First resorts The Laguna Lang Co, on the central Vietnamese coast, is now up and running and consists of two resorts, both operated by the Banyan Tree Group, in its first foray into the country. The more upmarket of the two is the all-pool-villa Banyan Tree Lang Co, which has 32 lagoon pool villas (right) and 17 beach pool villas. The larger Angsana Lang Co comprises 229 suites - 100 of which have private pools (top). Also part of Laguna Lang Co is an 18-hole golf course designed by Nick Faldo. Both properties are offering opening promotions, which will be available until the end of March. The Banyan Tree is selling its villas from US$735 (about HK$5,700) a night (plus 15 per cent tax and service) for a two-night minimum stay, which includes US$735 in resort credits, and round-trip airport transfers for guests staying for three or more nights (Danang airport is an hour's drive away). Angsana Lang Co is offering a similar deal, with accommodation starting from US$280 plus tax and service, US$280 resort credits for two-night stays, and airport transfers and a room upgrade for three or more nights. Visit and for more information and reservations. Vietnam Airlines flies to Danang daily via Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.


Seychelles on the sea shore Hong Kong travellers will be able to take direct flights to the Seychelles from February, when - subject to final approval - Air Seychelles begins a thrice-weekly service via Abu Dhabi. (In case you are wondering, a "direct" flight needn't be "non-stop", but must use the same plane with the same flight number. It's basically an airline euphemism. Passengers on the Air Seychelles flight will remain on board and retain their seats for the second leg.) Published flight times are convenient, with a 6pm Hong Kong departure and a 6.40am Seychelles arrival, returning at 3.30pm and arriving back in Hong Kong at 8.40am. Passport holders of all nationalities can enter the Seychelles without a visa. For details, go to


On the horizon Koh Phangan's days as a relatively remote - if rather crowded - destination began looking numbered in March last year, with the opening of a Best Western resort (right) on Haad Rin Nai beach. The Thai full-moon party island's first international brand-name property was followed last November by an Anantara resort, but the real rush will begin next year, with the opening of an airport on Phangan. Under construction by domestic carrier Kan Air, the airport (which won't be much more than a landing strip with a thatched-roof terminal) will be on the east side of the island, and should be completed in the second half of next year. According to local reports, the shortness of the runway meant no environmental impact assessment was legally required.


Northern exposure The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will be extending its portfolio northwards from next spring, with the launch of a route that will stretch from Venice, Italy, to Stockholm, Sweden. The two-night journey will include a one-night stop in Copenhagen, Denmark. Various packages are already available for reservation, the longest being a seven-night blowout (financially speaking) with two nights at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, two nights on the train, one night at the Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen and two nights at Stockholm's Grand Hotel. For shared occupancy of a double cabin and meals, this will set you back US$6,490 (just over HK$50,000) per person. For details of this and shorter itineraries, visit


Deal of the week Between now and the middle of next month, business-class flights on Dragonair and a two-night stay at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa (below) will be available from HK$5,820 (plus HK$791 tax and fuel surcharge) from Cathay Pacific Holidays. Extra nights are offered at HK$605 per night. The price is per person for two travelling together, and includes daily breakfast and travel insurance. This package and other hotel options can be booked through