Saturday, 10 January 2015

Publication: A Vegan Travel Guide to Taiwan

What's a Vegan Travel Guide? 

While I continue to use this blog to offer free information about vegan food in Taiwan, I have taken the step of selling a travel guide to Taiwan, made especially for vegans. If you are just looking for information on vegan food, language and other survival information for vegans in Taiwan, then it's here on this blog (free) as it has been for the last decade. But if you would like a guidebook which also covers where to go and what to see in Taiwan, how to get around and stay safe, and to better understand the culture and history of this beautiful country, all written from a vegan perspective, for travelling vegans, then I invite you to consider a Vegan Travel Guide to Taiwan. This book has more in common with conventional travel guides (eg Lonely Planet, Rough Guide) than it does with most vegan guides, which usually only cover food. While there are plenty of vegan food guides to cities around the world, as far as I am aware this is the world's first travel guide written especially for vegans.

Why Do I Charge for These? 

While I have enjoyed giving away information on this blog free for a decade, these books are the result of several months off work, including many weeks of 'on the road' research, and many more trips to keep it up-to-date, so it's necessary to charge a small amount. I am currently working on one for Japan, which has also required a large investment of time and money.

Latest Updates

This guide was last updated in November 2018, after the sad closure of several vegan restaurants, but also the opening of a vegan branch of Inaka Udon, a Japanese chain, right inside Songshan Cultural & Creative Park, one of Taipei's cultural hubs which I have been recommending to visitors since the first edition.  Other significant updates over the last few months include the opening of Hooch, a vegan bar attached to the famous Ooh Cha Cha, which is now the best option for a late meal in Taipei, perhaps after a trip up Maokong Gondola, or after a day trip along the historic Pingxi Railway Line (all covered in the guidebook). It also includes the new and very convenient branch of the (all-vegan) Veggie Creek chain inside Taipei 101 and opposite Taipei Main Station.

Why Might I Want One

Vegans & Vegetarians Travel Differently

Vegan Travel Guides are written with the philosophy that vegans shouldn't need to put up with guidebooks which recommend zoos, steakhouses and dolphinariums, or to spend hours of time on research to plan how to get the best attractions and vegan restaurants; with a Vegan Travel Guide your planning is done for you, by a resident vegan (in this case, me). Itineraries including both vegan restaurants and cruelty-free entertainment are set out for the traveller, so it's no longer necessary to choose between a hungry Lonely Planet walking tour or the best vegan restaurants from Happycow, nor is it necessary to spend hours trying to marry them up, at least for Taiwan.

Your Preparation is Done For You, by a Resident Vegan

Most vegans expect to plan their own itineraries using a conventional travel guide (or online resources such as TripAdvisor) and Happycow, so currently most vegans who travels to the same country re-invent the wheel (working out which restaurants to pair with which attractions) as best they can without local knowledge of their destination. Tech-savvy vegans who travel regularly usually become good at this, and some even enjoy it, but even the most tech-savvy traveler, with plenty of time on their hands, is unlikely to plan their travels as well as a resident vegan with local knowledge of the attractions, restaurants, weather, crowds and local culture. And many people work up until the day of their departure, and have to pack, so simply don't have the hours needed to plan their trip effectively; others are just happy to spend a few dollars to have a local expert do the research for them. So I wrote this book to share with travellers my own knowledge of Taiwan, as I have been visiting its attractions and eating at its restaurants for over a decade now. I have spent months carefully researching and documenting the most efficient itineraries for vegan (or vegetarian) travellers into what has become this guidebook.

Planning at a Glance





Overviews are provided for all outings and their restaurants, so the reader can plan their trip at a glance based on the days of the week and weather forecasts, and choose which restaurants to eat at based on cuisines, cost and convenience. This ensures that the visitor will reach both sights and restaurants at suitable times, when they are open, in the right weather conditions, and without encountering unbearable crowds, all of which frequently spoil visitors' travel experiences in Taiwan.

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What's Covered in This Edition, and What's Not?

This first edition of Taiwan - A Travel Guide for Vegans covers the best and most popular sights and attractions in the northern third or so of the island, and is intended as a complete guidebook for first-time visitors who will be here for up to around ten days. Readers have requested that it include the south of Taiwan, and I am currently working on adding Taichung, Changhua, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Sun Moon Lake, but this new edition is unfortunately still a few months away.

If you will be here for longer than ten days I recommend traveling around the whole island and perhaps visiting some outlying islands, for which an alternative guidebook or online resources will be required.

