Three useful volumes for anyone with an interest in commercial aviation have been released by Airportspotting.com in recent months.
Preserved Airliners of Asia and Australasia lists the locations and condition of a variety of old planes still to be found in countries such as Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong – that’s Cathay Pacific’s first plane, Betsy, on the front cover), Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Last Chance to Fly: Rare and Historic Airliners Still in Use features 55 types of commercial aircraft that can still be flown in, with details of who operates them. These include vintage aircraft such as the de Havilland Dragon Rapide, Soviet Tupolevs and Ilyushins, the earliest Airbus planes and outdated Boeings like the 727 and 737-200.
The third book, which will appeal to anyone keen enough to go in search of these aircraft as well as perhaps the more general traveller, is Airport Spotting Hotels. It lists more than 270 hotels in 54 countries that offer prime vantage points for viewing aircraft movements.
You can buy all three books at amazon.co.uk or airportspotting.com, which also offers PDF downloads of Preserved Airliners and Airport Spotting Hotels for £3.99 (US$5.4), or about 25 per cent of the price of the shipped paperback editions.
Springtime in winter
Japan’s Hoshino Resorts is encouraging a younger clientele to visit its KAI brand of upmarket boutique onsen hot-spring resorts, with its new Travel in Your 20s Project. This is a promotion that offers guests aged from 20 to 29 one night’s accommodation, with two excellent meals, from 19,000 yen (HK$1,320) per person, which is close to half the standard rate.
There are 14 KAI properties, all but one of them (Kai Aso on Kyushu) located on the main island of Honshu. Each one is participating, but six in particular – the Kaga, Nikko, Alps, Hakone, Atami and Aso properties – are being recommended for foreign guests at the dedicated website, hoshinoresorts.com/en/sp/20sproject.
KAI Alps is scheduled to reopen on December 21, after almost two years of renovations and new construction, and is offering a free shuttle service for the 90-minute drive out from Nagano.
The Travel in Your 20s Project will run until the end of March.
Wales this way
Visit Wales (formerly the Wales Tourist Board) has just launched The Wales Way, which comprises three national touring routes that have been mapped out to showcase the splendid Welsh scenery.
The North Wales Way runs for 120km along the north coast to the island of Anglesey, past the castles of Beaumaris, Caernarfon and Conwy, all of which are Unesco World Heritage sites. The 300km Cambrian Way connects Llandudno in the north with Cardiff in the south via two national parks (Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons) while The Coastal Way runs around Cardigan Bay for 290km, taking in a multitude of “harbour towns and resorts, fishing villages and secret coves”. The routes offer opportunities not just for driving, but also for hiking, horse riding, canal boating and more.
For further details and a promotional video overloaded with drone footage, visit thewalesway.com.
Qatar Airways will be connecting Hong Kong with Cardiff, with a nicely spaced stopover in Doha, from May 1. The most up-to-date and reliable guidebook coming out in the meantime will be The Rough Guide to Wales, which is due on March 1.
Deal of the week
Two nights on Singapore’s Sentosa island are on offer from Connexus Travel, with four of the seven hotels in the package located within Resorts World Sentosa. These include the Hotel Michael (named after Resorts World Sentosa’s principal architect, Michael Graves, in case you were wondering), the family-friendly Festive Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and the Equarius Hotel, which are offered from HK$3,520 to HK$3,690 per person, twin share.
The other three resorts are the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa (from HK$3,850), Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa (from HK$3,990) and W Singapore Sentosa Cove (from HK$4,080).
These prices will be available until the end of March, with occasional high-season surcharges, and include flights with Cathay Pacific and daily breakfast.
For further details and reservations, go to connexustravel.com.