Recently Lonely Planet released its top ten countries for 2010. To our delight, Morocco was once again included. The destinations were arranged alphabetically, so there was no special ranking, but here is the list: El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Portugal, Suriname, USA.
Predictably, Lonely Planet got a strong reaction from around the world of those who liked the list and others who thought it was a little on the tame side. A couple of commentators even criticised Morocco being included because of bad experiences that they had suffered. One, not so happy camper, detailed her objection... I completely DISAGREE with Morocco. My passport was stolen TWICE before I even left the airport. The airport personnel were very unwilling to explain directions on getting through the screen machine. All of the Americans on the flight were herded into a corner. It was VERY uncomfortable. After leaving the airport and by the time two hours had passed, I was chased by a man with a monkey, chased by a man with snakes, hit by a donkey cart, and hit by a motorcyle. Being a girl, I was once offered 500 camels for my ownership and another time I was just straight-up asked how much I cost. I was very modestly dressed although it was blazing hot outside. Not surprisingly, I left Marrakesh, Morocco the very next day.
Lost her passport twice? With that much bad karma, maybe she should have stayed home? Seriously though, as one Australian woman recently told us "I feel safer and more relaxed in Morocco than I do in Melbourne."
Here's what Lonely Planet had to say about Morocco:
‘Hello, bonjour, salaam alaykum, labes?’ Street greetings sum up everything you need to know about Morocco in a word: it’s Berber and Arab, Muslim and secular, Mediterranean and African, worldly wise and welcoming. Morocco sees how the Middle East is portrayed via satellite news and the internet, and is as concerned with violent threats and abuses of power as anyone else in the modern world. But as you’ll see, most Moroccans are plenty busy working to get by, get their kids through school and greet the king’s planned 10 million visitors by 2010 with the utmost hospitality. Every visitor helps Moroccans realise these goals by creating new economic opportunities, and can make a Moroccan’s day by returning the greeting: ‘Hello, good day, may peace be upon you, are you happy?’
You can read more about Lonely Planet's thoughts about Morocco here: Lonely Planet, Morocco