Travel Newsletter - 11 December 2020
Lao Cai (a city in Vietnam on the China border), future new hotels in Danang, the Eiger Express, atrium hotels, train journeys in Europe for 2021, NYC's Chinatown, and more.
Hello from Ho Chi Minh City! Lots of travel reads this week, even if our travels are restricted. Before I ended up being based in Southeast Asia, I used to spend a fair chunk of the year in Europe. I lived in the London, Dublin, Lucerne, and a lot of time in Budapest. 2020 will be the first year I didn’t visit Europe since I first went to London in 1999.
One of the things I love about Europe is the railways, so some links below have me dreaming of future travels. I have another website about European railways as well, so I will introduce a new project I’m working on in a future newsletter.
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Lao Cai is the capital city of the province of the same name, in the Northwest region of Vietnam.
COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought travel around the world to an abrupt halt in 2020. Nations are still trying to grasp the consequences, and restarting movement could take years.”
My travel blogging friends Lauren and Dave have moved from the UK to NZ (Dave is a Kiwi), and this is what it’s like to move during the pandemic.
“As the pandemic surges, it's time to stay home”, by Chris McGinnis at SFGATE.
“As a year of disruption closes, those with scrapped travel plans grapple with a sense of loss about places not seen, experiences not had, people not hugged and time that’s impossible to get back.”
“COVID infections are low to nonexistent in several countries, where life looks practically normal. Some people even occasionally forget there’s a pandemic going on.”
I’m in a country without COVID (Vietnam) but I wouldn’t say no one is unaware of it, though maybe being in the travel business makes me acutely aware of it.
“China and Nepal have announced the new height for Mount Everest after previous disagreements on including the snow cap.”
Assorted travel reads
For Living In Asia I did an update on major building projects in Danang under construction in 2020. Maybe by the time you can visit there will be some new hotels open.
“The new Eiger Express speeds visitors from the village of Grindelwald to a 7,637-foot station on the Eiger, passing in front of the Swiss mountain’s legendary North Face.”
“Abdel Naser Rahal designed a flower garden in a desert landscape. Seven years later, his detailed creations continue to impress visitors.”
“In the 1970s, new downtown hotels often boasted soaring atrium lobbies, filled with glass elevators, bars and restaurants. What’s inside this uniquely American building style?”
Here is one for my Hawaiian and Alaskan friends who are tired of being left off the map (and Tasmanians and New Zealanders for that matter). This map by xkcd shows only 41 of 48 contiguous states. Even though I’m not American, I’m a geography nerd and I’m not bad at the US state jigsaw competition. I got stumped on a few here though.
“What if major elections, wars and events had turned out differently? Samuel Arbesman explores the detail and delights of maps that plot alternative worlds to our own.”
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