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Travellers' checks

Adam Nebbs

 

Fun on the run Anyone inspired by today's Olympic men's marathon race, or last Sunday's women's event, can take part in something similar with Cathay Pacific Holidays' Mount Fuji Marathon 2012 Special package. The first annual Mount Fuji Marathon takes place on November 25 (so you'll have plenty of time to get in shape) and snakes around two of the Fuji Five Lakes, in full view of the famous mountain. The three-night package departs Hong Kong on November 23, and includes two nights with breakfast at the Hilton Tokyo and a night inbetween at the Fujisan Kawaguchiko Fit Resort Club Hotel; marathon registration fee; round-trip transportation between Tokyo and the starting location, and a certificate for runners who complete the marathon within the qualifying time. The package price, quoted per person, twin share, starts from HK$8,990 for runners and HK$7,990 for non-running companions. For further details and reservations, go to www.cxholidays.com and select Fun in Japan from the rolling options at the top. Packages for the Osaka and Kobe marathons are also available. For a race map and other details, visit the event website at www.fujisan-marathon.com/english

 

Oh, Calcutta! Dragonair has finally confirmed long-running rumours with the announcement that the airline will begin a scheduled service between Hong Kong and Calcutta in November. The so-called City of Joy was on Cathay Pacific's route maps from 1950 to 1970, when it was the carrier's westernmost destination, but in recent years the quickest way to get there has involved a change of planes in Bangkok. The birthplace of the likes of filmmaker Satyajit Ray and Renaissance man Rabindranath Tagore, Calcutta is India's cultural and intellectual capital, and the closest Indian city to Hong Kong. The best hotel in town is the historic Oberoi Grand (www.oberoihotels.com) which dates back to the 19th century. The even older Great Eastern Hotel (www.thelalit.com which closed in 2005 and has been promising to reopen every year since, is currently supposed to open some time in 2013. The new service will depart Hong Kong every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, arriving at 11.15pm and returning an hour later. More good news from Dragonair is that its seasonal Chiang Mai flights, originally scheduled to be wound up next month, will become a permanent scheduled service.

 

Cold comfort Starwood Hotels & Resorts has opened two ski resorts in the chilly wilds of northeast China's Jilin province. The Westin Changbaishan and Sheraton Changbaishan sit side by side, connected by a bridge, and if you stay at one, you can use the facilities of the other. Getting to the place, though, is rather less convenient. Your best bet is to fly to Beijing or Shanghai for a connecting China Southern flight to Changbaishan airport, which is about a 10-kilometre drive from the resort. As can be seen from the properties' websites (both accessible via www.starwood.com there's quite a lot to see and do in the vicinity; but don't wander too far - the North Korean border is only a few kilometres away.

 

Deal of the week Tiglion Travel has a two-night deal to Singapore, with plenty of hotels to choose from. At the lower end are the cheap and cheerful Ibis Novena (www.ibishotel.com) and Link Hotel (www.linkhotel.com.sg) for HK$2,690 per person, twin share. More interesting, however, and not much more, are the Mandarin Oriental (www.mandarinoriental.com) for HK$3,190 and Goodwood Park Hotel (www.goodwoodparkhotel.com) for HK$3,290, although both these hotels add a weekday nightly room surcharge, of HK$820 and HK$300, respectively. Prices include economy-class flights with Singapore Airlines and breakfast. For further details and reservations, go to www.tiglion.com or call 2511 7189 and quote package ID 2558.

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