Travelfish #444: Very Pricey Lizards
There are smart and not-so-smart ways to do things.
This week, I’m leading with another “writery” piece discussing who does and doesn’t get to write about places.
The big bit of travel news for the week is out of Indonesia, with plans to start charging an admission fee of US$260 per head for visitors entering Komodo National Park from August 1. This is the latest approach to re-pricing the park and a discounted rate for domestic tourists has not been announced, nor has it been clarified if this fee will be levelled at dive operators as well. One should expect this pricepoint to devastate visitor numbers to the park, and it would not be surprising to see the park struggle to reach its now-capped 200,000 visitors per annum.
Assuming the new price goes ahead, I thought I’d include a coupla pics from the park this week, as I guess some will be shelving their trips.
Kids meet dragon
They’re not as close as they look. Photo: Stuart McDonald.
The following chart is per capita—not total numbers. The dark green bar is the one that matters—it represents the percentage of the eligible population that is fully vaccinated. You can see a full-size and interactive version of the chart here.
Source: Our World in Data
So where is open and where is closed? This chart by Hannah Pearson at Pear Anderson summarises the state of play in the region as of Sunday, July 3, 2022. To receive Hannah’s report in your email mailbox every Sunday you can sign up here (it is free!)
⭐️ Story of the week
Myanmar Military Atrocities Laid Bare in Gruesome Footage from Human Rights Watch
Siem Reap: Cambodia's City of Hope, Hip Enclaves and Heritage from The Straits Times
Small Monkeys Are Big Business in Cambodia’s Animal Trade from SEAGlobe ($)
Gold Plated Ancient Stone Found at Temple Site from New Straits Times
An Art Crime for the Ages from Bloomberg
In the Mekong Delta, Sand Mining Means Lost Homes and Fortunes from Mekong Eye
Komodo Park to Charge US$260 Per Visitor from Bali Discovery
Masks Can Remain Off Outdoors, Indonesia’s Health Minister Clarifies from Coconuts Jakarta
Happy Balloons Popular as a Party Drug in Laos from The Laotian Times
Hidden Bars Help to Revive Petaling Street, the ‘Chinatown’ of Malaysia’s Capital from The Rakyat Post
Company Tries to SLAPP Away Malaysian Forest Advocates from SEAGlobe ($)
Hangings Don’t Save Lives from We, The Citizens
Thailand Expects Number of Visitors to Increase to 50,000 Per Day from Thai Enquirer
Land of the Forest Temples from Bangkok Post
The Timeline of Thailand’s Tourism Recovery from Asia Media Centre
Vietnam Halts Scuba Diving Off Popular Island to Protect Coral from Tuoi Tre News
Phu Quoc Forests in State of Emergency from Tuoi Tre News
Bancông Cafe from Vietnam Coracle
Vietnam Lures Hollywood Crews but Censorship Hangs Over Film Sector from NikkeiAsia ($)
Vietnam Warily Weighs a China Base in Cambodia from Asia Times
Random other stuff
Inside the Chaotic World of Whale Shark Tourism from National Geographic (2018)
Dengue Fever and Zika Virus Make Humans More Attractive to Mosquitoes from Smithsonian Magazine
Can We Please Stop With All the Nomad Hate? from Brent and Michael Are Going Places
Amitav Ghosh Fable Pushes Us to Re-examine Received Wisdom from The Third Pole
The Women Who Built Grunge from Longreads
Travel Writer: Stuart McDonald from Rolf Potts
Couchfish: Southeast Asia’s New Borders (Old post, from November 2021)
Couchfish (Paid subscribers only)
Slow days on Komodo
They look slow but can move quickly when they want. Photo: Stuart McDonald.
See you next week!
So that’s the wrap. I hope you are all in good health, and thanks for reading.
See you next week,