On the road

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 April, 1996, 12:00am

Seats are available for a 12 days/11 nights train journey in September from Beijing to Urumqi aboard the Marco Polo Express.

The Silk Road journey is being organised by Holiday Tours and Travel. For further information phone Clare Lee at 2736-8855 or fax 2735-6878. The US National Park Service has backed a plan to allow increases in the number of ships to visit Alaska. It would allow 139 cruise ships access to the 3.3-million-acre Glacier Bay National Park in June, July and August, a 30-per-cent increase over last year's 107 ships. It would also prohibit cruise ships from sailing in the prime feeding areas for humpback whales.

If the Interior Department approves, the measures could take effect before this summer.

A fresh-water parasite found in the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia causes schistosomiasis, and the disease is on the increase. Estimates are that 200 million people in at least 74 countries are infected, and the World Health Organisation puts the annual death rate at 200,000.

Dangerous areas for travellers include Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines.

Once diagnosed through blood and other tests, the disease is treated with a single dose of a drug, praziquantel, which the doctors say is easily tolerated. But for those who are untreated for a long time, it can be hard to cure and there may be life-long complications.

Doubletree Guest Suites in New York and Boston is testing a high-technology fax machine that not only sends and receives faxes but is also a plain-paper copier, a scanner and a laser printer and can connect directly to a guest's laptop personal computer.

The system used by Doubletree also enables guests to receive stock market updates, headline news and travel itineraries.

Copy for On The Road should be faxed to 2980-3140 or mailed to Features Desk, GPO Box 47, Hong Kong.