Pretty nice map design here. You're efforts are almost perfect, but there's just a few things here or there that mar an otherwise excellent job of eyecandying this nice, peaceful (sarcasm :P) forest.
First off, you did a really good job at showing different environments all in this same area. There's the really old ports at the edges of the river, a peaceful shrine in the southern edge, and a very devilish looking area at the far northern end. You did a very nice job making these different areas blend seamlessly into each other, and it all seemed to make perfect sense.
Next, the river's design was very creative and interesting. You did a good job making it look realistic, as it snakes across the land, and it has the sort of economic value you'd expect, as it seems obvious the two cities ship goods to each other. I don't know if this was purposeful, but that was my take on it. There are a couple things I'd like to mention that weren't perfect, but I'll do that in the cons section.
Anyways, I think my favorite part of the map was in the far northern edge. That devilish looking shrine really gave off a feeling of evil, but it was also well designed, with plenty of cool statues surrounding it and a group of cultists standing nearby. The fountains and the portal in the middle all combined to give it it's own interesting feel. I also liked the palace in the western part-it was simple, but your use of water reeds and fountains was very well thought out and looked great.
The design wasn't perfect. There are a couple things I'd change about it, mostly involving the forest and the river.
The forest had a nice mixture of different trees, and you made the two different sides of the map shown by puting the gaia trees only in the southern part. To magnify this, I would've put in some mini tamarisk trees in the southern part and put more pine trees in the northern part. Also, try sprinkling in more rocks and water reeds into the forest as a whole, as right now it's a tad empty. I'd also like to note that while the terrain mixing is very good, it could use a little improvement, namely getting in less Grass A and more of the forest floors/grass B in there. I'd suggest grass dirt 25, using it in specific areas where units are gathered.
The River could also use improvement. Namely, right now it's extremely lifeless. Try putting in water reeds or rocks at the bottom, along with a small amount of seaweed. Also, where you tried to mix the terrain, it looked a little awkward inside the river, namely at the coral parts. I'd suggest either finding a substitute or simply using the same terrain, which is better than those slightly random-looking splotches.
Very nice job on the map. If you don't want to mess with triggers while designing, I'm sure people would be fine if you just did the map design for them. A good example is The Temple of Thakati, where Skarr and Azur_Fire partnered up to make it with Skarr doing eyecandy. Plenty of people prefer to trigger, and partner with them and you can create a great scenario together. Good luck in your delves into map designing, and sorry for taking so long to review this for you.
See you around!
[Edited on 06/04/10 @ 02:51 PM]