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Travellers' checks

Adam Nebbs

 

Vintage volume Said to be the oldest continuously published English-language guide book, the South American Handbook will arrive on shelves in its 90th anniversary edition next month. Although its pedigree goes back to 1921 and the Anglo-South American Handbook, it was in 1924 that Trade and Travel Publications (now called Footprint Handbooks) gave it its current title. With readers - Paul Theroux and Graham Greene among them - having contributed regularly to annual updates, it has long had a reputation for being the best resource for travellers heading to the continent. By 1990, the book - which was still using hand-drawn maps until 1992 - had become so cumbersome that Mexico and the Caribbean were removed and published as two separate volumes. To mark the 90th anniversary, Footprint is also releasing a replica of the original 1924 edition alongside the 2014 guide, with once-useful information including "the best clothing to pack for a steamer ship journey"; "advice on choosing pack animals"; and "how to sustain good health in the tropics". Both books are now available for pre-order at amazon.co.uk.

 

Aman in Vietnam Amanresorts' 26th and latest luxury resort will open in Vietnam, on the coast between Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, next month. The first Aman property in the country, Amano'i (pictured top) will feature 31 Pavilions, some with private swimming pools, and five Aman Villas, all positioned on a hillside with views of either of Nui Chua National Park, a lake or Vinh Hy Bay. Pavilions are all similarly laid out, with a combined living and sleeping area and a wooden sun deck. With a live-in housekeeper and cook at their occupants' beck and call, the Villas comprise four or five free-standing bedroom pavilions, a living and dining pavilion and a private swimming pool. Introductory rates range from US$750 to US$8,500 per night. For more information and reservations, go to www.amanresorts.com.

 

Hot property Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei (pictured top), the first Banyan Tree hot-spring resort, opened a couple of days ago about 50 minutes' drive from central Chongqing and 40 minutes from the city's main airport. There are 107 suites and villas with private hot-spring pools and nine themed communal hot-spring pools. There are three restaurants but they mostly serve Cantonese food and local hotpots, with international cuisines available only in the all-day buffet outlet. An opening special, valid for stays until the end of September but which must be booked by the end of this month, includes a few minor extras, with accommodation rates starting from 2,000 yuan (HK$2,510) per night. See banyantree.com for more details.

 

Angkor away Angkor Wat, Cambodia, will become a more accessible destination for local travellers when Dragonair puts the town of Siem Reap on a regular non-stop schedule from late October, having only offered occasional charters in the past. It's unclear how long the service will continue as it's described as "seasonal" but while it lasts this will be the only non-stop service between Siem Reap and Hong Kong, with Vietnam Airlines flights via Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh being the most convenient options until now. Flights will, subject to government approval, operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from October 29.

 

Deal of the week Swire Travel is selling a Chiang Mai, Thailand, package that includes flights on Dragonair and two nights at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi (pictured top) from HK$5,150 per person (twin share) for Colonial Suite accommodation. The package is available until the end of October but Mandarin Oriental's management contract with the resort ends on August 31, when the owner will resume control and various accommodations will apparently be renamed. It should be an interesting time for guests - especially travel geeks - whose stays straddle this date. For full package details and online reservations, go to www.swiretravel.com and click through Leisure Holiday/Vacation Package/Thailand.

 

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