In 2011 — the last time I had made the journey from Bangkok to Surat Thani — I had travelled by bus. The bus wasn’t uncomfortable, but this time — in 2017 — my friend and I chose to travel by train.
We made our reservations beforehand and got into our Second class AC (air-conditioned) coach on a wet June evening.
The problem with reserving seats on Thai trains is that their system is a little complicated and you can’t just go on their site and book a ticket. You need to email them beforehand and then on the day of your journey, collect the physical ticket from the station for a fee. And apparently, there have been instances when the railways have been really late in replying to emails. Continue reading My best overnight train ride was in Thailand
July 7 (TravelAndy):Qatar Airways is launching two new destinations by the end of August 2017, which are: Sohar, Sultanate of Oman and Prague, Czech Republic.
The airline has confirmed the start of its new service between Doha and Sohar with three-weekly flights beginning August 8, 2017, while the service between Doha and Prague will operate on a daily basis from August 21, 2017.
“We are accelerating our global expansion plans by expediting the launch of these two new destinations. Qatar Airways is committed to connecting more people to more places,” said Akbar Al Baker, group chief executive, Qatar Airways. Continue reading Qatar Airways to fly to Prague & Sohar
It’s not that I had never been to China. But, then you don’t really consider transit through somewhere as actually “going” there!
I have changed planes (and once, an airport) in China during two separate trips. But this time, I was actually intending to get into the country.
My quest for a Chinese tourist visa began at this website. Continue reading How to secure a China tourist visa
June 9 (TravelAndy): Avianca started four weekly direct flights from Boston to the airline’s hub in Bogota, Colombia, offering travelers 960 seats per week.
This new service operates four times per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday on the Bogota – Boston route, and on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday on the Boston – Bogota route.
“With this new addition to our route network, Avianca becomes the first and only airline to directly join Boston with Bogota and vice versa, connecting travelers coming from the State of Massachusetts to the main capitals in Latin America,” said Hernan Rincon, president of Avianca. Continue reading Avianca starts Boston-Bogota direct flights
June 3 (TravelAndy): India’s flagship carrier Air India will start nonstop flights between New Delhi and Denmark’s Copenhagen from September 16.
The flight will operate thrice a week on this route, said the airline on its official Facebook page. The flying time will be around eight hours.
“We aim to serve 37,500 passengers each way for the entire year. If we touch that figure then we will make it a daily service,” Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said. Continue reading Air India to fly Delhi-Copenhagen direct from Sep 16
May 31 (Notintown.net): OYO, an Indian hospitality company, on Monday introduced its mid-market offering, OYO Townhouse, in Bengaluru.
With the first Townhouse in Karnataka, OYO will break new ground as a category innovator.
After its maiden Townhouse in the Garden City at Indira Nagar, OYO plans to expand Townhouse hotels at other popular locations in the city, including Koramangala, MG Road, Trinity Circle and Marathahalli.
Priced at INR 2500 and upwards, Townhouse provides a unique hospitality experience in the heart of popular neighbourhoods. Continue reading Oyo Townhouse debuts in Bengaluru
April 25 (Notintown.net): The Cotentin Peninsula – also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula – in the Normandy region of France, will soon see its many tourism boards undergo a major restructuring in the next few months.
By June this year, 11 local tourism boards will have merged into one big entity and renamed Cotentin Tourist office making it, arguably, one of the most powerful tourism boards in the country with an annual budget of EUR4 million.
Out of this budget, up to EUR1 million will be kept aside to promote Cotentin worldwide; of which India, Middle East and China will be important focus markets. Continue reading Normandy in France to promote tourism
April 14 (TravelAndy): Australian flagship carrier Qantas has switched on inflight Wi-Fi for customers travelling on board its internet-capable Boeing 737-800, offering fast, free connectivity on Australian domestic flights.
Following months of performance testing, Wi-Fi will now operate in beta mode on a single Boeing 737 aircraft, so customers can test it out for themselves on selected flights while Qantas continues to fine-tune the system.
Testing is expected to be complete by mid-year, and from there installation of the technology is expected to begin on Qantas’ domestic fleet of Airbus 330s and Boeing 737s. The roll-out across 80 aircraft will be completed at the end of 2018. Continue reading Qantas switches on free in-flight Wi-Fi
March 26 (TravelAndy): Emirates has announced to introduce a new service to enable customers to use their laptops and tablet devices until just before they board their flights to the US.
Emirates customers travelling to the US via Dubai will be able to utilise their laptops and tablet devices on the first part of their journeys, and also during transit in Dubai. They must then declare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staff at the gate just before boarding their US-bound flight. The devices will be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination. There will not be any charge for this service.
Passengers on US-bound flights starting their journeys in Dubai are encouraged to pack their electronic devices into their check-in luggage in the first instance, to avoid delays. Continue reading Laptop, tablet handling for Emirates US flights
March 8 (TravelAndy): On the occasion of International Women’s Day today, the airline Vistara has launched a service called #VistaraWomanFlyer for women travellers.
As part of the new service, which the airline claims to be the first of its kind in the industry, Vistara will assign preferred seats to women and will also provide baggage and transport assistance on arrival for women travelling alone. Continue reading Vistara’s new service for solo women travellers
March 7 (TravelAndy): Jet Airways, India’s full-service premier international airline and Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline, have announced a code-share partnership which offers guests travelling on both carriers convenient and seamless connectivity between India and Fiji via Singapore and Hong Kong. Apart from connectivity, this increases the scope of Jet’s popular frequent flier programme JetPrivilege.
The codeshare agreement, a first-of-its-kind between the airlines of the two countries, will address the growing demand for travel between India and Fiji.
Jet Airways will place its ‘9W’ code on Fiji Airways’ flights from Singapore and Hong Kong to Nadi, and Fiji Airways will place its ‘FJ’ code on Jet Airways’ services between Singapore and Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai as well as between Hong Kong and Mumbai & Delhi. All codeshare flights will allow through check-in to the final destination of any journey. Continue reading Jet Airways & Fiji Airways ink codeshare deal
Since Donald Trump took charge as US President, I found a lot of people around me speculating whether getting a US visa was going to become more difficult. I had been wanting to visit the United States for some time now and last month, I decided to go there in 2017. So, I went ahead and got myself a ten-year B1/B2 visa, which is for visits related to tourism and business in the United States.
The process was long and I would say a little complicated. But I took on one thing at a time and things worked out pretty smoothly in the end.
Read on to find out how to score a ten-year US tourist visa with an Indian passport. Continue reading How to score a ten-year US tourist visa