Something To Declare: Korea; getting around Berlin; New Zealand on two wheels

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

Bargain of the week: far horizons, via Korea

The two big Korean airlines offer British travellers excellent deals on flights from Heathrow via Seoul to a wide range of destinations in the Far East and beyond – especially if you travel in the low season, from September to early December.

Asiana Airlines (020-7304 9900; flyasiana.com) this month steps up its flights from Heathrow to Seoul, with excellent connections to a range of Asian destinations that lack direct flights from the UK – notably Manila and Hanoi – and good fares to Sydney.

Its rival, Korean Air, can take you to the South Pacific archipelago of Fiji. The islands are normally reached from the UK via Los Angeles, aboard carriers such as Qantas and Air New Zealand for around £1,000 return. But the islands' location – astride the International Date Line – make Fiji equally accessible from the East.

Korean Air has an autumn special to Nadi, Fiji's international gateway, for just £767, valid from 18 August-4 December. Flights are via Seoul Incheon, where a stopover is an easy option: a 90-day stay is granted to British passport holders upon arrival.

John Sannaee

Destination of the week: New Zealand on two wheels

The new prime minister of New Zealand, John Key, is also the nation's tourism minister – and a keen cyclist. He has just announced the construction of seven cycle tracks in wilderness areas, representing the first stage of what is hoped will become a network of interlinked cycleways running the full length of the country.

The seven spokes will take anything from one to six days to cover; on the North Island, they include a 150-mile run down the Wanganui River valley from Mount Ruapehu to the sea, and a "rail trail" on a disused railway track. On the South Island, the main interest is likely to be on the "Around the Mountain Rail Trail", starting in Queenstown and taking in a 110-mile loop.

While the work is under way, keen cyclists can already take advantage of disused rail tracks in the South Island on a tour organised by Queenstown-based Off the Rails (00 64 27 363 3724; offtherails.co.nz).

Simon Calder

Warning of the week: getting around Berlin

Anyone planning to visit the German capital during August could find much of the city's public transport system shut down. Following concerns over a damaged axle, a check has started of all 930 S-Bahn (elevated railway) trains. At present, only about one in four trains are running; eight lines have been closed completely; and stops at 19 stations have been suspended.

From a tourist's perspective the main problems are the lack of S-Bahn trains from Berlin's Schonefeld airport (served by low-cost airlines) to the city, and the main artery between Zoologischer Garten (hub of the former West Berlin) and the Ostbahnhof. Regional Express trains are running on these sections, but are overcrowded. BVG, the organisation that runs public transport in Berlin, says. "We have reinforced the subway (U-Bahn), bus and tram services so that passengers can use these services alternatively."

It is unclear how long the maintenance checks will take, and consequently how long disruption will last. Go to tiny.cc/lfQIW for the latest information.

Mike Stace

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick