It’s the time of year when media and travel magazines and books recommend destinations for the next year. I find these amusing but sometimes plan travel to a couple of them after investigating their worth.
I’ve always liked Lonely Planet’s style and ideas and usually check to see what they have to say about places. For 2019 their #1 recommended city is Copenhagen, Denmark. #2 is Shēnzhèn, China. #3 is Novi Sad, Serbia, which I’ll be investigating. Mexico City, which Ruth and I visited in 2016 and really liked, is showing up on most year-end lists as a great destination for 2019. Lonely Planet ranks it 6th. Shēnzhèn, a city of nearly 13 million people, is close to Hong Kong, which didn’t make Lonely Planet‘s list of the best cities to see, and is known for its tall buildings and bustle. It is Hong Kong’s link to both mainland China and the outside world.
I like Lonely Planet‘s listing of Best Value Destinations but question some of its choices for security reasons. #1 is Southern Nile Valley, Egypt. Last year GOV.UK warned travelers that “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt…across the country.” Also on its BVD list is Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which Ruth & I couldn’t get anywhere near earlier this year due to heavy traffic. Bangladesh is #7. Bangladesh! Slovenia is justifiably on this list as is Albania. Albania is fairly safe to visit but rather weird. The US State Department rates it a Level One risk, but I’m not sure I’d go there by myself and wander around. Egypt is a Level 2 (increased risk) destination according to the US State Department. Lonely Planet‘s #2 “Best Value” is Lódz, Poland. I was in shock when we visited Poland and I learned that this city’s name is pronounced Woodge!
Speaking of China, I recently read an article by Pan Pylas of the Associated Press. Pan points out that by 2030 China will overtake France as the world’s #1 travel destination. There’s a real boom in Asian travel fueled by the growing Asian middle class as anyone who travels is aware of. Euromonitor is Pan’s source, and he or she or ? reports, “Tourism is a key pillar of the Chinese economy.” Pan says that future bright spots for travel include Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey. Hmmmmmmm.
Perhaps the next installment of Crazy Rich Asians should be filmed in Shēnzhèn.