Travel Newsletter - 13 November 2020

The most famous roof in Saigon, travel bubbles, the future East Coast Rail Link in Malaysia, the world's best cities, Japanese spaceports, Lord Howe Island, and more...

You don’t need me to tell you that it’s a rough time for travel bloggers. At least I have the opportunity to travel, even if my blog traffic is still way down. It’s been interesting though to see what my fellow bloggers have pivoted to during these times.

My pivot has been towards construction and infrastructure for future travel. The most common pivot has been towards creating local guides. If you are going to be stuck in a city for the next year, then you may as well write about it. It not only gives you something to do, but it could become a valuable resource in the future once people can travel freely again.

I was thinking about local blogging this week as I rarely post anything about my current abode in Ho Chi Minh City. As a home base, I tend to use it as a place to recover from travel before my next trip.

This week I posted a quick blog about a cafe in Saigon that I think will become a big tourist attraction when the world can travel again.

Latest posts at Nomadic Notes

Sky 22 – A rooftop cafe on the most famous roof in Saigon

Sky 22 is a rooftop cafe at 22 Ly Tu Trong in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s the scene of the famous helicopter photo during the U.S. evacuation of Saigon in 1975.

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

Singapore, Hong Kong open 'world first' travel bubble

“November 22 sees the start of quarantine-free flights between Asia's two financial hubs.”

There’s been lots of talk about travel bubbles, now this one is set to go ahead. Economy seats have already sold out at up to S$1,000. I would prefer to see travel between completely covid-free zones (Taiwan-Vietnam), so let’s see if they can make this one work.

Cathay Pacific is running ads for the travel bubble with literal bubbles. Just think, one day this advertisement will be considered a vintage poster like these old airline advertisements. Hopefully, in the future, people will look back at these advertisements and wonder what the hell this was supposed to mean. Maybe people born during the pandemic (Zoomlennials?) will ask survivors what this ad means.

In Singapore, hundreds set sail on World Dream’s ‘cruise to nowhere’

When Covid hit, I started walking 20,000 steps a day. It's changed my life

“Setting a daily goal made me fitter, boosted my mood and allowed me to explore parts of New York I’d never seen before.”

Related to travelling in your own city, now is the best time to really get to know where you live. I walk everywhere, and I make a point of visiting new neighbourhoods every week, as well as trying new cafes and restaurants.

Travel news

You could soon take a 70-day bus trip from London to India

“The ‘Bus to London’ adventure will visit 18 countries in 70 days, starting in August 2021.”

TripAdvisor warns users over Thai hotel that legally pursued reviewer

Virgin Hyperloop: First two passengers ride in historic test

“Two passengers have successfully completed the first-ever ride in a hyperloop tube.”

Or as some have pointed out, they have built the world’s crappiest high-speed rail that’s almost as fast as a Toyota Yaris.

2021 World’s Best Cities

“In this latest World’s Best Cities Report, Resonance Consultancy ranks the world’s best cities with populations of more than a million, using a combination of statistical performance and qualitative evaluations by locals and visitors in 25 areas grouped into six core categories.”

Italy's list of "most beautiful towns" has four new additions

Assorted travel reads

East Coast Rail Link – The new railway that will connect the Straits of Malacca to the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia

From its plush upper deck to its 5-star menus, the 747 — now in range for its final approach — defined luxury travel

A Local’s Tour of Asturias, Spain’s ‘Natural Paradise’

“After a decade spent living abroad, a photographer returns to her homeland — and revels in the breadth of its beauty.”

How western travel influencers got tangled up in Pakistan's politics

“Travel bloggers have flocked to Pakistan in recent years – but have some of them become too close to the authorities?”

Lord Howe Island: Why Australia's island paradise is the best 'overseas' destination

New Zealand's Chatham Islands might be the only place in the world experiencing overtourism right now

Race shapes travel: backpacking as a black woman

“In an extract from her new book, the Kenyan writer reflects on how guidebooks to Africa, with their warnings of danger, instilled fear in her – until a solo trip to Burkina Faso.”

Let's walk across Japan, together

If you like newsletters (of course you do!), and like walking (or walking vicariously), then check out Craig Mod’s new project, which is a temporary newsletter that is a daily update of his walk from Tokyo to Kyoto.

This is what Japan's future spaceport might look like, and it's pretty stylish

Part of this newsletter’s mission is to keep future travel dreams alive, and what better way to dream than to dream about futuristic spaceports.

Concrete landscapes of the Far North: a rare view of Siberia’s Soviet architecture

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

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- James Clark