I love Lonely Planet. I'm a veteran traveller, having toughed it out on the ESL circuit in South Korea, Thailand, Russia and Ukraine for a couple of years. I've lived in 13 different cities around the globe in the past 10 years and I have read a lot of travel guides and, frankly, Lonely Planet is the best of them.
I once bought the Rough Guide Series guide to Moscow in preparation for my next adventure and it, well, it's not for a real-world expat. It exquisitely details how to visit every Orthodox cathedral in the city over 322 pages but leaves one small paragraph about dining, one paragraph about the nightlife and three pages about post-Soviet Moscow history. The rest is all cathedrals, monasteries and more cathedrals. How boring.
The Lonely Planet guide to Moscow, however, is filled with hundreds of pages about food, bars, clubs, culture, transportation and other, more interesting, topics.
Lonely Planet Saves Me In Bangkok
Lonely Planet even saved my life once. It was during my first trip to Bangkok. I was dating a girl I met in Seoul and we decided to take a summer trip to Thailand. I bought a Fodor's guide to Thailand and it told us that Sirkhumvit Road was filled with hostels and hotels and a happening nightlife, so from the airport (which is at least 20 km outside of the city) we told the taxi driver to take us there. It was nearly midnight.
Sirkhumvit Road was blacked-out. There were no streetlights. There were no hostels. There were no clubs or bars. Instead, there was a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of Thai hookers and old German sex tourists sitting on the curbs, standing, drinking from bottles. A GIANT rat scurried in front of us.
Thankfully I had my Lonely Planet guide to the world in my backpack, and I yanked that out. It told me that Khao San Road was the place to be in Bangkok, and even listed a few phone numbers for hostels. A helpful Thai hooker showed us how to use a payphone outside of a 7-11 and I called a hostel and was able to book a room. My date and I got a taxi and went to Khao San Road.
Khao San Road
We found a bit of Shangri-La. There were restaurants, pubs, hostels and stores up the length of the road so we checked into a 100 baht-a-night hostel. The next morning we hit a patio and proceeded to get incredibly drunk. It was 8 am.
A couple of days later we went the south-east islands and Lonely Planet got us around Koh Samui and Koh Phagnang with incredible ease, even helping us to find some peaceful and cheap beach bungalows. It helped us negotiate water-taxis around Koh Phagnang and it directed us to an extremely isolated little beach resort jutting out from the eastern side, where we enjoyed our first mushroom shakes (of the magical variety).
Lonely Planet: The World
I highly recommend Lonely Planet to every teacher working abroad for a variety of reasons, most importantly because Lonely Planet is well-researched, easy to use and accurate.
Lonely Planet: The World is a must-have book for every wanderer.
Adventure and inspirational experiences await around every corner, so what’s stopping you? Go forth and explore.
- Discover the highlights of 221 countries in glorious colour
- Explore your interests, plan itineraries and find out how to get around
- Lonely Planet's authors share travel secrets and local insights
- Includes 228 maps, 700 images and 1595 highlights (approx. 2-5 pages per country)
Lonely Planet The World: A Traveller's Guide to the Planet (Travel Guide)
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