Travel Newsletter - 2 April 2021

A train ride across Kazakhstan, Abkhazia, the oldest sites in Bangkok, Lake Toba, São Paulo’s Asiatown, and more travel reads.

Greetings from Phu Quoc, Vietnam. I’m here this week researching some massive resort developments that are under construction. It’s crazy how much is going on here, I will be posting stories on Nomadic Notes and Future Southeast Asia.

I’m quite happy to be travelling around Vietnam, but I’m also keeping an eye on future travel developments. I mentioned last week that Taiwan would be a good option, and there is talk of flights resuming between Vietnam and Taiwan. And now Taiwan and Palau have launched a COVID-19 travel bubble. Palau would be a great way to celebrate restarting international travel by visiting a new country. The only problem is that Vietnam-Taiwan still requires quarantine, so it’s not a Vietnam-Taiwan-Palau travel tube.

I’m enjoying seeing friends on Facebook posting their vaccination shots (mostly American, and no Australians or Vietnamese yet). As with international travel, I have no prediction when a vaccination will be available for me here.

[Rehydration break in Phu Quoc.]

Latest posts at Nomadic Notes

Where I’m At: April 2021 – Phu Quoc edition

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

A vaccine passport is the new golden ticket as the world reopens

Is Thailand's Full Moon Party over for good?

As I travel around Vietnam to touristy places like Phu Quoc, I see countless closed hotels and tourism-related businesses. I wonder how many of these places will reopen, as well as such institutions like the Full Moon Party.

Assorted travel reads

Love, loss and celebration: take a soul-nourishing 7500km train ride across Kazakhstan

The war correspondent walking the world

“For the last eight years, journalist Paul Salopek has been walking around the world, tracing the ancient path of human migration.”

Heavy rain brought spectacular waterfalls to Australia’s most famous rock

“A rare deluge at Uluru attracted tourists, locals, and a whole lot of frogs.”

Would the pandemic stop Paul Theroux from traveling?

I saw this article via a Loius Theroux Tweet, who has emerged so far from his father’s shadow that I sometimes forget they are related.

I revisited some chapters of The Great Railway Bazaar recently after reading some average travel books. This book ends up on “best travel books” lists all the time, but I needed to go back to it to realise how good it is.

Abkhazia, ‘the most beautiful place on earth’ you might not be allowed to leave

Photographer travels Asia capturing the beautiful patterns emerging in everyday life

Bangkok’s Firsts: A journey to the city’s oldest sites

Secular pilgrims: why ancient trails still pack a spiritual punch

At Lake Toba as a digital nomad, the world’s largest volcanic lake

I spent a month at Lake Toba in 2009 doing the digital nomad shuffle. There was no wifi there at that point, so every day I would go to an internet cafe to check emails, upload work, and download pages to read. It was tedious, but totally worth it because, wow, what an incredible place.

São Paulo’s Asiatown: A little piece of Japan halfway around the globe

“São Paulo, Brazil, is home to one of the biggest Japantowns in the world. Here, descendants of Japanese migrants have created a unique culture, fusing their traditions with local ones. An influx of Chinese and Korean migrants has transformed the neighborhood into a multiethnic community.”

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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