Monday, 10 September 2007

Lonely Planet Diving and Snorkeling Fiji (Diving & Snorkeling)

This is an attractive book which the scuba diver will want to order. It maps and describes 74 of Fiji's top dive sites and the color photography is excellent. Despite the title, however, those interested in beach-based snorkeling will find little of use here as almost all of the sites included are accessible by boat only. Even the new Waitabu Marine Park off Taveuni is mentioned only in passing.

There's virtually no practical resort or restaurant information, and the first quarter of the book is devoted to brochure-style hype you can read on almost any Fiji website. Critical reviews of dive facilities are strikingly absent, so this book is of no help in selecting a specific scuba operator. Five pages of listings in the back of the book provide basic contact information, but even this is out of date as all Fiji telephone numbers have increased from six to seven digits since the book was published.

Most of the email addresses are also wrong, so substitute whenever you see Nevertheless, when one considers the cost of a scuba tour to the South Pacific and the lack of any alternative Fiji dive guide, all of the above criticisms are mute and serious divers will click this title straight into their shopping carts.

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