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Lonely Planet Bluelist 2007: 2nd edition    by Lonely Planet order for
Lonely Planet Bluelist 2007
by Lonely Planet
Order:  USA  Can
Lonely Planet, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This 2nd edition of the Lonely Planet Bluelist opens with a Travel Planner flagging monthly festivals around the world. Next up are the Top 11 countries to visit (from an online Travellers' Pulse survey that had 33,000 responses). We are introduced to Australia, New Zealand, USA, Italy, Thailand, Britain, Canada, France, China, Greece, and India, with two summary pages on each.

Bluelists of things to do range from Best Bars with Local Flavor to Hotels Where Famous People Have Died, with suggestions like Experiences That Make Time Stand Still, Best Places to Wed (underwater anyone?), Great Literary Itineraries, Most Eccentric Places to Stay (including a snow hotel in Finland and a treehouse opportunity in Turkey), Most Deserted Islands, and Paranormal Travel (from Stongenge to Area 51) along the way. A Bluelist Special Feature talks about Dark Tourism, that is 'travel to sites associated with death, disaster + depravity', from Auschwitz-Birkenau and Gallipolli to Ground Zero and Katrina tours of New Orleans. Check the Darkometer to test how dark are you?

Golists, places to go, start on the Alaska Highway and end in Xinjiang, China. Each writeup includes brief stats covering population, cost index (for meals and tours), what's hot and not, festivals and events, recents fads, life-changing experiences, things to take, and Bluelist online information. There's also a color photo and a globe marked with the spot's location. Places here that top my list? Antarctica, Madagascar, and Patagonia. But you'll find your own favorites. The travel guide ends with World Profiles for the Americas, Asia, Australia & Pacific, Europe, Middle East & North Africa, and Subsaharan Africa. Summaries for each country in a region include flag, official language, capital, population, area, and a description.

Unfortunately, a few pages in this guide have color font titles that are hard to read against the darker pictures behind them. That aside, Lonely Planet Bluelist 2007 offers the latest in travel trends, and makes a welcome gift for either the traveler who's already been there, and done almost everything, or the newbie who's looking for a unique and engaging travel experience.

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