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- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Not as good as classic LP guides
I have long been a LP fan, and own many of their guidebooks. What I always appreciated is that the layout, format, and sections were similar between books, so if you got to know one, you could quickly find what you need in another. But for 2010 onwards, Lonely Planet redesigned their guides. More color on the pages. More upscale in their target audience, judging by accommodations and restaurant listing. Elimination of glossy photo pages. There isn't much left of the old format; it's like buying a new brand of travel guide.
There is no detailed table of contents for the entire book. Instead, there are separate tables of contents for each section, and these are sparse. If you hunt, you may find yet another table of contents for Addis Ababa, following the table of contents for Ethiopia on previous pages, but it is small, easy to miss, and has few entries.
Most major sections of the book have ink near the edge that you can see as a kind of tab when looking at the edge of the book. That's useful. But I found a bunch of pages that don't have the tab, and they contain the essential information I was looking for: Ethiopia history, culture, cousine, directory, etc. This content used to be up front, and it used to be listed in the book's table of contents; now it is hard to find in the back. Moreover, this various between LP guides.
Without a detailed table of contents for the book, I depend more on the index, but the index is incomplete and unreliable. Example: the first thing I always looked for in the old guides, especially in developing nations, is "dangers and annoyances". That's gone, and what used to be in it is scattered here and there, listed in the index under "danger" and "safety", and placed in different parts of the book. Eventually I did discover that there was an important "dangers and annoyances" section in the Addis Ababa section, but it isn't listed in the index entry for "safety"!
If you read the new LP like you would a novel - from front to back - this won't cause you problems, because you'll find everything they list. But I use travel guides as reference guide, where I want to quickly locate the subject of interest right now.
For Addis Ababa, restaurants are mainly upscale, with grossly inadequate listings for Ethiopian ("national") food. Seriously, would you come to Ethiopia in order to eat in Italian and French restaurants? Of 31 restaurants listed, only 7 feature national food. Ethiopian cuisine is an underrated marvel, though the authors of this book seem to think you will have never had it before, and they don't seem to like it very much, judging by the comments between the lines. They love to complain about injera, the sourdough bread that is the #1 staple of the cuisine, and is really delicious. There is no advice on eating at restaurants for locals, of which there are many.
For two listed nightclubs, the authors complain about prostitutes in the clubs. This seems naive, since these clubs are located in a key area where prostitutes look for customers in the evening. There are many, and they are everywhere: it's part of the local culture. In the older LP books, if there was prostitution, you'd find complaints in the "Dangers and Annoyances" section, but the only mention I have found is in the club listings.
BOTTOM LINE: the new format is poorly organized and is missing the detailed table of contents for the book that I used so much in the old guides. It is much harder to find things, in part because the subjects like dangers and annoyances have been scattered all over the book, and the section headings have been renamed.
I wish they would bring back the classic LP format!