Customer Reviews


18 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Photos in a volume with thud factor
We hear much about branding these day and brand National Geographic is probably best known for its photos and their power to show you exotic and familiar parts of the world. This mighty volume - it has serious thud factor - does just that. The title refers to 'hidden gems' - now that world travel is open to all this book teases us with the cachet of following the less...
Published on 19 Jan 2012 by purpleheart

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Travel inspiration, lacking in organisation
This is a sumptuous coffee table book that offers 'travel ideas' - the travel gems of the subtitle, rather than the "secret journeys"(?) of the main title. Each of these 500 locations occupy one page of the book, with a photograph, a paragraph of description and very brief information under the headings 'When to go', 'How to find it', 'Planning' and 'Websites'. The places...
Published on 5 Jan 2012 by G. E. Harrison


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good coffee table travel book, 18 Dec 2011
By 
Evan (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
National Geographic's Secret Journeys of a Lifetime is a rather big book with lovely full coloured, full page photos and a good break down of information. Helpfully the info is broken down into 'When to go', 'How to find it', 'Planning' and a website link. It also has a good little back story and key bullet pointed section. The book covers all parts of the globe with the exception of Antarctica. It's organised into sections like 'Island Getaway', 'Spiritual Havens', 'City Secrets' etc and these act like coloured tabs on the right hand side so you know where you are in the book. They aren't organised by regions though so if you want to find out about a particular region or country, it's not so easy. You need to search each section to find that country again. It might have been better to break down the tab idea into each region so that say, Europe had a 'City Secrets' and 'Spiritual Havens' area etc. The maps aren't very helpful either. Showing a map of Europe when it's talking about Mawddach Estuary in Wales doesn't really show you where the estuary is.

National Geographic's Secret Journeys of a Lifetime is my second big coffe table travel inspiration book. The other one is Lonely Planet's Great Journeys which I think is far better. More inspirational and with a better structure, that's for sure.

But with those issues aside, this is still a decent book hence the 4 star rating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All You Need Is The Time, Money And Good Health, 26 Jan 2012
By 
IM35461 "IM35461" (East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The book is a lot larger than I imagined and does indeed contain many wonderful places to visit from all over the world.

For most of the major places it has information plus extra information telling you, "When to Go" (best time of year), "How to find it", "Planning" (clothing, reservations required) and "Websites" (more information on the location in question).

The book is divided into nine category's and then has a "Top Ten" in each.

As you would imagine, the book is fully illustrated with colour photos of all the wonderful locations.

And if like me, you cannot afford most of them, at least one can imagine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars National Geographic photo quality, 19 Jan 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (Beds UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a good sized coffee table style book, of out of the ordinary holiday destinations. The photographs are of a very good quality as you would expect from a book from the publishers of the National Geographic magazine. The order of the book is slightly erratic as it moves around the globe in each section rather than being complied with all destinations in an area together. This is one book in a series which includes an edition with the "greatest trips" Journeys of a Lifetime. A great gift for a traveller as this one may include ideas of destinations they have not yet tried.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psst - Ever been to?, 13 Jan 2012
By 
Quicksilver (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As one might expect from the National Geographic, this is a beautifully produced book. It's a large weighty tome too, so only suitable for browsing, and leaving at home. I'm never sure about the best way to slice and dice this type of travel book. Sometimes by geographical area seems best, to answer those, 'I'm going to France, what can I do?' type questions. Other times you might think, 'Where in the world can I...?' and want a theme driven structure. This book goes with themes, broken down into the following broad categories:

Views
Wilderness
Island getaways
Road Trips/Walks
Ancient Sites
Spiritual Sites
Museums/Houses
Villages
Cities

Each page features a single destination, and features some text, a photo and a sidebar offering some additional points of interest. The bottom of each entry is given over to practical information, which is subdivided into four sections - When to go, How to find it, Planning and Websites.

Interspersed randomly amongst the destinations are some 'Top 10' lists. The lists cover a diverse range of subjects, which are relevant to the chapter in which it is found. Subjects include, Wildflower Displays, Islands in the Sun, Sacred in the City and Rail Journeys. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an index or contents table for these.

The emphasis for the whole book is (unsurprisingly) that these places are not often visited. The problem is of course, if a destination is going to stay unspoiled, featuring it in a full colour, 300 page widely published guide, is unlikely to keep it that way. But this is a book review and not an ethical tourism seminar. This is a beautiful book, but as ever with these types of book, I have to wonder who the book is intended for? It's impractical as travel guide, and limited as a resource. It's a great book to dip into for inspiration but has a hefty cover price. It probably makes an ideal present for armchair travellers, those who dream of exotic climbs or jet-setting in-laws, but I'm not sure anybody would buy this book for themselves...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent photography but poorly organised, 10 Jan 2012
By 
Marand (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I would guess that this is the sort of book that will be bought by, or given as a gift to, a keen traveller. It is a coffee table book, not a journey planner: inspirational rather than practical.

