Latest in Travel: Kerala’s Champions Boat League Returns, Cayman Islands Shed All COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and More

Futuristic innovations and hearty comebacks in the railways sector call for celebrations home and abroad.

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Kerala’s tranquil backwaters to feature electrifying snake boat races between September 4, 2022 and November 26, 2022. Photo by- Dreame Walker/ Shutterstock

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Snake boats to crowd Kerala’s backwaters in Champions Boat League, 2022

Calm Kerala backwaters transform into a cauldron of bubbling exhilaration as teams of rowers put their best oars forward in the Champions Boat League every year. The magnificent snake boats, locally known as chundan vallams, are geared up for yet another thrilling season this year. The three-month affair will be commemorated on September 4, 2022 in Alappuzha among 12 venues planned for the event. A mark of Kerala’s age-old traditions, the occasion is celebrated with utmost enthusiasm and splendour as skilled rowers display jaw-dropping coordination on sublime snake boats that make for a sight not to be missed.

 

Maglev trains take to the skies in China

China set in motion the world’s first suspended magnetic levitation trains in Xingguo county of the Jiangxi province. Known as the Red Rails, they operate on a 26,000 feet track 10 metres above the ground. The trains are engineered to run on magnetic force that generates repulsion strong enough to propel a train with 88 passengers mid-air. No physical contact with the rail is established as the train speeds at a maximum of 80 km/h. The futuristic innovation is the talk of the town for its mark as a technological success that combats massive electromagnetic radiation and splurge of big bucks in construction, compared to traditional rails.

 

Tracks between Dimapur-Kohima to ease travel within Nagaland

Nagaland’s capital city, Kohima, will soon be dotting the Indian railways map. In a bid to amp up tourism, an 83-kilometre rail line across four districts and eight railway stations of the state is under development as a part of the PM act east policy. The construction is expected to wrap up in three phases with a total budget of Rs6,648 crores from the government. Phase-1 is complete and ready for launch soon, while Phase-2 is expected to wrap up by 2023 and Phase-3 in 2026. The travel itinerary between Dimapur and Kohima sees railways overcome difficult terrains in a seismic 5 zone, prone to earthquakes. Elevated tracks through tunnels worth 31kilometres are testimonies of attempts to infuse the best of technology to ensure safety for travelling in the region. The inauguration of the rail line will cut down travel time between Dimapur and Kohima to half the current 3-4 hours. It is expected to impact 2.5 million people and prove advantageous to freight transport as well as the economy of Nagaland.

 

Cayman Islands slash COVID-19 restrictions

Latest to open doors to pre-pandemic days, Cayman Islands have eliminated all COVID-19 entry protocols. Travellers paradise atop the Caribbean sea will no longer be mandated to secure travel declarations, provide vaccination documents or abide by quarantine rules, which were previously necessary. Furthermore, all limitations on gatherings in public or private spaces have been removed. Mask directives remain mandatory in healthcare facilities, places of detention and prison while churches, restaurants, bars and other commercial places have made it discretionary. As the last of travel restrictions bid adieu on the August 24, Travel Cayman, which previously allotted permission for entry into the region, has been disbanded.

 

Luxury train Maharajas Express back on tracks

Post a pandemic-induced two-year halt, the king of luxury Indian railways, Maharajas Express is back with four signature tour packages. The ‘Indian Panorama’, ‘The Indian Splendour’, ‘The Heritage of India’ and the ‘Treasure of India’ take travellers through outstanding Indian terrains and monumental destinations such as the Taj Mahal, scenic spots of Jaipur and the vast greens of Ranthambore. The former three host tourists for seven days and six nights, while the latter is a compact package lasting four days and three nights. The luxury train comes equipped with amenities such as in-house movies, internet facilities and LCD TVs in premium luxury suites that passengers can choose from for a royal experience. Bookings are now open on the official site.

 

Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park reopens famed lava tube

Gates to the Nahuku lava tube of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have reopened to tourists post detection of abnormal movements at the peak of the tube’s ceiling. The 500-year-old tube was shut down for a period of 18 days starting July 30 for monitoring and inspection as a crackmeter recorded a fracture narrowing by 2.47mm over the course of a few hours. This could have been in response to other cracks in the tube widening, raising concerns of the overhead rock slabs posing danger. Park scientists kept a close eye on the cracks and flared a green flag to reopen the tube for visitors only once movements returned to normalcy. The tube welcomes tourists 24 hours a day. However, the best visiting hours are early mornings or late evenings to avoid flocking crowds.

 

To read more stories on travel, cities, food, nature, and adventure, head to our web forum here or our new National Geographic Traveller India app here.

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  • Sudrisha Goswami hopes to connect people with engaging stories from spectrums of art, culture, design and communities. She can be spotted sipping a cup of hot chocolate on any given day with a book in her hand and her eyes scanning crowds for different journeys.

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