Any readers of the book (or my blog) are welcome to email me with further questions about areas not covered in this guidebook, or other matters related to travel and life in Taiwan.

Central & Southern Taipei

Due to their proximity to Taipei Main Station, these sights can be visited together or visited before any of the other three Taipei outings.
Sights
Restaurants

2-28 Massacre Memorial


Rice Revolution


Ooh Cha Cha (Guting Branch)
 2-28 Peace Park, 2-28 Peace Memorial Museum, National Taiwan Museum, Daan Forest Park, Ximen Ding, Longshan Temple, Presidential Palace, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall / Liberty Square, Botanical Gardens.
Rice Revolution, Minder Vegetarian, Ooh Cha Cha, Joy Bar, Mianto

 

Eastern Taipei

Sights
Restaurants

View from Elephant Mountain

Fruiful Food
Tian Zhuan Zhai Loving Hut
Taipei 101, Elephant Mountain, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Maokong Gondola, Raohe Street Night Market
Loving Hut (hotpots, Taiwanese, Korean, buffet), Vege Creek, Minder Vegetarian, Fruitful Food, SoulR

Northern Taipei

Sights
Restaurants

Tamsui Waterfront

Lotus Vegetarian
Yummy Vegan House
National Palace Museum, Baoan Temple, Confucius Temple, Taipei Expo Park, Taipei Story House, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Guandu Temple, Guandu Nature Park, Neitou, Tamsui, Bali
Yummy Vegan House, Tamsui Waterfront Mushroom vendor, Easyhouse Vegetarian, Joufan Taro Balls


Southern Taipei

This itinerary is still included, however it is becomming less and less appealing as restaurants move from the area (or, sadly, close) and more options open up elsewhere in Taipei, especially in the east.

Sights
Restaurants

Bitan (Xindian River)
Green Pool Loving Hut

National Taiwan University, iVegan (supermarket), Bitan (lake), Cycle path, Wulai (hotsprings and Japanese history)
Green Pool Bitan (Green Pool) Loving Hut

Northeast Taiwan

Towns
Restaurants

Gold Ecological Park, Jinguashi







Jingtong (on Pingxi Railway)

Jingtong, Houtong Mine restaurant

Hualien and Taroko Gorge

This includes the only vegan B&B on the Taiwanese mainland (there's also another B&B on Penghu, not covered in this edition) and all necessary information to safely explore and stay in Taroko Gorge. 

Sights
Restaurants

Swallow Grotto

Chang Chun Buffet
Take-out for Taroko Gorge
Hualien: Ching Hsou (Japanese) Temple, Gang Tian Temple
Taroko Gorge: Eternal Springs Shrine & Trail, Shakadang Trail, Swallow Grotto, Lushui Trail, Tianxiang (sights and accommodation), Baiyang Waterfall trail
Hualien Loving Hut,  Zhu Pai Vegetarian (buffet), Chang Chun Vegetarian (buffet)


Lion Head Mountain

Changhua Tang Temple, Lion Head Mountain

This centuries-old Buddhist retreat is a little off the path of these itineraries, but is easily reached with public transport and makes a good final destination before flying out. It covers transport, accommodation at the temple hotel and food options en route from Taipei.

Practical Travel Information



Taiwan's High Speed Rail is a great way to travel between Taipei and Kaohsiung (not covered in this edition), but many travelers are surprised that stations are mostly so far away from city centres to make it useful for short-term visitors.

  • Preparation, packing and timing.
  • History, politics and religion (from a vegan perspective). This chapter is freely available as a sample on my blog here.
  •  Safety, costs, airports, getting around Taipei, luggage storage, languages, electricity, water, wireless internet, prepaid SIM cards, postal system & addresses, accommodation guide, public toilets.
  •  

Food and Restaurants


These common symbols make finding a vegetarian restaurant easy even for someone who has no background with the Chinese language.

Chinese symbols and language, chain restaurants (more in the complete guide, as they are less necessary in Taipei), Taiwanese specialty foods, fake meat (why it's not vegan, why everyone thinks it is and what to do about it). Most of this information is of course freely available on this blog, but it can help to have an offline version, and appropriate Chinese characters are interspersed throughout the book as necessary to make communication easier.


