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Taiwan (Anglais) Broché – 28 avril 2011
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Descriptions du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
With a pulsating modern capital, temple towns, hot-springs villages and adventures in both shopping malls and wooded mountains, Taiwan cuts a figure as one of Asia’s most diverse destinations
29 hot springs
56 new & easy-to-use maps
112 days of on-the-ground research
Taiwan outdoors feature
Our promise...You can trust our travel information because Lonely Planet authors visit the places we write about, each and every edition. We never accept freebies for positive coverage, and you can rely on us to tell it like we see it
Biographie de l'auteur
Escritor y anecdotista de vida nómada, ha viajado de forma casi ininterrumpida desde el pasado siglo. Escribe para Lonely Planet desde 2006 y también colabora regularmente para www.lonelyplanet.com. Su blog Snarky Tofu contiene actualizaciones, fotografías y alguna que otra diatriba. Licenciado en la State University of New York de Brockport en 1991 obtuvo en dos ocasiones, 2009 y 2011, la beca Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism de la University of Southern California.
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Il y a une carte globale de l'île plus des cartes focus sur chaque région, et sur les grandes villes.
Le contenu est divisé en parties correspondant à des zones géographiques. Il y a aussi une partie historique sur Taiwan et des infos pratiques à la fin (langue, culture, transports, alimentation....).
Je suis très contente de cet achat; ce guide est très pratique !
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
First off the strong points:
- The book provides excellent places to check out.
- It has enough variety to accommodated any travelers interest.
- It is nicely laid out to find the information you are interested in with relative ease.
Now the reasons for the Two-Star Rating:
-English spelling of many of the Chinese street and place names were highly inaccurate.
I know Chinese is hard to translate in English spelling, but it really through me for a loop when I arrived in Taipei expecting the street names with the book's maps spelling to line up with the actual street names. It would have been nice to have a warning that, for example, Xio, Zho, Sho are common spelling variations when translating Chinese to English.
- No Chinese on the books Maps + Poor place translation = No help from Locals
It didn't help that there is no Chinese on the book's maps to asks the locals to at least point me in the right direction; and when I did ask proficient English speaking Taiwanese for directions with the books maps, they were just as confused as I was about the spellings.
-Outdated prices and information.
Hotel and transportation costs were usually 30% more expensive then the books advertised price and even sometimes double than what the book said it should be in high season (and I was in Taiwan in mid-low season!). Also a few of the must-go-restaurants in Taipei were out of business, so be sure to call or look on-line to make sure places are still Open.
-Outdated Public Transportation Routes
Most of the bus numbers it says to catch don't match up with the actually numbers in Taiwan. Some of the places where the book states there is only two to three trains a day I found completely False. On multiple occasions I found trains were available all day long. So be sure to ask the train station first before ruling out that it is not possible for you to go somewhere.
-Maps can be confusing
Since you cannot rely on the spelling of street names I wish they included more landmark buildings such as police stations or posts offices to better your bearings on an area.
What makes me so upset is that I pre-ordered this book from Lonely Planet so I could have the most up to date information and get the most out of my trip. Instead I had to constantly worry about all the small things this book should have solved for me. Multiple times a day it set me back. If you are heading to Taiwan I would recommended getting this book only to get ideas of natural wonders or temples you may be interested in visiting. Since the prices are not accurately reflected in this edition, all older editions should have the same basic information as well. If you happen to fly into Taoyuan Internationale Airport be sure to stop by the Information counter which has wonderful maps of both Taiwan and Taipei in both English and Chinese as well as other information. I found these free materials to be more worthy then this book. I still have faith in Lonely Planet, However, do not rely on this New Taiwan Edition to get you through the country smoothly.
Edit August 22, 2011:
This is the only book I felt compelled enough to write a review about because of how much it failed to guide me. After recently travelling Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos with Lonely Planet and having no problems with any of them I have decided to downgrade my previous rating of two stars down to one. Taiwan might be a fast changing place, but this book should have little excuse. Why buy an outdated and inaccurate book when you could get up-to-date higher quality literature for free at the airport?
The two leading guidebooks for Taiwan at time of writing are Lonely Planet Taiwan (LPT) 2011, and Rough Guide Taiwan (RGT) 2011. Each has its pluses and minuses. RGT used to be better than LPT, but the LPT guide has been improved. I suggest you peruse both at your local library and decide which style works best for you.
Taiwan is a fascinating but underrated set of islands, with friendly and helpful people, many of whom speak at least a little English or Japanese. The Chinese culture here is fascinating, but I had no idea before I came here the first time that there were people other than those descended from the Chinese. The indigineous Austranesian peoples add ethnic cultures, arts, and cuisines to get to know.
