Travel Newsletter - 15 January 2021
Future Da Lat railway, places to love in 2021, urban renewal around the world, and more!
Welcome to another edition of the Travel Newsletter by Nomadic Notes. I’m back in Ho Chi Minh City now, so I will have some time for writing blog posts over the next month.
COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)
Not that I’m advocating international travel, but if you must travel then this website looks helpful in trying to work out who can travel where.
“The Göteborg Film Festival, having previously given attendees the opportunity to watch a movie from inside a purpose-built coffin, have now decided to one-up their past work by letting one viewer enjoy this year’s festival in the only way that makes sense during a pandemic: Completely by themselves in a North Sea lighthouse that looks like it’s about to be reclaimed by the deep at any moment.”
Assorted travel reads
I put together a fact sheet on the proposed restoration of the Da Lat Railway. Not that it’s going to happen anytime soon, but one can always dream.
Usually around this time of year, The New York Times puts out its “52 places to visit” list. Obviously that is not happening this year, so they have put out a different 52 places.
My friend Mark at Rusty Compass is usually travelling around Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, but is now stuck in Sydney (which is not a bad thing either). As a result, he has been lifting the lid on some interesting places in his home city. I never knew about this place.
I loved this little story about an airport encounter by Naomi Shihab Nye. I found this via Laura Olin’s newsletter, which is not a newsletter about travel but just random good links from around the web. I nearly didn’t click the link as it had no description. I figured it was about an airport so that got me there, so go through Gate A-4 and see for yourself.
“Passing through some of the planet's remotest territories, the storied route offers a window onto worlds that are both deeply foreign and surprisingly familiar.”
I always enjoy reading the annual gear post from Tynan.
Urban renewal around the world
There was a bunch of articles this week related to urban renewal projects in tourism areas, so I’ve put them under this sub-category.
I remember when I first visited the Champs-Élysées and how it didn’t live up to it’s global name recognition. It’s a wide street clogged with traffic with expensive shops. A few years later I spent two months in Paris, and I was never once compelled to revisit in all my wanders around the city. The next time I go back to Paris (even if it’s only for one day) I would like to see this revitalised version.
In normal times I’m a frequent visitor to Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, and I’ve been impressed with the transformation over the years. I look forward to being able to go back again and see what is new.
Khao San Rd is the (in)famous backpacker party street of Bangkok. During these unprecedented times, the city has gone and cleaned up the street. I’m not sure why pine trees would be added though.
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- James Clark