Travel Briefs

The Cameron Highlands Flora Park (lot 191, 39010 Brinchang, Cameron Highlands) in Pahang state, peninsular Malaysia, opened in November 2021. Within the park, greenhouses, winding trails and picturesque picnic spots offer views of thousands of flowering plants. The park is open daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Entry costs MYR50 (near $12).

Australia opened its borders to leisure travelers for the first time since March 2020 on Feb. 21, 2022. Both COVID-19-vaccinated and (with medical exemption) unvaccinated travelers are allowed to enter, though those unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated are required to quarantine at an approved hotel for 14 days upon arrival. Regardless of vaccination status, all travelers are required to take a PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to travel or a rapid-antigen test 24 hours before arrival.

In the village of Ponte de Lima, Portugal, toys made in Portugal between the late 19th century and the 1980s — including dolls, children’s furniture and zinc and wooden cars, planes and trains — are on display at Museu do Brinquedo Português (Casa do Arnado, Lago da Alegria; phone +351 258 240 210, Nearly 200 Portuguese toy manufacturers are represented in the collection. Temporary exhibits are regularly held.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2-6 Tues.-Sun. €3 (near $3.40).


As of Jan. 16 in France, anyone whose completed vaccination or recovery from COVID occurred more than seven months from the present must also have gotten a COVID-19 booster shot or they will not be allowed to enter indoor establishments such as restaurants, theaters or shopping centers or indoor sporting events.

Delta Air Lines has removed the ability to earn miles in its SkyMiles program on Basic Economy fares. On Dec. 9, members of its frequent-flyer program ceased earning miles for Basic Economy seats purchased on or after that date on flights departing on or after Jan. 1, 2022. Basic Economy seats also no longer qualify toward maintaining Medallion Elite status, for which a certain number of miles must be flown each year.

At press time, Delta’s Basic Economy seats still earned reduced miles on the partner airline programs Air France-KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club...


On Dec. 2, 2021, a train connection between Kunming, China, and Vientiane, Laos, was completed. With that, it now is possible to travel from Lagos, on the southern tip of Portugal, to Singapore entirely by train (allowing for short treks between train stations in some cities).

When the shortest route is calculated, which still measures at least 11,654 miles, the trip includes 13 countries and requires multiple connections and travel visas. It is estimated that, with some required overnights while switching trains, the journey would take a minimum of 21 days.

On Nov. 6 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the new Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen (Museumpark 18; phone +31 10 441 9400, became the world’s first art storage facility of its size to allow the public access to its complete collection, which comprises 151,000 pieces from medieval to contemporary, including pieces by van Gogh and Dalí.

In the Museumpark next to the Boijmans museum’s original 1930s building, the bowl-shaped, mirror-paneled depot displays the works on five floors set at different temperatures. Gathered from five storage locations in the...


Marriott International ( announced on Nov. 24 that it would begin disclosing any and all resort fees, as part of the nightly rate quoted, before a room is booked. It is the first major hotel chain to decide to reveal these fees up front.

Resort fees are charged for amenities such as Wi-Fi, access to the hotel’s pool or gym and even parking and are often charged per night. The fees can substantially raise the advertised cost of the room. Typically, resort fees are not revealed until the end of the booking process or sometimes not even until check-in, a practice...