Daily Archives: 14 April, 2008

Lonely Planet Responds to Kohnstamm Embarrassment

Via Tales of Asia: Lonely Planet’s response to the Kohnstamm imbroglio.

This behaviour is completely contrary to what Lonely Planet is all about. Because of the nature of Thomas’ claims, we’re carefully reviewing all the Lonely Planet content he has worked on. Where we find problems or discrepancies, we will tell you immediately and replace that content with accurate, up-to-date material.

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Free room and board in exchange for four or five hours work a day(?)

Arthur Frommer in his blog today asked whether anybody has any feedback on HelpExchange.net, a service which lists farms, hostels and the like, which are seeking ‘volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation (board and lodging)’. Mostly focused on Europe and the Americas – very little in Asia.

“Premier” (e.g. useful) membership to Helpx.net costs a “nominal” 20 euros for 2 years (2 euros for 2 years sounds nominal to me…), but, I guess, IF it lives up to its promises it could be a wise investment..

It looks very much like a site on which your mileage may vary, but it may be of interest.

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BBC Radio 4’s Excess Baggage – A great radio travel show

How did I not know about this radio show? Every week Radio 4’s Excess Baggage discusses a travel topic, this week it’s an interesting discussion about the Great Wall of China, while a in quick scan of previous shows I found a number of topics as diverse as Luang Prabang, toilets around the world, train travel, adventure travel with children and the usefulness of phrase books. A podcast and audio on demand are available.

Excess Baggage

Although not travel related I can’t let the opportunity to slip past to mention my absolute favorite show In Our Time with Melvin Bragg. If you’re a history buff like me it’s an absolute must, but some of the most interesting topics in science are often the subject matter of the show.

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The travel danger everyone ignores

Road of DeathMost travellers conscietiously ensure they’ve had the necessary vaccinations before leaving, check travel warnings and avoid tap water/ice/street food, etc. Yet very little attention is paid to a very real danger when travelling which is much more difficult to prevent against – traffic accidents.

Travelling by road is something that many travelers do frequently and without a second thought. In the last twenty-four hours five British tourists were killed in Ecuador and fifteen were injured. Over the past weekend people throughout South East Asia have been celebrating the new year. Thais are celebrating Songkranthis site has some photos. As with many festivals it is a particularly dangerous period to be on the road; the Bangkok Post reports that ‘Some 1,220 accidents were recorded on Friday and Saturday, with 1,411 people injured, in addition to the deaths’. The tradition of drenching passersby with water during this festival in Thailand (including those on motorcycles) helps to add to the danger.

I’m certainly not suggesting avoiding travel by road; traffic accidents are a fact of life everywhere – and travelling by bus may be much less dangerous than just crossing a major street. A representative of the company that arranged the Ecuador trip described the risk as ‘inherent’, which is pretty much spot on.

However, taking the obvious precautions of travelling with a reputable bus company, avoiding bus travel at night, during busy festival periods or on routes known to be dangerous and taking extreme care when driving overseas are no less important than anti-malarials or vaccinations. Tragedies such as those in South America put into perspective some of those dangers travellers spend an inordinate amount of time stressing over.

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You may have missed… (14th of April)

Pacific Airlines, Vietnam’s second-largest carrier will be renamed Jetstar Pacific as part of a joint venture with the QANTAS subsidiary that will also lead to a fleet of 30 leased Airbus A320 aircraft being based in the country by 2014.

A woman has died in Brisbane this morning after falling from a stationary plane at Brisbane International Airport.Fresco

‘It feels as if someone has taken a huge sack of invaluable works of art and dumped them into the building, letting them fall as they may’. Can anybody match the Italians for their cheerful indifference to gorgeous ancient works of art? If in Rome check out ‘a treasure trove of breathtaking paintings, frescos, mosaics and sculptures from the heyday of Roman Empire — most borrowed from museums in Naples and Pompeii” currently being exhibited within spitting distance of Termini.

Jet Airways has delayed the planned launch of a Bombay – Shanghai – San Francisco service until June ‘to finalize the regulatory process’. Meanwhile AirAsia XXX is wearing a look of studied indifference to the collapse of Oasis – declaring it remains confident it will start flights to London – just not this year.

Cone of SilenceThe chatter leaking out from under the Australian Government’s cone of silence insist that the “security incident” which delayed a plane in Melbourne for half an hour on Saturday night was a ‘misunderstanding‘ which is NOT bureaucrat speak for ‘stuff up’. But we’ve already said too much.

Does anything say ‘peaceful’, ‘tranquil’ and no longer the source of extreme tension between two quarrelling nuclear armed nations like golf courses? Kashmir can’t think of anything so it’s going with parks for ‘flog and chase’.

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