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4.5 out of 5 stars33
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on 14 July 2001
We took this book everywhere! From the suggested sites to visit in each location to the suggestions about how much to pay for a felucca or callesh (and how much baksheesh to give on top of the price), it was informative, accessible and above all accurate.
We took the Rough Guide to Egypt also and that's still in immaculate condition while the Lonely Planet Guide looks like it has been read by every taxi driver in Luxor who's cousin has a felucca!
Definately essential reading!!!
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on 28 April 2000
I have used two editions of this guide which I found excellent. It is a good read just as a book. The prices quoted are not always accurate but all is negotiable in Egypt even in the more up-market hotels and shops. This is a must for the independent traveller and a great source of information for those on tours.
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on 28 July 2004
We've just come back from honeymoon and used this book when we visited Cairo and particularly the incredible museum... the descriptions are spot on and the book guides you thru' room by room. Our tour guide was saying practically the same things as the book, so its all you need!
Dress codes for women in Cairo aren't as strict as the book makes it out to be, there were loads of girls with string tops and shorts, so long skirts and long sleeved shirts aren't necessarily a must!! Other than that, pretty accurate about local customs and traditions.
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on 10 January 2000
This is everything a guide book should be. The vast, fascinating history of Egypt and the Egyptians is covered in the context of visiting the relevant sites. The authors' enthusiasm for their subject is infectious. A very useful guide and an entertaining and informative read.
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on 10 February 2009
Given that most people race round Egypt in under a month this will be fine, but it's no longer budget focused or useful for those people who want to get to know the country in depth.

They can never be bothered to take public transport, despite it being ridiculously easy and cheap - why not take a $40 taxi instead? One of the hotels they put down as 'Our Choice' is $2,000 a night. Some of my favourite experiences have been written off as 'too dirty'.

Basically, I've had to nip into bookshops to read the Rough Guide a few times to get the information I need (where buses leave from, etc) and a lot of this could have been saved by a line or two in the LP which I surmise isn't there because they were too lazy.

Hopefully they'll get on track for the next book - new editions of both should be due as Upper Egypt has just been fully opened to tourists.
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on 9 November 2008
I have just returned from Egypt tour. I had this book and it was a helpful guide. It helped me a lot especially sights description and necessary up-to-date information. But this guide does not explain exactly how we can reach a place, which is very important for a tourist. I do not blame this book, none travel books explain this basic information.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 September 2011
I love Egypt - the heat, people, history, culture, heat, Nile, temples, heat ... Did I mention the heat? Temperatures between 35 and 45 degrees Celsius are not for everyone, particularly if it's a Nile cruise with all the walking around temples but, approached sensibly with the appropriate precautions, it is enjoyable, particularly as there is no humidity. (A lot of this information is in the guide (Pp 17-18, 504-5).

With a Lonely Planet guide, I always have the impression of walking in someone's footsteps, someone had been there before me asking the questions I want to ask, going to places I want to go to, looking for the services I want, telling me about places I did not know about, suggesting ideas I would never have considered with a helpful section on the language. What more could one ask of a guide - being one step ahead? With so much to see, a number of different guides are probably required, e.g. temples, tombs, Valley of the Kings, Cairo museum, etc but, for a general guide, the LPG is excellent.

Ours is now slightly tattered and worn, so useful is the information within its pages, although a few illustrated by colour pictures would have been welcome. It has helpful contents and index sections and finding details is relatively simple, although in places the text is a little small.

For a paperback, it is well produced - sewn sections glued together firmly by copious amounts of glue; this may seem too much detail but for a book that is going to get a lot of use and bending back, it is essential to know, particularly in the Egyptian heat which could dry out the glue. After a few holidays there, ours is still in one piece.

From early dawn to late dusk, it is impossible to ignore the place of Islam in Egypt as the calls to prayer ring out through amplification from the mosques' minarets, some much more harmonious than others. It is important to be respectful as one can encounter dutiful prayers anywhere, e.g. in the car park behind the toilets at dawn on improvised cardboard prayer mats, at the back of Nile cruisers, on rooftops and so on.

The LPG is an excellent companion, highly recommended as is Egypt. (The political situation will settle down and, when it does, I have the telephone number of a very friendly felucca skipper in Luxor on my mobile. I intend to use it and the LPG.)
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The ninth edition of Lonely Planet's guidebook to Egypt was published in 2008. It gives you practical information about how to get from A to B when you are travelling in Egypt. It also gives you information about hotels and restaurants. All the major sites in the country are presented here, and sometimes the presentation of a site is supported by a map.

I had it with me on a trip to Egypt during which I was able to check some of the facts in the book. Using my personal experience as a yardstick, I must say it is, in many ways, a good book, but there are some flaws which should not be found in the ninth edition of a book. Let me explain.

