Weekend travel media top five

Among the best travel stories this last weekend of October: emerging Armenia, undervisited Northern Vietnam, a rail journey across China, top spots to celebrate Halloween (start your research for Halloween 2011 here!), and a wine-free tour of St. Helena, California.

1. In the Financial Times, Teresa Levonian Coles writes about the emergence of Armenia as a tourist destination. Her piece is inspiring and right on the curve. Armenia (along with neighbors Georgia and just possibly an apparently unwilling Azerbaijan) are moving into the tourist limelight.

2. In the New York Times, Jennifer Bleyer writes a piece on Northern Vietnam, providing an exciting window into an underexplored region of ethnic diversity and few tourists.

3. In the Globe and Mail, Mitch Moxley takes an entertaining ten-day journey across China by train, from Beijing to the southern tip of the country and then back again.

4. In the Los Angeles Times, Judy Mandell writes about top Halloween destinations.

5. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Spud Hilton attempts the near-impossible with a wine-free tour of St. Helena, Calfornia.

[Image: retlaw snellac / Flickr]

New British airport to cost more than $100,000 a person

Airports aren’t cheap, but the new one coming in on St Helena redefines pricey. The British government is getting ready to shell out £300 million (around $460 million) for an airport on the little island in the South Atlantic Ocean. This translates to £75,000 (approximately $115,000) for each of the 4,000 people living there. Right now, you can only get to the island by a ship that needs to be replaced – which would cost £64 million, in addition to operating costs afterward.

According to International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, the UK has an “obligation” to this British Overseas Territory to build a new airport. In the long run, the country’s ministers believe that an airport would be a better budgetary move, even though the last Labour Government scrapped the notion.

Fortunately for the folks on St Helena, the rest of the UK’s taxpayers will be pitching in some cash.

[photo by a.drian via Flickr]