Travel Newsletter - 18 December 2020

Photos of Angkor of the years, crossing the North Caucasus, India’s single-screen cinema palaces, Hormuz Island, and more travel reads.

Greetings from Dalat! I’m doing some travel this week within the Vietnam domestic travel bubble. There continues to be talk of travel bubbles within Southeast Asia (such as Vietnam-Singapore), but that still wouldn’t be for normal tourism. For now, I’m staying here until further notice and adding to my bookmarked list of places I want to visit once we can travel again.

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

Mask on, wheels up: meet the intrepid biz traveler who’s taken 42 trips since pandemic’s start

With travel podcasts, explore the world through your ear buds

“Before the pandemic, podcasts helped me stave off boredom on long-haul flights and kept me company during sleepless nights when my body was in one time zone and my mind was in another. Now, the digital audio shows are my only form of travel. If I can’t physically travel, at least I can mentally move around the globe.”

The receding horizon of travel’s return

Why cruise ships are setting sail again as COVID-19 rages

“The surreal world of cruising during a pandemic requires temperature checks at meals, pre-boarding virus tests, and masks on the dance floor.”

Travel news

Is the time now ripe for planes to run on hydrogen?

Headless Buddha statue discovered in Chongqing residential complex

I’ve been to Chongqing twice, and it’s one of the most geographically-intriguing places I’ve visited. It’s basically a mountain on a river junction, and it’s supposedly the most populous city in the world if going by its administrative boundary. Here was my trip report from 2013.

Assorted travel reads

Crossing the North Caucasus: a journey from the Black Sea to the Caspian coast

[Photos] Ancient Angkor as seen through the decades

“On December 14, 1992 – after miraculously surviving decades of war, strife and looting – Angkor Wat was officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, we've scoured through the pictorial archives to uncover some of ancient monuments more iconic moments.”

The treasure chambers of Uzbekistan

Central Asia is high on my list of first places to visit when travel resumes.

How Europe's night trains came back from the dead

The Guillotine

“Perilous train journey in the capital of Bangladesh become a guillotine for the people.” 

An elegy for India’s single-screen cinema palaces

Meet the photographer who has scoured the country to document these vanishing communal sites.

Isaan road trip: Searching for normalcy in Thailand's northeast

Virus casts shadow over AP's pictures of the year in Asia

Architects design brilliantly colorful domed village on Hormuz Island


Walk in the footsteps of George Smiley with this John Le Carré map

“George Smiley — the creation of the late John le Carré — was the antidote to James Bond; overweight, balding, self deprecating and altogether unsexy. He was also perhaps the greatest spy Britain never had.”

@nomadicnotes at Instagram

Follow me at @nomadicnotes for real-time updates.

A post shared by James Clark ✈️ (@nomadicnotes)

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.

If you're enjoying the newsletter, please forward it to friends who like reading about travel. The more who know about it, the easier it becomes for me to discover great travel reads.

If someone sent this to you, sign up for future emails at

- James Clark