Lonely Planet Philippines: Not the Best Travel Guide Book
In April 2004, Tutubi he met a French writer (writing a book about Bollywood) on a boat from Mumbai's Gateway of India en route to the World Heritage Site of Elephanta Island. He and the Frenchman became online friends kept in touch through email and telling stories and ideas.
Tutubi invited his french friend to come next to the Philippines and he in turn invited Tutubi to his home in Provence, France, south of Paris.
A few months ago, Tutubi's friend flew from France to Manila and made true his promise to come after almost 7 years.
He and his wife planned to visit Dumaguete City, but the plan was delayed due to lost baggage in transit, fault of their airline.
Lonely Planet helped them a lot during this time but turned out unreliable in Manila, of all places.
When they decided to stay in Manila for two days, not part of their original plan, but merely to meet Tutubi, Tutubi offered to tour them around several places in Manila including: Microtel Inn where they stayed, Mall of Asia for some Filipino food, Rizal Park, National Museum, Harbour Center (for seafood lunch), Intramuros and Fort Santiago (where they got acquainted and fell in "love" with Jose Rizal), San Agustin Church, Silahis Arts and Crafts for souvenir shopping, Malate for barhopping et al
You know how Lonely Planet Philippines travel guide book fared?
The Malate bars and restaurants recommended there are no longer extant. One was already a high-rise condominium unit. Imagine Lonely Planet editorial staff missed with years of constructing the condo tower? Another bar near Remedios and Adriatico was no longer there. Costs of beer was pegged at PhP25.00...gosh...it's been years when beer was sold in Malate bars at that price.
When Tutubi examined the guide book, he thought of Camarines Norte. To his surprise, Lonely Planet only has a few very short paragraphs about the province. No mention even of the getting popular in recent years that is Calaguas Island.
So what's his assessment and review of Lonely Planet Philippines?
Seems Lonely Planet Philippines only get a minor updates or none at all but churn out new editions without really updating places and information. Lots of outdated infos present that even some reason out due to delays from writing to editing to actual printing but can you explain recommended establishments now occupied by towering condominiums that took years to construct?
The best travel guides on your destination is not Lonely Planet, not Jens Peters, but explorers who've been there recently, and just hope and pray that they're travel bloggers who post about their conquests on their blogs with the latest information and updates plus respond to every comment/inquiry/question with promptness.
Labels: Travel Tips
posted by backpacking philippines @ 8:25 PM,
- At Aug 11, 2011, 8:52:00 PM, Seair said...
thats kind of sad especially since lonely planet is so popular. its a shame that there arent ample information about the other beautiful provinces in the Philippines. So much goes overlooked.
- At Aug 13, 2011, 12:50:00 AM, Photo Cache said...
yap, that books need updating it seems.
i have never consulted lonely planet before. i always go online and ask people about the places, at least these are more current information they can give you and from actual people who had just been there or live there.
- At Aug 17, 2011, 10:29:00 AM, ilovecheapcalls said...
i can believe this.. it would be quite costly (but they should really pay for this because of how popular their books are) to always be updating their books. :) the best really, is to get online and GOOGLE some answers. IMO. :)
- At Aug 17, 2011, 5:34:00 PM, insurance.comparisons.org said...
Supposed I will do a backpacking trip to India, 3 weeks ba ok na? I don't want to be rushing going to places. Leisurely pace backpacking travel.
- At Aug 19, 2011, 1:29:00 PM, Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...
ouch that sucks.
my gf gave a philippine guidebook last christmas, rough guides to the philippines, it's pretty helpful in a way =)
- At Aug 23, 2011, 4:31:00 PM, Weeqender said...
Agree. While Lonely Planet guidebooks present good insights on destinations, some of the info published in the book may be outdated. I think Lonely Planet makes a good initial research guide, just be sure to confirm the info in travel forums online.
In Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, I've seen lots of Lonely Planet China copies (a.k.a. pirated copies) sold in bookstores and supermarkets for half the price of the original ones. Perhaps the price makes it even a more popular choice among backpackers and budget travelers.
Lonely Planet phrasebooks are a different story though -- their handy and cheaper than other brands.
- At Aug 26, 2011, 4:08:00 PM, backpacking philippines said...
insurance, india? depends on your preferences and resources. it's such a huge place, three weeks actually won't cut it
christian, yes...i don't use those guide books btw
weeqender. probably if they can cut costs and just use the lonely planet ebook/digital edition in pdf format. or just try free downloads or torrents if available
- At Aug 26, 2011, 4:20:00 PM, Mikey Garcia said...
Good for them they got someone as a tour-guide. Thanks for the info on Lonely Planet!
- At Sep 3, 2011, 10:04:00 PM, Travel Tips for Asia said...
Lonely Planet takes a bit of a beating, but I usually feel it's entirely justified. I'd been driving through Mongolia for 4 days before I realised that the LP had got the translation of left and right the wrong way around. At a certain time of year out on the steppe that sort of error could prove deadly.
The LP has these days been eclipsed by social media (Couchsurfing and the like), blogs, and just good old fashioned word of mouth. It'll still trundle on for a few more years yet, but when the public finally catches on its days are numbered.
- At Sep 9, 2011, 11:19:00 AM, anshu said...
I agree - LP in hand is an easy way to "spot" a novice. and scamsters look out for this!
LP is a good way for armchair reading about the destination before you get there. Leave it behind before you board the airplane.
Blogs are a great way to research a destination. SO is the LP thorn tree - though like all travels, it is the unexpected that is most fun.
There was a faux pas in my booking to Coron - Palawan from Manila. and so in Manila airport, I booked a flight to the next avbl destination - Tagbilaran. That is how I spent 3 wonderful days in Tagbilaran and Bohol.
- At Sep 17, 2011, 5:56:00 AM, Islandvacations said...
I myself am not using LP as I found the google, though a bit time consuming, to be updated and reliable.