Madripoor - the fantasy city-state of Southeast Asia

The coolest streets in the world, Canada's grand railway hotels, and more assorted travel reads.

Greetings from Saigon, where we are deep into the second week of social distancing. With more time on my hands, I got round to watching The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Without revealing any spoilers, one of the episodes features the fictional city-state of Madripoor. It’s described as a haven for pirates, and the show ambiguously locates it in the Indonesian archipelago, which gives you about 5,000 km of latitude. Online fan sources places it between Singapore and Sumatra.

The city is like a cross between Shanghai and Kowloon Walled City in a Bladerunneresque cyberpunk setting. Maybe in the future this is what Batam will look like.

I’ve been saying during this pandemic that this travel newsletter is here to bring inspiration until we can travel again, so in addition to virtual travel, why not fantasy travel.

Latest posts

No new posts at Nomadic Notes, so instead I’ve just been cleaning up old posts. I have updated the guide for banks for travellers, expats, and nomads.

At Future Southeast Asia I posted about the Palembang LRT, and there was a lot of Europe rail news to cover in the second edition of Europe Rail News.

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

To see how well a country handled COVID, look at its airports

“After flying 22,906 miles, I found that airports represent much more than borders and entry points—they’re microcosms of a government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Greece's islands aim to go 'Covid-free' to welcome back tourists

EU Digital Covid Certificate: Everything you need to know

While Vietnam has excelled at pandemic prevention, it is ranking low for vaccination rollout. So far it is estimated that 0.7% of the population is vaccinated. With 96 million people in the country, we are far behind most countries. As I keep saying, no one is safe until everyone is.

I’ve been getting by on watching friends around the world get vaccinated, and I enjoyed this French vaccination ad.

Assorted travel reads

This week another batch of listicles has arrived, and it’s been a bad and good week for my home city of Melbourne. The bad news is that Adelaide is now the most liveable city in Australia, with Auckland taking the title of world’s most liveable city. The good news for Melbourne is that is Smith Street in Melbourne has been listed on top of the Time Out list of 30 coolest streets in the world. I remember in the 1990s when Brusnwick St was the coolest street in Melbourne, but it got so cool that there was a migration of cool kids from Brunswick St to Smith St. Now they are probably moving to another street.

Submerged Italian village briefly resurfaces after 70 years underwater

“Construction work revealed the foundations of Curon, a historic alpine town, for the first time since 1950.”

Relive the golden days of train travel at these iconic railway hotels across Canada

“From Toronto to Vancouver, luxury isn't lost at Canada's Grand Railway Hotels.”

Ursula Martin completes 5,000-mile Ukraine to Wales walk

Meet the shops keeping Macau’s traditions alive

Travel quests can take many forms, and it doesn’t have to be to visit every country in the world. I blogged recently about the quest to visit every province in Vietnam, and here is a story of a Filipino who is visiting every waterfall in the Philippines.

Filling up

“A celebration of eating at America’s gas stations, with all the sweet, salty, crunchy, and caffeinated things you need to top off your tank.”

Photos: 20 years since construction began on Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah

“Palm Jumeirah is the world’s largest man-made island.”

Ryosuke Kosuge’s 30 stunning photos give a glimpse of everyday life in Asia

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The Nomadic Notes Travel Newsletter is a weekly newsletter of the best travel reads and interesting travel news from around the web, and random ramblings by the editor.

- James Clark