Open Jaw: Where readers write back


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The Independent Travel

Vietnamese trains

I love Vietnam and have lived here for 20 years. It is a very “binary” country; visitors either love it or hate it with a passion.

For tourists, the biggest hassle is transport. Having ridden many times on the “Reunification Express” – the 1,726km railway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – while doing hotel inspections, I can say the 33-hour journey is bad. There is but a single track between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Through a very capable exercise, performed daily, the Duong Sat (“Road of Steel”) shuffles trains into sidings while others, “speed” past in the opposite direction at all of 40mph.


Is it OK to book Iberia to Bogota?

I think Iberia will not drop routes like Bogota – if anything they will boost long-haul routes to Latin America (which are the most profitable) and most of their cuts will be in short- and medium-haul flights.

The fact that Iberia is planning to buy all the shares of Vueling indicates what its strategy will be:  merge Vueling and Iberia Express and almost get out of  such European  routes as “Iberia”.

David Griffiths

BA’s Avios programme

Does Simon Calder now work for Emirates? This is supposed to be an article on BA’s loyalty scheme, yet it’s nothing more than an advert for a rival  (non-British) airline.


Come on, Simon –  you know full well if you’ve got plenty of Avios you’re not restricted to BA – you can get to Sydney with Qantas (whichever route they fly), JAL or Cathay.  There really is plenty of choice.


Compensation for Superstorm Sandy

The only people flying out close to the hurricane should have been residents flying back to protect their loved ones and property. Tourists booked on those flights should have cancelled and claimed on their insurance for the cost of replacement tickets.

Ollie Clark

Sometimes nature spoils our plans, but it doesn’t always mean that someone else has to pay.


American culture

What about Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas? It’s a new gem that’s been open for just a year. People should definitely check it out.

Stacy Amling

B&B and beyond: Sheringham, Norfolk

Montague House is lovely, however this article omits the large and popular Saturday market in Sheringham which runs all year round. The market has been held on Station Road car park for around 40 years and is well worth a visit!