Categories
Journalism Travel

Worth Reading: An In-Depth NYT Travel Story on Cuenca, Ecuador and the Country’s Southern Coast

Long-time Newley.com readers will recall that about a decade ago I spent a year living and working in the fascinating, staggeringly picturesque city Cuenca, Ecuador, which is situated some 8,000 feet high in the Andean foothills.

I loved my time there, met some great people who remain my close friends, and think of the country often.

Indeed, I still keep an eye on international news about Ecuador, and came across this recent New York Times travel story by Michelle Higgins, headlined “Three Sides of Ecuador“:

On our nine-day trip in July we focused on three of these offerings — beaches, mountains and colonial charm. The plan was to head north along the Pacific coast, then head east into the Andean highlands for high-altitude trails before spending time with family in the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca, where my mother was born. (We ended up doing it all, but not in that order, given our detour.)

Many travel pieces about the country focus, understandably, on other places: destinations in the north (the capital, Quito), the east (the Amazon jungle), and/or the far west (the Galapagos).

But this story, I was delighted to find, is not just about Cuenca, but about other areas I know well, like Cajas National Park and towns along the country’s southern coast coast, such as Puerto Lopez.

The food, the people, the insane driving conditions, and even the whale watching: there’s lots of good stuff here. And there’s a slideshow of photos by Meridith Kohut.

Categories
Thailand

Travelfish Founder Stuart McDonald Talks Southeast Asia Travel

If you’re interested in Southeast Asia travel, you might enjoy listening to this podcast interview with Stuart McDonald, founder of the travel site Travelfish.org.

McDonald has been traveling in the region for more than 20 years, and has some interesting thoughts on how travel — and travelers — have changed over time.

He talks mainly about Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia, and suggests an intinerary for a one-month tour through the region. His recommendation might surprise you.

Categories
Bangkok Thailand

NY Times: ’36 Hours in Bangkok’

I often enjoy the The New York Times‘s “36 Hours in…” dispatches.

The travel pieces usually convey, in perhaps 1,500 words, both the destination’s atmosphere and practical tips for visiting.

So I was delighted to see today’s “36 Hours in Bangkok,” by veteran correspondent Thomas Fuller.

I especially like the lede, because it mirrors much of my affection for the Thai capital:

Bangkok has hit the sweet spot. It’s modern but far from antiseptic, filled with luxuries, pampering and great food — but still affordable. In the glare of the tropical sun it can be an ugly sprawl of tangled wires and broken pavement. Yet amid the chaos, visitors find charm and, above all, character. Somehow extremes coexist: skyscrapers and moldy tenements; high-end, cloth-napkin dining and tasty street food stalls; five-star hotels and fleabag guesthouses overflowing with backpackers; libidinous hedonism and Buddhist meditation. To travel across Bangkok is to see several worlds at once. Increasingly it is also convenient. The city of paralyzing traffic now has ample public transportation options ranging from boats to an expanding subway system. But if there is one reason visitors return again and again to Bangkok, it is the people. The anonymity and daily grind of urban life is slowly wearing away at the legendary Thai smile. Yet Bangkok remains one of the friendliest cities on the planet, still infused with the Thai village traditions of hospitality and graciousness.

There’s also a slideshow.

Categories
Thailand

Thai Airways to launch budget airline next year

2011 05 23 TG

MCOT says Thai Airways will launch a low-cost carrier in April, 2012:

The new airline has not yet been given a name. “Thai Silk”, “Thai Wings” and “Thai Fly” were initially offered for selection by the public and THAI staff.

And:

Mr Ampon added that the board, meanwhile, approved the extension period of THAI and Singapore’s Tiger Airways contract for another three months. If by then Thai Tiger Aiways, earlier planned to be operated by both airlines, cannot yet be set up, Thai Airways International will cancel its joint venture with the Singaporean counterpart.

There are also stories from Reuters, the WSJ and the Bangkok Post.

Categories
Thailand

A polished version of the vintage Thailand travel poster

You may recall that I pointed out a striking vintage Thailand travel poster back in January.

The image comes from the Boston Public Library’s collection of travel posters, viewable on Flickr.

Here’s the poster again:

2011 01 18 siam travel

Fast forward a few months. I received an interesting email yesterday from a Tim in Massachusetts. He wrote:

…I came across your site purely by accident as I was looking for a copy of that SIAM poster that had an unobliterated printer’s stamp. I pulled my copy from the Boston Public Library site and then repaired it with Photoshop and did an auto-set color levels and contrast to brighten it up. I wasn’t able to find a copy with an undamaged, printer’s stamp so I’ve opted to erase it entirely. Anyhow, I just wanted to pass it on to you if you care to update yours with the one I’ve fixed up…

Below is Tim’s repaired image. You’ll notice that the corners have been cleaned up, and the image is a bit clearer. While the vintage version has an interesting, frayed look, perhaps this one is closer to how the original appeared:

2011 04 06 thailand travel poster

Thanks for sharing, Tim.