Coming & Going: This week’s travel news
By Andrea Sachs,
Floods and protests, new national monument, budget airline and Bourdain show
Two floods — one made of water, the other composed of protesters — have hit Thailand and Greece, but neither should keep you home.
In Thailand, heavy monsoon rains that caused rivers to rise are threatening Bangkok. But experts say the main tourist sections have avoided a serious soaking.
“Tourists are not really going to notice very much in the little area they stay in,” said Bruce McIndoe, president of iJet, which assesses international risk. “The central district is dry.”
Although hotels and restaurants remain open, McIndoe said the city is suffering from a shortage of staples such as milk. Hotels and restaurants, however, have adjusted to the limited supplies.
The floods have mainly affected the residential and industrial sections of Bangkok, areas that tourists don’t traditionally visit.
If you want to venture outside the city, check first with a travel agent or outfitter.
“It’s very difficult to travel north,” McIndoe said, “but the west, to the water and Phuket, is no problem.”
Meanwhile, in Athens, protests have been popping up in reaction to the economic crisis, and tourists and protesters may cross paths. McIndoe’s advice: “You shouldn’t gawk. You should walk.”
Sporadic strikes, especially among transportation workers, could also hamper a trip. So be flexible with travel plans.
“It will be inconvenient,” he said, “but it’s not like you won’t be able to get around.”
Congrats, Fort Monroe
Folks who keep a national monument and park life list have one more name to add: Fort Monroe.
Last week, the Obama administration established the Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Va. The 19th-century stone structure, named after President James Monroe, was instrumental in the fight against slavery. The site also appeals to U.S. military buffs.
Fort Monroe takes the 394th position in the national park system. Info: www.hampton.gov/fort_monroe.
Singapore Airlines is dipping its wings into the low-fare pool.
In June, the company plans to introduce the medium- to long-haul budget carrier Scoot. The planes will serve destinations five to 10 hours from Singapore’s Changi Airport, including a handful of cities in Australia and China.
What can passengers expect? Bargain fares (up to 40 percent lower than typical economy seats) and no frills (a la Spirit).
Celebrity chef-traveler-loudmouth Anthony Bourdain is gallivanting around the world again in his new Travel Channel show, “ The Layover .” The weekly one-hour series premieres Nov. 21. . . . The city that never sleeps will soon never stop laughing: The New York Comedy Festival yuks it up Nov. 9-13. Acts include such crackups as Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan and Wanda Sykes. Info: www.nycomedyfestival.com.
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