10 things we didn't know last month
1. No more tom yum in your Thai tummy
Bangkok is facing a struggle to retain its culture in the wake of a decision to ban all street food from the city. Roadside bowls of spicy tom yum soup might be a thing of the past in the Thai capital by 2018 after authorities announced they were pressing ahead with a move to clear all vendors form the city for "order and hygiene" reasons. Bangkok is regarded as one of the best cities in the world for street fare and is renowned for scruffy pop-ups that peddle dishes such as pad Thai and Khao Gaeng and many locals feel that the more than 20,000 street vendors currently operating in the city add to the local colour and are popular with tourists.
2. Inch by inch the legroom is less
American Airlines, the world's biggest carrier, plans to cut leg room in its economy class cabins by up to two inches, in a effort to make room for additional rows of passenger seats. The seat pitch on the US airline's new Boeing 737-800 Max aircraft is expected to be reduced from 31 to 29 inches in three rows and to 30 inches across the rest of economy. Passengers in the seats with two inches less legroom will still be charged full economy fares and it is yet to be determined how the airline will decide which passengers will be given these seats.
3. More fivers needed to see the Big Five in Botswana
Botswana to hit tourists with conservation tax
A safari in Botswana is to become pricier with the introduction of a £23 tax on tourists entering the country. The Botswana Tourism Authority said the new levy will now be payable by any visitor passing through the country's airports and border posts.
4. When we Brexit, this village takes centre stage
Britain's impending exit from the European Union is being welcomed in at least one corner of Germany. The village of Gadheim in the region of Bavaria is still reeling from the news that, once the UK says auf Wiedersehen, it will become the unlikely heart of the EU. According to the ING Institute in Paris, the settlement of just 80 people will officially become the geographic centre of the bloc on March 29, 2019. The village, which is deep in Bavaria's wine country, is bracing itself for an influx of tourists when this happens.
5. Denmark's Little Mermaid sees red
Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid statue has been vandalised yet again - this time in protest at whaling in the Faroe Islands. The bronze sculpture, which is perched on a rock in the city's harbour, was daubed in red paint while the words words "Danmark defend the whales of the Faroes Islands" were graffitied on the promenade. Tourists continued to flock to the statue inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale and commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, while police were investigating.
6. Swiss village photos with a negative impact
The little known Swiss village of Bergun, which is a stone's throw from trendy St Moritz, has banned people from taking pictures claiming that the beauty has a negative impact on those on social media unable to witness it first hand. Mayor Peter Nicolay said he didn't "want to make the people outside the community unhappy."
7. Moody monkeys may come out biting
Risk of being bitten by monkeys as many think the animals are 'smiling' or 'kissing'
Tourists interacting with monkeys in places like Thailand and Morocco are mistaking signs of aggression and distress for smiles and kisses, according to research just published. A study by behavioural ecologists at the University of Lincoln concluded that tourists meeting wild macaques should be given crib sheets on how different moods in monkeys present themselves, to save them from risk of injury. Monkey bites are the second biggest cause of injury by animals after dogs in south-east Asia and one of the main causes of disease transmission between humans and animals.
8. Be vigilant in the Philippines
Military officials in the Philippines have reassured holidaymakers that one of the last unspoilt island paradises on Earth is safe to visit despite US government warnings that terrorist groups are plotting to kidnap foreigners. However, our Foreign Office repeated the American concerns adding that Britons should "exercise heightened caution" in certain areas, particularly the Palawan province.
9. 'Useless' airport welcomes first flight for a year
A £285 million airport dubbed "the world's most useless" has welcomed a commercial flight a year after it opened and more than a decade after its construction was announced. Sixty passengers flew into St Helena airport, on the tiny British oversees territory in the middle of the Atlantic recently. But the arrival from Cape Town of the SA Airling Avro was only because two ships that provide the usual method of accessing the island were cancelled. The airport opened in June last year but with a major proviso - large jets cannot land there because of dangerous winds. A Boeing 737-800 on a test flight needed three attempts to make a successful landing and now only small private aircraft have been cleared to use it.
10. Kids can fly free to Legoland
British Airways is offering free flights to children under the age of 12 to six destinations from Heathrow this summer - including Billund, the home of Lego in Denmark. The carrier has announced that up to two children can fly for free with a fare-paying adult on routes between the London airport and Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Inverness and Belfast, as well as the Danish airport. A BA spokesman said: "Saving every penny counts when it comes to a family holiday so flying kids for free will make it cheaper to fly away for fun this summer." Legoland Billund opened in 1958, nine years after the plastic toy bricks began life in the same small Jutland town.