Need to get away from it all? Spend some time on Tristan de Cunha in the South Atlantic. It is the world’s most remote inhabited island. The closest inhabited land lies 2,000 kilometres away and that’s the equally remote island of Saint Helena. The nearest continent is 2,400 km away and that is Africa. South America is 3,360 km away. You won’t be alone, though. About 265 people live in the British Overseas Territory.
Technically, the longest, direct, domestic airline flight in the world is between Paris, France and the department of Réunion in the Indian Ocean at 5,809 kilometres. The next longest is New York to Honolulu at 4,983 kilometres. For the longest over land, it’s Adler to Khabarovsk in Russia at 4,287 kilometres.
While many English-speakers refer to it as Holland, the lowland country famous for tulips, windmills and wooden shoes is properly named the Netherlands. Nord and Zuid Holland are two of the European country’s 12 provinces.
It might sound like the music from an ice-cream truck, but if you’re in Taiwan, chances are that’s the garbage truck. By law, you can’t leave your trash on the curb in Taiwan, but have to hand it directly to the garbageman which is why trash trucks play music to alert you that they’re on the way.
Even if you never send postcards, you will want to send one when you get to Molokai, Hawaii’s fifth-largest island. That’s because you can mail a coconut from the Hoolehua Post Office to anywhere in the world with a personalized message on it. The coconut is free, but postage isn’t.
The world’s largest thermal river is thought to be in Peru’s Amazonian rain forest. The “Boiling River” flows hot for more than six kilometres and is as wide as a two-lane road. Its temperatures are hot enough to cook animals that fall into it.
Each continent has a “pole of inaccessibility.” It is that point on the globe that is most distant from any ocean. The Eurasian landmass’ pole of inaccessibility is the furthest at a distance of nearly 2,645 km. If you want to get there, the closest city is Urumqui, China which is about 320 km away.
The furthest you can travel by train in the world in a single trip, including transfers, is from Porto, Portugal to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, a distance of 17,000 km. The entire journey takes about 13 and a half days.
Before the advent of TV monitors, airport terminals presented arrival and departure times on electro-mechanical split-flap displays. They were commonly known as Solari boards after their Italian manufacturer or as Pragotrons for those who bought them from their Czech competitor. Travellers old enough to remember the displays can tell you they made a distinctive clatter whenever the times were refreshed.
We call it Armenia, but the people who live there call it Hayk, named after the legendary patriarch of the Armenians who is said to be the great-great-grandson of Noah who’s Ark landed in Ararat.