Photo A Day: Back in the Air

First trip in an Airbus A500-900. No overhead bins in the middle, only on the sides. Makes for a roomy feel. Here’s the route, BKK – HEL:

A great feature of this Finnair Airbus is the tail-mounted live camera. Here, in the queue to leave Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport:

Here, jukin’ out over the Gulf of Thailand:

Here, over the Gobi Desert:

Collected photos from this slow trip around the world here.

More Silly Menus

It’s so easy to poke gentle fun at menu translations it’s almost unfair, but it’s meant with good humor. So this, as we leave Asia:

I suggest skepticism of the approximate beef roll.

I know, you’re torn between the porcupine and the weasel. Same here.

Is chicken iap erosion due to climate change?

The deer may be fine but that damned vain hot pot, always going on about how great it is….

Mostly Daily Photos

A couple more as we begin to finish off our Vietnam visit. Here, one of those tumultuous tropical thunderstorms Ho Chi Minh City was eager for, as the hottest part of the year begins to draw to a close:

And here, lovely Dalat, Lam Dong province, just before dusk:

Collected photos from these few months around the world here.

A long flight across Asia follows, and before long we’ll be back in touch from Finland. For the moment (spring 2019) I’ve changed the header above to a nice view over Helsinki from the top of the original Sokos hotel.

Ho Chi Minh City Builds Straight Up

The most notable part of the HCMC waterfront the first time we visited was the Saigon Floating Hotel, towed up from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to accommodate an influx of foreign investors. In the first part of the 1990s, after a really tough economic period in the 80s, it was time for Vietnam to attract some foreign money, and investors needed a place to stay.

Interesting in retrospect, at the same time, investment firms were hanging their shingles on the doors of venerable old former Communist hotel rooms in the bigger eastern European cities, there being a dearth of international-standard places to stay in both regions.

The floating hotel was built in Singapore, lived in Queensland before HCMC, and was billed as the world’s first floating hotel in this feature from Australian TV:

Regulatory issues” closed down the floating hotel’s stay in HCMC and it moved on to North Korea. Time moved on, too, and by 2010 the Bitexco Tower opened a few blocks off the river, with 68 floors and just what any up and coming city needed, a helipad, shown here, center (the one with the helipad).

Now comes the Landmark 81 Tower, a brand new mixed use tower with associated high rises, comprising offices, a hotel, condos, a shopping mall, as of yesterday an empty ice-skating rink:

Week before last, on 28 April, they grand opened the 79th-81st floor observation deck. We went up for a look yesterday. Here is the view from the top:

At 461.15 meters tall and 81 stories tall, it’s currently the tallest completed building in Southeast Asia and 14th tallest in the world. Here is a pretty fawning history.

These (mostly) daily photos from a slow trip around the world are collecting on Earthphotos.com. See the archive page Around the World, Slowly.