Travel Newsletter: 6 August 2021

Vaccinated at last, addicted to travel, Hanoi to Chiang Mai by rail, Trans-Iranian Railway, and more travel reads from around the web.

There has been a glimmer of good news in Saigon this week, with vaccinations rates escalating rapidly. I got vaccinated as I live in a household with a doctor, and then within days, I saw other friends posting their vaccination stories.

The city is now aiming to have 1,200 vaccination teams giving 200 shots per team daily (240,000 per day in a city of about 10 million people).

[Vaccination Part I (via @nomadicnotes).]

I have a full round-up of what I’ve been up to in this week’s Nomad Notes blog post.

Latest posts at Nomadic Notes

Where I’m At: August 2021 – Saigon lockdown edition

A look back at the last month of lockdown life, and other random musings such as being an uncle in Asia.

COVID-19 and travel

• Just as one swallow does not make a spring, one A380 leaving an aircraft boneyard doesn’t herald a return to normal travel service. I am interested though in how Singapore will try and restart travel. Singapore is the most vaccinated country in Southeast Asia by far, with 60% of the population fully vaccinated.

Why Phuket's 'Sandbox' pilot project matters to other islands in Asia

• Aquapunk pandemic protection in Vietnam…

Assorted travel reads

Hanoi – Chiang Mai Railway

I found a construction map that proposes a railway from Hanoi to Chiang Mai, via Luang Prabang. This is a dream railway that is absurd in its proposition, but I had to create a resource page for it to do my part in willing it into existence.

The Soviet spy steam railway that's still running

“Little known outside Germany, the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen -- Harz Narrow Gauge Railways, usually abbreviated to HSB -- is one of the few places in the world still operating regular timetabled steam trains throughout the year.”

Three women discovered they were dating the same man. They dumped him and went on a months-long road trip together. (Via Curious About Everything.)

Can you be addicted to travel?

“An exploration of wanderlust, compulsive curiosity, and the world’s most traveled persons.”

Outback sees biggest budgie event in 10 years

These Hawaii residents are using social media to fight overtourism

Qantas auctions off Airbus A380 business class seats, private flights to frequent flyers

Trans-Iranian Railway

“The Trans-Iranian Railway connects the Caspian Sea in the northeast with the Persian Gulf in the southwest crossing two mountain ranges as well as rivers, highlands, forests and plains, and four different climatic areas.”

Last month the Trans-Iranian Railway was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. It’s now on my list of things to do and places to visit.

A cross-continental recognition for the spa towns of Europe

And some more UNESCO sites to see.

“Unesco designated 11 picturesque towns built around natural mineral springs as a single World Heritage site. Their influence on architecture and landscape design continues to this day.”

NParks to develop 18km of recreational trails to link Rail Corridor to Dover Forest and Jurong Lake Gardens

The Green Corridor in Singapore is the old railway line that has been turned into a walking path. When I visited the path it was a mess of construction as they were laying a massive water pipe underneath it. I look forward to revisiting it in the future to see how it looks.

A perfect week in Istanbul (recommendations and itinerary)

Bucharest as a digital nomad

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