Media Review: Vis-a-Vis Thailand Beaches & Islands (Strände & Inseln)
Today’s media review is about Vis-à-Vis Thailand Strände und Inselnby Andrew Forbes et al. (ISBN: 978-3-7342-0058-8). This travel guide was published by Dorling Kindersley Verlag GmbH, Munich. My review copy is the newest edition (2015/2016). This book is in German language, comprises 368 pages and costs 22,99 EUR.
Vis-à-vis Thailand Strände & Inseln
However, there is also a corresponding English edition of this guide called DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thailand’s Beaches & Islands published by Dorling Kindersley Ltd., London which is the partner company of Dorling Kindersley Verlag, Munich. The latest edition of the English version is from 2014. You may take a look inside the book here.
Vis-à-Vis Thailand Beaches & Islands is a very comprehensive, detailed and elaborate travel guide with more than 1000 colour photographs, 3-D drawings and layouts. In addition, there is a cute mini recipe book and an extra map.
The book is divided into four main sections:
- ‘Introducing Thailand’s Beaches & Islands’ (Thailands Küsten stellen sich vor)*
- ‘Thailand’s Beaches & Islands Area by Area’ (Thailands Küstenregionen)
- ‘Travelers Needs’ (Zu Gast in Thailand)
- ‘Survival Guide’ (Grundinformationen)
*German titels in brackets
First of all, ‘Introducing Thailand’s Beaches & Islands’ suggests some tours to cover three prime areas for experiencing coastal Thailand and the capital city of Bangkok.
Following this comes a portrait of Thailand’s coasts with additional information about flora and fauna, coral reefs, diving & snorkelling, Buddhism, theatre & music, traditional housebuilding, crafts and the most beautiful beaches. Furthermore, there is also a section about festivals, official holidays and the history of Thailand.
The main chapter is ‘Thailand’s Beaches & Islands Area by Area’ which is subdivided into eight sections:
- ‘Thailand’s Beaches at a Glance’ (Thailands Küsten im Überblick)*
- ‘Eastern Seaboard’ (Östliche Golfküste)
- ‘Upper Western Gulf Coast’ (Obere westliche Golfküste)
- ‘Lower Western Gulf Coast’ (Untere westliche Golfküste)
- ‘Upper Andaman Coast’ (Obere Andamanen-Küste)
- ‘Lower Andaman Coast’ (Untere Andamanen-Küste)
- ‘Deep South’ (Süden)
*German titels in brackets
The chapter about ‘Travelers’ Needs’ deals with different accommodation options and restaurants in the presented areas. It is useful that the section about restaurants also introduces the most important Thai dishes. Furthermore, there are suggestions for shopping, entertainment, sports & outdoor activities and special interests like wellness and spas.
The practical information or ‘Survival Guide’ is mainly about general travel information, etiquette, money & communication, safety & health and public transportation. Finally, the guide also provides a phrase book with some basic Thai vocabulary.
In my opinion, this book is comprehensive and very informative. The structure is very similar to Vis-à-Vis Thailand which I have dealt with in a previous review. The guide is beautifully arranged with numerous colourful photographs and maps. Thus, it may even be called a picture-book. However, for those readers who do not yet know anything about Thailand and its beaches and islands, this guide might appear a little confusing simply because there is so much additional information on different topics.
Nevertheless, I can highly recommend ‘Thailand Beaches & Islands’ as a pre-travel preparation and information guide. It is a very good book to get oneself in the mood for travelling to Thailand. The small cookbook also serves as a preparation for Thailand travel and inspires the reader to try the one or other Thai dish.
Similar to Vis-à-Vis Thailand, I have the feeling that one needs some time and quiet to go through, read and process all the information provided in this guidebook. What is more, the book is not so lightweight and perhaps unpractical to carry around the whole day when travelling.
However, in a nutshell, ‘Vis-à-Vis Thailand Strände & Inseln’ is truly an elaborate travel guide which is created with lots of love for the detail.