Egypt Travel book

Jan 6th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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Egypt Travel book

Can someone please recommend a good guidebook for Egypt? I normally get the Fodor's guides, but they don't have a recent one for Egypt.

ncanavan is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I recently went and took 3 books:

1. The National Geographic Traveler Egypt - This was a beautiful book with a plethora of color photos. Best for good, but less detailed descriptions of the sites. Has a small back section dedicated to travel tips, hotels and restaurants. We picked 2 suggested restaurants from their Cairo section and were very happy. Just taking this book, however, would not have satisfied me.

2. The Traveler's Key to Ancient Egypt: A Guide to the Sacred Places of Ancient Egypt - This book went into great detail about the religious sites and temples in Egypt. We used it to read up on the sites we would be visiting the next day. It offered a lot of info on Egyptian history both ancient and recent, the history of egyptology, ancient culture, Pharonic dynasties, etc. There's also a short section in the back on travel tips and hotels that we did not use much. I liked this book for offering alternate theories on the temples and for not sugarcoating some of the frustrating aspects of traveling in Egypt. I believe the author is a bit new agey, but that didn't bother me much. This book didn't have enough in the way of practical advice, however.

3. The Rough Guide to Egypt - This was probably the most practical of the books in terms of moving around the country. It offered good details on the sites as well. This is your typical Lonely Planet type book that gives hours and prices for tourist sites, where and what to eat, what to watch out for, etc. I found it to be very useful. I believe this was a 2003 edition.

If I could have done it again, I would still have taken all 3 books even though we made do with just carry on luggage. All were good in their own way, and we used and carried all 3 equally. Listed in order of preference, it would be

Rough Guide
The Traveler's Key to Ancient Egypt
National Geographic

Hope this helps!
SmileyFace is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Thank you for such a generous reply!
ncanavan is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 03:23 PM
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We liked the Eyewitness Egypt guide.
Jan 7th, 2004, 05:20 AM
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Rough Guide, gets my vote!

When we visited we noticed that just about everyone was carrying this book. A wealth of information, easy to navigate, small enough to pack.

As far as being recent - realize the history of Egypt is over 5,000 years old, so not much has changed since.

Oh, sure, there have been new sites found and opened - but if you're checking on hotels, just read thru a Fodors or Frommers or others for current info, jot it down, but you don't need to buy these other books.

Are you planning a tour or traveling on your own? You don't necessarily have to travel with a group, but you can be on a set tour (itinerary) travelling independently.
Jan 7th, 2004, 05:31 AM
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The last two trips my wife and I have taken (Peru, Turkey) we planned on our own. Both experiences were wonderful, and finding our way only added to the sense of adventure. Undoubtedly, it also added to the cost, but in countries such as these, the increase is negligible.
ncanavan is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 05:09 AM
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When we visited Turkey, we actually took a group tour, mainly because Turkey is a very big country, great distances and so much history, we refused to be stuck with our nose in a guidebook versus having a knowledgeable guide, which we did.

Likewise with Egypt, while an independent trip, we did have a set itinerary and in Egypt we had a guide who had a wealth of knowledge to impart. And when we were on the Nile Cruise there was a very good guide for the English speaking guests - a group of about 12, which was an ideal size.

If traveling in Egypt on your own, and if "off-the-beaten-path" realize that some areas are not recommended that tourists travel on their own - especially the area between Cairo and Luxor, where there has been unrest. If you don't fly between Cairo to Luxor and/or Aswan and return, there is an overnight Wagonlit train from Cairo to Luxor which is relatively safe. Attempting to do it on your own by car is not recommended.

And just so you know - Another example is travel by land from Luxor to Dendera and Abydos or Luxor to Tel Armana are conducted under the security of armed patrols.

If considering travel out to the Western Desert, again it is not recommended that a single vehicle venture this way, as sand dunes change (you have to know how to drive dunes), you need a GPS system, you have to bring your own supplies and petrol and be prepared for breakdowns and need proper equipment to get out of such situations - so a backup/second vehicle is necessary.

Jan 8th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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Thanks for all the great feedback. Did you happen to make it to Mount Sinai? I'm intrigued by the idea of hiking in that area.
ncanavan is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 06:02 AM
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This gal "don't hike".

There are some that bus thru the Sinai down to Sharm el Sheik (and we're not sure condition of the bus, and it's a long trip) and do a day/overnight trip to Mt.Sinai with the desire to hike up.

Well if you wish to be atop for sunrise, the hike starts at about 2am - and you'd better have a flashlight, good shoes and warm cloths at it's cold up there. Others prefer to do the hike later in the day when it is warmer and still able to hike back down at dusk.

You can also fly to Sharm (my choice), but as I mentioned, I'm not especially interested, besides biblical experts aren't even certain this is "the mountain" - thought the chapel up top (which no doubt isn't the orginal) was so designated "the mountain" by Justinian's mother back in the 5th or 6thC.

Happy climbing!
Apr 28th, 2004, 06:55 AM
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Just got back. The answer to my question is Rough Guide and Eyewitness. Either alone would not do it. Rough Guide has all the information but is very difficult to navigate on the fly. Eyewitness is a great quick reference, but for its size, is a bit heavy.
ncanavan is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 11:31 AM
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Eyewitness gets my vote hands down. I wish I had it went I was there instead of Fodors. I ended up buying it after I got back in Jan 04 and it has every place we went and a whole lot more. My next trip to where ever I'm buying Eyewitness!
MauiMaui is offline  

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