Bike breaks Travelling around the world by bicycle has been a viable, if daunting, ambition ever since Englishman Thomas Stevens completed the feat on a penny-farthing 127 years ago this month. Others soon followed, but the romantic shine of pedal-powered circumnavigation was tarnished when American cyclist Frank Lenz (right, in Calcutta in late 1893) was murdered by Turkish bandits two years into his ride, in May 1894. Stevens wrote about his trip in Around the World on a Bicycle, which is still in print, while the Lenz tragedy is the subject of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance, by David Herlihy (2010). Both books provide the kind of inspiration that might lead readers to websites such as Cycle Tours Global ( www.cycletoursglobal.com ), which describes itself as "the world's most comprehensive database and search engine for bike tours". As well as detailed information on more than 100 countries, the site is offering visitors the chance to win a place on a new nine-day tour around South Korea, one of Asia's most popular destinations for touring cyclists. More on that country's potential for adventurous pedal-pushers can be found at the bikeOasis website, www.bikeoasis.kr . Coming to Kyoto A Ritz-Carlton is set to stir up the Kyoto hotel scene just in time for the springtime cherry-blossom viewing season. Due to open in February, it will be the first upmarket international hotel to appear in the former Japanese capital (pictured) since the Hyatt Regency in 2006. Unusually for new luxury hotels, this one will actually be opening on schedule, unlike the Four Seasons, which was also supposed to open in February but is now expected sometime in 2015. The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto website is up and running, although it could do with some fine-tuning: "You'll immidiately [ sic ] be overwelmed [ sic ] with the sense of sernity [ sic ] and wellbeing the minute you step into our state of the art Spa." The 136-room hotel is located beside the Kamo River, not too far from the Gion and Kawaramachi-dori areas, which are favoured by tourists. It's a tried and tested location; this was once the site of the old Hotel Fujita Kyoto, which closed in early 2011. Travellers on more modest budgets might like to try the new Ibis Styles Kyoto Station, which has just opened where its name suggests, offering "practicality of space and functionality", which in hotel-speak means small rooms. Finally finished New to Phuket is Point Yamu by Como (pictured), a property that's been a long time coming since (as The Yamu) it was left half-finished when funding dried up during the 2008 financial crisis. Located on the lesser-populated east side of Phuket, it is not far from the Royal Phuket Marina, and although there are only 106 rooms, suites and villas, the website lists no fewer than 14 different types of accommodation for prospective guests to ponder. Opening offers include four nights for the price of three and seven nights for the price of five, and there's also an Island and City deal that includes one free night at sister property The Metropolitan Bangkok by Como if you stay three nights or more at Point Yamu. See www.comohotels.com/pointyamu for details. Deal of the week Siem Reap and nearby Angkor have been much easier to get to from Hong Kong since Dragonair started non-stop scheduled flights a few weeks back. A package including flights with the airline and a free third night at the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor (pictured) is now available through the Cathay Pacific Holidays website. The starting price is HK$4,940 (which goes up to HK$5,712 when taxes and fuel surcharges are added) and includes State Room Garden View accommodation with daily breakfast and travel insurance. Flights depart every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The package will be available until March and can be booked online at www.cxholidays.com .