An Honest Note About Grammar and Readability

Taiwan (especially Taipei) is a dynamic scene for vegans, with restaurants opening and (sadly) closing almost by the week. This requires a lot of work on updates, but it also creates its own problems. For example, recently Joy Bar, Taipei's top student eatery, closed its doors, and I had recommended it in several places in the book for take-outs to the various itineraries covered in this book. To update it, I needed to search for all these links, and for each one, replace it with the next-best option for that itinerary.  Most guidebooks only update every year or two, but I usually release updates between once a fortnightly and once a month. I have been tempted to discontinue this guide, as keeping it updated is a lot of work for what is only a few sales a month, in a good month. But I really want to continue to share my knowledge of Taiwan with visitors, and I hope this project can grow into other countries.

So, as a compromise, I do keep it updated, but don't spend as long checking the final product as I ideally would. While I do check for readability and dead links, each edit affects the quality of the book slightly, yet I make these because I prioritise being up-to-date above all else. Eventually I intend to edit the whole book, but that is low on my priority list as I work on one for Japan.

So, to summarise, please understand that this is a utilitarian book, intended to provide the most up-to-date information as possible for the vegan visitor to Taiwan. Please excuse some grammatical or typing mistakes resulting from regular updates at this stage in the book's production. Thank you.


What's Not Covered (Yet)

Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung (including Kenting Beach) or the (very beautiful) central mountain range. If you have longer than ten days for Taiwan then I recommend purchasing a conventional guidebook and travelling around the island.

If these guidebooks are successful I intend to expand Taiwan, A Travel Guide for Vegans to include all these destinations, and hopefully other less well-known spots, such as B&Bs located on rural organic farms.

Reviews

Unlike most first-time publishers on Kindle, I didn't request any "sponsored" reviews, because I want the vegan community to judge the value of my work. I waited almost six months for my first book review, and am very grateful for this one.


My First Newspaper Review

Thank you to Han Cheung, journalist with the Taipei Times (Taiwan's best and most widely-read English-language newspaper) for this professional review: "Navigating the Vegan Heart of Asia". Mr Cheung's review is mostly positive with a few fair criticisms, mostly over the layout. He concludes that the book "gets the job done as a comprehensive tool for the visiting vegan".

Another Professional Review

Thank you very much to John Ross from Bookish Asia for another professional review. Bookish.Asia specialises in reviews of books about East Asia. In this fair and helpful review (helpful to potential readers, and to myself) John describes the book as "sure to be of great benefit to vegan and vegetarian visitors", and complements the author as being "not a blinkered cheerleader, and he doesn’t pull punches about the ugliness of the urban areas, or in dismissing restaurants not worth eating at", while rightly noting its limited coverage (northern Taiwan) and the spelling and grammatical mistakes, which are something I certainly need to improve on but especially struggle with given the regular updates to the book.


Who Are These Books For? 

These books are recommended for first-time, English-speaking travelers to Taiwan who will be here for up to two weeks. If you will have more than this I recommend purchasing another guidebook or using online travel resources, and traveling right around the whole island.

Residents?

New residents will probably find the book useful, however Taiwanese and long-term residents who speak some Chinese will not learn much new from this book.

Vegetarians?

Most of Taipei's vegan restaurants are among the most popular for vegetarians and vegans alike, especially foreigners, since they serve a more international cuisine than most traditional vegetarian restaurants and noodle stalls. A government survey in 2009 found that over half of several samples of fake meat contained real meat. This is (as far as I am aware) the only guide to deal with this problem, which of course affects vegetarians and vegans equally.
 Vegetarians may find this book preferable to a conventional guidebook, most of whose recommend restaurants serve little if anything vegetarian; even the Lonely Planet doesn't recommend any of Taipei's top vegetarian restaurants and it doesn't appear that they've even consulted Happycow listings in selecting their recommendations.

Most of my readers are vegetarian (not vegan), many from India. This book is, however, written from a vegan perspective.

Jains, Hindus, Jews, Muslims?

Most non-vegetarian restaurants here use lard oil, probably from cows, and even "vegetarian" restaurants usually use a lot of cheese, which virtually always contains rennet from cows (I've never heard of vegetarian cheese being used here, as most Taiwanese vegetarians don't worry about small amounts of non-veg ingredients (such as rennet)in their food. Like vegans everywhere, vegans in Taiwan take their ethical lifestyle seriously, and I would therefore recommend that all Jains and Hindus (vegetarian or those who just avoid eating cows) to eat only at vegan restaurants. While there are a few sources of Halal meat in Taiwan it's very rare, so by far the easiest and safest option for Muslims and orthodox Jews is to eat at vegan restaurants.

