Comments about Passplanet
The comments below are only a selection of some
of the comments I received. Without permission, I decided to keep the
writers anonymous. I also kept the text unchanged, sometimes with spelling or grammatical
mistakes. Although I erased the name of the companies Passplanet is sometimes
compared to, I highlighted the comparative comments.
The most recent comments are at the top.
Setting up Passplanet took a lot of effort, a lot
of time and, of course, some money. Passplanet is not a Company and is not
sponsored by anyone. It is therefore quite nice, from time to time, to receive
encouragements and praises.
Passplanet of course is not without its
limitations and I have in the past be accused of all sort of things (see history
for more details). Recently, those attacks seem to have cooled down and I am
pleased to note that Passplanet seem to have become a reference for a few
I delayed the setting of this page for years
since I wished to maintain a low profile. Today, I feel that it could encourage some backpackers to join
me in the adventure. Passplanet is a never-ending project and it needs all
the help it can get. Thanks in advance for your support!
Benoit Saint Girons
April 2003, Geneva
"I am planning to travel in China
this year, and I find your site more useful for my preparations than the XX guide." (David Emanuel
Andersson, March 06)
"Thanks. Your effort had unite the world of
backpackers.Keep it up!" (Peter, March 06)
Only discovered your website today through a recommendation on Lonely Planet's
Thorn Tree forum. I'd just like to say that i think your site is fantastic,
really informative, fun to read and gives a lot of info not found in guidebooks.
(Kiara, dec 05)
A lot of travelling information contained. I
wonder how could this web contains more information than I knew about the place
where I was grown-up. Salute !!! (Johly Allan PS, Dec 05)
"What a nice surprise I have today ! I was searching
for imformation about Thailand, Laos and Cambodia when I come accross Passplanet.
What an wonderful idea. YOU ARE RIGHT, this is wath we backpackers really need ,
available and updated information wherever we go. Bonne Annee et merci
beaucoup." (Carlos, Portugal, Dec 04)
"I just wanted to tell you how much I love
passplanet!!!! It's a sublime website for the info provided!!! Keep up the good
work, I'll link your website in the links section of mine." (Michele, Nov 04)
"Im mailing you because I want that you know that
its a great site you make. Updated and have all the information a "new"
backpacker as I am needs to
know. I will make my first (but not last) backpacking trip this autumn (...) I
have used your site alot, and I will comment the places i visited on the site
when the trip is done!" (Magnus I., Sweden, August 04)
"I just wanted to tell you how great your website is
and how much I appreciate it. Your information is phenomenal, and really helped
me and my sister make some pivotal decisions." (Kimberly T S., August 04)
" I found your website on the internet and I must
admit that it's the best one I've seen yet for backpackers. Good job!! Thanks
alot!" (Isabelle D., March 04)
"Merry X-mas and a happy New year,
Keep up the best travel site in the world! Thanks for the good info" (Ivan V.,
Belgium, Dec 03)
"(...) I noticed some of your comments on the
insensitiveness and poor manners (intelligence) of a few of your visitors. I
don’t really know how prevalent this actually is, but it prompted me to send you
this message and explain to you just how fantastic you are for creating this
site. There are many like it, but only this one and one other come to mind for
their honesty, completeness, insightfulness, and general value to all travelers
worldwide. I plan to set off in January on a trip that begins in Singapore and
ends September in Hong Kong (after spending a few months in China as well). I
think I may be inclined to offload your entire site onto my laptop for offline
viewing; since, my original idea of simply perusing and summarizing would leave
me with a perfect duplicate. This is why your page is so incredible. Keep it up
and I will 100% contribute with photos, comments, ideas and more as I progress
along the way." (Joel S., Nov 03)
"Thankyou so much for all the time and effort you
have put into your wonderful website (...) Not having travelled overseas in my
adult life before, your website is an excellent in depth source of information,
and has saved me hours (and dollars in not having to buy all the guidebooks!). I
will be sure to take notes on
anywhere I visit and pass on any new information I find. I really wish I had the
time and the money to contribute further by covering an entire country, maybe
one day that will be possible. Thanks again" (Jo, Western Australia, July 03)
"I travel last year with your
information in thailand, was very helpfull better than XX, thanks so much."
