Tomorrow I'm finally going to Phimai to see the pre-Angkorean Khmer temple and also to make a side-jaunt to Phanom Wan. So of course I turned to my latest LP Thailand to see what bus I would take to go to there. Surprise!! There is no Prasat Phanom Wan in the new edition of Lonely Planet--it's been wiped off the Lonely Planet map by some freak asteroid.
It does still show up in the edition just before this one, so I do have the information I wanted, and it will probably be somewhat less than over-run because for Lonely Planeteers, it no longer exists. Good for me, maybe good for the temple, which is still occupied by monks as a holy place who may not yearn for sightseers, but for those people who believe LP is going to give them the whole scoop about a country--maybe not so good.
I am not a Joe Cummings groupie by any stretch of the imagination, but when I look at the old LP guides that he did for Thailand, I mourn his loss. Under his reign, LP was filled with history, culture, language, and it steered travelers to interesting spots that they would otherwise never know. Now it steers travelers to the most palatial hotels and trendy dining spots.
Is this for the greying traveler? If so, it's the wrong move--I'm over 60 and if I wanted tips on living the luxurious life on the open road, I wouldn't turn to Lonely Planet. They are who I went to for the back story, the quirky spots, the things that would help me give depth to my travels. But not now...