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Tell Them to Get Lost: Travels With the Lonely Planet Guide Book That Started it All by [Thacker, Brian]
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Tell Them to Get Lost: Travels With the Lonely Planet Guide Book That Started it All Kindle Edition

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

Travels with the Lonely Planet guidebook that started it all.

When Tony Wheeler wrote Lonely Planet's first-ever shoestring guidebook, South-East Asia offered 'cheap and interesting travel without the constantly oppressing misery of some of the less fortunate parts of Asia'. Certain 'hotspots' in the region attracted the tourist crowds, but there were many 'untouched places' too.

So have Tony's recommendations stood the test of time? Just how much has South-East Asia changed since the Wheelers ambled through the region in flared pants?

Brian Thacker decides to retrace Tony and Maureen's footsteps through Portuguese Timor, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Burma using the original 1975 South east Asia on a Shoestring as his only guidebook. Along the way Brian meets a cast of folk from the old guidebook who are still manning hotel desks and serving in restaurants. He also encounters mishap and adventure at every step of the Banana Pancake Trail - breaking bread with a gang of ravenous rats; swimming with a hungry goat-and-possibly-also-human-eating crocodile; crashing his scooter (twice); being wanted by the police and propositioned by Gary who likes 'pens', and getting lost everywhere . . .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2680 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: RHA eBooks Adult (31 August 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House Australia
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HLK4JO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #410,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Armchair Journey With 30+ Years of History & Grime 10 September 2011
By William Riddell - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A light and fun read where Thacker follows in the footsteps of Lonely Planet founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler, retracing their 1974 journey across South East Asia which culminated in the first South East Asia on a Shoestring guidebook.
Those looking for deep analysis of the impact of tourism and specifically the 'Lonely Planet effect' will be left quite short changed, more discussion is given to the often horrid state of some of the original guesthouses and eateries that the Wheeler's recommended over 30 years ago.
Thacker also gives a brief history of what has changed in each country he visits from Portuguese Timor (now East Timor), Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Burma and Singapore; however, the focus is his experiences trying to find the accommodation, transport, restaurants and attractions recommended in the original guidebook. What has closed, what remains the same, which quaint eatery is now a KFC, which sleepy little town is now a backpacker ghetto?
Not an entirely original concept, but an entertaining piece of armchair traveling with humor and the occasional piece of food for thought on the impact of travel.
3.0 out of 5 stars Thankfully some things do change ... 17 July 2013
By Harry - Published on
An interesting premise, to travel through south east asia using a 30 year old Lonely Planet Guide. Fortunately Brian Thacker writes in a light-hearted, breezy style that keeps the story moving - bolstered by lots of `Dad-jokes' - BUT the premise does wear thin and is difficult to sustain for the whole book. I mean, how many ways are there to describe the expected outcome of lodges, bungalows, 1 star hotels etc not having survived that 30 years, their locations now subsumed under a KFC, the Golden Arches or a lighting shop. Same goes for most of the restaurants.

When Brian does have the good fortune to find one of the original lodgings, they are usually god-awful, bacteria ridden dives where our intrepid author fears for his life, bedding down on the filthy sheets and dubious mattresses, facing filthy, freezing showers (when available).

We hear little of the sights - it takes until page 299 for Brian to be wowed, in this case the mesmerising sight of Shwe Dagon Pagoda beaming in the early morning Rangoon light. A similar joy followed 30 pages later, seeing the temples in every direction emerge from the mist and change colour in a Pagan dawn.

So all up, an interesting read, no great revelations and certainly no temptations there to follow in Brian's footsteps. But certainly all respect to Brian - a brave man to take this on and see it through - and even more so to have found his new true love along the way!
3.0 out of 5 stars Title's a Bit Misleading, it's Not Thacker's Best Travel Adventure Book But if You've Read the Others First, Give it a Look 19 October 2011
By James N Simpson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Brian Thacker has the ability to tell a travel tale, where he can recount something that's not that terribly interesting, and make you enjoy reading all about it. The primary reason Tell Them to Get Lost falls short is that it suffers from the fact that it has a lot of repetition. It's interesting reading Thacker tell a cab driver to drop him at a hotel listed in his guidebook in East Timor and him finding out when the cab pulls up that it doesn't exist anymore, but when this happens over and over again in each destination from the original South East Asia on a Shoestring travel guide by Lonely Planet, it gets a little boring. Likewise finding an 1975 employee or the owner of a restaurant that still works there after all these years, and them telling him how life has been one big struggle, but they've worked hard and are glad he came to their now deserted eating establishment, is quite interesting once, but over and over and again, yeah it begins to grate. The factor that may upset people though, is the title. The hotels and places to eat never are angry that there peaceful life has been shattered by mass tourism brought upon by Lonely Planet guidebooks, in fact the opposite is true, they praise it for what it brought them, and beg Brian to tell Tony Wheeler to include their establishments, towns once again. Thacker doesn't go and find the locals who were anti the book's publication in 1975 at each destination then interview them at how there way of life has changed, culture eradicated by Western influence or anything like this. He just basically follows the 1975 guidebook and stays at and eats at whichever of the original listings still exist today and asks if there is anyone around who worked there back in 1975 while he is there.

The book does have some pluses, there's minor bits of humour every now and then. You can probably relate to things that happen to Brian such as the cab driver pretending somewhere you've asked them take you to, doesn't exist so they can drop you off at a place that gives them kickbacks. Plus with places like East Timor, Brian is actually one of the first tourists to return there, so you do learn a little bit about the destination. There's also probably some destinations and accommodation places that Brian pretty much has to himself that may interest you to visit to experience yourself, and ironically avoid the Lonely Planet crowd. Tony Wheeler does join Thacker at one destination which may be of some interest to those who want a bit of inside information of the founder of Lonely Planet.

It's not the best Thacker book. For brilliantly entertaining travel humour reading I'd recommend Where's Wallis?, Sleeping Around or Rule No. 5: No Sex on the Bus: Confessions of a Tour Leader to experience just what Brian Thacker can produce. I'm Not Eating Any of That Foreign Muck: Travels with Me Dad and Planes, Trains & Elephants although not as good are better than this too. I'd read this after you've read the rest.

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