(Nina, May 03)
THIS IS NOT BETTER INFORMATION THAN.......
THIS IS THE BEST
(Mirjana, Jan 03)
"THANK YOU- MUCHAS GRACIAS!! Seriously, I had so
kmuch trouble finding a comprehensive site on the countries that I will be going
to in Central America. I got to your site by pure accident and found exactly the
info that I was looking for- and what's odd is that you traveled most of the
same routes that I have mapped out! I have no idea who you are- but "right on'!
" (Michelle and Maranda, USA, Jan 03)
"Thanks a lot for the development of your website,
absolutely amazing how much it has helped me a couple of months ago when I was
travelling in China" (Ellen, Jan 03)
"Dear M. Saint Girons,
congratulations on one of the best internet resources for travellers. After
toiling through heaps and heaps of "then-I-met-John-from-Sydney-and-we-had-great-dinner-at-a-restaurant-whose-name-I-forgot"-travel
reports, we finally found your page and we are in heaven! Informative, up to
date and down to earth, just the plethora of information we were looking for.
Thanks a million!" (Jen D. and Andreas R., Japan, Dec 02)
"I have just discovered your site, and I am very
impressed. I had long ago given up on guide books, but your site is well worth
having a peek at before going anywhere - really useful knowledge and info.
Thanks." (Marnie, Nov 02)
"I wish to thank you. Your site made our trip to
Cambodia, Laos and Thailand." (Phil, UK, Nov 02)
"Your site is absolument genial!!I used to gather
all info from the XX site but it is a little too much now! I discovered your
site a while ago and I fell in love instantly!! Thanks for all the info." (Jean
claude, France, Nov 02)
"This must be one of the best travel sites I've ever
visited. I like the way the information is organized and a little bonus feature
I've yet to see anywhere else are the pictures of the banknotes of each country.
Excellent." (Erik L., May 02)
"You've got a great pasplanet set up and I used the
info provided for my last trip and everything turned out just great so thanks to
you and all the contributors for such a great site." (Jasmine T., May 02)
I´m from Nicaragua. While I was searching for some
locations information I found your web site and it was very useful for me. Its
really nice you site and full of information. I just want to congratulate you
for your effort " (April 02)
"I absolutly love your site. It is indeed one of the
best backpacking sites on the web" (Jeff, Jan 02)
"Wow what a great web site!!! Definitely a reference
for backpackers who want to travel in those countries. Relevant information that
is hard to find anywhere else. I had the chance to travel in South East Asia and
Central America in the last three years and I have to admit that almost
everything mentioned was accurate when I was there. Keep the good Job!!!"
(Rosemarie L., Canada, Jan 02)
"Thank you for sending me the URL to your new China site. I have been
looking for just such a site for over a year now (...) (Sue W., Toronto)
"Just come across your website. Its an excellent resource. My own interest is strictly Cambodia and I found out quite a bit of info on a country I thought I knew a lot about!
Thanks for the info" (Andy B., England)
"Loved your travel site... I've made several trips to Hong Kong, and was reminded how much I liked it"
"I think you really did great in your passplanet. Your information comparing with
XX is much better and new. I always mention about it to other bagpackers here.
As you know the information about XX is too old. By the way will you publish books like
XX does?" (Vicky T.)
"Keep up with the good work. Fantastic site by the way, so much more relevent and useful than the old
"Excellent web page!!.. I see alot of potential in it!!" (Fred T., USA)
"I am a Chinese. I am deeply impressed by ur web site, v informative and detailed
for backpackers indeed! I am wondering where u got those info and why i can't find such
web site in Chinese. Your web site will be v helpful to my trip to Taiyuan and Xi'an during
Chinese new year. Thanks!" (Anonymous)
"Your site is looking great! I cannot imagine how much time it has taken to put it together, but from what I have seen, it is the most complete guide for travellers on the net."
"It's really a nice site, PassPlanet. You've found a great way of making the site interactive. I envy you ! :))"
"Just wanted to send a quick email letting you know that your website is fabulous! You definitely have traveled to many places, and I hope I can do that someday!"
"I usually -NEVER- send feedback about a website, but I just wanted to take a few minutes and say that I'm really impressed by yours - It totally kicks ass! I'm leaving on a 5week trip to Singapore, KL & Malaysia, Thailand and then eventually leaving from Bangkok back to San Francisco. Your site has been a massive help planning my trip and getting general information about the area. If you'd like me to do/report anything on my trip, please let me know before I leave (Jan 12), and I've also toured alot of Egypt and Kenya in the past year, so I could provide information about those countries if you'd like. Thanks again" (Stevan
"Your site is cool. Your site is great. Far better than
XX. The survey is a winner" (Phil)
"Your page is amazing!!! Traveling in Asia is my passion and Internet-Marketing my job. I have never seen a page as amazing as yours. I'll see how I can contribute one way or the other over the weekend. " (Paco, Germany)
"Thanks for your amazing site. You can't find train schedules and all the rest of the information anywhere else." (Tracy
"I like your web-site, it's very good and I won't go anywhere without using it!" (Shurama
"(...) I was therefore glad to stumble apon your website whilst reading my
"XX guide to Thailand". I am planning a month travelling from Singapore, via KL, Bankok and the north and have found the website fantastic. The comments and advice from backpackers has given me
a great number of ideas. I am currently planning my route and dividing my time amongst the most interesting places shown on the site. I have also forwarded your address to my travelling friends who are bound to respond! Please keep up this fresh approach and I will only be too glad to comment on my experiences when i return. Thanks again" (Rudi
"Well done on producing such a good website! I'm planning on going travelling later this year, probably around October, to Thailand for a couple of months or so, and your site has been pretty much invaluable! (...) Thanks, and well done again on such a good website!" (Peter
"Just wanted to say I think the site is excellent -especially the price comparisons - which is very useful considering the current poor state of the australian dollar! It's all doing wonders to assist with the planning of my upcoming trip. Cheers." (Danielle
"I am a Canadian living in Terengganu for the last 10 years. I hope to make a trip to Cambodia later this month and have been reading what i
can on the internet. I finally found your site. thank you very much. I think your
information is excellent. Very detailed and practical. I checked up on my own neck of the woods, Terengganu, and was
pleasantly surprised by your work and photos. I will spend more time looking around your site, and pass the word on to friends." (Anuar, Canada)
"Congretulation, I am keen on your site and our approach as much different as
interesting....anyway, it is such a travelling site that i was looking for our face, our life...but you keep hidden behing a webmaster name. I haven't a clue about when can you find the time and the money to do a so big work, sure you work for EDF..
To sum up, go on....I am leaving for a two-month trip in asia this summer. I
hope I will bring you the information you need to keep in touch with the reality. Thank you for helping us to travel." (Sebastien, France)
"Dear Ben. Thankyou Thankyou. I'm planning the trip of a lifetime - my partner is a non traveller - and I am finally leaving him at home to explore China and relieve some of that travel itch i've had for years - your site was JUST what I was looking for - now I know where I'm headed (Yunnan province) and feel I can get the best out of the short time available.
will let you know how it goes, if you're interested. Old Chinese Proverb: If you want to go paddling, don't forget to take your paddle". (Terri, UK)
"thank you very much (oh and all the info i`ve got from your web site has helped so much i now know were i`m going on my travels). thanks again" (mark Cossey, UK)
"It's a great website. I prefer it over the XX books. I alway use your advice Ben!" (Jackie
"I'm in Indonesia now, and am forced to use XX. I really miss your recommendations for hotels and things to see and do! Good luck with the web site. I've got the travel bug now, and I'm sure I'll be using your Central America information in the future." (Jackie
"keep it up, the info is really good and best of all continuosly current!" (Matt, Australie)
"really enjoyed looking at your site--especially liked the stuff on Hong Kong. I live in HK and have been really
diappointed with the info I've read in most guide books. (...) Thanks, again great site." (Anna)
"Firstly, may I say what a great website you have, the information and layout
is fantastic and very user friendly, it is an excellent accompaniment to the
less personal guidebooks out there (...)" (Carl B.)
"I just wanted to write and say thank you for such an AMAZING site !!! I have done extensive backpacking
throughout South America and now am off to Asia and I am in love with your site. It has exactly the type of
information that I need and have had such a difficult time locating (...) PS- once I have more time to cruise your site I am definitely interested in seeing how I can help out." (Kara, USA)
"hey there ben. i just have to take a second and tell you what a damned excellent site this is. sans doute le meilleur que j'ai jamais vu. sorry, just got back from two weeks in Provence and couldn't resist. i'll spare you my poor francais. without a doubt, this is the best backpacker's guide to Asia on the internet, and believe me i've spent countless hours searching for good ones. i'm headed to either myanmar or thailand in a few months,
and your site has been a great help in figuring out where to and where not to go. if you had the time or the resources, you could put together a better guide than
XX, i swear. so, i've got to say thanks for all the time and effort you put into this, i know you do it for little, if any, pay. hope one day you figure out how to cover your travel costs with it! As pointless as it seems, that's all i really wanted. just figured that few people probably take time to tell you what a great site this is and you might need to hear it every now and then. keep up the great work and happy travels". (Rob)
"I really liked your schemes and descriptions for northern Sichuan, everything is written in a European taste (no puns intended, but anyway different from the usual American eye) and give the impression which I myself would tend to give, for better or worse, of places I've been to. Bravo!" (Davide
G., Rome - Italy)
"You really have an awesome site and your move to change servers I think is great because the site is much faster now and everyone on
XX keeps talking about it so keep up the good work. I will definitely let you know updates when I go if there are any. Thanks again for all your help" (Anthony
"Felicitaciones , you did it !!! I saw you website and was suprised by the quality, you did a lot of investigation ... you went to a lot of places !!!" (Patrick, Belgium)
"Hi! We're a family of four who gowing for a BP between Oct.2002 until Oct.2003
I'll just say it right out. THE BEST SITE I'VE EVER FOUND ON THE NET.. Been looking for traveling info about 10 months now. (100 hours in the
XX site) I just come over this site to day, its fucking lovley. This site will save me for a LoT of time. Regards" (Morten)
"I suppose you must be getting thousands of these, but I just could stop myself from sending you this email saying I AM TOTALLY KNOCKED DOWN BY YOUR PASSPLANET! This is an incredibly good webpage and it really is fascinating that the whole set up was done not by the commercial institution but one person. My congratulations and best regards (...)" (Pawel
"I am impressed with passplanet. I am a Mexican that could not buy the XX guidebook in Mexico, co someone in the Thonr Tree recommended it to me. I printed all and used it as a guidebook in China, I lended it to other backpackers. They were very im`ressed too. Congratuñations. You have done a wonderful job!!!"
(Carmen A., Mexico)
"Better information than the guidebooks!" (Rob W., Australia)
"travelling asia, i had an idea of visiting hongkong, but i was not sure. B U T after finding very good information in passplanet i liked the idea and booked a flight right on. and with your information it was the best and easiest trip. i must say that i come to asia now many times exploring things on my own, but you gave me the best ideas and a great plan to see hongkong, thanx"
"Exciting, interesting initiative ! Keep up the excellent work !!!" (Patrick
"Very helpful for planning Guizhou trip - best source of info. Proved more reliable than
XX. Thanks." (Laurel, USA)
"Thanks a lot for the informations on your website. It was very useful and our opinions on the places we visited happened to be quite similar to the one expressed by other backpackers" (Pierre, France)
"Keep on going the way you go, your site is fabulous" (Dirk V., Belgium)
"I am planning to take a photo trip to China next year and do not know where to go. Luckily I've found your web site which has given me tons of info. Great site, great backpacking information" (Hai
"stumbled upon this website of yours by accident !! and can I just say its tops !! answered lots of my questions on Visas and the like. (...)" (Jodie)
"I simply adore your site! it is humourous too. thanks!" (kaytee)
"Great site you got running. I'm planning a trip to the east and your site is one of the best I've seen - very cute rating system. (...) Anyway, just my 2 cents :) keep up the good site. (Yaron Karasik, Israel)
"I like the idea of the surveys, but I find myself giving places I like (like Laos) low marks because of the particular questions. Its very attractions are the lack of attraction which makes it difficult to rate beside very convenient places like China and Malaysia. Nonetheless bravo - this site is excellent." (Anonymous)
"My comment... It is absolutely brilliant. By far the best travel site I have come across
so far. Keeping it updated may prove difficult given all the work you've put in
already but I'm sure people like us will help." (Danielle S.)
"Great site, a good alternative for the XX site. Try to work it out to different continents too, with the help of the travellers" (Eddy
"Excellent Information, just the one which I was looking for." (Anonymous)
"Great site. Recommend it since the first day. Keep on moving!" (Anonymous, Germany)
"Great site, inspires to go back to Asia." (Janne H., Finnish)
"Really the best site for thailand and laos." (Matt, Canada)
"Great site. Best for insightful recommendations." (Geoffrey
"Excellent site, we need more like this." (Dustin Salveson, USA)
"Excellent site for the person who wants to find the ins and outs that travel agencies dont tell you. That is why we are contacting you (...)" (Sifu Brad
"Very good concept. It helped me very much in China, as it provides brief and accurate information. Unfortunately a lot of countries (Pakistan, India) are not (yet) covered." (Alexander Reinecke, Germany)
"I think this is a really great and enriching webpage ! Great job." (Stephanie, Germany)
"Hey I just checked out your site for the first time.....It is AWESOME! I will be spending the next 3 months in SE Asia and found the content on the site top-notch. I was however curious to know if you will be adding a section for Vietnam. Either way thanks for the superb site...I've got you bookmarked!" (Gabe Scotti
E., OR. USA)
"Ben... I just discovered you site...it's wonderful and providing me with both
inspiration and ideas for other SoEast Asia visits. I'll soon be heading back
to Thailand and Cambodia...but your site has encouraged me to consider
including Burma (...)" (Dr. jay P.)
"Congratulations from Barcelona for your esplendid site, really you have a wonderful site.
I think that your site only need a important piece, a forum." (Francisco R., Spain)
"After scouring the net, for some days now, looking for info about backpacking - I find your site contains a wealth of info (of the type I was seeking). As a 1st time backpacker, looking for a month or six of escape ...I have to say I found your site to be nothing short of amazing. This is what the WWW is for. I wish you luck." (Hans)
"Next month, I will be embarking on a journey that will take me ultimate down the Yangtze River. And thanks to your great website, I have just the information I've been looking for. (...) Once again, I think you all have an incredible web site! Thanks!"
"Hi! I`ve been a visitor of Passplanet site for the past few weeks and I`d have to say that the site is so damn good its worthy of recommendation. I was about to buy guidebooks for my planned trip to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia next year but after chancing upon you site i don`t think there`ll be need anymore for guidebooks since all my questions were answered through reading articles in the website.Anyway, since it`s gonna be my first trip abroad alone, I`m having mixed feelings about it. Anyway, I`m writing to congratulate you for a job well done." (Jacqueline
"Thanks for the great site. Wish I had found it before I went. Oh well..." (Bill
"keep it going, great info easy to use and accurate !!!! Thank you and well done !" (Fatima & Frank
"Thanks Passplanet for your invaluable information. I used your "guide" in Laos much more than the
XX I had as well." (Peter C., Belgium)
"Excellent site! Seems like you've put a lot of work in it and I'm sure the information you provide will prove to be very helpful. Can't wait to go! Thank you!!"
"Fantastic site!!! Your site is better than most guidebooks especially
XX. You provide honest comments of each place. Hope you can keep up with the most updated info."
"Congratulations on putting together such an interesting and informative website. Have traveled a great deal in China and find your info. accurate and entertaining. Absolutely sure you will get some things wrong, that you will provoke some negative feedback, but if it was simple to do what you are trying to do, then all the simple people would have done it long ago. Once again I appreciate your efforts. Will be back later with all my questions."
"I travelled a few times to yunnan, gansu and other places in china and I would have been very happy if I had such infos when I prepared these trips ! Nadia mentiont it before - sure it's not perfect (WHAT IS PERFECT ?)and some views/comments are very subjective -BUT it's still a great site, congretulations again."
"Thank you very much for your excellent site. When we went to China a year and a half ago, I printed out a selection of your pages of places and travel indications (train & bus
connections) we were planning on visiting: untill I lost this precious "passplanet dossier" on a hectic moment at a train station somewhere, we used it a lot in addition to the eternal
XX: many times I liked your comments better and especially the places to stay part was very usefull (chinese characters to show when asking were very handy indeed). We're planning a trip again for this summer (don't know to which country yest) but if it's a country you've covered I'll make sure to make me another "dossier" and try not to loose it this time... Thank you Benoît for your great work. (Frida & José Luis, Dutch)
"oh, this is the best guide going. Let's hope that they cover the world soon."
"Thank you very much for your information about the new guide on the internet. It is usefull for travelleres! They updated with lots of information .... Accom, sight-seeing, foods, shopping area, what to do and what not to do when your are in people's country. It is better than
XX because XX is not updating their books anymore. Some of their information are not correct. The"Colonial Hotel" which is in the
XX still but the hotel is already burn down 3 years ago, Airport taxi fare RM45.00 (impossible)!!!!"
"congratulations! Passplanet is the very best source of information i have seen when planning a travel to those
countries covered on the page." (Alvaro G.,Spain)
"Wow what a great web site!!! Definitely a reference for backpackers who want to travel in those countries. Relevant information that is hard to find anywhere else. I had the chance to travel in South East Asia and Central America in the last three years and I have to admit that almost everything mentioned was accurate when I was there. Keep the good Job!!!"
(Rosemarie L., Québec City, Canada)
"I absolutly love your site. It is indeed one of the best backpacking sites on the web...now for my question....Is there a certian reason why you are ignoring Vietnam? Thanks"
"Just wanted to say thank you to the person who spent so much time getting this info together. Am going to Yangshou for few days break next week and was delighted to come across so much information without having to purchase a guide book."
(Chrissie, British, living in HK)
" I´m from Nicaragua. While I was searching for some locations information I found your web site and it was very useful for me. Its really nice you site and full of information. I just want to congratulate you for your effort and recommend some sites for pictures of my country."
"Hi Ben, I´m from Nicaragua. While I was searching for some locations information I found your web site and it was very useful for me. Its really nice you site and full of information. I just want to congratulate you for your effort and recommend some sites for pictures of my country."
"Congratulations for the Passplanet Web is a wonderful lot of help and motivation for the new travellers (And for the olders ones, I think :)" (Paco, Barcelona, Spain)
"your website is very important,i am personaly very greatful forand use the malaysia infos.mostly,guidebook are nmisleading and sponsered by dubious tourist agencys.take some rest and to be happy about the response.goosd luck for you and the nice idea.remain on the net,please." (Peter)
"You;ve got a great pasplanet set up and I used the info provided for my last trip and everything turned out just great so thanks to you and all the contributors for such a great site." (Jasmine
"This must be one of the best travel sites I've ever visited. I like the way the information is organized and a little bonus feature I've yet to see anywhere else are the pictures of the banknotes of each country. Excellent."
"I have used Passplanet extensively on two separate trips throughout south east asia. Very helpful information - and with so many internet cafes around the world now - it was very accessible everywhere. It's like a guide book that you don't have to carry around. Thanks a lot and keep up the good work." (Jon
To (hopefully) continue...