Inside track Going to Bhutan (below) is expensive. The reclusive kingdom requires tourists to spend a minimum daily amount (from US$160 to US$200) and only the more upmarket and pricy foreign travel agents organise trips there. It is now possible, however, to organise your own visit through the internet with a Bhutanese agent. Bhutan Yodsel, which is based in the capital, Thimphu, provides a step-by-step guide to applying for your visa and organising everything else: accommodation, trekking and flights with Druk Air. You still have to pay the government's minimum daily rate, but you save on high foreign-agent commissions and will be putting cash into the local economy. Druk Air flights to Bhutan depart from Delhi, Calcutta, Dhaka and, more conveniently for Hong Kong travellers, Bangkok. See www.bhutanyodsel.com.bt for more information. Urban planning The newly refurbished Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur (formerly the Grand Maya), on Jalan Ampang, describes itself as a 'boutique urban resort' and promises 'an epitome of class with a twist of nature' among other, similarly intangible beckonings. Rustic timber flooring in all 207 rooms and suites is a more specific enticement, as is the fact each is designed to fill with natural light. The Maya is running a series of promotions, the most interesting of which is the Stay & Shop Weekend package, available on Fridays and Saturdays only. Prices start at 1,035 ringgit ($2,190), including tax and service, for two nights' studio accommodation for two people. Also included are breakfast, a Nyonya cuisine dinner, one English afternoon tea, minibar consumption (replenishment once daily) and unlimited in-room broadband and Wi-fi internet access. The price is valid until June 30. See www.hotelmaya.com.my for reservations and further details. Ladies' rooms The Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok is offering a Girlfriends Getaway package, which includes some female-friendly extras designed to spice up a trip to the city. Best suited to groups of four, the deal includes a two-bedroom river-view suite, a choice of numerous treatments at the Chi Spa (below), a 100-dish buffet breakfast at the riverside cafe, spa cuisine lunch at the cafe or poolside and the services of a shopping concierge, with car, for a four-hour spree. Available until September 1, the package is priced at US$249 a person a night. Additional nights without the extras are available for US$405, if you keep the suite, or US$155 a room a night for a deluxe room, double occupancy. Reservations can be made online through www.shangri-la.com . Lights, Cymru, action North Wales might not have the same pulling power as New Zealand, Paris or Prague when it comes to film-location tourism, but it has enough relevant places to justify a new movie map, which can be viewed online. Among the stars to have stormed the ramparts of some of its castles (such as Caernarvon, left) or hammed it up in the fairytale valleys and mountains are Kirk Douglas, in The Vikings (1958), and Richard Gere, in First Knight (1995). Wales has even doubled for Asia, with a couple of Bollywood film crews raising eyebrows in pubs and a Chinese walled town having been built near Nantmor for the 1958 Ingrid Bergman film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. See www.moviemapnw.co.uk . Deal of the week Until the end of June, $4,790 will buy three nights in Sydney (below) from Farrington American Express Travel, with accommodation at the comfortable Citigate Sebel ( www.mirvachotels.com.au ), a few blocks from the city centre. Other hotels on offer include the Carlton Crest ( www.carlton hotels.com.au) for $5,090; the Avillion ( www.avillion.com.au ) for $5,450; the Swissotel ( www.sydney.swissotel.com ) for $5,550; and the Shangri-La hotel ( www.shangri-la.com ) for $6,590. All prices are per person, twin share and include round-trip, economy-class flights with Qantas. For details, call Farrington American Express Travel on 3121 3000 (Hong Kong) or 3121 3900 (Kowloon), or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org , quoting package ID: L2006FSP0080. Old and new The newly opened Hyatt Regency Kyoto ( www.hyattregencykyoto.com ) has had its launch timed well, with an increase in visitors to the ancient Japanese capital following the release of the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. The 189-room property is located in the Higashiyama Shichijo district, the traditional cultural centre of Kyoto, close to the Sanjusangendo Temple and the Kyoto National Museum. It is set in a Japanese garden with a waterfall and a pond the hotel says dates back 850 years. A wedding concierge can arrange everything for a traditional Japanese-style marriage ceremony. The oldest hotel in Kyoto, on the other hand, is the Kyoto Hotel Okura ( www.kyotohotel.co.jp ), which is in the geisha district of Gion, as depicted in the film (although recreated in California). Originally known simply as the Kyoto Hotel (below), it opened in 1888 and was one of Japan's first western-style hotels. It was almost completely rebuilt and reopened in 1994 - at 17 floors it was the city's tallest building - although it retains something of an old-world feeling, with a lobby designed after the building's 1920s ballroom. Alternatively, for the best in traditional ryokan accommodation, consider Hiiragiya (hiiragiya.co.jp), which dates back to 1818. Expect to pay at least $2,000 a night for the cheapest room, with two meals. If you're heading out on the geisha trail, you can book an English-language tour with Kyoto-based expert Peter MacIntosh, who was an adviser on the film, at www.kyotosightsandnights.com .