Bargain of the week: Vietnam
Both British Airways and Vietnam Airlines have rights to fly between the UK and Vietnam. Neither has chosen to exercise them, though Vietnam Airlines is expected to start flying from London to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City next year or in 2006. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese carrier (0870 220 2318; www.vietnamairlines.com) routes British passengers to Paris, from where it flies non-stop daily to Vietnam's main cities.
To boost summer sales, Vietnam Airlines is selling "companion fares" cheaply through discount agents. You can fly from London Heathrow, Birmingham or Manchester via Paris to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City for £457 return per person, so long as two travel together. You must book by the end of July and complete travel by the end of October. "Open-jaw" tickets, flying into one city and back from the other, are allowed at the same fare - a valuable option, given the shape of the country and the standard traveller's trail between the north and south.
Vietnam Airlines has upgraded much of its fleet, replacing ageing Soviet aircraft with Airbus and Boeing jets. The Paris link is operated with Boeing 777s.
Warning of the week: robbery in Tanzania
Last Saturday, a group of British gap-year students was attacked on the Tanzanian island of Pemba. This follows the murder of a British businessman on Zanzibar last November, a failed grenade attack on a restaurant frequented by tourists on Zanzibar in March, and the shooting of a British tourist in Arusha during a robbery attempt last month.
The Foreign Office says "armed crime is increasing" and "mugging and theft, sometimes accompanied by violence, occur throughout Tanzania". Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs warns of dangers on the mainland: "Armed robbery can occur in parks and natural reserves, including the northern circuit in the vicinity of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro and Arusha National Parks, and regions surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro. Organized tours and independent travellers have been targeted. Avoid camping or travelling alone."
The US State Department adds "Crime involving firearms is becoming more common."Reuse content