Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Overpriced? Overcrowded? Overrated? Us?
Usually when the Lonely Planet Guidebook to Britain comes out, it is a yearly ritual for the newspapers to pick up on the negative comments in the guide as an easy way to garner the more patriotic readers to buy their paper, or at least spend time on the internet watching it.
Those three terms however. Let us start, from my own subjective view...
Overpriced - Yeah , cannot argue with that one. The UK is expensive, so expensive that the cheapest thing you can do is to fly out of the UK.
But you have to be intelligent to save cash in the UK. If for example, you decide to spend your money at all the tourist traps and turn up to a hotel, then yes, it costs a lot. However, if you plan ahead, it can be cheap (accommodation, transport, etc) and food can be a bargain, depending on where you want to go.
In other words, for the care-free, adventurous backpacker, it is expensive. Spontaneity will cost you, unlike Asia, where it is positively encouraged. But if you use the internet, and are prepared to commute when staying in the major cities, it can be cheap...
Overcrowded - Yep, cannot argue with that one. We are a popular bunch of people and we just enjoy each other's company, such is friendliness of the UK!
Okay, a little sarcastic...compared to other parts for the world, we are not that crowded (such as India or Eastern China) but by European standards, the UK is crowded, with the Benelux being more packed out. Attribute that to a Word War that did not slaughter a lot of people.
But more importantly, here is something to think about. The most crowded part of the UK is the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Not exactly a byword for slum living, eh? It takes proper planning to make urban living tolerable, something that has not happened in many years...
Overrated - Yes, I could say that. After all, once you have seen St Paul's, Tower Bridge and Parliament what else is there to see in Britain?
You have to remember, we are a small and expensive island, so you cannot pack in the punch of say, India. Or China. Plus, hey...actually, I cannot defend that one. You have seen this blog, how many times have I gone on holiday in the UK? Take a hint from me, pick somewhere warmer, just like I will next month ;)