Travelfish #437: Bike trips and asteroid advice
Information you can act on
Yes, late, again. At least I have a better excuse this time around, my son Will and I took a holiday motorbiking across a bit of East Java, and, well, I was too tired to write this! See the free Couchfish posts at the end of the newsletter for a day-by-day retelling of the ride—it was fab!
This week’s read of the week is an enviro-game by The Financial Times—try it out, it is clever. In Burma, we have more bad news to pile on month after month of bad, while if you’re after something more upbeat, try the piece on a “desert island” in Cambodia. In the environment, Hakai writes about decolonising conservation, while in Indonesia it is a mix of the good and bad—the old pics from Komodo are worth a look. In Laos, the good news the joint is open, the bad news is farmers are still facing difficult times there. Malaysia is into flood season, which is somehow a surprise for some, and it is sadly of no surprise that Singapore executed yet another prisoner. In Thailand, take a walk around a park in Bangkok or try some virtual grazing in Chiang Mai. In Vietnam (finally) people are screaming about the country’s obsession with cable cars, but the wet season is still something to be loved.
There is a tonne of links in the random stuff category—I particularly enjoyed learning how to survive a killer asteroid. The chicken rice piece is also good, but so long you’ll need three plates of the dish to get through it. Last but not least, there’s the latest off of Couchfish, my latest free piece, on tourism idiocy in Bali has proved to be a popular read.
The photos this week, are from our Java ride—there are loads more in the Couchfish posts (they’re all free-to-read).
Java riding 1
“Does this mean we can start riding home now Dad?” Photo: Stuart McDonald
The following chart is per capita—not total numbers. The dark green bar is the one that matters—it represents the percentage of the eligible population that are fully vaccinated. You can see a full-size and interactive version of the chart here.
Source: Our World in Data
So where is open and where is closed? This chart by Hannah Pearson at Pear Anderson summarises the state of play in the region as of Sunday, May 8, 2022. If you’re after a detailed weekly report on the region, Hannah’s report is the absolute business. To receive Hannah’s report in your email mailbox every Sunday you can sign up here (it is free!). This is my go-to report for where things are at in the region. If you have any queries or suggestions about how the chart could be improved, please drop her a line via the Pear Anderson website here.
⭐️ Story of the week
Can You Reach Net Zero by 2050? from The Financial Times
Out Of Options from Tea Circle
Northern Shan State Conflict Leaves Lives and Livelihoods in Ruins from Frontier Myanmar ($)
Volunteering in Cambodia from Move to Cambodia
Troubled Waters in the Mekong Region from The Diplomat
Notes From a Desert Island from Tales of the Orient
Land Loss and Debt: the Bottom Line for Misleading Microloans from Southeast Asia Globe ($)
Historic Komodo, Images of a Conservation Struggle from Southeast Asia Globe ($)
Indonesia's Raja Ampat: Balancing Tourism With Protecting the Sea from NikkeiAsia ($)
Villagers Fear Indonesia's New Capital Will Bury Their Culture from NikkeiAsia ($)
Laos Drops Testing for Vaccinated Tourists, Announces Full Reopening from The Laotian Times
Landless Lao Farmers Are Caught Growing Crops in State Parks and Forests from Radio Free Asia
“Surprise” Urban Malaysia Floods Drive Pleas for Climate Action from Thomson Reuters
Malaysia: End Secrecy on Major Land Deal in Sabah from Human Rights Watch
Hydropower Development in Sarawak: Sensitivities Over Sustainability and China’s Involvement from Fulcrum
So how do you compare different travel insurance companies? Read a comparison of Insured Nomads, SafetyWing and World Nomads here.
Singapore’s Muslims Cheer First Eid Without Covid Curbing Festivities from South China Morning Post ($)
Nagaenthran Goes Home, Datchina Wins Time from We, The Citizens
Chiang Mai Through a Chef’s Eyes from DestinAsian
Author Chris Baker Discusses Thai History, Culture & Conflict from Bangkok Podcast
Vietnam’s Cable Car Craze Is Driving Environmental Decline from Southeast Asia Globe ($)
As Vietnam Reopens, Villagers Seek More Sustainable Tourism from AlJazeera
Vietnam Tourism Has Been Revived. So What? from Vietnam and Boba
The Women Entrepreneurs of Early Modern Vietnam from New Mandala
How to Love Rainy Season from A Story From Connla
Random other stuff
In Pursuit of Chicken Rice from Guernica
The Rise of Digital Nomad Visas from Counterflows
Being a Brown Backpacker in a Sea of White from Astray
Books: Understanding Southeast Asia's Sea Nomads from Nikkei Asia ($)
How to Survive a Killer Asteroid from Wired ($)
Where Foreign Correspondents Capitulated to Autocracy from The Atlantic
The Hunt for the World’s Largest Owl from ABC Conversations
The Surprising Afterlife of Used Hotel Soap from The Hustle
I Lived the #Vanlife. It Wasn’t Pretty. from The New York Times
Combating Sensory Overload: How Zoos and Museums Are Redefining Inclusion from The New York Times ($)
Couchfish (Paid subscribers only)
Java riding 2
No shortage of greenery in Java. Photo: Stuart McDonald
See you next week!
So that’s the wrap. I hope you are all in good health and weathering Covid19 as well as possible.
See you next week,