Lonely Planet Middle East 6th Ed.: 6th Edition Paperback – May 8 2009
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As usual the guidebook standard is set by Lonely Planet-- Outside --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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LONELY PLANET aims to cater for every independent traveller, whatever the destination, whatever the style of travel and whatever the phase of the journey.
Top Customer Reviews
As I was traveling to 3 of the countries within, it did not make sense to haul around the LP for each of them. The book also contains good tips on joining itineraries and crossing from one country to the next.
Interestingly enough, it seems that having the new LP is a status symbol among backpackers around here, and I have loaned it out several times.
As an extensive traveler, I find having a guidebook very handy to make sure you know how much you should be paying, in comparison to the often quoted foreigner price.
While we have had some slight hiccups in our journey, this book has certainly helped out in seeing Egypt, Israel and Jordan. This is a good summary, but if you want more detailed information on any of the countries, check those specific guide books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I like the additional tips scattered throughout that point out curiosities as well as practical information.
The general knowledge seemed up to LPs normal quality.
With that said, I cannot believe that LP's definition of the "Middle East" contains Egypt and Libya, but not Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The nerdy geographically conservative will certainly protest that those are part of Africa. But even they would not defend the omission of virtually the entire Arabian peninsula from a book on the Middle East. That's right, Lonely Planet's guide to the Middle East does not include Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, or any other countries located on the Arabian peninsula. They might say it's due to space constraints, but I doubt it. This book has 716 pages. Yet my LP Mexico, which costs $1.00 less according to the SRP on the back, has 1028 pages. And we all know that whenever and wherever LP has a more specific guide covering an area, it always errs on the side of excessive skimping on info in the wider guide. That is certainly no exception even in this half of a travel guide. Since Algeria is off limits to travelers, I am sure they could have covered the rest of North Africa (Tunisia and Morocco) in 100 pages. And 200 more pages to cover the Arabian peninsula (how many non-Muslims venture to Saudi Arabia anyways?) would have been a cinch for information-pinching LP editors. Such a tome would still have had less pages (1016) than LP Mexico, as well as leaving an extra buck for profit. As it sits now in order to get LP's take on the whole Middle East you need to buy four books and shell out around $100 bucks.
One might be tempted to blame LP founder Tony Wheeler directly for such extravagance, but I think slurking corporate insiders might have more to do with it. Mr. Wheeler has made enough dough to keep his whole clan in the sauce for at least a few more generations. As his company has developed and he has grown more distant from day to day operations, he has probably succumbed to more and more "professional" business types who invent scams like this one to make more money in order to justify their salaries. Here's hoping that the Rough Guide and Moonbooks start getting their products up to snuff ASAP so we can all stop subsidizing this type of underhanded customer abuse.