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Adventure Travel / War Travel / Atacama Desert Travel / Chile Travel / Travel Tips / Travel Alerts / Dangerous Travel / → All Tags
View from the top of Toco Mountain at 18,385 feet on the border of Chile and Bolivia
Beautiful, isn't it? The Atacama offers an awe-inspiring combination of desert landscape, towering peaks, and refreshing lagoons, and travelers should spend as much time as they possibly can exploring these incredible outdoor opportunities. Just make sure you don't do it alone.
Hiking alone, or in a group that lacks someone with knowledge of the area, is never a good idea. It's a pretty basic rule of thumb when it comes to the wilderness. But it's even more true in Atacama. One wrong step, and you could find yourself missing half your leg. No, it's not the monsters from the movie Tremors. The real reason is perhaps even more peculiar: There are thousands of active landmines stashed throughout the region.
Travel Alerts / Tourism Problems / Los Angeles Travel / San Francisco Travel / Hollywood Sign / Lombard Street / → All Tags
Remember when SF decided to close one of its most infamous tourist attractions, the crooked Lombard Street, on certain weekends due to complaints by locals? Well, its rival city in the south, Los Angeles, is now experiencing similar problems with one of its landmarks, the Hollywood Sign.
According to the LA Times, an impromptu task force consisting of eight police officers has formed in response to "growing complaints from residents who say their neighborhoods are being overrun by tourist vans and rental cars drawn to the sign." Problems include double parking and congestion that has resulted in both physical damage and logistical frustration.
Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
While rifling though some old documents, we happened upon a US passport issued in 1952. Although there are few stamps over which to "ooh" and "aah," the design and requirements within the tiny book did open our eyes a bit as to how restrictive world travel was for the average American.
As you're no doubt aware, World Wars I and II really messed up international relations. As citizens of one of the victors, US travelers were at least more free than most when it came to crossing borders, but some countries still remained on the hot list.
Travel Alerts / War Travel / Delta / Airlines / Airline News / Richard Anderson / Ukraine Travel / → All Tags
When Delta yesterday announced their decision to stop flights to Tel Aviv, Israel "until further notice," they stood alone.
Within the next two hours, that move was echoed by United and US Airways, and eventually the Federal Aviation Administration themselves, who set forth a 24-hour ban on US airline flights to Israel, a ban which was extended today for a further 24 hours.
Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta, stood in front of the CNBC cameras this morning to explain their early and precedent-setting action, which goes beyond the single incident of the rocket attack nearby Ben Gurion International Airport to address danger due to "the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza."
Travel Alerts / Tel Aviv Travel / Israel Travel / Travel News / Airlines / Airline News / Delta / SkyTeam / TLV / War Travel / MH17 / → All Tags
Update: 12:30pm EST, July 23: Although yesterday's FAA ban on flights to Israel was originally only for 24 hours, it has been extended to last another 24 at the least. This only applies to US airlines, so flights to Israel on El Al out of JFK are still operating normally.
Update: 1pm EST: FAA has issued a notice (NOTAM) prohibiting US airlines from flying to or from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Int’l Airport for up to 24 hours.
Update: 12pm EST: US Airways, United and American Airlines now join Delta in temporarily suspending Tel Aviv flights.
At approximately 11am EST today, Delta updated their Israel travel adivsory from a warning that flights may be disrupted, to the fact that their flights from New York-JFK to Tel Aviv will not be operating at all "until further notice."
The stoppage is a temporary hiatus necessitated by escalating violence in Israel; the final straw comes with the report of a rocket attack in the vicinity of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. Naturally the danger calls to mind last week's Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy, caused by a ground-to-air missile. While airlines continue to divert their flight paths clear of Ukrainian air space, there are other war zones to consider.
Those currently or with plans to travel to Thailand this summer will want to stay up to date on the latest regarding the military coup and subsequent curfew. Here's the latest on what's happening across the Pacific:
· The curfew has been completely lifted in Phuket, Pattaya, and Koh Samui, and all businesses are running as usual.
