Lonely Planet Releases Afghanistan Travel Guide

John Flinn:

See where the retreating British Army was massacred! Marvel at Osama bin Laden’s old Tora Bora bunker! Gaze upon the crater where the giant Buddha statues of Bamiyan stood before the Taliban blew them up!
Or maybe not. Tourism in Afghanistan, it’s safe to say, is a tough sell these days. Nobody is touting it as “the new Croatia.” Kabul and Kandahar never figure in the hunt for “the next Prague.” And don’t look for the war-ravaged country in the next installment of “Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?”
All of which makes Lonely Planet’s new Afghanistan guidebook the most eyebrow-raising title of the year.
The 244-page guide contains all the usual write-ups of mosques, mountains and museums, plus colorful maps and 17 pages of enticing photographs. But turn to the “Dangers & Annoyances” section, and instead of the usual cautions about bedbugs and pickpockets you find a warning about “the danger of an insurgency in the south, plus warlordism and terrorist violence in some other parts of the country.”

Lonely Planet’s new Afghanistan guidebook