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29/02/08 - Pocket City Guides - Lonely Planet, Your Guide To The World
Most travelers have experienced the frustration of heading to the bookstore to find an easy to use, small enough to carry, and resourceful guide to a city. Many travelers have found themselves on the floor of the books store surrounded by half-a-dozen books, and none of them give you all the information you want.
When I travel I am often in a city for a day or less, at times two days at most. The information I am seeking for my trips needs to be short, easy to find, and cut to the point. There are many good guides that go into depth about every nook-and-cranny of a city, these books are filled with superficial stories that get you interested but lead you no where, most irritatingly is these books cannot be shoved into your pocket (and most pocket guides are useless). In short order, finding a quick to use, easy to carry, detailed and informative travel city guide seemed like a lost cause to me.
Recently I became acquainted with Lonely Planet's "Encounter Guides." I have been using Lonely Planet's web site for years. I have read Lonely Planet books, and I have referred to Lonely Planet on Flying With Fish in the past, so with this in mind I went ahead and purchased a guide to look over. After 15 minutes of looking through the Lonely Planet "Encounter Guide" I realized I had found the pocket sized city guide I had been searching for!
Lonely Planet describes the Encounter Guides as "Discover Twice The City In Half The Time" and they are right! I have used these guides in cities I have traveled to in the past; cities I am acquainted with and they were fantastic. The layout of the books from start to finish allow for easy reference of anything you are looking for. Each book is broken up into logical and easy to find subjects, locations, sites and other useful information. The pack page of many guides is a city transit map, and you will find full colour maps throughout the book Included in the back page of each book is a compact pull out map of the city. The layout and easy design of the map makes it ideal for finding your bearings while on the move.
The physical size of the Lonely Planet "Encounter Guide" is not much larger than a passport. Obviously the book is thicker, but the 'footprint' is not much larger. The pull out full colour map that comes with the book is nearly the same size as a passport when it is folded up.
To make my life easier, I use a little Post-It Flags on each page that offers something of interest to me; I have about 18-20 Post-It Flags in each of these approximately 200 page books.
There are currently only 26 Lonely Planet "Encounter Guide" books, but they are producing more.
You can take an interactive tour of these books online at :
Below are a few images of the books. These images include the books in comparison to a passport, the pullout map with the book, a two page map display and the green Post-It Flags sticking out of the top
--Click The Image To Enlarge It--