Travel Newsletter - 19 June, 2020
The new Phnom Penh airport, Bourdain in Southeast Asia, a horizontal skyscraper, and quarantined hippies.
A weekly newsletter of great travel reads and news by James Clark from Nomadic Notes.
This week I did some domestic travel in Vietnam, travelling along the coast from Tuy Hoa to Quy Nhon. Both cities aren’t exactly on the international tourism radar, but that may change in the future. I was doing some research for stories at Nomadic Notes and Living In Asia.
While it’s been great to be stranded inside the Vietnam domestic travel bubble, I don’t think international travel is going to get back to normal this year. New Zealand had all but vanquished the rona, only to have two new cases imported. And I mentioned last week about how Cambodia want tourists to pay a $3000 deposit, and now Australia is proposing that travellers pay for 14-day hotel quarantine. That is if you can get in, as borders are likely to stay closed until next year. I’m not counting on getting back to my homeland this year, which would be only the third year in my life when I wasn’t in Australia (the other years being 2000 and 2016).
I’ve been travelling for most of this week so I didn’t get time to write a new blog at Nomadic Notes. I feel like I am getting back to normal where I am weeks and months between travelling and writing about it. I did write an article about the new Phnom Penh airport. Hopefully by the time it is ready the government isn’t going to ask for a $3000 deposit from you.
COVID-19 Travel News
“Truck stops instead of motels, hand sanitizer instead of candy and 16 tanks of fuel to buy an oddball van and drive it home.”
“The new coronavirus has left its mark on Angkor Wat, the world’s top tourist attraction. Foreign visitors are rare, the elephants are being rehoused and local businesses have gone bankrupt, but for Cambodians it’s a chance to reclaim their heritage.”
“Songshan Airport in Taiwan is helping people get a temporary travel fix.”
“While COVID-19 has forced most of us to sit still, some travellers have been forced into the uncomfortable journey home.”
“After COVID-19, what do Balinese want their island’s ‘new era’ to look like?”
“The Crystal Skybridge is part of the Raffles City Chongqing skyscraper complex, and it has earned its nickname since it connects several parts of the complex sitting at 250m high.”
“Initiative involves local communities in rebuilding their historic landmarks and neighbourhoods.”
Assorted Travel Reads
“The late, great chef-come-writer Anthony Bourdain travelled and worked extensively throughout Southeast Asia before his sudden passing in 2018. Two years on, the Globe reflects on his enduring legacy in the region.”
“When COVID flared in Panama, 20 travelers from 18 countries holed up in this eco-village and shut the gates. Things in the outside world got worse, and now they might never leave.”
“Since 1932, the tiny town of Rugby, North Dakota, has claimed to be the geographical center of North America. But as with most things, the truth depends on who's telling it.”
“London-based travel photographer Christopher Wilton-Steer invites you to take a virtual journey to the heart of Central Asia. In 2019, he spent 4 months crossing 17 countries, traveling 40,000 km (24,854 miles)—by bus, car, train, boat, and horse—from London to Beijing. Following the famous Silk Road, he documented the network of ancient trading routes through the people, cultures, and architecture he encountered along the way.”
“The pandemic has devastated global tourism, and many will say ‘good riddance’ to overcrowded cities and rubbish-strewn natural wonders. Is there any way to reinvent an industry that does so much damage?”
“Built by the British as a respite from Indian summers, the subcontinent’s hill stations are as charming as ever.”
“Monte Stella’s existence is not a geological serendipity. Seventy years ago, this area was just a flat wasteland, that became a dumping ground after the city was essentially flattened by British bombers during the Second World War.”
An account of how travel writer Travis Levius ended up in a Spike Lee movie (which reminded me of the time I was an extra in a movie in Thailand).
I had high hopes for this movie as it was filmed in contemporary Saigon, and it tells about the oft-neglected African-American experience in the war. In the process though it uses gross caricatures of modern-day Vietnamese as if they were still fighting the war, 50 years after the event. My friend Mike at Saigoneer did a review of what is a deeply flawed film (spoiler alert).
[Click for full image.]
Some more parked planes…
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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