and if he can’t answer one, Mucha Man can always take a wild stab at it.[/quote]
Erm, there’s a reason for that …
I was given an LP as a gift before I came here; it has its strengths and weaknesses. I found it really useful when I went on solo trips outside Taipei, before I knew any Chinese. Good for maps and stuff.
The Taipei section shows how subjective guidebooks can be about cities. I could write a guidebook to Taipei and not reference 80% of the places in there, in terms of restaurants and bars, etc, because myself and nobody I know would ever go there. In a big city like Taipei, a guidebook can only ever offer one person’s snapshot, and LP are never particularly fun and because of the nature of writing and publishing, always three years out of date and very middle of the road; you’d certainly have to find your own fun there… The Bangkok one is also completely dull. I know both cities like the back of my hand, though, so I guess a tourist, not an expat is the target market anyway.
Guidebooks for me were a brief phase. I never used to use them when I was a youngster, not wishing to piss away a single penny of my budget or bag space and preferring to travel independently. When I got older, I wanted to ‘make the most’ of short holiday periods. Now, I also don’t bother; I’m over travelling, in terms of ‘sightseeing’. I prefer to take city breaks and just wander the streets. A place of worship, a mountain, a good restaurant, an art museum, or whatever, produces the same feeling in India as in France as in Argentina, so I’m over trying to chase the new, the subtle differences that make THIS experience THE BEST YET. It’s a form of materialism and grasping after novelty that I don’t want to do.