Travel Newsletter: 20 August 2021

Travel websites of the 90s, Morocco's Mercedes Grand Taxis, a futuristic botanical garden in Taiwan, and ducks, lots of ducks.

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City. Here is this week’s round-up of travel reads.

COVID-19 and travel

• Singapore to ease border and other COVID rules as shots reach 70%

While the news is beyond grim in Southeast Asia, Singapore will be the best test case for opening up once the local population reaches a certain vaccination point. One experiment that has just been announced is the Germany - Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL). This offers “quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Germany if you meet all VTL requirements.”

• After a year without rowdy tourists, European cities want to keep it that way

“Pandemic lockdowns meant fewer crowds and less garbage. Now Amsterdam, Prague and Barcelona want to make some changes permanent.”

• She flew to Tonga for a weekend. 18 months later she's still stuck there

Assorted travel reads

• Slow journalism: Something to add to your summer reading list

“Eight and a half years ago, Paul Salopek set out on a long walk: 21,000 miles across four continents. He’s still walking.”

• It’s 1997 and you want to take a flight

The History of the Web takes us back to the early internet to see what travel booking sites looked like.

• Each dome in this futuristic botanical garden has a different climate and plant life

This reminds me of the futuristic Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

• Future Singapore – Construction, transport, and infrastructure projects planned for Singapore

And speaking of futuristic Singapore, this week I compiled a list of big projects happening in Singapore.

• "Merci dix": A swansong for Morocco's Mercedes Grand Taxis

• Banksy goes on mural-making spree as part of ‘Great British Spraycation’

• Discovering Slovenia's underground labyrinths, one cave at a time

• I took a 19-hour, overnight Amtrak train. Here are 10 reasons why traveling by train is better than flying.

• Click for a good video about ducks

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Dreaming of the day I can be riding around the backroads of Vietnam and Southeast Asia again. Until then, stay safe!

The Nomadic Notes Travel Newsletter is a weekly newsletter of the best travel reads and interesting travel news from around the web, and random ramblings by the editor.

- James Clark