In some cases, it seems, the text was not quite up to date at the time of publication:

(1) On page 204 the authors mention the Serapeum in Sakkara. But when we arrived there, it was closed. Our guide told me it was closed for renovation several years ago. If it was closed in 2005, why is this not mentioned in a book that is published in 2008?

(2) On page 267 the authors recommend a footpath from the Valley of the Kings over the mountain to the memorial temple for Hatshepsut. But when I asked our guide about it, he told me this passage was closed for reasons of safety several years ago. If the passage was closed in 2005, why is it recommended in a book published in 2008? [see the comments to this review.]

In some cases, the text is not quite accurate:

(1) On page 188 the authors say "The Illustrated Guide to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is written by Zahi Hawass ... and published by the excellent American University in Cairo Press."

This excellent book is not written by Zahi Hawass. It is edited by Alessandro Bongioanni and Maria Sole Croce. The text is written by the editors and other Italian scholars. Zahi Hawass has written the preface.

This book has also been published by VMB Publishers, an imprint of White Star Books, with a slightly different title: The Treasures of Ancient Egypt: The Collection of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

(2) On page 282 the authors mention a hotel in Luxor: "At the end of 2008 the name of the hotel will change to Meretem Jolie Ville..." The correct name is Maritim Jolie Ville.

(3) On page 326 the authors mention a hotel in Abu Simbel: "Seti Abu Simbel ... is Abu Simbel's only five-star hotel." In fact, it is a four-star hotel.

(4) The authors are not quite sure how to spell the name of the pharaoh who succeeded Ramses II. On page 190 they call him Merenptah, which I prefer. But when they mention his temple (page 257) and his tomb (page 261) they call him Merneptah, which I do not like.

Some cross references are incorrect, maybe because they refer to an older edition of the book, and the page number was not updated:

(1) On page 191 the authors say "see boxed text p. 261." But there is no box on page 261. There is a box on page 260, and there is another one on page 263. But which one is it?

(2) On page 207 the authors say "see boxed text (210) for more details." But there is no box on page 210. The relevant box is found on page 198.

In some cases, the information given is incomplete:

(1) On page 288 the authors mention the night train from Luxor to Cairo. They say it departs at 8.30 and 9.30 p.m. and the duration is nine hours. But when we took this train, it departed at 10.30 p.m. and the duration was ten hours. The train does not go to the main railway station in Cairo (Ramses). It goes to Giza Station on the west bank. But this fact only emerges in the chapter about Cairo. Giza Station is mentioned in the text on page 180 and shown on the map on page 110.

(2) On page 516 the authors say you can buy prepaid phone cards from Vodafone. But they do not explain that in order to use a prepaid card you must first buy an Egyptian SIM card from Vodafone, which is quite expensive: E £ 150. The stored value in the SIM card is less than one Egyptian pound, which is just enough to make a call to refill the account with a prepaid card.

I have to mention two more things which bother me:

(1) In the beginning of the book the authors present 15 Egyptian highlights: "The very best of Egypt." Number 14 on this list is Petra, which is located in Jordan! It is OK to mention the ferry that sails between Egypt and Jordan (page 526), but placing Petra on a list of great Egyptian sites is absurd.

(2) On pp. 293-294 the authors present the temple of Edfu with these words:

"The temple's well-preserved reliefs have provided archaeologists with much valuable information about the temple rituals and the power of the priesthood. Walking through the large gloomy chambers, visitors are sometimes overwhelmed by a sense of awe at the mysteries of ancient Egypt."

This passage is borrowed - almost word for word - from Kent Weeks, The Treasures of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, page 540, although the source is not given.

There are two statements here. The first one (about the reliefs) is fine, but the second one (about visitors being overwhelmed) is silly. I do not understand why a scholar such as Kent Weeks would want to say something like that, and I do not understand why anyone would want to copy his silly statement.

I wrote to Lonely Planet about these flaws, hoping they would not be found in the next edition. Unfortunately, I was too late!
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on 11 January 2011
Have used this book for 2009 holiday and 2010 holiday to Sharm, Dahab, Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada. Book was essential in preparing both trips and when actually there. It is now a little worse for wear from over use!

Info basically correct, snorkelling areas in Sinai useful. Maps in all above areas fine, plus great part of Cairo Museum which helped us make the most of the place without a guide which would have been too much info for us. Maps and descriptions-walkthroughs of temples in Luxor,Karnak,Giza,Aswan islands,Valley of Kings, and places between Aswan and Luxor all up to the job.

Will use in future to complete our exploration of Valley of Kings, as much to see!

Probably best Lonely Planet I have ever used (have used 15 plus)
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My trip to Egypt was the holiday of a lifetime. This was the place in the world I most wanted to go so booking the trip and getting the right guidebook was no small matter.

Being a long time fan of Lonely Planet I once again bought one of these and I was not dissappointed. It was very informative about places to visit and how to get there.

My copy now looks like a loved, well read book should - dog eared with sticky/ sweaty finger stains.

If you buy only one guide to Egypt, this should be your choice.
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