TIP OF THE WEEK: HEY, HEY HAINAN
I would like to recommend a visit to Hainan Island, located in the southernmost part of China and, of course, home to the famous and traditional Hainan chicken dish. I stayed in Haikou, which not a tourist town at all, and lived like a local for a while.
During my stay I enjoyed lao cha bao, (bread and tea) a traditional afternoon tea in the old part of Haikou where shops serve tea accompanied by a large variety of cakes.
The shops are frequented by mostly older men who, meet, chat and play vigorous and noisy rounds of mah-jong which abruptly finish at 5pm when tea serving stopping to make way for dinner.
Michael Copping, Oatley, NSW
THE B TEAM
Your comprehensive cover story on the ins and outs of Airbnb (Traveller on Sunday, May 7) covered just about everything but an important detail regarding payment. Customers should be aware – and Airbnb states this clearly on its website — that an instant booking requires payment of the full amount whether your booking is in two days' or two months' time. The money is not passed onto the host until after you have moved in and approved of the let.
Phil Rodwell, Redfern, NSW
Using Airbnb frequently on a recent trip to Europe was mostly very positive and overall a great experience for my partner and myself. As we were driving through Europe, we looked for accommodation with "parking on premises" listed as an amenity. This may have a different meaning in Europe, as it often meant parking our car on the street hundreds of metres from our accommodation.
We eventually realised we needed to contact potential hosts to ask if "parking on premises" meant in the general vicinity of the accommodation or actually "on premises". Half a dozen stays were rendered unavailable after that chat.
Graeme Henderson, Bullengarook, VIC
The Edwin Fox Museum in Picton, New Zealand, is a sheer joy to visit. The timber vessel, the Edwin Fox, was built in India in 1853 and saw service in a host of capacities including as a cargo ship, a passenger ship, and as a troop ship in the Crimean War.
She also transported immigrants to New Zealand and Australia in the 19th century. Now at dry dock alongside the museum it is awe-inspiring to wander inside the hulk of this ship, the 9th oldest in the world. See edwinfoxsociety.com.
Pam Garfoot, Brightwaters, NSW
I would like to visit Prague, Berlin, Warsaw and Krakow and hire a bicycle in Prague and cycle to Berlin, which is about 370 kilometres away. Can any of your readers recommend a tour company that could support my ride by hiring the bike and collecting it in Berlin as well as carrying my luggage and arranging the nightly accommodation?
John Bailey, Canterbury, NSW