The Power of Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet (new window) guide books seem to be by far the most popular in Asia, which is a massive backpacking region. The company was started by a couple who went travelling and couldn’t find any central source of information on the regions.

In some ways it’s now gone full circle. You meet so many travellers on the road that really moan about seeing all the same back packers in all the same places around Asia. People talk about trying to get away from the backpacker routes and out of the Lonely Planet. In some ways, the LP is a victim of it’s own success.

Personally, I quite like meeting other people and I like being able to turn up somewhere and have a list of a few guest houses. It does make me wonder if there’s a market for a wider, less researched version of the LP though. Lists of a few places to stay, eat and one or two things to see or do in remote places not really covered by the other guide books. Hmm, travelling business venture perhaps? 🙂

4 thoughts on “The Power of Lonely Planet”

  1. I’m sure there’s a market for it and some of the other guides will have marginally covered it.However there are obviously a few places you don’t want to wander of the beaten track.I’m thinking landmines and Cambodia.The LP route does seem somewhat safer.

  2. having thai friends will bring you to where the thais go that might not be reflected in the Lp but nevertheless worth visiting, seeing, or even living in.

  3. True, true, true…but surely the new wider lonely planet of places not in the lonely planet will just have the same effect – its like fashion…where is hot to go and where is not. I think if you want a ‘realer’ experience go by yourself and go where you want (maybe take a tent if you’re worried about not having somewhere to stay!).

  4. But that’s the beauty of fasion, it’s never constant. Nothing is cool forever (except maybe Madonna!) so there could be an opportunity to have the latest, coolest, most off the beaten track guidebooks until they go out of fashion, then some younger, more reefer smoking, more wild dude comes along with the next generation of off the beaten, off the beaten, wild, track!

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