Something to Declare: Holland in bloom; Dengue fever in Malaysia; Vietnam Airlines; airline charges

 

Destination of the week: Holland in bloom

Tourism to the Netherlands will blossom two months from now when a once-in-a-decade event, the Floriade, opens on 5 April. The World Horticultural Expo (00 31 77 399 8130; floriade.nl) is being held near Venlo, close to the German border, until 7 October 2012. Visitors can wander through gardens and pavilions, and learn about green living. A day ticket, including a one-way ride on the biggest cable car in Holland, costs €30.

Before then, the annual Keukenhof festivities begin on 22 March at the former kitchen garden near Leiden, which claims to be the biggest bulb flower park in the world – and the most photographed place on the planet. The kaleidoscopic array of 4.5 million tulips opens 8am-7.30pm daily until 20 May. The website's "visitor expectation calendar" shows the busiest days will be 21/22 and 28/29 April.

The park is easy to reach on bus 58 (every 15 minutes) from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport . A combined bus/ admission ticket costs €21 if you buy at keukenhof.nl.

Warning of of the week: Dengue fever in Malaysia

In the past two months in Kuala Lumpur, the number of cases of this unpleasant mosquito-borne disease has risen to around 400 per week. "The recent increase is thought to be related to a change in the weather," says the Fit For Travel travel-medicine team at the Scottish NHS. The only way to avoid falling victim to it is to avoid mosquito bites, particularly during daylight. "Wear clothing that covers as much of the body as possible, long sleeves and trousers ... mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spray an insecticide or repellent on them. Insect repellents should also be used on exposed skin."

The official advice warns: "Garlic, Vitamin B and ultrasound devices do not prevent bites."

Bargain of the week: Eastward Ho!

Vietnam Airlines, which has just started non-stop flights from Gatwick to the capital, Hanoi, and the even bigger Ho Chi Minh City, is offering competitive fares to other Asian destinations via its hubs. Through online agencies, such as Opodo. co.uk and Expedia.co.uk, fares from London to Bangkok are around £550 return for some dates in the spring.

Fares to Japan and Australia are also attractively priced. Some connection schedules allow for a day to be spent in the city – though you would need to arrange your visa in advance.

Tip of the week: Airline charges

The startlingly high fees for paying for flights with a debit card are now collated online by the CAA. Visit bit.ly/Airfees and you discover that both Aer Lingus and Ryanair levy a £6 per flight per person surcharge. On Flybe and Bmibaby, this drops to £4.50 and £3.50 respectively. Jet2 levies a 3.6 per cent booking fee (minimum £4.99). Two airlines charge a flat fee per booking: Thomson Airways (£3.95) and easyJet (£9).



PROMOTED VIDEO
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: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project