The photography is excellent but the choice of places seems somewhat haphazard. Perhaps the book reflects a North American viewpoint but, I am not sure to what extent you could really describe some of these places as hidden, even allowing for the suggestions of some occasionally more unusual activities in some of the places. I didn't care for the way the book is organised, it just seemed very disjointed. The chapters are arranged thematically rather than geographically: The World at your Feet (views from high places); Last Wildernesses; Island Getaways; The Road Less Traveled; Secret History; Spiritual Havens; Hidden Treasures; Undiscovered Villages; City Secrets. Within each category is a range of places with no real connections so, for example in Secret History, you find a piece on the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, scene of an appalling Nazi massacre in 1944, facing a description of the frescoed tombs at Beni Hassan in Egypt. In the Spiritual Havens section you find the cathedral of St John the Divine in New York (neither hidden, nor a gem in my opinion, compared with many other cathedrals or churches) cheek by jowl with Khmer temples in Cambodia and monasteries in Bhutan.

Some countries pop up on several occasions but randomly so that you can't really link places easily without resorting to the index. Whilst the arrangement of the contents may well spur an interest in a hitherto unknown place, I found it to be rather frustrating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning!! It will make you book a holiday!!!, 21 Dec 2011
By 
A R Hartley "Monkey" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love traveling, i love everything to do with exploring and darting around our amazing planet, but at late i have been toning down my travels due to moving in with my misses and making a home....So when this landed on my lap i was swiftly reminded of what is out there and more importantly, what i have missed!.

This is a fantastic collection of beautiful places which are often not mentioned in tour guides etc, these are the places you need to go out and find! Some absolutely stunning places which will drive you to the internet to book a flight somewhere!!

There are some places near by in the uk but its the other hidden gems which realy set you off. Its delightfully written and has some great photos but these will only encourage you to book a holiday so be warned!!

I am now heading over to Expedia.....god help me
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I want to be traveling, 30 Nov 2011
This review is from: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic) (Hardcover)
This is a big, heavy coffee table book with enticing colour pictures on every page. It is divided into 9 sections: high altitude points, wilderness, islands, the road less traveled, ancient sites off the beaten path, sites tucked away into quiet corners, undiscovered villages, city secrets. Each section is then divided into sites in North America, South America, Australia-Oceana, Asia, Europe, and Africa. In these sections are several top 10 lists for world sites such as; top 10 wildflower displays, top 10 islands in cities, top 10 religious art - each of these has a description and a sentence on planning and a web site.
The 500 best travel gems each have a page and at least 1 picture, a small location map, some text telling about the site and when to go, how to find it, planning, and websites.
I did find one problem with one of their sites, which hopefully isn't an indication of poor details in the others. It lists St Michaels Maryland as an undiscovered village...anyone who has tried to find a parking place, or a table at a restaurant on a summer Sunday afternoon there would find this hilarious. Strange because if they would have investigated a bit further there are several other small towns on the Eastern shore of Maryland that are perfectly charming and wonderful examples of what they purport St Michaels to be.

All of this information and the pictures combine to make you wish you had unlimited funds and time to start on a journey. If you are lucky, you have been to a few of these places - whether you have or not it will certainly find this book interesting for its photography and facts about these faraway places.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent selection of hidden gems, 23 Jan 2012
By 
Kindle Customer (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a large coffee table book from National Geographic. Because of this the photos are gorgeous, and the writers manage to get to some out of the way places. The book is separated into sections; The world at your feet, which covers spectacular views, Secret History, which covers ancient sites off the beaten track, Undiscovered villages, Spiritual havens, etc. For each recommendation there is information on when to go, how to get there, planning details and websites to visit. Every few pages is a Top Ten section. For instance, Top Ten Call of the Wild, listing the top ten places around the world to watch wildlife. The book covers out of the way places, but it also has enough recommendations for less out of the way places for anyone who can't trek halfway around the world. For instance there are 11 undiscovered gems in London, 23 in England, and 12 in Scotland. This is a wonderful book for armchair travelling.
The only complaint I have with the book as it is organised by subject rather than area, so if you want to see what a particular area has to offer, you are planning a trip to London for instance, you have to flick backwards and forwards through the book. However it has an excellent index, so it is not really a problem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic)
30.00
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews