Travel Newsletter - 23 October, 2020

The city side of Ha Long Bay, a new Andaman sea railway in Thailand, the Cannonball Run in the age of the pandemic, walking the Silk Road, a map of all geotagged Wikipedia articles, and more.

Greetings from Saigon. This week I was due to travel to Da Nang, but Central Vietnam has been pummelled by multiples storms, and there is another on the way. Over 100 people have died, the streets of Hoi An are flooded, and in some provinces whole houses have been submerged.

My friend Ben at the Phong Nha Farmstay has been in some of the worst hit areas. I’ve donated to Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, which is on the ground helping in Central Vietnam.

Latest posts at Nomadic Notes

Notes on Ha Long – the city by its namesake bay

Ha Long is the capital of Quang Ninh province in Northeast Vietnam, and as the name would suggest it’s also the main city of Ha Long Bay.

COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)

During the pandemic, a lifelong travel writer takes a journey inward to reflect on what he has learned around the globe

The future of hotel design

Mobile guest rooms, enhanced contactless room controls, robotic servers and pop-up dining areas are just a few of the ideas hotel designers are considering for the post-Covid travel world.

Finnair is selling its airplane food in grocery stores

Travel news

South Africa’s unusual electrical plugs and sockets are headed for retirement

I have a bag full of assorted adapters from around the world, but when I arrived in South Africa for the first time I forgot to check if I had the right plug. I ended up wasting time looking around in shops for an adapter.

ZGF gives a first look at Portland International Airport's new main terminal

Berlin’s long-delayed airport is finally opening

A new bike trail will allow cyclists to circle Italy's Lake Garda

This is my kind of bike path - flat, and punctuated by multiple opportunities for espresso breaks.

Assorted travel reads

Chumphon – Ranong Railway

“The Chumphon - Ranong Railway is a proposed branch railway from the Thailand Southern Line, connecting the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea.”

The incredible story of the great Cannonball boom

“When the country shut down and the highways thinned out, a stealthy group of amateur car obsessives glimpsed an opportunity to revive the fabled cannonball run—the highly daring, absurdly illegal cross-country endurance race. And in the record-breaking frenzy that followed, they became legends of the unlikeliest pastime of the pandemic age.”

I spent 600 days walking the Silk Road, seeing the Caucasus and Central Asia by foot

A Glance at daily life among the caretakers of Britain’s small islands

20 of the most beautiful libraries in the world

Visualized: The world’s 100 smallest countries

The psychology of doom tourism and last-chance travel

The worst trip I've ever been on as a travel writer

Mt. Mayon lang malakas
Photo taken last July 2019
October 16, 2020


Wikimap: A map of all geotagged Wikipedia articles

@nomadicnotes at Instagram

Follow me at @nomadicnotes for real-time updates.

A 5-way intersection with bikes in probably 13 different directions, yet somehow it works. In the future I could see this intersection covered in digital billboards like Shibuya's crazy cousin.
October 19, 2020

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