Item description for Insight Guide Taiwan (Insight Guides) by Vivien Kim...
Insight Guides, the world's largest visual travel guide series, in association with Discovery Channel, the world's premier source of nonfiction entertainment, provides more insight than ever. From the most popular resort cities to the most exotic villages, Insight Guides capture the unique character of each culture with an insider's perspective. Inside every Insight Guide you'll find: .Evocative, full-colour photography on every page .Cross-referenced, full-colour maps throughout .A brief introduction including a historical timeline .Lively essays by local writers on the culture, history, and people .Expert evaluations on the sights really worth seeing .Special features spotlighting particular topics of interest .A comprehensive Travel Tips section with listings of the best restaurants, hotels, and attractions, as well as practical information on getting around and advice for travel with children
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Reviews - What do customers think about Insight Guide Taiwan (Insight Guides)?
Excellent guide to Taiwan Jun 9, 2008
The Insight Guide to Taiwan is an excellent work, but needs to be used along with another work such as the Lonely Planet Guide, which has more practical information.
A Decent, Although Far From Comprehensive Guide Oct 29, 2007
This is a good alternative guide. No, it isn't packed with penetrating insights into Taiwan's unqiue culture nor would it suffice on a huandao luxing (round island trip). Rather it is a supplementary guide filled with lovely photgraphs, very good maps, and lots of introductory blurbs. A good second choice for a book, or a first choice for those coming just for a short time.
A Must-read for Those Who Wanting Inside Info Aug 1, 2006
Beside many detailed maps and interesting photos, this book also contains wonderful essays showing the authors' "inside" knowledge of Taiwan's history and culture, apparently written by expat residents who have lived in Taiwan for many years.
Information such as hiking excursions or setting up a cell phone account is very useful, but the book will benefit from a lot more Chinese characters and more tone markings of the Chinese language.
Good Photos, but Insufferably Inadequate Travel Guide Oct 7, 2004
Although the photographs are brilliant, and the descriptions of Taiwan's more famous sights are interesting; the practical travel necessities are sorely lacking.
There is hardly any mention of the means to arrive at the locations illustrated in the book, and relevant information regarding cities or transportation is nonexistent.
If one is looking for a book simply to admire Taiwan through photos and occassionally insightful prose, Insight Guide Taiwan is an adequate choice. However, speaking from experience, for helpful travel information, stick with Lonely Planet.
Misrepresentation of Taiwanese Jan 7, 2004
I think this book has great photos and perhaps the places are well known...but it needs to present both Mandarin and Taiwanese pronunciations because BOTH languages are widely used in Taiwan. The author apparently has been misinformed...and brainwashed by the Nationalist Party and KMT's textbook version of who the Taiwanese are. It treats Taiwanese as just ethnic "Chinese" and fails to discuss the DUAL ancestral heritage of the Taiwanese. It fails to discuss that the Hoklo (Hokkien)and Hakka who came to Taiwan and intermarried with women of the then existing Lowland Aboriginal peoples (pingpu) who lived over much of western Taiwan. It also fails to acknowledge even 100% pure aboriginal households who were forced to assimilate into the Hoklo culture from Fujian during Cheng-Kung's time. Like I said...Dual Ancestry. Check out DNA studies by George Mackay...and a brochure from US called "The Taiwanese Americans".
The book does mention Taiwanese Aboriginal peoples such as Paiwan and Atayal...but these are the Highland and Mountain Aboriginal tribes.
This book also states that "Min-nan-hua" is the more "correct" way to refer to "Taiwanese Language". Taiwanese language is derived from the "Hokkien" Language of Fujian Province, yes. However, Min-nan-hua includes another variation called "Teochiu, or Chaozhou hua" which is different. So Min-nan-hua is more broad...whereas "Hokkien" is narrowed down further...and is most similar to Taiwanese outside of Taiwan. Then again, "Hokkien" actually refers to "Fujian" and the people/culture/speakers of "Hokkien" are called "Hoklos".