Travel Alerts / San Francisco Travel / Lombard Street / California Travel / Tourism / Travel News / → All Tags
Bad news for those with plans to visit San Francisco this summer: The city announced yesterday that it will close Lombard Street, perhaps the most famous crooked road in the world, on certain weekends this summer.
According to reports, the local board received many complaints from residents about tourism on the street, citing traffic congestion and overcrowding that disrupts daily life. Tourists line up to drive and walk down the street, which gains its popularity from its steep grade, tight turns, expensive real estate, and beautiful views.
Bangkok Travel / Thailand Travel / Protests / Travel Tips / Political Travel / Travel Safety / Travel Alerts / → All Tags
Last time we checked-in on the political protests happening in Bangkok, a few airlines had reduced service to the Thai capital. Even though there's no immediate cessation of anti-government protests in the near future, can travelers still consider Bangkok as a safe destination this season?
Interestingly enough, Thai Airways hasn't said much when it comes to reduced flights or travel waivers. There is a warning on their website that, due to road closures, they recommend leave 4 hours early before a scheduled flight. Apart from that, operations are running as per normal and as if nothing was actually happening in the city center.
Travel Alerts / Terrorism / Airline Security / Airport Security / Travel Politics / Politics Travel / → All Tags
It's August. We're traditionally supposed to be talking about baby animals and the zoos where you can visit them, perhaps during "brew at the zoo" events. Instead there's this global terror alert that the United States issued last week, and one scenario is that Al Qaeda has figured out an "ingenious" new way to attack passenger airliners.
Let's run through this terrifying (and, for TSA critics, frustrating) scenario. ABC News outlined it yesterday.
Politics Travel / Ecuador Travel / Edward Snowden / Aeroflot / SVO / Travel Alerts / Celeb Travel / → All Tags
With his US passport revoked and an entire country's top intelligence attempting to locate and nab him, Edward Snowden must not be having the smoothest travel week.
Snowden, the source behind one of the biggest security leaks in history, successfully made it from Hong Kong to Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on SU213, where he met with representatives from the Ecuadorian embassy this weekend. What set reporters to licking their chops, however, was Aeroflot's confirming that Snowden was booked to fly on their nonstop route from Moscow to Havana, Cuba before heading on to Caracas, Venezuela and Ecuador.
Some media actually booked themselves onto SU150, hoping for any exclusives that'd come from being stuck in a plane together for the long-haul flight, while others simply booked tickets to anywhere in order to camp out at the flight's boarding gate at SVO.
Travel Alerts / Pollution / Singapore Travel / Malaysia Travel / Kuala Lumpur Travel / Travel Tips / → All Tags
For the past week, Singapore's skyline has been hidden by a cloak of smog due to forest fires over in Indonesia. Fortunately for Singapore, Monday has brought some relief and sunny skies as winds blew all the smoke up to Malaysia, but they're not quite in the clear yet.
Officials are warning Singapore's residents and visitors not to bet on better weather, as the situation can easily go pear-shaped again as the smoke relies on weather patterns. With this in mind, here are some tips for braving the poor air quality in both Malaysia and Singapore:
Last Sunday, the source behind one of the biggest security leaks in history showed his face for the first time in an interview with Guardian reporters from a hotel suite somewhere in Hong Kong. Edward Snowden had flown to HK from his home in Hawaii, leaving behind his girlfriend, his family, and his six-figure salary as an employee with Top Secret clearance at defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.
In the last week, there's been almost as much speculation over the next steps for Snowden, as for his leaks of NSA's massive surveillance program. There are a few established facts regarding Snowden's travels; that he flew to Hong Kong, was living in The Mira Hotel in Kowloon up until recently, visited the Guardian reporters at the W Hotel also in Kowloon, and that he hopes to eventually seek asylum in Iceland.