TIP OF THE WEEK: GONE TO MONGOLIA
Mongolia would have to be the most wondrous of destinations. With just 50 kilometres of sealed roadway at the time of our visit, our trip consisted of bumpy driving in a Russian four-wheel-drive on what were essentially tracks over the steppes. No signposts, just the sun providing direction.
We stayed each evening in gers with their beautifully painted folk art with nomad families and were able to participate in cooking and other daily chores. Long-drop toilets, no water to bathe. The hospitality was fantastic despite our lack of common language.
Airag, fermented mare's milk, was an acquired taste, I felt, and it was a shock to find an ice-cream for it to turn out to be a yoghurt like "ice", but it was refreshing on a hot day.
The scenery is stunning – from extinct volcanoes, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, deer stones on the grassy plains, mountains to flaming deserts. If you time it well you can catch the "manly" games encompassing horse riding, archery and wrestling, including the big celebration in Ulaanbaatar and local naadams all over the countryside.
Vicki Copping, Oatley, NSW
Carting around several travel adapters can be annoying as they are easily misplaced. A practical solution when travelling with others is to buy a power board in Australia and plug it in at your destination with only one travel adapter. This allows you to charge five devices simultaneously.
Jessica Vassallo, Greensborough, VIC
My wife and I have recently returned from Vietnam flying business class with Vietnam Airlines. Our international legs from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City return on the Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner and domestically Hue to Hanoi/Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City on the A350-900 were a wonderful experience, with excellent service provided by the crew, a great selection of meals and beverages and an extensive choice of entertainment.
We have travelled extensively internationally with a range of well-known airlines in the past, but for a relatively new airline, Vietnam Airlines is in our opinion, simply the best.
John Skues, Boat Harbour, NSW
PASSES THE TEST
I recently spent a few days in Sydney with a friend. We bought a "Sydney Museum Pass" which gave us access to 12 museums and stately homes including Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Vaucluse House and the Museum of Sydney.
As we both hold Seniors cards we ordered Seniors Opal cards (online two weeks before the trip) which were sent to us and meant public transport was capped at $2.50 a day. As well as travelling around the inner city, we also went to Parramatta for the day using the card and saw the wonderfully restored Elizabeth Farm (also on the pass). The Opal card is good for trains, buses and ferries.
The only regret is that we didn't stay longer, there is so much to see and do and with the pass and card its very economical. Just be aware Opal card doesn't cover the train to and from the airport, you can use the card to pay for the trip, but its $12.10 each way for seniors.
Jacque Hardwick, Coburg, VIC
IN THE BAG
A bottle of duty-free alcohol was recently bought at Brisbane Airport. While in transit at Bangkok Airport, after proceeding through the immigration and customs checks, the bottle was confiscated as it was more than 100 millilitres of liquid. The reason being, it was not sealed in an approved duty-free bag.
At no time was a bag offered nor did the sales person inquire as to destination or transit options. The moral is always ask for a sealed bag no matter where you are travelling to.
Lodi Hoeben, Tewantin, QLD