Something to declare: Thailand; Kuala Lumpur; city breaks in vision; maps and guides for less

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

Warning of the week: Thailand

The present strife in Bangkok, which has seen the closure of both of the city's airports, has caused the Foreign Office to rush out this warning: "The political situation in Thailand is very uncertain. If you plan to visit Thailand you should consider the present situation when making your decision. You should exercise caution, avoiding any demonstrations or large gatherings of people."

However, the current conflict in the capital should not obscure longer-term issues about the overall risks in Thailand. For several years, the Foreign Office has issued strident warnings about the dangers of terrorism in the south of the country: "Since January 2004, there have been almost daily attacks in the far south. These include arson, bombings and shootings. Targets have included civilians and members of the security forces, government office, tourist hotels, discotheques and bars, shops, marketplaces, supermarkets, schools, transport infrastructure and trains. Over 3,000 people have been killed and several thousand more injured."

Destination of the week: Kuala Lumpur

The news that Air Asia ( is going ahead with its long-promised flight from Stansted to the Malaysian capital (above) is great news for travellers – even if you fly on a rival airline.

The closest parallel is the effect that Oasis Hong Kong Airlines had on the London-Hong Kong market. Fares on the new airline's rivals fell, to the point where there was very little difference between the traditional carriers and the upstart. Partly because of fierce competition, Oasis went bust earlier this year.

A test booking for just after Easter 2009 yielded a fare of £463 return. This is below fare levels on Malaysia Airlines (0870 607 9090;, which may, in response, cut fares on its frequent services from Heathrow and Manchester to Kuala Lumpur.

Download of the week: City breaks in vision

When planning your next weekend break, bear in mind that The Independent offers the widest range of high-quality, free-to-view video films of any UK national newspaper. Video versions of our 48 Hours series are available for San Diego in California; Fez in Morocco (above); Léon and Zaragoza in Spain; and Singapore. In addition, you can see our series Twin Tracks: a Tale of Two Travellers, in which Ben Ross and Simon Calder make the same journey by very different means. In the first, they travel across the dramatic and historic landscapes of northern Spain; in the second, they seek out the best that the cities and coast of Flanders have to offer. See

Bargain of the week: maps and guides for less

If you're in London or Bristol on a Thursday evening before Christmas, save a fifth on the price of maps and guides at Stanfords (020-7836 1321; in Long Acre, London WC2, and Corn Street, Bristol. The now-traditional free wine and 20 per cent discount is available from 6pm on 4, 11 and 18 December (London store to 9pm, Bristol to 8pm).

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
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

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

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas