Lonely Planet Healthy Travel – Asia & India: the best health book I’ve ever read

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ July 12th, 2012. Published in: Travel blog » Reviews.
Lonely Planet Healthy Travel Asia & India

The same length as a pen! You’ve be crazy not to carry this book with you

If you carry one book when you travel: make sure it is Lonely Planet Healthy Travel – Asia & India

In a world swathed in fast facts, guarantees, recommendations and promises it’s hard to take anything at face value. However when it comes to personal experiences I tend to pay more attention.

This little book by Lonely Planet has stayed in my backpack for over 7+ years. Longer actually but that would pre-date this current journey. Very few things have survived this long with me. And if I lost the book tomorrow I would go out of my way to get it again. Why?

Here’s why.

How Lonely Planet Asia & India Healthy Travel has helped me over the years?

  • Spain 2005: Torn calf muscle – I read up about the difference between tears, strains, pulls and ligament damage. I also learned how anti-inflammatories should be taken
  • Spain/Portugal 2005: I learned about the side effects of Rabies, Tetanus, Hepatitis etc vaccinations and how to treat them
  • West Africa 2006: I clutched this book going into a doctor looking for the chemical names for all manner of stomach treatments
  • West Africa 2007: I used the knowledge in this book to help someone with Malaria get better medicine. Then did the same for myself
  • West Africa 2007: You name it I needed it to eliminate any number of parasites
  • Spain 2007: I used the chemical names of antibiotics to stock up on new ones
  • Pakistan 2007: I used it to help treat my joyful food poisoning in Peshawar
  • Nepal 2008: I learned more about acclimatization medicine and what not to take
  • Philippines 2009: I knew the best medicine for Avian and swine flu prevention
  • Philippines 2009: How to treat a hot oil burn
  • Philippines 2010: Again to the rescue with giardias
  • Malaysia 2011: Colon scare this book brought me the facts and what to check
  • Nepal 2012: dengue fever and what to look out for
The above really is only a snippet of how this book has helped me and others.

Internet health guides or a real book for health and travel?

I use the internet for many things including further research into aliments etc. It’s great. Only one problem exists when it comes to self-diagnoses. There’s a whole lot of garbage on the internet too. And much of what you read about medical facts ends up being so convoluted everything tends to be “fatal”. And that’s before you even get to the forums.

When you are sick and unsure of what to do or where to go this little book will offer you some great simple facts to steer you in the right direction without setting in any panic. Which when alone in a strange hotel room surrounded by a foreign language and culture can be a massive help in itself.

The very best resource in what to take

So your doctor told you to take 2 of this (brand name) if you get a bad stomach. Great, but when you go to the local pharmacy they stare at you blankly and shake their head. Lonely Planet Healthy Travel gives you the chemical name of many brands out there – meaning it translates well across many lands. I’ve used it constantly to show Pharmacists and doctors around the world what I need.

Pharmacists have smiled widely when I’ve shown them this book and will happily sit on a computer typing up their equivalent to what you need.

Healthy travel in Asia & India only?

No idea. But I used it in Africa and Europe with no issues. Truth of the matter is that if there’s a bug in Asia or India it’s likely going to be everywhere else too. If not there’s also a Lonely Planet Health Central and South America. Also a Lonely Planet Healthy Africa. I’m sure it’s overkill getting all three. But if you are exclusively traveling in one region then stick with the region specific book.

For me personally Lonely Planet Healthy Asia and India has been a life saver of valuable knowledge.

Too much to carry …

It’s the size of two decks of cards side by side. It lives next to my medical bag. I’ve carried it for over seven years and wouldn’t be without it.

Is this book a substitute for medical advice?

No. If feeling unwell please seek out proper qualified medical advice. This book is best used as a guide to possible ailments and should not be used as a substitute for proper medical advice.

For more do check out my article on long term travel and staying healthy.

Purchase options:

If you’d like to buy this book, please consider purchasing it through my amazon affiliate stores below: I get a tiny, tiny commission of about USD$00.14. Maybe enough to one day save up and buy a Kindle so I can keep these books with me as I travel.

Lonely Planet Healthy Travel: Asia and India (amazon.com)

Lonely Planet Healthy Travel: Central and South America (amazon.com)

Lonely Planet Healthy Travel: Africa (amazon.com)

Asia and India (Lonely Planet Healthy Travel) – (amazon.co.uk)

Central and South America (Lonely Planet Healthy Travel) – (amazon.co.uk)

Africa (Lonely Planet Healthy Travel) – (amazon.co.uk)

Due to Amazon’s system I can only realistically offer the .com and .co.uk distributors. To readers outside of these two Amazon zones please try your local listings!

This is an additional travel book review based on books I’ve read throughout my journey

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16 Great responses to Lonely Planet Healthy Travel – Asia & India: the best health book I’ve ever read

  1. BB Travels says:

    When I first read your list of ailments it sounded like you’ve had a lot. But looking more closely I see that most of it is preventative rather than really being sick.

    I guess at the end of the day that means this book really did do a good job!

  2. Eleanore says:

    Great advice. I just spent 2 months in central America and got stung by a sting ray. Contracted 3 different bacterial strains (found out later after cultures were grown in the USA). Could have used a guidebook. Instead I relied on surfer wisdom, which was awesome and allowed me to continue travel for a month with the sting. Good times, good times.

  3. Kristina says:

    Great book review. I think a lot of people traveling thing “oh I’ll just go to a local doctor when I get sick or look it up online.” But I think information like this can put your mind at rest and save you a trip, or as you said, be brought with you to show a doctor or pharmacist.

    And yes, you need a Kindle! :-)

    • It’s great to sit in front of “local” doctor and then realize they don’t speak your language! Happened to me. Never mind the doctors that really struggle to be doctors. Not all bad experiences, but yes, this book comes with me.

      Just heard the new Kindle is delayed by a month. Lot’s of books here for now so I’m okay. Post Nepal, there will be a kindle in my bag :)

  4. iamthewitch says:

    Wow, who’d have thought a book by Lonely Planet would contain so much medical info?? Great sharing Dave! And I’m sure this book would be handy for anyone who travels frequently, as part of their medical kit!

  5. Stuart says:

    Sounds like the ideal book to hand over to your children when they go off backpacking for the first time.

  6. Look like a good one to replace my “Where There is no Doctor”.

  7. Laura says:

    At the risk of sounding like a bot–Thanks for this review, I had no idea Lonely Planet had compiled these two books. I’m definitely ordering them (via your site of course).

  8. trevor says:

    ON YOUR recommendation i have just ordered ‘ASIA AND INDIA’ health book……. i clicked the link on ur page to take me to Amazon so i guess u can get the commission…. (did not see anywhere to confirm this)…

    do i now need a medical kit to go along with the book? have previously survived with a bottle of iodine, for water purification, cuts and grazes and using a mozzie net religiously everywhere. every night…that there is a faint possibility of a whining mozzie annoying me..

    • Thanks for ordering the book through this page Trevor.

      I’m guessing you’ll do fine with that medical kit you have already, depending on where you are going of course. I actually think the book has a page listing out a few things to carry in a medical kit. Might be of some help! Not sure about it’s efficiency at eliminating those whining mozzie noises though!

      • trevor says:

        for the whinning noises i use as much as i do the mozzie net, ear plugs…
        for which there is a huge gap in the market… china does not have any… got a resupply in Hong Kong..

        am going thru Africa next year… so am interested in Malaria treatment if my preventative measures fail… hence the book purchase

  9. Surminga says:

    The book looks well used and read from the image.

    I’ll have to give it a read