Places to Eat With Omnivores?

I occasionally get requests to include vegan-friendly places which also serve meat, for vegans traveling with omnivores. While I certainly understand this need (and admire vegans who can travel with non-vegans) I am sorry but no, a vegan travel guide is not the place to find out where to buy meat. I do, however, list vegan (and vegetarian) places which are especially popular with omnivores, such as the Fruitful Food buffet

Taiwanese

I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support from many Taiwanese in my writing this guide. As a travel guide, however, it's unlikely to be much use to local people who are familiar with the country's culture and infrastructure and who can read and speak Chinese. Of course anyone is welcome to purchase a copy, but it is intended for foreign visitors unfamiliar with the country and language. I would be very grateful if everyone could share this with vegan, vegetarian or health-conscious friends and family overseas who may be interested in visiting Taiwan.

Why use Guidebooks at All?

For most people over forty, buying a travel guide before visiting a new country is a given, while for most people under thirty, the idea is absurd. It's certainly possible to plan a trip to Taiwan using free online resources, including perhaps my own "free" (commercial) Formosa Guide website, perhaps combined with food information from this blog.

As someone in between these generations, however, and someone who both sells guidebooks but makes more money from advertisements on my "free" site than selling guidebooks, I feel qualified to say that the younger generation get the worst deal. Travel websites (including my Formosa Guide, not my blogs, and of course not my books) are designed to attract and hold the reader's attention, but also to be inefficient, so that readers spend as long as possible on the site, and view as many pages - and thus advertisements - as possible. And of course travel websites (including my own) focus on places where we can earn hotel commissions. My book, on the other hand, is written to provide the best, commercial-free experience to travelers who are willing to pay for it. Simply put, on my free website, I answer to my advertisers, while with my book I answer to my readers. Given how much travelers spend on an overseas holiday, I think the extra few dollars for a travel guide is money very, very well spent, especially for vegans when the book is written especially for vegans. Even the most skilled and diligent planner is unlikely to take into account as many considerations as someone who lives in the country and spends months undertaking careful research. And for many visitors, the cost of the guidebook will probably be offset by money saved taking the cheaper and more efficient public travel recommended in the guidebook, or by being able to plan to eat at nearby inexpensive restaurants more easily.

Example: Northern Taipei

Most people enjoy Tamsui, especially for the sunset (see the blog header above), but don't realise that it's unbearably crowded during weekends. And the museums, including the famous Hot Spring Museum (once the largest public hot spring in the Japanese empire) is closed on Mondays. By far the best restaurant is Yummy Vegan Home, but it and its sister restaurant (Yummy Vegan House) are both closed on Wednesdays. So this leaves visiting Beitou and Tamsui for a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. Few people do this much research, and most end up overwhelmed by crowds, hungry, or frustrated that they came all this way to find the best sights closed.

It works Offline

While SIM cards are easily available and Taipei was the first city in the world to introduce city-wide free WiFi (as explained in the book) I still think there's value in having everything offline, in one place. I list names and addresses in Chinese (and English) of all destinations in this guide, so it's easy to stop and ask someone the way or show a taxi where you want to go without having to try to Google something in another language. You can even read the book and plan your trip on the plane (just check the weather forecast first).

Maps & Addresses

Maps are made using Google Maps Engine, are reproduced in their original form in accordance with Google's Terms. They are all available (free) here. For users who read the book on a phone or tablet, I have recently added links which bring up directions from the user's current location in Google Maps.

Taiwan's complicated but highly efficient address system is also explained, but for the short-term visitor it's usually easiest to just get as close as possible on public transport, show the address in Chinese (always provided in this guidebook) to a passer-by and ask for directions. Taiwanese are exceptionally friendly and helpful to foreigners, and in Taipei an English-speaker will always appear almost immediately and be keen to help.

Why Kindle (E-books)?

I understand that some people prefer traditional (printed) guidebooks, and that Amazon's Kindle is not the only platform for distributing electronic books. First, I endeavour to keep my guidebook updated, and this is obviously much more practical with electronic versions.

Most people buy a guidebook before leaving home, and printing and sending books internationally would take too long and be prohibitively expensive for many travelers. I am, however, planning to set up Print On Demand through Amazon, which would enable customers to order the latest version of the book, and then Amazon will print a copy and send it out. These are of rather low quality, especially the photographs, but perfectly functional for a utilitarian book like a travel guide.

