Hye Sharzhoom (Fresno, California)
(The monthly newspaper of the Armenian Studies Program at CSUF)
December 2004

BOOK REVIEW: Stone Garden Guide to Armenia is Reliable, Comprehensive

By Alex Bunch
Staff Writer

For the everyday person, there has never been a comprehensive travel guide
to Armenia and Karabagh. Well, now there is.

In Matthew Karanian's and Robert Kurkjian's book, `The Stone Garden Guide:
Armenia and Karabagh,' anyone traveling to Armenia or Karabagh can find
exactly what they need. `Armenia and Karabagh' is very comprehensive and
you can find just about any piece of information that you are looking for.
If you are planning a trip to Armenia or Karabagh, this is an essential
book to read.

When you look at the table of contents, you can clearly see this book is
indeed as comprehensive as the authors claim. `Armenia and Karabagh'
includes sections such as geography, population, language, sites to see,
transportation, exchanging money, customs regulations, foreign embassies
in Yerevan, and even a very comprehensive section on ecology.

`Of special interest in Chapter Three, Ecology,' says Robert Kurkjian. `We
felt this was important because we did not just want to promote
irresponsible travel to the region,' he said.

This is exactly why their book is extremely helpful. It goes beyond the
basic information.

The book is also divided up by region, so one would know what to see with
respect to the area they are traveling to. These individual sections are
full of information, especially with respect to places of interest such as
museums, churches, landmarks and theaters.

What is also great about this travel guide is its structure. All the
information is neatly organized and the index is very helpful to find
information, as well. The entire book, even the maps, is in color. It is a
unique travel guide for the quality of the book, the design, and the
number of color photos.

Having this book as a guide, you cannot go wrong and you are sure to have
a great trip to Armenia and Karabagh.

Most of the information was obviously obtained first-hand by the authors
themselves, who have been traveling to and from Armenia for several years
no, so the information is very reliable. In fact, this alone makes the
book a better guide when compared to the other travel guides to Armenia.

The back cover of the book accurately states that this is an `Insider's
Guide' because both Karanian and Kurkjian have been living, working, and
traveling in Armenia since 1995.

If you are planning a trip to Armenia or Karabagh, then this book is a
necessity. When you look at the amount of information available in the
guide, you are sure to have a pleasant trip to Armenia and Karabagh.