Bits and BobsCatching up on the news from around the globe this week.

New Zealand’s tourism minister takes aim at poo-polluters

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New Zealand is keen to preserve its pristine environment.
New Zealand is keen to preserve its pristine environment.

New Zealand’s new tourism minister has a strong message for Australian backpackers. Don’t make a mess of our rivers. And by that he means, “Don’t use them as toilets”.

Stuart Nash said he will ban the leasing or hiring out of camper vans to tourists that aren’t self-contained. “If you’re willing to pay for a campervan at least you have the ability to dispose of your excrement in a way that meets our sustainability goals and quite frankly our brand,” he added.

A word for our times: Iso

Iso – an abbreviation of ‘isolation’ – has been named Australia's 2020 word of the year, beating coronavirus-related terms 'bubble' and 'Covid normal'.

Amanda Laugesen, chief editor of The Australian National Dictionary told ABC Radio the word was used in combination with a whole lot of things. "We had 'iso bubbles' and 'iso haircuts' and 'iso fashion'.

Among the finalists was ‘Black Summer’, referring to the summer of 2019-20, when devastating bushfires swept through south-eastern Australia.

Hey, this a cool place to stay

Still on the subject of bubbles…

Guests will soon be able to stay in an Arctic igloo inspired bubble on the banks of an Arctic River.

Igloo-inspired dome at Ice & Light Village in Swedish Lapland
Igloo-inspired dome at Ice & Light Village in Swedish Lapland

The Ice & Light Village can be found near the Arctic Circle on the banks of the Kalix River in Swedish Lapland.

The bubble-enclosed cabins have been built to allow guests to experience Arctic nature, including the Northern Lights. Windows in the walls and roof allow guest to connect with the wilderness around them.

Kazakhstan’s curtain raiser

Travel guidebook Lonely Planet has listed Kazakhstan among its 2021 Best in Travel destinations for its community achievements in tourism.

Kazakhstan has invested in its rural communities, ensuring a more authentic experience for tourists.

“Kazakhstan is having a moment. Revived interest in the Silk Road legacy of Central Asia has helped the nation step out from behind a curtain of relative travel anonymity to become something of a sought-after destination,” Lonely Planet noted.

From Chiang Mai With Love

The Service 1921 Restaurant and Bar - Chiang Mai's James Bond spy themed restaurant - has launched a new Michelin Guide menu.

The secret dining room at The Service 1921 Restaurant and Bar.
The secret dining room at The Service 1921 Restaurant and Bar.

Located in the 100-year-old colonial British consulate on the grounds of Anantara Chiang Mai, the restaurant in a mixture of plush lounges, al fresco seating, a bar, whisky room and a hidden dining room through a secret book shelf.

A full menu of Northern Thai favourites such as Khao Soi, Chiang Mai Sausage, Tom Yam Kob and Laab Pla is prepared by a team of chefs with locally-sourced produce including royal project organic fare.

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