Travel Newsletter: 14 May 2021

The biggest leisure development site in Southeast Asia, parked planes, Tito's train, the last days of Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower, restoring Lebanon's railway, and more travel reads.

Welcome to another edition of the Nomadic Notes Travel Newsletter, and hello to new subscribers!

I had a return to Australia lightly pencilled in to my proverbial calendar for the end of the year, but if Qantas has given up on international flights for the rest of 2021, it’s probably not going to happen.

Uneven vaccinations in Asia hinder any plan to get back to normal soon, as this vaccination rollout chart in Asia shows.

I’m glad to see my friends around the world getting vaccinated, but the world of international travel that we know and enjoy isn’t happening until we all are all jabbed.

In the meantime, I’m still virtually travelling, so here are the latest travel reads and news from around the web.

Latest posts at Nomadic Notes

This week I had an ambitious schedule to publish three articles about Phu Quoc, including a trip report on Nomadic Notes. I posted two articles for Future Southeast Asia, but the Nomadic Notes trip report didn’t make it this week. Here is a preview of what to expect though, as Phu Quoc has become the biggest leisure development site in Southeast Asia.

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

What's it like to check out billions of dollars worth of parked airliners from above?

Finnair inflight meals now available for home delivery

“Finnair has focused on ensuring its customers can still enjoy its inflight dining experience on the ground, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.”

People are flying to nowhere just to shop duty free during covid

Covid: Dracula's castle in Romania offers tourists vaccine

Assorted travel reads

In last week’s newsletter I posted about the new Swiss Tourism video with Roger Federer and Robert de Niro. Here is Federer on his new gig as Swiss Tourism spokesman.

Goodbye to the future: The last days of Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower

“Situated in Ginza, this icon of Japan’s architectural avant garde — designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa in 1972 — is destined for demolition.”

I was going to stay here on my 2020 Tokyo trip that never happened.

Another thing I missed was Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant, which might have closed permanently now.

I’m on the email newsletter for Hong Kong budget airline HK Express. They fly to Vietnam and I have picked up some deals in the past. This week they were selling old galley boxes and waste trolleys.

Galley boxes were selling on their duty free website for 1,800 HKD ($230 USD) and they sold out fast.

I traveled the world in search of wellness wisdom—here’s what I learned

By Annie Daly, author of Destination Wellness: Global Secrets for Better Living Wherever You Are 

All aboard Tito’s train: A dictator’s time capsule of luxury travel

The daunting challenge of saving Lebanon’s storied rail network

“Can rusting locomotives and crumbling stations become a vibrant transportation network again?”

On the hunt for wild animals on the Jinshueiying Ancient Trail

“Sightings of pangolin, Reeves muntjac and civet cat are known to occur on this ancient Aboriginal path that was turned into a major trade route during the Qing Dynasty and Japanese colonial era. Just be sure to keep your mouth shut.”

This one could have used a better headline, but I’ve saved this for my next walk in Taiwan (here was my last walk).

The story behind this ghost estate of abandoned castles in Turkey

Malta’s beautifully enigmatic doorways

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The Nomadic Notes Travel Newsletter 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