Big Buddha in the Mekong Delta

The future mega metro station of Saigon, wetlands of Iraq, Slovakia's High Tatra Mountains, Locorotondo looks lovely, and more travel-related reads.

After much talk and false starts, a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand began this week. I’m still holding out for a “Vietnam to somewhere” bubble, but at the moment I’m more worried about Cambodia and Thailand, who have both let Covid get out of control. we won’t be getting vaccinated for months here it seems, so we are better off maintaining zero cases until then. Vietnam’s most recent suggestion was for limited tours for vaccinated travellers, so not really useful for most people.

At Nomadic Notes I’ve published the last of my Mekong Delta reports from my most recent trip, and as usual here are some interesting travel-related reads from around the web.

Latest posts at Nomadic Notes

Notes on Soc Trang – Big Buddhas and superb soups deep in the Delta

Soc Trang is the capital of Soc Trang Province in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

New Zealand travel bubble: International travel feels like a privilege again

My post-Covid family reunion wasn't what I expected. But it was so much of what I needed.

“Before this lost year, flying to see my extended family was just another trip. This time, it was full of many reminders of what we had all missed out on.”

Assorted travel reads

Ben Thanh Station – A 3-line metro interchange that will transform Ho Chi Minh City

Walking Yangon

“A 10-mile hike through Myanmar’s biggest city reveals a coup’s toll on a once lively metropolis.”

Indian Pacific train trips resume as Australia's state borders reopen

Drought and abundance in the Mesopotamian Marshes

“The Mesopotamian marshes, a series of wetlands that sit near Iraq’s southeast border, feel like an oasis in the middle of the desert — which they are. The ruins of the ancient Sumerian cities of Ur, Uruk and Eridu are close at hand. The broader region, known as the cradle of civilization, saw early developments in writing, architecture and complex society.”

From Byron Bay to Bali, tourist hotspots grow wary of Instagram influencers

The last sherpas of Europe

“In Slovakia's High Tatra Mountains, porters still carry large loads of up to 100kg up and down rugged and dangerous mountain trails using skis, crampons and chains.”

The most expensive countries in the world to rent an Airbnb

This is an interesting study of Airbnb prices around the world. I was going to be clickbaity and say “You won’t believe No1!”, but no, you will believe it. Click through to see the full resolution.

Budgies transform Red Centre into a sea of green and gold

One of the things I miss about Australia is the abundance of birdlife. Even where I lived in inner-city Melbourne you could see flocks of parrots in the evening.

The world’s worst cruise? Sailing from Singapore to Thailand complete with monkey attacks, sexism and even a punch-up

[By Nathan W. Pyle]

Southeast Asia’s largest swimming pool in Indonesia

50 times people spotted simple yet genius solutions in their hotels and shared them online

Since you, dear reader, are subscribed to a travel newsletter I will assume you have heard of a chicken bus. But did you know there are pig trains in China? I did not know.

While I’m in Vietnam I’ve been working my way through the capitals of each province as a way to see as much of the country as possible. When we can travel again I want to resume exploring Europe by rail, and I would like to work my way through the provinces of Italy. With that goal in mind, I saw this Tweet of Locorotondo in Italy. It’s in the heel of Italy, and it has a train station, so I look forward to visiting one day.

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