Something To Declare: Sydney, via Singapore; Kazakhstan; Fez


Destination of the week: Sydney, via Singapore

Much fuss has been made of the impending launch of the Airbus A380 "superjumbo", due to enter commercial service on 25 October on a flight from Singapore to Sydney. The seats for the maiden commercial flight, on Singapore Airlines, have been auctioned, with the proceeds going to charity. But British travellers heading for Sydney early this winter can be among the first passengers to travel on this new aircraft, without having to bid for the privilege. The plane will be flying daily on the premier link between South-east Asia and Australia's largest city.

Flying from London Heathrow or Manchester on 5 November, for example, you can connect in Singapore for a flight on the new aircraft to Sydney – and repeat the experience on the way back from Australia. A return ticket for a fortnight's stay in Sydney costs £782 from Manchester, £809 from Heathrow.

Stopovers in Singapore are available in either direction. For advice on how to spend time in the city-state, see the video version of 48 Hours in Singapore at www.independent.co.uk/singapore.

The A380 is an aircraft designed for Heathrow, but the UK's leading airport is unlikely to host the aircraft regularly until next March, which is when Singapore Airlines hopes to introduce the new Airbus on one of the daily flights currently being operated by Boeing 747s.

Warning of the week: Kazakhstan

Travelling in the homeland of the fictional TV reporter, Borat, is, according to the new Lonely Planet guide to Central Asia (£17.99), "a delight", and "crime is minimal by Western urban standards". You should not, however, expect anything to go smoothly, and are warned that "Central Asian officials and police generally create more problems than they solve". In the biggest city, Almaty, you are warned about the wallet-full-of-dollars scam: "Someone finds a wallet lying on the ground as you pass, opens it and finds hundreds of dollars inside. They draw your attention to it and, if you stop, it becomes clear there's nothing in the wallet to identify its owner. The person offers to share the loot with you, and if you start to get involved, another person appears, claiming the wallet is theirs and that it originally contained much more money. They demand compensation or threaten to take you to the police."

While Kazakh hospitality is renowned, you should be wary of accepting offers of free accommodation. The new book warns: "One traveller's 'hosts' demanded a large amount of money to let her leave with her luggage."

If you are flying within Kazakhstan, be wary about "meeters and greeters". The Foreign Office says that passenger lists may fall into the hands of villains: "There have been instances of people being met from an aircraft by someone using their name and subsequently being robbed."

Bargain of the week: Fez

The best-preserved medieval city in the Arab world is easier to reach than ever this winter. From 30 October, GB Airways launches flights from Gatwick to Fez on behalf of British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.ba.com). Fares are available on a wide range of dates for the remarkably low fare of £77 return. More than half of this goes direct to the government as Air Passenger Duty.

Ryanair (0871 246 0000; www.ryanair.com) currently flies from Luton to Fez, but the service is being withdrawn for the winter from 27 October; the airline blames the high rate of tax for the cancellation. Fares as low as £70 return are available on some dates in the next six weeks.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Exhibition Content Developer

    £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in South Kensington, this prestigi...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - major leisure brand

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Partner

    £25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003