Ireland tops Lonely Planet list of friendly nations

Ireland has been named as the world's friendliest country in a new list of top travel destinations from Lonely Planet.

The Bluelist 2008 says Irish people have a dark sense of humour, a welcoming nature and an ability to have fun in boom or bust times.

It also reports an air of cautious optimism "infecting the land" following the ending of the Troubles in the North.

The US, Malawi, Turkey and Scotland make up the rest of Lonely Planet's top-five friendly nations.

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