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Insight Guide: The Nile

The Discovery Channel is now involved in the publishing of the Insight Guides (from APA publishing), and they are some of the most interesting and well-illustrated of the travel books that I end up with for each trip.

Maps in these guides are detailed and referenced consistently in the text, but I wouldn't want to be relying on them for complex transport plans. That's not really much of a complaint -- most of the maps in travel books are either on such a small scale they simply show the largest cities; or they are such large scale maps they show only a few blocks of a city or site. If you're traveling on your own, make sure you have a good overall map and don't rely on the ones in travel books. That said, the maps in the Insight Guide are particularly good.

The photography is, as I've come to expect, fabulous. A combination of photos and illustrations of woodcuts and watercolors accompany the text. Information about the sites is of the generic variety, but certainly enough to get a good feel for the area and be able to view the awesome sites of the cities on the Nile

The dozen or so pages of travel tips at the end of the book cover the standard information -- conversion charts, exchange rates, postal stuff, hotels and restaurants -- are complete enough, but certainly not as comprehensive as the other books. Still, if you're planning on hitting the major sites and staying in the major places, this is ok. You won't find the little by-the-way hostels listed in this book, but that isn't what it's geared towards.

There are three Insight Guides that cover Egypt - Insight Guide: Egypt, Insight Guide: Cairo, and this one, Insight Guide: The Nile. All three are worth a good browse, or worth adding to the bookshelf just for the great pictures. I used them for planning the general trip by identifying the specific things that I wanted to see in person. Once I had done that, I started in on the true travel guides.

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