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on 4 August 2012
As usual the Rough Guide is the best of the bunch when it comes to taking only one with you.
I have had the opportunity to run through most of the rest, but this is the one I shall be glad to have in my ruck-sack when I trek round country itself.
It sets out the facts in its own inimitable manner, all you need to know before you go, in an authoritative manner, with details of where to check for changes.
It tells you what to expect, how to avoid offending anyone, what to expect of healthcare etc etc - all in a no nonsense manner. Don't expect much in the way of healthcare outside of Amman for example, or in other words, if you do get ill someplace else, get to Amman first!
The detailed exposition continues on to all other areas you could conceivably want to know about, such as crossing over from the West Bank etc and what visas you will need. The detail is all here. All it lacks are the myriad colour photos that embellish some other guide books - personally I find them a distraction and they increase the price. It is the down to earth facts and honest if detrimental opinions that make the guide.
As always of course they are personal views and one may disagree with the reviewer, but he seems to make his own viewpoints clear enough that one can use them as a marker for one's own.
As usual with the Rough Guide the info on the sites or towns is sufficiently thorough that one does not often need a second guide book, although some may be so enchanted with Petra that look for an additional tome. There are not many that are anything but a fluffed up version of a chapter from a guide book, while at the other extreme are scholarly works costing over £40. Tread with care.
Each chapter as usual offers details about local accommodation, transport and eateries, and where relevant special insights.
This book is really all you need to get around and find accommodation and food whether you are back-packing or self-driving. If you're on an organized tour with everything organized then you will still find it useful for reading about the sites you're visiting, although there will be a lot of unread pages in between. Never mind, it's still the best guide book!
There is supposed to be a new version coming out on 13th January 2013, so at least until then anyone travelling before will need this little gem. I highly recommend it!
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on 22 December 2014
As with all Rough guide books, you can rely on the quality of the writing. Very well researched, and very well written and gives many useful off the beaten track tips. The history chapter is fascinating, and digestible in terms of size too.
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on 23 December 2011
Having travelled a lot recently I just found this book to be irritating. The maps of Amman were difficult to follow, the prices on lots of things were dated (yes I know there's inflation but the differences were significant suggesting slack updates) and the descriptions of places a bit over the top for anyone not obsessed by all things Jordan. I found up-to-date comments on Tripadvisor far more useful and they cost me nothing.
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on 17 November 2010
I was extremely surprised from the moment I got this guide. It is the best guide ever. Amazing how it's possible to stuff that amount of information in a single volume. Everything about every possible subject. Great organization of information, written in a great style, extremely funny and providing a great reading. I would be the happiest traveler if most of the guide books were like this. Unfortunately they aren't, but those are different stories.
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on 1 March 2012
Really well-written, clear, honest, comprehensive yet concise guide book to Jordan. I travelled in Wadi Rum, Petra and Amman in February 2012 and most pricing and timing details seem to still be correct, except for the Petra entrance fee (which the author has already since addressed - 50/55/60 JD for 1/2/3 days).
Thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 23 April 2012
This guide had a decent review already, and I'd had good experiences with Rough Guides for other destinations. This guide didn't disappoint either, providing us great detail on everything and everywhere we had chosen to go, with some decent tips thrown in to boot.
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on 13 August 2010
An informative book, small enough to fit in my suitcase and ruck sack. A few pictures but plenty of information about all aspects of the country and what is good value and what isn't - very pleased.
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on 4 May 2010
Bought as a present for a visiter to the country, as preperation and as a planning guide and he was extremely pleased with the book and its invalueable information. The book covered all areas he was visiting and aspect of his tour/travels. And great value!
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on 6 April 2011
The fourth edition of the Rough Guide to Jordan by Matthew Teller was published in 2009. I had it with me on a recent trip to Jordan during which I had the opportunity to check (some of) the facts presented in it - down to the smallest detail.

One thing I checked was the price level. In many cases the prices are the same or almost the same as they were in 2009. The typical price to enter a museum or a historical site is still 1 or 2 Jordanian Dinars.

