Staying on Pictures of Australian Schapelle Corby being led off for an extended stay in Bali have served as a sobering reminder that for some travellers, exotic holidays can turn into a living hell. Thousands of former tourists - some guilty, gullible or unlucky - are now languishing in extremely unpleasant prisons across the world, many in Asia. Charity Prisoners Abroad helps prisoners overseas and operates the website www.prisonersabroad.org.uk , where you can read about shockingly poor conditions, see case histories, find out how to make donations and, should you wish, correspond with prisoners. Fair Trials Abroad ( www.fairtrialsabroad.org ) is a European Union-funded organisation that 'seeks to help citizens of the European Union accused of a crime in a country other than their own to assert their rights to due administration of justice'. It also offers case histories and highlights the problems of a particularly hard-done-by Prisoner of the Month. American prisoners, meanwhile, are remembered in the book Nightmare Abroad: Stories of Americans Imprisoned in Foreign Lands (below), by Peter Laufer. If you have time while travelling, your national consulate can provide information on prison visits and tell you what items to take along in the way of daily necessities and small luxuries. Visiting prisoners in foreign jails can be a rewarding experience for both parties. My three weeks of prison visits in Kathmandu in 1989 provided my most enduring memories of Nepal. Eastern approaches As part of Zimbabwe's 'Look East' policy, which is designed to attract business and tourism from Asian countries less demonstrative about human rights abuses than countries in Europe and North America, the national carrier recently began flights to Dubai. But Air Zimbabwe's management, it seems, was less than assiduous with its viability studies. The 205- seat Boeing 737 used on the inaugural flight left Harare with 49 passengers and on the return trip it carried only one. 'It reflects the level of mediocrity of the management at Air Zimbabwe, and it also reflects a management that has little knowledge of aviation, a management that acts on hearsay,' the country's irate Transport and Communications Secretary, Karikoga Kaseke, said. At the time of writing, board members were calling for the route's closure. Air Zimbabwe ( www.airzimbabwe.com ), which began flights to China and Singapore late last year, is also short of fuel, with stories of delayed and cancelled flights. Reports suggest the carrier, privatised in 1997, is under political pressure to maintain connections with East Asia regardless of cost. Visitors from China to Zimbabwe reportedly increased from 4,960 in 2003 to 24,437 last year, although the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority website's statistics mysteriously stop at 2001. Visitors planning to visit Victoria Falls might like to know police recently burned down 10km of curio and souvenir stalls nearby as part of a recent 'urban renewal campaign'. Three for two Luxury resort and spa Rayavadee (below) in Krabi, Thailand, is giving away a complimentary third night's accommodation along with meals and a massage as part of a summer promotion aimed at couples. Priced at 45,000 baht ($8,600) for two, the Rayavadee Experience package includes three nights in a Deluxe Pavilion, breakfast, two dinners and a 50-minute aromatherapy massage for two. For an extra 4,000 baht guests can upgrade to a Super Luxury Spa Pavilion. Visit www.rayavadee.com for details, reservations and a picture gallery of the resort and surrounding area. Deal of the week Swire Travel is selling a two-night package to Hua Hin in Thailand, starting at $1,990 and available until July 7. The accommodation at this price is at the Central Hua Hin Village (left; www.centralhotels resorts.com), or you can upgrade to the Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort and a Superior Room, Deluxe Room or Junior Suite for $2,190, $2,390 or $2,690 respectively (see www.sofitel.com ). The packages include breakfast and round-trip, economy-class flights on Cathay Pacific. Departures are in the evening but if you want to leave earlier, afternoon flights are available for a $120 surcharge and morning flights at $320 extra. Hua Hin is a couple of hours' drive south of Bangkok and airport transfers are on offer for $420 a car each way for up to three adults. Bangkok Airways shuttle flights, however, can be arranged through the Sofitel resort and round trips are available for about 5,000 baht ($1,000) a passenger. For details and reservations call 2579 6798, or e-mail email@example.com . Talking shop Four Peninsula hotels in Asia are running a 'Shop and Relax' promotion until the end of August. As part of this minimum two-night package - offered by the Peninsula in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila and Beijing (above) - guests receive 'personalised shopping baskets' containing store guides, calculators and other items, while chauffeured transport, spa treatments and 'luxury gifts' are also laid on. The Peninsula Bangkok's package includes a round of golf and an invitation to the Louis Vuitton private VIP shopping room. Per-night prices start at US$240 in Manila, US$275 in Bangkok, US$290 in Beijing and US$500 in Hong Kong. For details visit www.peninsula.com .