Part of my “goals” here in the Philippines is to explore these wonderful Islands. I have several travel guides at home, of course the lonely Planet is a must have. My big problem with Lonely Planet or the “Jens Peters” travel guides is simply that there are only a few pages about the destinations I plan to visit. On my research for a travel guide to Bohol, I came across a guide called Bohol Insider written by Jack Sterling.
Well, I live in Dumaguete and have been to Bohol a few times –it is only a short Ferryride away- so I was very interested what “insider knowledge” Bohol Insider has to offer. Bohol Insider is an e-book what is absolute perfect for me as I always travel with my notebook anyway, so I don’t need to carry around a 500+ paper-book, where there are only some pages about the area I plan to visit.
The purchase was done via Paypal for US$ 9,95 and after a minute or so I got my download-links. The purchase included also a free Tagalog phrasebook. The download took about 3-4 minutes as 12MB is a huge file in Dumaguete-Broadband-Speed. Bohol Insider is a travel guide with more than 150 pages full of information and great illustrations.
The first thing which I recognized was that the book had my email-address on each page, a small thing but I like that personal touch. After scanning through the first few chapters it is pretty obvious that Jack Sterling is obviously living in the Philippines and is not just a student send from the well known Travel Guides to write short paragraphs about some Hotels and tourist attractions.
The Bohol Insider Travel Guide covers a lot of interesting areas way beyond the typical “where to go – what to eat – what to see “ – questions. The book covers many details like money changing, dealing with vendors, historical back-grounds, diving info and and and… just a lot of stuff I could not find in any other guide and I caught myself a few times thinking “Yeah, Rhoody, you messed that up on your last trip”
The Travel guide has a nice format with great pictures. One thing I really like is a kind of funny cartoon-mascot which goes through different situations typical for the Philippines I made some screenshots and posted them below. They made me smile numerous times and I saw myself many times in that situations.
One thing I actually miss is a kind of index, where I could go faster to the section I look for with a single “click” and not scrolling, well I am lazy… hehe
Jack Sterling’s Bohol Insider Travel Guide offers free updates and since I bought the book a month ago it extended from 145 to 156 pages and I am almost sure that index for lazy Rhoodys will come one of the next updates.
All in all Jack Sterling’s Bohol Insider is in my opinion by far the best Travel Guide about the beautiful Island of Bohol and helped even me… and I am living since 8 years in this lovely country. For US$ 9.95 free updates and the free Phrasebook, Bohol Insider is a total no-brainer and of great value, no matter if you are an experienced Philippines traveler or a first-timer in Bohol.