Travel Newsletter - 19 March 2021

Introducing Future Southeast Asia, visiting Long Xuyen in the Mekong, Dagestan’s mountain villages, sleep in a UFO, a Hong Kong Star Ferry for sale, and more travel inspiration.

This week I got one of those Facebook memory alerts about a post from one year ago (via Instagram):

A post shared by @nomadicnotes

That was the 14 of March 2020, and it happened to be the last time I took an international flight. Even then I felt like the rest of 2020 was going to be a write-off, but beyond that, I still don’t know how long this would go on. I’m fortunate to have picked a safe place to ride out the storm, where I have at least been able to take domestic flights in a safe environment.

During this pandemic year with my travel business in tatters, my pandemic pivot has been to write about future travel at Living In Asia. After a year of growing the site, I'm now rebranding to Future Southeast Asia.

This site continues my work on construction, transport, and infrastructure in Southeast Asia. There are lots of projects happening in the region, and this will more than likely become my primary site even after travel returns. If you're interested in keeping up with what new railways, airports, and hotels are planned in Southeast Asia, then subscribe to the free weekly newsletter => news.futuresoutheastasia.com.

Latest posts at Nomadic Notes

Notes on Long Xuyen – a provincial capital in the Mekong Delta

While I’m in Vietnam I’m slowly working my way through the capitals of each province (there are 58 provinces and 5 municipalities). This was my visit to the capital of An Giang Province.

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

Covid? What Covid? Taiwan thrives as a bubble of normality.

The next frontier in air travel: Digital passports as proof of vaccination or testing

Assorted travel reads

Amid a mass exodus, could ethnotourism save Dagestan’s mountain villages?

“Thousands of young people are fleeing Dagestan's isolated mountain villages in a bid for a better life in towns and cities. But can the region's rich culture be used to lure paying guests and livelihoods to these diverse enclaves — before it’s too late?”

The long lost city of Tamão is hiding in plain sight

“The mysterious forerunner to the resort city of Macau was a blend of European and Chinese cultures.”

Beirut's painstaking cultural revival

“Months after the city's tragic explosion, a team of curators are carefully rebuilding one of the city's most important museums.”

Behind the scenes at a five-star hotel

“For years, employees of the Pierre enjoyed some of the most enviable union jobs in New York City. How much of that will survive the pandemic?”

You can sleep in a UFO in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park

The strangest airline route in America is between stops in the South Pacific

Driving around Australia: Tips and advice for doing 'The Big Lap' around the country

Meet the Celera 500L: a business aircraft with exceptional fuel efficiency

Hong Kong Star Ferry converted into a luxury yacht

The Hong Kong Star Ferry offers one of the best sightseeing travel deals in the world. For as little as HKD 2.20 (0.28 USD), you can take a trip across Victoria Harbour and admire the Hong Kong skyline. Now you can buy a converted ferry for a mere HKD 21,000,000 (about EUR 2,270,100).

@nomadicnotes at Instagram

I went to Vung Tau last weekend, which is known as the beach of Saigon.

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Follow me at @nomadicnotes for real-time updates.


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