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.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
film
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried