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p.s. Interesting reviews of JC's Laos travel guide (not the language book):


<< Lonely Planet has a bad habit of using grim Peace Corps Puritans to write their guides, and the one who wrote this one is even duller and more pedantic than most. He resolutely ignores all that might help you enjoy this wonderful country in favour of long disquisitions on Buddhist cornices. If you are touring Laos in order to learn more about the architecture of temples, this is your book. If you'd like to have a good time in Laos, look elsewhere. >>


<< It appears that the more Mr Cummings writes, the worse his pamhlets degrade. If you have an intense interest only in how to locate the cheapest noodle stands and flea invested "Hanoi Hiltons" this book is for you. If you desire to learn something of the culture, people, ethnic minorities and diverse locale of Laos, please look elsewhere. This book was of very limited use to me in a country that already has so little written of it. >>


<< I'm sorry, but did the author even go to Laos before writing this book? Don't get me wrong- Joe Cummings does an excellent job in his Thailand books, however, in Laos, he falls short. The descriptions are incorrect (and sure, things change but not that much) and the maps are totally off. Skip the bike routes (eg. the one to Buddha Park) in Vientiane, especially after the rainy season. >>



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