If you’ve every been left thinking that your lonely planet guidebook is a lying piece of shit this may be the reason why.

I can confirm this happens from a friend’s experience. The latest Vientiane Lonely planet writes about the sports museum at the national stadium. My friends who worked at the national stadium were having lunch at the cafe in Vientiane. They were talking about how one of them works in the museum and how nobody ever visits it. It’s full of photos of old men playing golf and their golf trophies. I visited it once and it’s really quite amusing.

They noticed there was a guy near them that seemed to be listening in on their conversation. They speculated he might have been a journalist looking for something to write a story about. 6 months later when the new lonely planet comes out for Laos it mentions the sports museum in the national stadium. My friend who worked inside the museum, because they ran out of office space at the national stadium, has never seen any foreigner go in there. It’s locked most of the time so you would need to ask someone to open it up for you. If some foreigner came by wanting to have a look inside he would definitely have heard about it.

I wonder how much of the lonely planet is written from second hand accounts overheard in backpacker cafes. Probably a lot.