. I also find it comforting that they take no freebies from the hotels.
We stayed in small pensions and loved it, no one has screens in Tahiti it seems, but the guide did mention electric mosquito devices which was helpful, it also gave food details on the half-board places, and on the whole seemed accurate and well researched. The enthusiasm of the writing is infectious and I totally fell in love with Tahiti and the other islands we visited, I felt like I really got to know it better than I would have alone because of this book.
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