Advertisement

Why does the US drive on the right and the UK on the left? Your travel questions answered

Editor’s Note: Sign up for Unlocking the World, CNN Travel’s weekly newsletter. Get the latest news in aviation, food and drink, where to stay and other travel developments.

In this week’s travel roundup, we bring you transport trivia, Roman engineering marvels and the world’s tastiest dumplings.

Did you know?

You’re probably aware that around 30% of the world’s countries drive on the left while 70% drive on the right. But have you considered why? In Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte had a big hand in it, while in the United States, we need to go back to the time of wagon trains. Read more here.

When flying around the world, and particularly in hot spots such as London, you may have been told your airplane is being kept in a “holding pattern.” We explain what they are and why they happen.

And as airline after airline raises checked bags fees, it makes you wonder why they charge so much? In the United States, at least, an obscure tax rule helps explain why.

Food and drink

The greatest restaurants in Asia for 2024 have been named, with Singapore snagging the most spots on the 50-best list. But Tokyo is home to both the No. 1 and No. 2 eateries.

When exploring the Japanese capital, you’ll find Tokyo’s oldest rice ball restaurant just a short walk from the city’s oldest temple. Onigiri – seaweed-wrapped snacks perfect for eating on the go – are found in convenience stores around Japan, but the 16-seater Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku draws visitors from around the world.

Bawan, wonton, daifuku, modak and siomay are just some of the Asian entries in our sumptuously packed roundup of the world’s tastiest dumplings, but you should leave room for all the doughy morsels from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the United States, too.

Rail connections

China has been pouring money into huge overseas infrastructure projects for a decade now. The Southeast Asia one could mean a 2,000-mile (3,220-kilometer) journey from southwest China to Singapore will take just 30 hours. Here’s how that’s going.

A simpler connection was made on Europe’s Channel Tunnel train in 2012, when a British woman and a French man sat beside each other on a warm spring evening. This is what happened next.

Whether you’re in a group, traveling solo or with your new international beau, packing well will make your next rail trip go better. Our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have selected 22 must-haves for luxurious train travel in 2024.

Tourism vs. conservation

There’s a new addition to Everest climbers’ packing lists: poop bags. Himalayan hikers will now have to take their excrement away with them as Nepal tries to address a growing waste problem on the world’s highest peak.

In Australia, Horizontal Falls is a sacred natural wonder where seawater surges in a gap between cliffs. For years, it’s been a must-see sight for tourists riding boats right into the action. But a new ban will stop them in their tracks.

Finally, a new resort in the Philippines’ famed Chocolate Hills, a protected natural wonder, has stirred fierce debate on conservation. After a public outcry, the Captain’s Peak Garden and Resort has been temporarily shuttered.

Engineering marvels

Italy is in a race to stop its 12th-century leaning tower in Bologna from collapsing – and the plan is to save it using the same technology that has already restored the country’s more famous lopsided wonder in Pisa.

Spain is also busy getting some long-standing construction tasks off its to-do list. Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia cathedral will finally be finished in 2026, officials have confirmed, more than 140 years after building began.

When it comes to enduring European architecture, one civilization excelled above the rest. The continent is dotted with lots of genius Roman creations that still amaze us today. Our guide tells you to where to see them and why.

In case you missed it

This Italian town is struggling to sell off its empty homes for one euro each.

Here’s why.

Spain’s lifestyle of siestas and late nights is making some people unhappy.

There’s a push for a change.

Gobnait? Muirgheal? Caoilfhionn?

Irish names you’re probably saying wrong and how to pronounce them.

They plan global travel for the rich and famous.

These are their secrets.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com