Tag Archives: 旅行ガイド

Lonely Planet New Great Britain Travel Guide

今月発売された、旅行ガイドのLonely Planetロンリープラネット)が発行するGreat Britain Guide(イギリスガイド)の最新版が、イギリスでちょっとした波紋を呼んでいる。ロンリープラネットは、広告も取らず、どこの観光協会ともタイアップしない方針を貫く独立系のガイドブック。英語の旅行ガイドで世界一のシェアを誇る。自費で旅して情報を集めるため、見聞きしたことを率直に書けるのが強み。それで今回のイギリスガイドがかなり辛口だったため、メディアが飛びついたのだ。

一言で言うと、イギリスの観光地としての評価は「Over-crowded, over-rated and over-priced(混雑し過ぎ、評価過剰、物価高過ぎ)」 。ポンド安で海外から観光客はたくさん来るけれど、イギリス旅行は決して安くない。交通、入場料、レストラン、ホテルは、他の多くのヨーロッパ諸国に比べて割高。多くの観光アトラクションはつまらなくて、観光地としての質が低いと批判的。



The Lonely Planet‘s latest Great Britain Guide has been released recently. Lonely Planet is the the largest travel guide book, and totally independent without taking advertising or linking any local tourisms. They pay their own trip so the guide can be quite honest and candid for what they write about the destination. The latest guide about UK is quite critical and therefore has caught media attention.

“Over-crowded, over-rated and over-priced” – this is the guide’s verdict in short. The recent trend of weak pound attracts foreign tourists, but traveling Britain isn’t cheap – public transport, admission fees, restaurants and hotel rooms all tend to be expensive compared with their equivalents in many other European countries. The country’s many tourist attractions are said as “boring and lacking in quality”…

But I have to agree some points. I love beautiful countryside of Britain with rolling hills, but we tend to travel other European countries because the same reasons that Lonely Planet pointed out. Besides the high cost of traveling in UK, British small villages look ghost town and very sad after the sunset when all the stores close and people go home, in compare to Southern European countries. On the other hand, cities all look alike with the high streets lined with national chain stores and restaurants, and are not very distinctive.

London got good review as one of the world’s great cities, if not the greatest, with endless reserves of cool (see telegraph article for other cities and towns). The guide said the city had excellent restaurants with many free attractions for children, but also found that despite its good restaurants, London also offered overpriced food. Tourists may end up “forking out £30 in a restaurant for a ‘modern European’ concoction that tastes like it came from a can”. Yes, UK is not known as a foodies’ paradise, but co-ordinating author of the Lonely Planet Guide to England concluds that “a culinary heritage of ready-sliced white bread, fatty meats and boiled-to-death vegetables, all washed down by tea with four sugars, remains firmly in place in many parts of the country.’ Sounds quite bad, but Lonely Planet also doesn’t forget to praise that many parts of Great Britain are still ‘great’, and that it is still one of the most fascinating places in the world to explore – without completely knocking down British pride. Happy ending. Can UKreverse Lonely Planet’s verdict before the London Olympic next year??


Mr & Mrs Smith South-East Asia Boutique Hotel Collection

先週末から続く大寒波で、ロンドンはかなり寒い。昨日の夜は零下5度まで下がり、今日も最高気温が1度ほど。寒すぎて外に出る気がせず、この間手に入れたMr & Mrs Smithの新しいホテルコレクション・東南アジア版を開き、どんより灰色の空を横目に、紺碧の空と透明な海の広がる常夏のタイやバリ島に心を飛ばした。どこか暖かいところに行きたい。。。

このコレクションは、タイ、マレーシア、インドネシア、フィリピン、ラオス、カンボジア、シンガポール、ベトナムの、センスのいい選りすぐりのビーチリゾートやシティホテルを網羅。フランス版コレクションと同じく、ホテル情報だけでなく、フライトや現地の交通、特産物、必需品など知っておきたい地域別基本情報や、最高のビーチや見どころなどのホテル近辺の情報も含まれ、旅行ガイドとしても使える。それに、Mr & Mrs SmithBlackSmithメンバーシップ半年分無料の特典つき!

The big chill is still here, and I am freezing… Temperature dropped around minus 5° last night and today’s maximum is around 1°. It is so cold that I don’t feel like going out. I picked up Mr & Mrs Smith‘s new boutique hotel collection “South-East Asia” I obtained recently, and daydreamed of going tropical Thailand or Bali with blue sky and clear sea water.

