Dispatches from a Wandering Hipmunk – Travel News Roundup

This is a Hipmunk guest post from Jodi Ettenberg, a former lawyer who has been traveling (and eating!) her way around the world for the last 3 years. Her views and opinions are hers alone and do not represent Hipmunk. You can follow Jodi on her Legal Nomads blog or on Twitter.

Hello Hipmunks!After some guest posting here about tips for travel to faraway places (and what to bring with you when you go), Hipmunk has invited me back to round up travel news and provide some dispatches from the road. I’ll be posting articles that I think might resonate with Hipmunk users, as well as linking thorough to photos or quirky blog posts. If there are particular topics you want to hear about or places that interest you, leave ‘em in the comments!

Daring Dining: Cambodian Tarantulas. After extensive travel in Southeast Asia, people often ask me whether or not the whole “people eating bugs” thing is real. It is, and as Catherine Price’s photo shows sometimes the bugs are of the …larger variety. Free range tarantulas – nomnomnom.

1235843398_chinese_new_year_2011_23 What’s for dinner? Bugs from Chinese New Year in Chiang Mai. (Photo credit)

Child-free flights or April Fools’ joke? On April 1, RyanAir issued a press release saying it would begin child free flights as of October 2011. With no mention of an April Fools’ joke and no statement the day after, they’ve left quite a few people scratching their heads.

Img_6703 Adorable girl from Laos says “who wouldn’t want me on a flight?”

Speaking of April Fools’ Day… April Fools on the Web rounds up the best of the online pranks every year, and they’ve already got their 2011 archives up and running. Your go-to place for April Fools’ time wasting.

Bronx Zoo cobra found. The Bronx Zoo’s resident Egyptian Cobra went missing from the reptile cage last week and in what was easily the best thing to happen to Twitter in awhile, someone set up a spoof Twitter feed. Now boasting close to 236,000 followers, the snake tweeted an imaginary trip through the boroughs of New York. With news that the cobra was found (in its reptile house, no less), @bronxzooscobra sadly tweeted “A great cake recipe: 2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 1 cup milk, 2 cups self-rising flour, 1 saw, 1 stick butter. And mix. Bring it by the zoo.”

Earth Hour Photoessay A fun, interactive set of photos from In Focus showing cities from around the world dimming their lights for Earth Hour 2011 (on March 26). You can scroll over the photos to see the lit and unlit versions.

An argument for travel during times of disarray. Should you travel to places that are in the middle of a political upheaval? Paul Theroux makes an argument for travel during turbulent times.

File this under “simple tips I wish I knew about before”: How to tell which side of your rental car houses the gas tankSpoiler: it’s on the car’s dashboard in most new models.

Crowdsourced science! Facebook friends help scientists identify 5,000 fish from the Cuyuni River of  Guyana. Faced with insufficient time and inadequate library resources to tackle the problem on their own, the scientists decided to post a catalog of their collection to Facebook and turn to their colleagues for help, and it worked.

With the New York Times starting up its new paywall, Atlantic Wire is now summarizing and curating all of their articles so you can make the most of your 20 free clicks.

MSNBC rounds up the world’s 10 most beautiful waterfalls for your online viewing pleasure.

That’s it for this roundup. I’ll be back on Friday with some more links, but until then please feel free to leave topics that interest you or destinations you’d like to learn more about in the comments!

-Jodi