I recently received this guidebook from the author David Stanley several weeks ago and originally just flicked through it. My initial impression was it is a decent little guide but does not bring anything particularly different to the genre.
I did instantly take to the tagline however: “The cure for the common trip” a statement to live up to.
Moon handbooks are not a guidebook series I was aware of. Therefore without any prior knowledge it would only be fair to judge it on merit and not merely a few minutes scan reading several selected pages.
Generally the book follows an accustomed format, maps, colour photographs at the front and the regions of the destination separated into chapters with black & white photographs to break up the text.
There is plenty of useful information about getting there, transportation, accommodation, dining out, bars, shopping and suggested excursions or tours. The main passages are interspersed with more specific anecdotal information which are ‘boxed’ to enable them to stand out from the more mundane facts and figures.
The book is well written and appears to have been adequately researched with plenty of advice and suggestions for things to do of historical, cultural or natural interest. David certainly knows his subject well and this is the ninth incarnation of his Fiji guidebook.
The colour photographs in particular are especially sumptuous and are tempting enough to make even the most armchair bound traveller check out the price of flights.
The information on accommodation is comprehensive, with lists of suitable places to stay for those on a tight budget or looking for more luxurious surroundings for a night or more.
The back of the book provides additional content regarding the background and ‘essential’ advice for visiting Fiji. There are some nice touchessuch as the highlights sections for each region and hand drawn maps and pictures such as the ones describing certain corals. The “10 Day-Best of Fiji”, “Real Fiji” and “Fiji’s Finest Beaches” are also very cool, adding to the overall interest and providing some quick reference tips.
It is printed on recycled paper which is one factor that would possibly encourage me to purchase it ahead of the competition.
It is a functional guide that I enjoyed brwosing through and would be happy to take with me as any other, small and light enough to make a good travelling companion, providing a good source for research before and during any trip.
Ultimately however the guidebook market is a competitive one and there is nothing to really set it apart from the others.