[1 JD is almost the same as 1 Euro.]

One important exception is the price for a visa to enter Jordan. According to the book the price is 10 JD (page 65). But in March 2011 the price had doubled to 20 JD. This amount must be paid in cash and with Jordanian money. You cannot use a credit card, and you cannot use foreign money. There are no ATMs in the arrival hall, but the Bank of Jordan has a counter where you can change foreign money into Jordanian money (for a substantial fee).

This guidebook is in many ways useful and reliable, but I have to mention a few things which bother me.

(1) On page 101 we are told that the new national museum in Amman, known as the Jordan Museum, "opened in late 2009." This is not true. It was going to open, but things did not go according to plan. In March 2011, when we were there, it was still not open. Security staff at the gate told us that the museum will open before the end of 2011, which could be true.

(2) On page 159 we are told that "the Circus Maximus in Rome could accommodate over 157,000 people." This strange figure looks like a misprint for 175,000. But even this round figure is not high enough. The Circus Maximus could seat some 250,000 spectators.

[Lonely Planet's guidebook to Jordan gives the same strange figure: Jordan (Lonely Planet Country Guides) page 128. I wonder where it comes from.]

(3) On page 287 Teller presents the Treasury - Petra's most famous monument - and then he adds: "Access to the interior is barred, but you can poke your nose in." This is not true. The fence in front of the monument is about four m from the columns which are another four m from the doorway. There is no way you can poke your nose in when you standing some eight m from the doorway.

(4) On page 366 we are told: "The emperor Constantine had already converted by 324 when he made Christianity the official religion of the eastern empire."

[Two almost identical passages appear on pp. 155 and 265.]

[This is a common misunderstanding. Lonely Planet's guidebook to Jordan makes the same claim two times: Jordan (Lonely Planet Country Guides) pp. 40 & 131.]

But it is not true. Constantine recognised Christianity in a decree of AD 313, but Christianity did not become the official state religion during his reign. This happened much later, during the reign of Theodosius (379-395). Some observers say it happened in AD 380, but perhaps it is more correct to say it happened in AD 391.

If you think these mistakes are minor, please remember that this is the fourth edition of the book. Mistakes # 2-4 could and should have been discovered and corrected long ago, and with regard to mistake # 1, the author only has himself to blame.

He was told the new museum would open before the end of 2009 and he chose to believe it. He decided to use the past tense for something that was going to happen in the future. Reporters often use this trick to cover an event that is expected to happen after their deadline, but it is risky, because things do not always go according to plan. In this case they did not, and the trick did not work very well.

In the section on car travel (pp. 39-40) Teller mentions several car rental agencies, but he does not mention any maps. He could mention the double Jordan & Syria map published by ITMB: Syria and Jordan Map. Nor does he mention the word GPS. If you are going to drive by yourself, I strongly recommend that you get a rental car with a GPS, which may help you even more than a map.

It is obvious to compare the RG to Jordan with LP's guide to the same country. In many respects they are identical. They cover the same sites, mention (almost) the same hotels and restaurants, and give almost the same historical background. The RG is a bit longer than LP, while LP is a bit more expensive than the RG. When I study the contents, I think the RG is a bit stronger than LP when it comes to background information and historical facts. Teller knows, for instance, that:

* The Roman road built by Emperor Trajan is called Via Nova Traiana (page 366) - and not Nova Via Traiana, as the LP says on page 38.

* The Roman road built by Emperor Diocletian is called Strata Diocletiana (page 366) - and not Strata Diocletian, as the LP says on page 39.

*The term Decapolis comes from Greek (page 156) - and not from Latin, as the LP says on page 338.

The Rough Guide seems to be slightly better than Lonely Planet, but not enough to give it five stars, because I cannot ignore the mistakes and misunderstandings mentioned above. Therefore I can only give it four stars.
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on 20 December 2011
I ordered this for my son for Christmas as he's planning a visit early next year. Difficult for me to give a review on the book, but the order was placed and received promptly and in very good condition, so no complaints from me. Thankyou
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