Travel Newsletter - 20 November 2020

City walking, future landmark buildings of Ho Chi Minh City, Koh Phangan and its inspiration for "The Beach", private jet pilots, airport food, and travel writers on if it's ethical to travel now.

Following up on last weeks theme of publishing local guides, this week I found some good reads about walking in your own city. Given that so many of us can’t travel far, it’s a good time to really get to know your own back yard. No walk is ever wasted by Matthew Beaumont writes about the experience of city walking, while Jeannette Cooperman wrote about the art of sauntering.

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

Is it ethical to travel for the holidays?

Editorial by JohnnyJet.

Is it ethical to recommend travel while the world is in the grips of a second COVID-19 wave?

Editorial by Christopher Elliott, with a follow up of his article here.

Is it ethical to travel now? With that freedom comes responsibility

And another editorial to ponder before the upcoming holiday season, this time by Daniel Noll from Uncornered Market.

Why Korea? Why now?

Andrew Evans from National Geographic on what it’s like to travel in South Korea in the age of the pandemic.

The last coronavirus-free countries on earth

Cut off for nine months, Pacific atoll conservationists emerge to Covid pandemic

We were sick of lockdown – so cycled from Land’s End to John o’Groats

“Two stir-crazy friends strap tents to their bikes and set out to ride the entire length of Britain.”

EVA Air launches speed dating 'flight to nowhere'

Travel news

These are now the 10 busiest airline routes in the world

Qantas celebrates 100th birthday in unfortunate circumstances

“Qantas became just the third airline in the world after KLM and Avianca to turn 100 years old”.

Qantas celebrates centenary with release of 'very rare' Empire flying boat film reel

Historic WA ‘ghost town’ up for sale with hopes of a tourism revival

Norway’s new passport may just be the most stylish in the world

Assorted travel reads

Ho Chi Minh City construction update – 2020 edition

Here is my report on what is being built in Ho Chi Minh City, including some new hotels that may become landmarks in the future. And maybe if you visit in the future you will arrive at the new mega airport that is about to start construction.

How a secretive hippie hideaway in Thailand transformed into a world-renowned beach retreat

The Anthony Bourdain food trail

Europe’s city of dawdlers and loafers

“The Bulgarian city of Plovdiv has an almost untranslatable word – “aylyak” – that manifests as a refusal to get caught up in the rat race and a scepticism about the value of overwork.”

What it's really like piloting private jets for the rich and famous

“Sometimes bad weather or a short runway isn't the biggest challenge, it is the cargo of VIPs you are carrying in the cabin.”

I miss airport food

“Don't laugh; the best part of flying was patronizing a chain eatery before boarding.”

What it’s like inside your plane’s hidden ‘crew rest,’ where pilots and flight attendants sleep

The History and Controversy of Slum Tourism 

I’m not lucky in random lotteries so I said no to this. I checked and I got a field in Northern Poland. Would you do this? I guess it depends, like do you get 5 million upfront so you can build a place on your random land?

[Would you live here for 10 years for 5 million dollars?]

Take a free audio tour of the world’s most relaxing destinations

“From bird songs in an Indian jungle to the flowing waves of a Sardinian beach, a new tool spotlights 50 soothing soundscapes.”

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Not far from the aforementioned Borobudur is the village of Dusun Butuh, which also goes by Nepal Van Java. I am itching to return to Java.

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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