Bahrain - A Travel Guide.

 
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THERE IS NO shortage of travel guides to the Gulf states these days. Ten years ago that was not the case but in 1993 it is possible to enter an ordinary booksellers and emerge with at least three very acceptable tomes on how to go, where to go and what to do when you get there. There are the serious guides and the slick ones, some are geared to the age of the user, others to the wallet. There are in fact so many travellers guides to the Middle East that they have become almost boring in their predictability. Philip Ward's guide to Bahrain is refreshingly different. Alongside the usual information concerning hotels, weather, passport and visa restrictions runs a text that leaves the reader in no doubt the author clearly likes and enjoys Bahrain. It should, you may think, be a mandatory requirement that travel guide writers should know and like the country or countries they write about but too frequently they do not. True, one rarely reads that X is a dump and the capital city of Z little more than a mosquito-infested swamp. But often, reading between the lines, that is dearly what the author thinks.

However, this is clearly not the case with Philip Ward and Bahrain. His enthusiasm for the island state shines through on every page of this comprehensive guide which takes the form of a series of personalised accounts of people and places as much as anything else.

Bahrain has long been an...

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