Lonely Planet’s Destination Editors have scoured the web for today’s top stories from around the world: a Shaun of the Dead tour of London gives visitors a chance to see zombie filming locations, reindeer are being fitted with reflective cuffs in Norway and Doha is set to get a new man-made beach, right in the city centre.
Stories by Lonely Planet’s Asia Destination Editors: Megan Eaves, Sarah Reid, and Joe Bindloss.
Alishan Railway. Photo: maviscwling, CC BY 2.0
Scenic train resumes operation in Taiwan
A scenic narrow gauge railway will resume operation in Taiwan’s Alishan Forest Recreation Area on 28 January. The railway closed in August 2009 after sustaining damage during Typhoon Morakot. The railway is renowned for its unmatched views of sunsets and cloud-shrouded mountains. Tickets go on sale 23 January. Source
Thai government declares state of emergency
Thai authorities have declared a state of emergency for 60 days in an effort to tackle mass protests. The decree gives the government power to impose curfews, censor the media and detain people without charge in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces (source). The news comes as Singapore Airlines cuts a further 24 flights between 23 January and 27 February to match lower travel demand due to Thailand’s political unrest. Source
Chinese tourists put Guam on the map
Micronesia’s little-known capital is fast becoming a tourism hotspot thanks to the Chinese. Analysts predict Chinese visitor numbers to Guam will increase by 50% within the next six years, the most of any destination. Just a four to five hour flight from most Chinese cities, the tiny western Pacific island lures visitors with its mix of white sand beaches, coral reef and air-conditioned duty-free shopping malls. Source
Kashmir highway closed by snowstorms
Heavy snow and landslides have closed the highway between Jammu and Srinagar, the two largest cities in the Indian part of Kashmir. Apart from trekking routes over the mountains, the Jammu-Srinagar highway is the only land route from India into the valley. Source
Mule train, Bhutan. Photo: prbuckley1, CC BY 2.0
Clean Bhutan project aims to clear up trekking routes
Under a new scheme from the government of Bhutan, the most important trekking routes will be cleared of rubbish three times a year. The tiny Himalayan kingdom is ahead of many developed nations when it comes to environmental issues. Timber exports, slash-and-burn agriculture and the use of plastic bags were all banned in the 1990s. Source
Stories by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo Cooke, James Smart, Brana Vladisavljevic, Kate Morgan and Gemma Graham.
Spain overtakes China as third most popular travel destination
Spain has overtaken China to become the third most popular destination for tourists, with a record 60.6 million international visitors in 2013. Spending by tourists was also up by 8.7%, according to government figures. Tourism represents 11.9% of all jobs in Spain and is especially vital …read more