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which guide book for backpacker?

Leszno, Poland
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which guide book for backpacker?

I've already seen a similar topic but it was 2008 so I renew the question. Which guide book for Israel you recomend? I usually buy rough guide but it seems they don't have anything for me this time. The things that are important for me: desert, mountains, hiking routes in general, but also jewish culture. And practical infos obviously as I travel by my own.

No idea if I will go there due to the situation (my flight is in november). But even if not I can read a little bit.

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

We're currently in Israel and have been travelling around and have found lonely planets guide to be the most helpful with lots of great tips.

Situation is fine here at the moment I really wouldn't worry about November, you will love the country so many amazing places to explore.

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

We're currently in Israel and have been travelling around and have found lonely planets guide to be the most helpful with lots of great tips.

Situation is fine here at the moment I really wouldn't worry about November, you will love the country so many amazing places to explore.

Tel-Aviv
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv
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3. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

Here are some sites you can look at:

National Parks:

http://tinyurl.com/mnevevl

Youth Hostel association (the hostels are open to everyone):

http://www.iyha.org.il

Private hostels:

http://www.hostels-israel.com/index.asp

Hiking web site:

http://www.tiuli.com/track_search.asp?lng=eng

Abraham hostel tours:

http://abrahamtours.com/

Bus schedules:

bus.co.il/otobusim/Front2007/homepage.asp…

train schedules:

http://www.rail.co.il/EN/Pages/HomePage.aspx

List of museums:

http://ilmuseums.com/

Government tourism site:

http://www.goisrael.com

Gippsland, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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4. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

Fodors and Frommers are the best guides. The Lonely Planet guide has errors in according to local people.

Fodors is available in a print edition, and also available in a kindle edition.

Frommers has a full guide in a print edition, and an "easy guide" edition available for kindle and as a download on iTunes.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
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14,361 posts
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5. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

I totally disagree about Lonely Planet. While aimed more at budget travelers, including backpackers, it is rife with both errors and serious, anti-Israel bias and distortions. It's the worst commercial guide to Israel, in my view -- and I'm far from alone in that conclusion.

Douglas Duckett

Manchester, United...
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6. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

Lonely planet is the only guide we brought to Israel and although I haven't read it page for page I'm sure there are some errors in there. As a foreign traveller To israel I personally found it very useful and didn't come across any bias views towards Israelis.

On all the tours we've done so far the information we read prior to the trip matched what we were told by our guide.

Also it was very helpful for opening times of the main sights and restaurant recommendations.

Each to their own though I suppose I'm only a tourist and not an expert.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
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7. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

A tourists views are every bit as important as someone whom TA calls a "destination expert." Please, never hesitate to offer your views -- they are as valuable as any expressed on this forum.

I stand by my prior observation. When I went through the Lonely Planet guide at a bookstore a few years back, I found a number of critical comments about Israel. That's fair enough, as guide books aren't cheerleading brochures -- but what I also saw was a complete omission of similarly critical looks at Palestinian society. For instance, I read was a critical piece on the acceptance of LGBT people in Israel (one of the most accepting societies in the world for gay people and certainly by far in the Middle East) with no reference at all to the fact that being openly gay in Palestinian cities and villages can get you killed. In fact, there are hundreds of LGBT Palestinians living in the shadows in Tel Aviv and elsewhere in Israel to escape ostracism at best, assault and murder at worst, in their hometowns.

How is that balanced? Instead it is indicative of the rampant double-standards applied to Israel vs. Arab countries endemic in the UK and much of Europe. And lest you think I am some raging right-winger, I am actually center-left in my Israeli politics and strongly support a two-states-for-two-peoples solution (not saying this to start a political debate, but to give you some context to understand where I am coming from in these comments).

I respectfully suggest that may not have noticed the bias because the UK and European media have so massively taken that approach themselves that it would not jump out at you. Perhaps not, and in any event, my review was a while back, and the newer editions may not have that. But I saw enough (that is just one of many, many examples) to have absolutely zero trust in Lonely Planet when it comes to Israel. I would never use them when there are so many good and less politicized options available.

Douglas Duckett

Edited: 16 August 2014, 17:18
Gippsland, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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8. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

Matthew, your input is just as valuable as other people. Many of us who have been given "destination expert" status in Trip Advisor are just tourists who have been to the destination a few times. We are also blessed in this forum to also have a number of local people (including trained guides) who are extremely knowledgable.

All the tour books have a lot of helpful info in them. I wouldn't have picked out inaccuracies at the time I read it either (and I did actually read it from cover to cover) and we each read them coloured by our backgrounds or by what we have learned so far.

I read several guide books from cover to cover before my first trip and am currently reading my way through another two I have bought more recently. They are all different and I have learned and gained ideas of places to visit from them all.

Haifa, Israel
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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9. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

Just for the record, I just pulled my 2010 edition Lonely Planet off the shelf, and it correctly remarks the lively gay scene in Israel and 'difficult plight' of gay and lesbian Palestinians.

I do think that Lonely Planet guides are generally usefully geared towards backpackers in terms of info. However it's more of a practical guide with less information about sites so you might want to combine a couple of guides.

For hiking, use the Tiuli site: http://www.tiuli.com/default.asp?lng=eng

Richmond, Michigan
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10. Re: which guide book for backpacker?

Didn't pick up a lonely planet for our past Israel trip, but I have bought several guide books for Sicily for our upcoming Sicily/Israel trip. To be honest, I find lonely planet the most useful. Like the way it's laid out and the way the info is put together, it is the most user friendly to me.

I don't really look for any social or political issues when I'm looking threw a tour book. I just want to know where things are and points of interest, restaurant's, hotels, etc. Opening and closing hours, things like that, and lonely planet seems to be good at that.