Everyone has a favourite travel guide. I have met people who swear by almost every one published. I personally lean towards the budget end of the travel guide as I like a bargain and always find more adventure in the cheap end of town than in the foyer of the Hilton hotel. In an ideal world I would love to be able to do without any guide at all and be able to find and then learn the history of every amazing thing I come across. However with my limited vocabulary of non English words and the ability to get lost in my own street, its a necessary evil.
Many a time on the road I have launched into a rant as I am standing in the exact place the map in the guide book tells me I should be and there is no hotel, restaurant or temple to be seen. I have also been sucker punched into spending my money somewhere to find out the hard way that there is no way on earth the reviewer for the guide ever stayed or ate at that particular establishment. The reverse to this is when you end up in a truly amazing place you had never heard of until you picked up the guide book and you have experienced an 'always remembered' adventure, thatís when I forgive the guide book and stop ripping out pages like a crazed monkey after nuts..Until the next time of course.
Below is a selection of major guide book publishers and either mine or a trusted resources take on the books. (Though these days most let you download their guides and that makes carrying several a whole lot easier.. just makes the page ripping a lot more difficult!).
My one final tip when it comes to guide books as a whole, is, never fall into the trap I have witnessed and end up on the road most travelled. If you follow the guide religiously you will bump into the same people over and over again, see the same things and never quite experience the country you are in fully. Always remember, they are just a guide, and as such need to be ignored or disregarded occasionally. Its the journey, not the destination that really counts.