The diversity of natural beauty on this island is staggering - mountains, rugged coastline, waterfalls, and unique wonders like Toroko Gorge. You can see it all easily because of the new high-speed bullet trains that can take you from Taipei to the south in just over 2 hours. (Buses from the train to inland areas are not as fast, of course.)
Even if you have to stay in Taipei for work reasons, there are many day trips to enjoy; Wulai is easy and worthwhile, and you could even take a train to see a little of the south, yet return the same day.
Predictable LP layout makes it easy to find what you need quickly, especially if you are used to the LP layout from using other LP guides. LP guides always have the essential travelers sections that make them very useful.
The overview section at the front focuses on helping you decide where to go, and build an itinerary based on your interests.
Smaller fonts (compared to RGT) means more information on fewer pages, but is also a CON for middle-aged eyes.
The incomplete and erroneous coverage of tea from LPT 2004 - and tea is fundamental to Chinese culture - has been replaced with more and more accurate information.
The Table of Contents is on pages 38-39 (!), rather than at the beginning where I expected to find it, and it only covers the regional sections. For the overview sections and appendices, you will need to rely on the index.
Fewer pages used to describe each region of Taiwan, compared to RGT 2011. No separate section on Central Taiwan.
Only five pages on Mandarin Chinese. I would have liked to see at least a basic vocabulary for Taiwanese dialect and the most common aboriginal languages, because even just basic greetings in your host's native language builds good will.
Some LP guides have a map section, in addition to local maps in the regional section. This one does not.
Many names are written both in Roman characters and in Chinese characters, though some maps are missing the Chinese characters.
CONTENT AND ORGANIZATION
Overview - 38 pages - highlights, suggested itineraries, basic information
Taipei - 67 pages
Northern Taiwan - 48 pages
East Coast and Taroko Natl Park - 36 pages
Western Taiwan and Yushan Natl Park - 40 pages
Southern Taiwan - 41 pages
Taiwan's Islands - 38 pages
Understand Taiwan (History, People, Culture, Cuisine, Wildlife, Language, etc) and Index - 94 pages
Total: 404 pages
While many Taiwanese speak at least some English, and many younger or more-educated people can speak it reasonably well, you will at times need to look at the Chinese characters to find things (like the bus I mentioned in Cons). Unfortunately there are two or three different English spelling schemes used for Chinese words, so you will need fuzzy thinking using sounds in your head to work it out. Example: Xindian (the MRT spelling) is spelled Sindian on the buses. A road like Zhongshan might be spelled Jhongshian or Song Shan, but Songjiang is a different road in the same area.
Another reviewer panned this book because of "inaccurate" spellings in the guide. On page 381, the author discusses the problems caused by multiple methods of writing Chinese in Roman characters, and points out that for in this guide they use Hanyu Pinyin along with Mandarin Script. Hanyu spelling won't always match what you see, and that is confusing, but from my perspective, the problem is the lack of standards in Taiwan, not LPT errors.
BTW, I have found that some Taiwanese can also speak some Japanese.
I have spent a lot of time all over Asia and have visited Taiwan about five times from 2001-2010, mostly Taipei for business, but I have taken some time to visit other parts. I have used LPT 2004 and RGT 2007 during these trips.
This book is an solid improvement over the 2007 edition, and it's miles above the 2004 edition. It's better organized, contains an improved variety of activities, and is packed with cultural information lacking in previous editions. I especially like the opening pages showing 20 highlights. I found the information up to date and well researched, particularly given that Typhoon Morakot had caused many places in the 2007 edition to close or be altered. Lots of new insights and ideas have been added for a better appreciation of what Taiwan has to offer the visitor.
I found the information for Taipei City to be not as well researched as the rest of Taiwan was. For instance, I saw some inaccuracies regarding Taipei taxi fares. As it currently stands, night rates come into effect at 11:00pm, not midnight; indeed, 11:00pm has been the cutoff time for decades. Also, the day rate is what the night rate was before the fall of 2008: taxi drivers now press the right-hand button day and night, but at night they charge an additional NT$20.
I also noticed the occasional spelling mistake in the book (like Kaoshiung instead of Kaohsiung, and Ihla Formosa instead of Ilha Formosa), but these are of little consequence. Pretty much any book will have a small number of such minor errors.
