This series replaced the old Lonely Planet's Bluelist travel books, but they remain pretty similar in style and format. I reckon the title, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009: 850 Trends, Destinations, Journeys & Experiences for the Year Ahead, is a bit more evocative and makes the book stand out on the shelves a lot more.
Whether you're an avid backpacker/budget traveler, or someone who loves to travel vicariously through other people's adventures, this Lonely Planet publication is definitely for you. The 2010 edition will be released in November, this time in hardcover format.
Whether you are in the mood to be inspired, or you simply want to let your mind wander to far-off countries without leaving the comfort of your living room, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009 will scratch that itch! Of course, this being a Lonely Planet title, its target audience ain't the sort of people whose idea of traveling means booking a tour with Cosmos.
As is always the case, you may or may not agree with which countries, regions, cities, yada yada yada, made the cut for each list found in the book. Case in point, the Top 10 countries to visit in 2009: Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Georgia, Greenland, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Peru, Rwanda, and Sierre Leone. Told you it wasn't for the Cosmos crowd!
After introducing each country, the entry is broken down into a number of sections such as "Defining Experience," "Recent Fad," "Festivals and Events," "Life-Changing Experiences," "Random Facts," "Hot Topic of the Day," "What's Hot?" "What's Not?" and "Most Bizarre Sight."
The Top 10 regions to visit in 2009: Basque Country (France and Spain), Bay of Fire (Tasmania, Australia), the Islands of Chiloé (Chile), The Big Island in Hawaii, Ko Tao (Thailand), Languedoc (France), Nam Ha National Protected Area (Laos), San Andrés & Providencia (Colombia), Svalbard (Norway), and Yunnan (China). Once again, each entry is broken down in similar sections.
The Top 10 cities to visit in 2009: Antwerp (Belgium), Beirut (Lebanon), Chicago (USA), Glasgow (Scotland), Lisbon (Portugal), Mexico City (Mexico), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Shanghai (China), Warsaw (Poland), and Zürich (Switzerland).
Now, for the life of me I keep wondering how Zürich has been ending up on basically every such list in the last couple of years? Switzerland is a gorgeous country and I would love to go back. But Zürich ain't nothing to write home about!
The rest of the book is divided into an ensemble of disparate lists that range from "Most Spine-Tingling Commute," to "Best Places for Deadly Sins," to "Best Places to Steal a Kiss," to "Best Big Trips," to "Lost Cities of the World," to "Most Extreme Ancient Sites," and many more. A good portion of the book is devoted to "Water: The Ultimate Traveller." The last section contains world profiles for every single country around the globe.
All in all, a work that is as entertaining as it is interesting. Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009: 850 Trends, Destinations, Journeys & Experiences for the Year Ahead is the perfect gift for anyone who loves to travel!
One thing I've learned and could not believe: In late 2007 Bill Gates was initially denied a tourist visa for Nigeria on the grounds that he might stay and prove a strain on the welfare system! I kid you not!