The collection covers hand-picked chic beach resorts and sleek city hotels in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam. Like the France Hotel Collection, the book also works as a guidebook, including basic need-to-know destination information such as flights and local transport as well as local knowledge and specialty, and what’s around each hotel like the best beaches and what to see & do. A big bonus of this book is, Mr & Mrs Smith‘s six months’ free BlackSmith membership!


In this book, I found the Sukhothai hotel in Bangkok where we stayed about 10 years ago – good old memory. Inspired by the Thailand’s historic Kingdom of Sukhothai, the hotel is surprisingly quiet and tranquil in the midst of bustling big city. The room decorated with antique furniture relaxed and soothed me after long day sweating and walking all over the city. It was a very nice and memorable experience. This book makes me feel like going back again, someday…

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Daunt Books @ Marylebone High Street

来週からの旅行に先立ち、以前に書いたコベント・ガーデンのStanfordsと、メリルボーン・ハイ・ストリートにあるDaunt Booksにガイドブックを見に行った。ロンドンで旅行ガイドや地図を探すなら、Daunt BooksとStanfordsの2店がお薦め。

Daunt Booksは、メリルボーン・ハイ・ストリートに本店を置く本屋で、チェルシーHampstead(ハムステッド)、Holland Park(ホーランド・パーク)、Belsize Park(べルサイズ・パーク)のロンドンの高級住宅地4カ所と、シティに支店がある。小説や児童書など普通の本も売っているけれど、何より、ガイドブックや紀行本、写真集から、歴史、フィクション&ノンフィクション、レシピや食べ物ガイドまで、その国に関するありとあらゆる本が、国別にずらっと並んでいるのが、Daunt Booksの特徴。平凡な入口からは想像できないけれど、樫の木で作られた長い本棚が並び、ウィリアム・モリスの壁紙で飾られた、エドワード朝様式のクラシックな店の奥には、天窓がついた、明るくて広々とした売り場が広がる(写真2)。この1階と、古い図書館のような趣の地下の売り場(写真3)が、世界各国に関する本で埋め尽くされている。


We went to Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street to look for a guidebook for our trip from next week, as well as Stanfords in Covent Garden that I wrote in the past. If you look for a travel guide or a map, Daunt Books and Stanfords are the places to check in London.

Daunt Books is a bookshop based in Marylebone High Street, with four branches in wealthy neighborhood  of ChelseaHolland ParkHampstead and Belsize Park and one in the City. Although selling also usual books such as novels and children’s books, Daunt Books specialises in travel books,using a unique system which arranges the books by country. You can find any book related to a specific country on the same book shelves, from the guide books and travel writings to history, fiction & non-fiction, photography, and recipes and food guides. It is hard to imagine from its average-looking entrance, but on the back of its classic Edwardian shop with long oak galleries and William Morris prints, there is an airy space with an abundance of natural light through skylights (the second photo), as well as more library-looking downstair (the third photo), dedicated for the books perfect for your vacation in any part of the world.

‥‥I will go on my late holiday from next week, and take a break from my blog for a while. I will be back to my blog if I survive, from the second week of November, and check out again later :-)

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Stanfords Travel Bookstore @ Covent Garden


旅行の前にいつもお世話になるのが、コベントガーデンにあるStanfords。1853年にEdward Stanfordによって創業、1901年には現在地に開店したという、由緒ある店だ。地下1階、地上2階の計3フロアには、世界一の品揃えを誇る地図や旅行関連書が所狭しと並び、旅行関連グッズも豊富。特に地図のコレクションには定評がある。現在・過去の顧客には、フローレンス・ナイチンゲールマイケル・ペイリン等、イギリスを代表する冒険家や探検家、旅行を生業とする人々の名前が並ぶ。あの「シャーロック・ホームズ」(小説の中で登場)も顧客だったそうだ。

We always check out the travel book store Stanfords at Covent Garden, before a trip. Established in 1853 by Edward Stanford, the store was opened in 1901 on its present location. Stanfords proudly claim that the store has “the world’s largest stock of maps and travel books under one roof”, and stocks a variety of maps, travel guides, travel books, and travel goods on three floors. Especially they have a reputation for its extensive collection of old and new maps. Customers past and present include Florence NightingaleMichael Palin, famous adventurers and explorers, and ‘ Sherlock Holmes‘ as well!

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