book links

Open Road Publishing

online booksellers
barnes and noble
edward r hamilton
powells books





travel books

travel guides


pictorial guides




reading list

Open Road Egypt Guide

I picked up an older edition of the Open Road Guide to Egypt off e-Bay. I hadn't heard of the publisher before, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it a comprehensive (if a bit dated) view of traveling in Egypt. The books are written by veteran travelers with fairly opinionated views of the "best and worst", and they are geared towards people who want to make their own travel plans and choices -- usually off the beaten path.

I was attracted to the guide by the cover blurb - "Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist", and the book was full of those little tips that keep you from feeling like an idiot in a new culture: how to tip, what to eat, where to stay and how to deal with local travel options like taxis and busses. I don't know about other people, but some of the most uncomfortable moments traveling are when we're faced with a situation that we're not quite sure how to react -- how to be polite, what details to look for, how to avoid a serious cultural faux paux, etc. It's part of the joy of traveling, but it's nice to have a few hints along the way.

The book is well organized with a virtual guided tour through each major city, including good details on where to stay and eat. A fairly good listing of the local sites accompanies each region. It almost seemed as if the book was geared towards people planning on long-term stays in Egypt, with a lot of time spent discussing the logistics of living in the city (transport, shipping, postal offices, etc) that may or may not be useful to a traveler spending only a few days.

The first part of the book has some interesting itineraries and travel options. Since the copy that I have is a few years old, the prices and times for flights and busses, as well as hotel rates, are a bit off. However, I've discovered that the "best places" seem to crop up in each book, so the recommendations are still good.

The maps and other illustrations are not as detailed as some other books, and there are no photos in the book at all. This isn't really a huge problem, but it was a bit surprising when you compare it to the other travel book options.

The style of the book is very casual and chatty, so it's an interesting read, even if it doesn't have enough detail to use as a sole travel guide. I might pick up another travel book from this series as an "armchair travel" guide to read before the trip, but I would rely on other resources for the detailed planning, I think.

I cannot find a listing for a current edition of this book, althoughOpen Road does seem to publish other travel books.

prev | michelin guide
© 2003-2004 r. fingerson
drop me a note!
rough guide | next