Amazon's Kindle platform allows the book to be read on almost any device and platform (Android, Windows, iOS), as the pages are automatically reformatted for all sized screens. The font size can easily be adjusted to suit the reader. The Kindle app can be downloaded (free) for Android and iOS, and once paid for books can be downloaded instantly and read on several different devices simultaneously. I strongly recommend installing the Kindle App and downloading the book on both a tablet and a smartphone. Read the book on the plane on your tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab, iPad etc) but have it ready on your smartphone to quickly check which station to get off at, or to pass to a taxi driver to show an address in Chinese.

Why Not Use the Lonely Planet?

Perhaps my greatest difficulty with this project is convincing people - even vegans - that my guidebook will be more useful than their trusted Lonely Planet. But Lonely Planet staff don't care about vegans (or vegetarians) at all: their guide to Taiwan barely recommends any of Taipei's best vegan or even vegetarian restaurants. I doubt they even consulted Happycow listings in making their selections, let alone tried any themselves.

Vegans (and vegetarians) who eat fish should be fine with the Lonely Planet. (And no, most organic shops in Japan don't offer anything vegan either.)
Photo: Lonely Planet, Japan
 
Worse still, the Lonely Planet is dangerously misleading: for years many foreigners in Taiwan (including myself) believed that the ubiquitous fake meat is vegan, because the Lonely Planet authors say so, when in fact it usually contains dairy products, egg and often real meat. Even instructions on how to find vegetarian restaurants are wrong: the Lonely Planet instructs its loyal readers to look for the 'reverse savastika', whereas in reality only a small proportion of restaurants use it. But virtually all vegetarian restaurants use these common vegetarian symbols. Thousands of visitors must have missed tens of thousands of restaurants because of this. If they could have been bothered it would have taken the authors five minutes to  learn these correct symbols from any Taiwanese vegetarian.

Both these vegetarian restaurants use the common vegetarian symbols, which are used by most vegetarian restaurants in Taiwan (this and their newer equivalents are all explained in the book). Only the restaurant on the rights uses the 'reverse swastika', which is used by about ten per cent of vegetarian restaurants and is recommended by the Lonely Planet as the best way to find a vegetarian restaurant.

Anyone who trusts the Lonely Planet should read Do Travel Writers Go to Hell, in which former LP author and whistleblower Thomas Kohnstamm explains that staff aren't paid enough to even cover their basic travel expenses, let alone earn a living, and that they instead earn their money from bribes and "freebies" (usually accommodation, food, alcohol and sometimes other "services") in exchange for recommending hotels and restaurants.

Culture, History, Politics and Religion

When I travel I like to know a little about the culture and history of the country, especially any connections to vegetarianism. In this guidebook I summarise the history of Taiwan and its  complicated political situation, to help the reader understand (for example) why it's offensive to refer to Taiwanese as "Chinese" - despite the fact that their passport says "Republic of China" and the airline you may well arrive on is called "China Airlines" and not say the wrong things at the wrong times.

An I Kuan Tao altar in a family home. While it's little known outside of Taiwan, owners of most Chinese vegetarian restaurants around the world are run by devout followers of Taiwan's third largest religion.

I also describe the main religious groups in Taiwan, three of which promote vegetarianism. The original form of this article is (free) here. In the Lonely Planet I Kuan Tao, the third largest religion in the country, whose members own at least half of the country's vegetarian restaurants, is dismissed as a "cult" in one sentence. Supreme Master Ching Hai, whose followers run virtually all of Taiwan's vegan restaurants, does not even get a mention. Of course if you're not interested in any of this being an electronic book it's easy to skip this chapter, and it doesn't add any extra 'weight'.

Why Not Just Use Happycow?

Use Happycow! As a "Happycow Ambassador" (volunteer contact person for Taipei), I always encourage everyone - of course including readers of my book - to use the world's largest database of vegan-friendly restaurants. If you just want to know about restaurants then this book is not for you, and I recommend Happycow perhaps along with this blog.

But if you are travelling to Taipei, especially for the first time, then this guidebook should replace your conventional guidebook (eg Lonely Planet, Rough Guide). And it integrates with Happycow, fitting restaurants and attractions into the same outings and displaying them on all on the same maps. This book covers where to go in Taipei, when, how to get around, language (of course vegan-specific), accommodation, safety and everything else traditionally covered by travel guidebooks.

