I’m wasting time at Bangkok airport on a cloudy day. Here are some pictures.
Recently, I’ve been reminded about some cases where travellers or expatriatess — usually Westerners — have got themselves into big trouble because they didn’t know what they were doing was illegal.
So says Phil Ward, managing director of Jet Blue, on the growing problem of violence and other disruption caused by drunks on planes.
At least Jet Blue has done something about the problem, by banning the sale of alcohol on its early morning flights. But, of course, thanks to bars and retail outlets at airports that operate 24-7, the offenders can already be in an ugly state before they get on board.
Every traveller knows the adage si fueris Rōmae, Rōmānō vīvitō mōre; si fueris alibī, vīvitō sīcut ibī (“If you should be in Rome, live in the Roman manner; if you should be elsewhere, live as they do there”). Or, more simply, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.
It’s often easier said than done.
Social media in Thailand has gone a little crazy over a sign in a taxi setting down rules for passengers.
According to this report, the Thai-language sign comprises a list of “don’ts”, including don’t chew toffee, don’t have the volume up when playing games on smartphones, and don’t spray perfume or powder in the cab.
If ever a headline were designed to boil my blood, this was it. And it’s in The Guardian, that bastion of liberal values.
It says: “Only governments can stem the tide of tourism sweeping the globe“. As if tourism, one of the great forces of good in this world, were a disease that needed elimination.
In places across the world, there’s a growing movement to ban or limit tourism.
It took on an extreme manifestation in Barcelona, when local residents spray-painted an anti-tourism slogan on a hop-on-hop-off bus outside FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp Stadium, and slashed its tyres.
This might seem like a strange thing to read on a travel blog, but you shouldn’t believe everything you read, or hear, about travel.
It’s a big, bad world out there, and not everybody is being entirely honest in their posts, newspaper and magazine articles, podcasts, vodcasts, tweets, instas, Facebook Live broadcasts and so on.
I once was foolish enough to put a bottle of vodka — a gift from a Slavic friend — in my hand luggage, and it was confiscated by security at Gatwick Airport.
But is seems that booze isn’t the most popular item that people try to take onboard aircraft departing the United Kingdom.
Imagine a world where we all thought the same way and did the same things. Pretty bland, eh?
And yet so many of us*, when we travel, don’t embrace the differences of the places we visit. Worse still, are those who rail against places and people they know nothing about.
Updated (see footnote)
I’ve mentioned here before that I’ve become a regular contributor to Quora.com, and that my answers to questions on travel are gaining a small amount of attention.
Well, in the past few days, one of them has gone through the roof. There have been tens of thousands of engagements with my answer to this question: Is it okay to stay in a hotel with a fiancée for a vacation in Abu Dhabi?
It says something about the genius of Monty Python that the Finns have adopted this spoof song, just as many Australians have adopted their Bruces’ Philosophers Song.
I recently flew business class with Cathay Pacific and I can heartily recommend the experience.
I’m also pleased to say that the experience will be open to more people, now that Cathay has joined the airlines offering upgrade auctions.
Anyone who flies frequently will know the experience of being asked/ told to change seats. Some have even been dragged off the plane.
I’ve been relatively lucky. It’s only happened twice — once my seat was doubled booked and I was offered and upgrade to business class (no argument there), and on the other occasion, I was asked to move to an equivalent seat in another row so some family members could sit together.
Here are a few, hopefully helpful, words about the capital of Cambodia.
July 31, 2017 update: Roadworks outside the terminal are to begin shortly, and traffic delays may make you think twice about choosing Don Mueang in the immediate future.
August 7 update: This post may be jinxed. Reports now are coming through of waits of more than four hours at Don Mueang Immigration. Seems it may be best avoided until they sort a few things out.
A Quora user recently asked: “Should Venice limit the amount of big cruise ships coming to the city centre?”
Here’s an edited version of my answer:
The CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, has caused outrage in some circles by calling American airline flight crew “grandmothers”, and pointing out that his staff have an average age of 26.
I don’t really wants to give too much oxygen to his ageist and, by implication, sexist comments. Continue reading What’s really important when it comes to airline crew?
Telstra, the Australian telecommunications giant, has just announced a A$10-a-day roaming package for travellers to 57 countries.
Before we break out the champagne to celebrate such a groundbreaking deal, can I be allowed to point out — in fact, shout out — that this is still outrageous and unacceptably high given what’s on offer?
It’s a mystery to most of us why airfare prices fluctuate so wildly. In this video, CNN’s Richard Quest (yes, I know, some people do find him irritating) explains why that is, and describes a newish way that you can score an upgrade.
Sadly, the video does not explain why return flights are cheaper than two one-way tickets — I believe it’s because airlines want to lock you in getting there and Continue reading How to score a cheap flight by tricking the science of seat prices