"The most outrageous travel essay in recent history" is what budget travel guru Arthur Frommer called the New York Times' '53 Places to go in 2008' in a superb analysis of the list. I'd only seen the online version, so if it really took up the amount of space he claims, it must be one of the worst wastages of column inches ever. I wonder if they'll publish an apology. I can't recall the last time travel journalism caused such controversy. I love Arthur Frommer's blog; he makes some brilliant points. But so do the NYT readers. Check out their comments: "shallowest piece of travel writing I've ever read, but thanks for cluing me in on exactly the places to AVOID in 2008. Luxury hotels indeed - what about seeing the actual country as its residents do?"; "This list is a thoughtless mish-mash... but to be fair, this is just for 2008. I suppose traveler(s) could take in Detroit this year and put off seeing Petra (one of the most spectacular and mysterious sites in Jordan) and Paris (the one in France, not the one in Texas) until 2009."; "I would go anywhere that this doesn't list... this list is meaningless."; "Money, money, money... the recent article compiled by DENNY LEE on 53 destinations for EXTREMELY RICH travelers to go to in 2008 is sick!"; and from a New Yorker: "This is disgusting. Does the entire world need to become an extension of our capitalist excess? "Seeing" the world maybe, but you're certainly not going to "experience" other cultures from a luxury gated tourist community."; and - my favorite - "Since when have must see destinations become synonymous with luxury? In my experience the quickest way to isolate yourself from a cultural experience is to check into an exlusive resort. What about all the places where you evaluate the success of your trip by the accumulation of dirt and dust on your rental car?" I can relate to that. We wiped a lot of dust off our hire car at the end of a road trip through Morocco, pictured, and even more red pindan dust after our 17,500 km drive through Western Australia last year, two extraordinary destinations that also went unmentioned.