Something To Declare: Rockies getting higher; bargain Bangkok; San Diego on screen; New Zealand sand flies

Destination of the week : Rockies getting higher

Things were already looking up for skiers and boarders planning a high time in the western US when, during the summer, the Utah state law on alcohol consumption was changed. Previously, bars operated as "clubs": to be served alcoholic drinks customers had to pay a membership fee. But under the new law, bars and pubs are open to the public. Then, late last month, came the opening of the first new distillery in Utah since the prohibition era, in the state's premier ski town, Park City.

Across the state line in Colorado, another change in policy on intoxicating substances will be implemented from New Year's Day at Breckenridge – the most popular US resort among British skiers. In a referendum last month, the Rocky Mountain community decided by 617 votes to 253 to decriminalise the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana by people aged 21 and over. Possession remains illegal under Colorado state law, however; local police chief Rick Holman told the Summit Daily News that "we still have tools at our disposal".

Stephen Wood

Bargain of the week: Bangkok and beyond

How to fill the posh seats without "cannabalising" revenue by allowing business traveller to get cheap tickets? That is the problem facing every long-haul airline. The solution of Thai Airways (0870 6060 911; thaiairways.co.uk) is to sell cut-price "companion fares" on its non-stop Heathrow-Bangkok flights from 19 January to 30 June. If two people travel together, the per-person fare in business class is £1,430 return; in first class, £2,249 return.

Add-on domestic flights within Thailand are available for around £31 return: you just pay applicable taxes and charges.

Tip of the week: San Diego on screen

The city where Some Like it Hot was filmed, and which arguably has the finest climate in the world, is the subject of 48 Hours In, on Travel Channel at 9pm on Wednesday evening, 8 December. The Travel Channel is available on Sky 251, or watch the film at independent. co.uk/sandiego.

Warning of the week: New Zealand sand flies

Despite the many attractions of New Zealand, there are some irritations – notably sandflies, which can plague the west coast of the South Island. The females bite humans for blood, while the males are vegetarian. The insect's capacity for maddening bites is tackled in, of all places, Sir Ian McKellen's website (mckellen.com). The actor played Gandalf, pictured, in Lord of the Rings, which was filmed in New Zealand, and has become, in his own words, "an unpaid but enthusiastic proselytiser on behalf of all things kiwi".

But Sir Ian writes of sandflies: "I first met them en masse at the glorious Milford Sound, where visitors (after the most beautiful drive in the world) are met, at least during the summer, by crowds of the little buggers. There are patent unctions which cope, and tobacco repels them too, but I hope you reckoned them an insignificant pest compared with the glory of their habitat.

"Oddly, when filming I don't recall them at all. Honestly. Had there been, we would have set the Orcs on them."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
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
  • Get to the point
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

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Recruitment Genius: Learning Team Administrator

    £17500 - £20500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a great te...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions