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)

25 critical days for the travel industry in 2020

Vaccine passports, domestic tourism, pricey flights – is this the future of travel in a post-pandemic Asia?

World's tourist hubs, 'ghost towns' for how long?

The tourists who believe travel restrictions don't apply to them

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.

Travel news

Europe’s ‘first’ digital nomad village to open in Portugal in February

New Indian airline Flybig may just be the next small idea

One lucky, soon-to-be-gibbering mess will get to enjoy a film festival in an abandoned lighthouse

“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

Da Lat–Thap Cham railway restoration

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.

52 places to love in 2021

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.

Parramatta's neglected heritage - the Female Factory

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.

Gate A-4

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.

Australia now a land of sweeping murals with latest silo art work

How Portugal keeps alive an iconic 500-year-old art form

A line in the sand: snapshots of life in Kalmykia, Europe’s only man-made desert

Riding through Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway

“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.”

Travel trends for 2021: the revival of the sleeper train

Gear Post 2021

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.

Paris’ Champs-Élysées to be transformed into an ‘extraordinary garden’

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.

This former Shanghai airport has been turned into a beautiful park

New and old meet as social media breathes life into Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown

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.

Yes, Khaosan now has pine trees. Because that makes sense. (Photos)

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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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