'AS A means of getting from A to B when time is the most important factor, the camel should not even be considered.' So cautions the new edition of the Traveller's Handbook ( pounds 14.95), published by the travel body Wexas.

Other dodgy modes of travel include hitch-hiking across America: 'While the chances of being picked up by an oddball or religious fanatic in Europe are tiny, in the US almost every lift- giving motorist is weird.' Then there's going by bus in Syria: 'The Damascus to Aleppo bus is an ancient Mercedes, welded together from the remains of past generations of Damascus/Aleppo buses, and propelled in equal proportions by a fuming diesel engine, the will of Allah, and the passengers (from behind).'

As well as these insights, the book's 940 pages also include mainstream information such as BBC World Service frequencies and public holidays around the world.

Trade & Travel Publications has released its 1995 guides, including Thailand and Burma ( pounds 12.95), Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore ( pounds 15.95) and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia ( pounds 11.95). The book that began the series, the South American Handbook ( pounds 21.95), is now in its 71st edition. It has kept up with the times, and even provides an e-mail address for regular updates on Latin America on the Internet. Unfortunately for a book dated 1995, it uses the old (and soon to be obsolete) UK phone numbers.