Regarding spelling: Taiwan is a land legendary among travelers and expats for haphazard application of romanization; the author even discusses this in the Language section. Standard systems change with the political winds, and even now that the KMT's beloved Hanyu Pinyin replaced the DPP's beloved Tongyong as the official system in Jan 2009, romanization is still not taught in schools. A spelling may be changed at any time: for example, in the MRT they are now changing "Danshui" to "Tamsui". It's not uncommon to find the name of a business, organization or even tourist destination spelled differently on tourist maps, websites, street signs, door/gate signs and brochures. And many businesses have no English name at all. There's little concept of an "official English name", to the constant frustration of us translators.
Chinese characters on Lonely Planet maps: One of the great advantages of the maps in the 2011 edition is that there ARE INDEED Chinese characters on the maps. There are also Chinese characters on the descriptions of the destinations.
Closed businesses: Taiwan is a place where businesses pop up like mushrooms and disappear just as fast. I've never lived in a place where I've seen more businesses appear and disappear in my life. The author strives to include only businesses that have been around a while and are likely to survive, but the global recession has nevertheless created plenty of victims in Taiwan. Lonely Planet does warn that businesses do close.
Hotel prices: Hotels rarely charge the "rack rate" - the rate they advertise in their tariff charts. They often offer steep discounts. Should the author list the rack rate or the actual discounted rate the hotel is likely to charge? Hmmm... either way, you can't please everyone.
Transportation routes and schedules: These change all the time too. For example, the No. 1601 bus to Wulai became the No. 849 earlier this year, its NT$40 proce from Xindian MRT dropping to NT$15. Again: things change, and they change faster in Taiwan than most other places I know of.
All in all, I really like this book, and considering the nature of guidebooks as snapshots of a place during the time the research was done, I'd give this 4 and a half stars (rounded to 5).
I ran off to Taiwan the other week at the drop of a hat just to get away. My local English language bookstore was under construction and so I couldn'T get a guidebook. I thot "I know, I'll use my new handy-dandy kindle". Below are 2 reviews, the kindle and the guide.
I think anyone thinking about this for a moment would know themseleves, but really, guidebooks are not going to be good on a kindle. You NEED 3 or 4 fingers holding several diffferent places as you flip back and forth and try to figure out if this site and that restaurant are near your hotel, and after this town should you go to that town or the other town next? The skip functions were for me just not up to the multi-page task at all. You also REALLY need the spatial sense of where something I read the other day? Was it after this section or before it? Half way thru the book or near the beginning? You read the guide find these interesting places, but forget where you read it. Very annoying to try and find it again in the kindle.
Finally the maps- just really hard to read on a kindle. And again, flipping back to the map from the places to sleep section or whatever to find your hotel, a chore. The kindle was great for traveling and keeping a couple of paperbacks in my bag w/o taking up weight/ space, but not for the guide.
So I ended up photocopying many pages of an old version of the Taiwan lonely planet I found at a hotel. I don't agree with other posters about the language problems or the price listings. As of 3/ 2013, the prices I encountered in Taiwan were more or less what the older version of the Lonely Planet (and my new kindle one) said. In Taiwan, they frequently change prices (esp hotels) for weekends, etc., at a rate of 10-30% more than wk day rates. However this was clearly noted in both guides. Anyone who does not know prices may change drastically in a foreign country, and especially exchange rates can change too, anyone who does not know that is just not very experienced at international travel, I would say. You can't expect a guide to be 100% acturate there.
Language (esp re maps) Here, too, ppl complaing about the romanized versions of Chinese used, and lack of Chinese in maps are being unreasonable. 1st, Chinese characters on maps: This is an editorial choice, they have a small map in a book to represent a big town. Filling it with chinese characters would make it harder to use in most cases. Usually they were filled with numbers and a few street names. The numbers corresponded to a list, next to the map, of hotels/ restaurants they chose to review. You look at that list and find the shop you want in the restaurant section, for example. There, the store name and the address were both written in Chinese AND Roman characters. The thing is, it is really understood that these maps are more for ease in using the book, and for ease getting about, you should ALWAYS get a bigger and clear local map. Used with the guide map which has your shops on it, you can get around no problem.
RE the romanization of Chinese: again, I believe those making complaints are not familiar with Chinese/ asian countries/ foreign travel. The fact is, language barriers are not a simple thing a guide can overcome for you. There are a couple of different romanization-versions of Chinese, The guidebook used one. Further there are more than 1 "Chinese" language, and in Taiwan there are several aboriginal languages, complicating things. In any country there can be a language quirk that the guidebook doesn't fix for you. You take that on yourself when you go to another country. I have no complaints about lonely planet in this respect.
It got me hotels, basic layouts, and also a really cool discovery in Taiwan, this gorge called Taroko Gorge, marble cliffs, absolutely beautiful.
Enjoy your trip!