Find the Best, Safest Restaurants for Vegans

Of course, vegans need to eat (and what vegans don't travel for food?) and many travellers do want recommendations of the best restaurants - especially ones easily accessible from tourist attractions - and can't be bothered searching through the hundreds on Happycow, many of which aren't vegan-friendly. I have been living in or regularly visiting Taiwan for over a decade, and have eaten at every vegan restaurant in greater Taipei, mostly several times, and through my book and blog I have been following how travellers feel about different restaurants for a decade.

This travel guide includes Taipei's best vegan restaurants (and the very best vegetarian ones, in the few cases they are better than vegan ones) along with cuisine style, price range, a photo, a brief description and review, opening hours, websites and addresses (in Chinese and English, and public transport directions). And their Happycow reviews are just a click away.

Authenticity

I have personally visited all destinations and eaten at all restaurants recommended in this guide (except one, as stated in the guide). I never identify myself as a guidebook writer, and only occasionally introduce myself as a blogger when I need to ask for more information than a regular customer would. This guidebook contains no advertisements in any form. I always pay for my meals in full and have never and would never take any form of incentives for listings or recommendations, here or on any of my blogs. I have taken all photographs in the book myself.

Have a Great Trip to Taiwan!

Taiwan is Asia's most underrated travel destination. Having been ruled by several countries over the centuries it has a wide variety of cultural and historic sights and attractions. Taipei has a modern, reliable, inexpensive public transport system, and Taiwanese are exceptionally warm and friendly towards foreign visitors. Most people in Taipei speak English and are happy to help foreigners, and most signs are bilingual. Taiwan is also very safe, with violent very rare, especially towards foreigners. Taiwan has an infrastructure comparable to Japan prices comparable to Thailand.

Fortunately, About Animals, Taipei's top burger bar, has recently re-opened after closing what seemed like permanently.

Taiwan is also the vegan heart of Asia, with over a dozen vegan restaurants in Taipei having opened in the last few years, and in built-up areas there's usually a vegetarian restaurant within walking distance. Even the ubiquitous 7-Eleven convenience stores sell frozen vegan meals, which they can microwave on the spot. Taipei is one of very few destinations in the world where it's possible to set up for a day's sightseeing without having to even think about where you'll eat, and with this guide there will always be plenty to choose from. I wish you a safe and enjoyable trip to the country that has become my second home.

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*Unfortunately, Amazon.com adds additional charge (usually $2 USD) to users of Amazon.com outside the US, including, ironically, Taiwan. This is above and beyond their usual commissions and is kept by Amazon.com to recover extra costs and taxes involved in selling the book overseas, and is totally beyond my control. There are also issues with buying them from Singapore as a result of Singapore's censorship laws. Please email me if you have any problems. 
If these issues are not resolved, I hope to move the guidebook to a better platform, hopefully Google (as an app instead of a book) but this is still a long way off. 


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4 comments:

  1. Hi Jesse, I think this is a wonderful idea and will be most helpful to vegetarians/vegans in Taiwan. I'll be traveling to Taipei in 2 weeks time and I'd like to get a copy of this guide. Do let me know what's the best of getting a copy of the guide or the app. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello
      Thank you for your interest, and for leaving the comment. It's been a couple of weeks from being finished for a few months, but it really is almost there. I've just put it up on Amazon as a test here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z25E5RW
      My final problem is that links within the book aren't working, and Amazon staff can't figure it out either; I'm promised that their programmers are investigating it and will have an answer by Sat (6/13), from which I hope it will be easy to fix.
      It would be possible to read it for planning now, but it will of course be much more user-friendly when links within the book work (eg links between sights and restaurants recommended for other sights) but it is possible to jump between chapters using the Table of Contents. It's also not my final draft, so I have a few minor typing and formatting issues to fix before the final product but they shouldn't affect the use of the book.

      So it would be perfectly usable if you'd like to start planning your trip, but unfortunately if you do buy it now it's not possible to get an update when it's fixed. So of course you're welcome to try it now as is, but can I suggest waiting a few days? I'll post an update here as soon as I hear anything. I really hope to have it all finished soon!
      Thanks again for your interest anyway. In the meantime please let me know if I can help with planning your trip at all!
      Jesse

      Delete
    2. Hello again
      Sorry I can't find any way to get in touch with you, but it's finally finished and available here:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Z25E5RW

      Please let me know if I can help with anything for your trip, if it's not too late!
      Jesse

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