Travellers' checks

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 July, 2005, 12:00am
 

Boeing, Boeing, gone


It's not every day you see an airline advertising an aircraft for sale on the front page of its website, but that's how Sudan Airways is trying to shift a Boeing 707. Being offered 'as is', with 41,455 flying hours on the clock, the aircraft is in use as a cargo plane, but was originally part of the carrier's passenger fleet. Given that the Boeing 707 went into service in 1958 with Pan Am on the New York to Paris run, it is now a museum piece, although this particular model first flew in 1974. Sudan Airways, established in the late 1940s, is trying to privatise and is also looking, through its website, for buyers for the whole airline. You can put in an offer for the plane (the same type flown by John Travolta) at www.sudanair.com, where you might also notice the lettering used for the headings at the top of each page looks familiar. For reasons best known to the site's designers, they have chosen to use the official font of the Walt Disney Corporation.


Into Africa


Walker and Hammond Safaris, known for its bespoke, upmarket African itineraries, is selling an 11-day 'flying safari' package to Kenya. Starting in Nairobi, the Wings Over Kenya safari includes three nights at Sosian Ranch (www.fireps.com/sosianranch) on the Laikipia Plateau and two nights at the Desert Rose lodge (www.desertrosekenya.com) in the Northern Frontier District (an hour's flight over the Karisia Hills connects the two). Last but far from least are three nights at Serian (www.serian.net), a luxury tented camp in the Masai Mara where visitors will be accommodated in tents featuring period furniture and enjoy 'an unforgettable feast of wildlife experiences'. The price also includes full board with drinks, park entrance fees, internal flights and safari guide services throughout. The only thing not included is the international air fare. If you depart on selected days


in August, the package price is US$4,810 a person, rising to US$6,080 during any other month. For a full itinerary and reservations call 2575 7477, or e-mail whsadventure@biznetvigator.com. For more information visit www.alexsafari.com, where you can also plan and request your own tailor-made safari.


Do the maths


While online hotel rates are generally cheaper than walk-in rates, sometimes it can be worth paying the regular published price. Shangri-La hotels, for example, offer a range of extras that could make it more economical to pay the full rate. Included in their Value Rate promotion at city hotels are complimentary buffet breakfast, unlimited laundry and dry cleaning, unlimited broadband internet access, free local and IDD calls, faxes 'at cost', round-trip airport limousine transfers and an extended 6pm check-out time. Shangri-La resorts offer similar benefits, with free non-motorised water sports and a buffet dinner, but no dry cleaning or airport transfers. Book direct at www.shangri-la.com.


Lost luggage


It seems the Filipino gang using scantily dressed women to distract male travellers, mentioned here a few weeks ago, weren't the only thieves operating at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Three auxiliary policemen have also been caught helping themselves to tourists' belongings, notably laptop computers, of which 100 were recently found at the home of one of the officers. One of the three somehow managed to drop his motorcycle keys (which carried a registration number) into the bag of a Hong Kong-bound traveller while rifling through it and more upstanding colleagues were alerted. Jewellery, cameras and foreign currency were also seized at the homes of each policeman, so if you've had anything mysteriously disappear from your luggage after flying out of Kuala Lumpur, consider making a report through the airline if you haven't already done so.


Opening offer


Originally opened in 1928, the Hotel de la Paix in Siem Reap is due to reopen on July 25 after extensive remodelling. The 107-room property will now feature nine rooftop spa suites and five garden suites with outdoor bathtubs and private terraces. The Special Opening Promotion offers three nights' accommodation for the price of two, with a la carte breakfast. Deluxe rooms cost US$165 a night, and the suites are US$360 and US$240 respectively. The offer is available until the end of October. For a look at the hotel, or to make a reservation, visit www.hoteldelapaixangkor.com.


Inflight entertainment


Hot on the heels of Virgin Atlantic's inflight Japanese-language courses, Singapore Airlines has combined with Berlitz to offer all passengers lessons in 11 languages, including English, Cantonese, Putonghua, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. The carrier promises 'self tests, games and a pronunciation function to facilitate learning, while making it interesting and fun at the same time'. Anyone completing a course will receive a Berlitz certificate in the mail.


Deal of the week


Until August 27 you can spend two nights in Chiang Mai for less than $3,000 a person. With round-trip, economy-class flights on Thai Airways, the following hotels are available at these prices: Novotel Chiang Mai (www.accorhotels-asia.com), $2,590; Royal Princess Chiang Mai (www.dusit.com), $2,690; Sheraton Chiang Mai (www.sheraton.com), $2,790; and the Jirung Health Resort (www.spaofeternity.com), $2,990. Airport transfers, breakfast and travel insurance are included. For details, contact Farrington American Express Travel on 3121 3000 (Hong Kong) or 3121 3900 (Kowloon), or e-mail info@farringtonamex.com, quoting package ID L2005FSP0163.


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