Travel news: holiday inspiration for 2023 and the world’s most expensive restaurant pop-up

(CNN) — The world’s population hit eight billion this week, and sometimes it can feel like they’re all on the same flight as you.

Here are the rest of the biggest travel stories of the moment.

Wild world

A video has gone viral of a baby elephant tickling Kenyan news reporter Alvin Kaunda until he giggles.
The sweet interaction was filmed at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant orphanage in Nairobi, which provides a sanctuary for elephants, rhinoceroses and giraffes. Watch this CNN Travel video to learn more about how they get pachyderm babies back on their feet.
A Montana TV reporter became a meme in 2020 after he posted video of his reaction to an approaching bison herd in Yellowstone National Park. The mighty beasts were out of range, but Deion Broxton’s darting eyes and muttering, “Oh no, I’m not messing with you” told the tale.
Yellowstone tweeted afterwards that his swift departure was a perfect example of what to do when approached by wildlife. Check out this October 2022 video of a hiker who luckily escaped when she got too close to a Texas bison.

Destination Inspiration

Guide company Lonely Planet has revealed its top destinations for 2023, including the Ghanaian capital Accra and the Central American country of El Salvador. The night train between Istanbul and Sofia also received a wink.
If you want to explore Turkey beyond the capital, the Aegean coast has plenty to offer. We recommend Alacati, known locally as “Heaven on Earth”, and the paradise island of Bozcaada. And don’t forget to taste some local wine.
The marine wonders of Indonesia’s Raja Ampat — featured in this newsletter two weeks ago — were also on Lonely Planet’s list. If you want to extend your island hopping experience, try a luxury train tour of Java. The five-star resort of Amanjiwo offers a seven-hour luxury journey from Jakarta to Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple.

Food and hospitality

Sublimotion is known for its long waiting list, but in Japan a brand of frozen Kobe beef croquette is so popular there’s a 30-year waiting list to get your hands on a box. It’s best to wait a few decades before turning on the oven to preheat.
And finally, the world’s chicest hospitality interiors have been recognized in the 2022 Dezeen Awards.
Kelly Wearstler’s Mexican folk art-inspired design for Downtown LA Proper Hotel was named Hotel and Short-Stay Interior of the Year, and the calm mint green tones and recycled wood chairs of Copenhagen’s Connie-Connie art gallery café won Restaurant and Bar Interior of the Year.

Second time lucky

An American woman and an Australian man had a whirlwind romance in the 1980s, before marrying other people. Twenty-three years later, they got back together and this time they were determined not to let love slip by.

Misbehaving Travelers of the Week

A Frontier Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Atlanta on Nov. 11 after a passenger was found with a tube. Two days later, an unruly passenger was removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago after an onboard incident that sent three people to the hospital. Be sure to smile and thank your flight attendant on your next trip: they may have had a rough week.

In case you missed it

What do hotel star ratings actually mean?

A cruise ship carrying 800 Covid-positive passengers docked in Sydney on November 12.

A refugee who inspired “The Terminal”. died this monthafter spending 18 years in a Parisian airport.

The “most magical place on earth” is getting more and more expensive.

Travel gifts

It’s that time of year again. If you’re looking for inspiration for gift ideas, our partners at CNN Underscored, a guide to product reviews and recommendations from CNN, have put together this collection of 45 great holiday and Christmas gifts perfect for frequent travelers.

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