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: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy