With the help of world travellers, bloggers, tweeters and their own staff, Lonely Planet determined which places made it into the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2012 book. Naturally everyone’s got an opinion on the best places to go and we know that Cape Town should have featured, but we’ll have our day, perhaps next year.
Some of our African neighbours made it in, like Uganda (No.1 Country to Visit 2012) and Lesotho (No.3 Best-Value Destinations), Tanzania and Botswana (in Top Spots to Glamp) and South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains (for Best Places to find Middle Earth).
With our October theme of travel, we thought we’d share some of the more unusual destinations, journeys and experiences around the world as suggested by Lonely Planet:
Tajikstan – No 2 Best-Value Destinations
This mountainous country tucked in the middle of all the “stan’s” of central Asia presents all sorts of adventures, like bathing naked in the Garam Chasma Hot Springs and staying in a remote village yurt.
Pho, Hanoi, Vietnam – Best Places to Slurp Soup
Pho is the national dish of Vietnam and once you’ve slurped this beef noodle soup, you’ll crave it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lonely Planet advises you to avoid the rainy season and visit Vietnam from November to April.
Best Places to be a World Champion
There’s a strong focus on the UK because of the London Olympics earlier this year, but I bet ‘gurning’ isn’t on your list of things to do there! It’s the strange English custom of contorting your face into hideous expressions, with a Championship in Egremont, Cumbria during the September Crab Fair. If you like to encounter several weird and wonderful things in a single country, Finland’s your place! They have contests for Wife-Carrying, Air Guitaring and Mobile-phone Throwing. So that’s what they get up to on those long dark days!
We will leave you with the 2012’s Greatest Guilty Pleasures
These flippant suggestions are at the every extreme of pleasure, featuring the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha-ngan beach in Thailand where a mainly young crowd get completely out of it and sleep on the beach, to the much more refined pleasure of sleeping in a Raja’s palace in Jaipur, India. Or you could clog your arteries with the Quadruple Bypass Burger (at 8,000 calories) in Arizona, USA, or indulge in one of the most expensive desserts in the world on an edible gold-leaf plate at Mezzaluna in Bangkok, Thailand.
We don’t know yet what’s in the 2013 version, and it’s out any day. So if you see it and Cape Town gets a mention, please post a comment and let us know. We’d also like to hear what are your Top 5 Places to Visit in the World and why?