The quest to visit every province in Vietnam, eventually
A new European railway newsletter, the woman who walked around the world, the uplands of Extremadura, the world's best Chinatowns, and more travel reads.
May 27 of 2021 turned out to be a significant day of the pandemic in my world. In my default home city of Melbourne, a 1-week lockdown began after a new outbreak started spreading across the city. And here in my current home city of Ho Chi Minh City, a shutdown of cafes and restaurants began. It’s not a lockdown (yet), but I went outside this morning with my laptop bag in denial that cafes have closed. We’ve had a good run in this part of the world, but the only way forward now is mass vaccination, ASAP.
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If you’ve been following my blog this year you will know that I have been working my way through the provinces of Vietnam. Now that I have caught up with my trip reports, and with no new travel on the horizon, this week was a good chance to take stock of where I’ve been and map out where to go next.
COVID-19 and travel (or lack thereof)
New newsletter! Europe Rail News
As if I don’t have enough to do with running this newsletter and the Future Southeast Asia newsletter, I have another newsletter that you might be interested in if you like to travel in Europe by rail:
Europe Rail News <= Subscribe here.
Why another newsletter? And why European railways?
Some people write plays during lockdown that will resonate for centuries afterwards, and it appears that I like starting or relaunching newsletters during lockdowns.
I subscribe to railway news sites to sift through news about railways in Southeast Asia. Most of the news items are industry-related, but there there is a good amount of information that is useful for European passenger travel. I also run a neglected niche site at Eurail Travels, so I might as well make a newsletter out of this information. It also gives me a chance to test out a new newsletter platform.
The newsletter covers new routes, service updates, train travel tips, ticket deals, and features on European destinations by railway. An example of a news item covered is one about the new railway connecting Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. When I visited Tallinn in 2017 I just assumed that there was a railway that connected the Baltic states, but there isn’t, yet. I look forward to revisiting one day, by rail.
The newsletter will go out this weekend. I’m still working out the format and frequency, so the best way to work it out is to start publishing. Subscribe here.
Assorted travel reads
“Seeking a deeper connection to the world, Angela Maxwell set off to walk it alone. Six years and 20,000 miles later, she brought that connection home.”
“Ancient monasteries, vulture sightings and thundering waterfalls — a hike through the dramatic, under-explored uplands of La Vera, in western Spain, offers enough to challenge both thighs and perceptions.”
On Makatea, an uplifted coral atoll marred by decades of mining, searching for crabs often requires gambling with the treacherous terrain.
“From Cuba to Canada, the global Chinese diaspora knows no bounds. Here, a look at some of the world's best Chinatowns – and what you might find when you get there.”
Sometimes YouTube does well with its algorithm, as it recently decided I needed to see the channel of Beau Miles. You could classify this as eccentric travel, or “marching to the beat of your own drum” travel. Such episodes include walking 90km to work and retracing 43km of hidden railway.
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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