Traveller letters: Why do Aussies always dress like they are at a Pattaya Beach bar
On a recent holiday to Asia we were able to take advantage of the executive club lounges in a few of the upmarket hotels where we stayed.
When access to these facilities is part of the package or level of room booked it can be quite a saving on food and alcohol, particularly in Singapore where alcohol is so expensive. The lounges cover breakfast, light meals and all alcohol at selected times.
Sadly, my fellow Australian middle-aged males seem oblivious to the dress standard required at such lounges. They must feel that putting on their black thongs, as opposed to their yellow Malibu ones, and their best Bintang T-shirt meets the standard. Lounge staff are too polite to question their poor dress standards. Other nationalities such as Russians, Chinese, British all met the standard but not the good old Aussie who still thinks he is back at a Pattaya Beach bar.
Chris Grigsby, Beaumaris, VIC
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Andrew Bain’s rich and intimate descriptions of great walking trails from around the world (Traveller, August 27) were much appreciated.
In adding to this amazing list, the West Coast Trail in the south west of Vancouver Island in Canada is highly recommended for more adventurous self-supporting independent trekkers. Late summer to early autumn, with typically more settled weather, is an ideal period to meet this challenge.
Spectacular scenery, wildlife diversity (both marine and land-based) and wilderness escape of this 75-kilometre trail provide a unique set of experiences.
Although there is no need to be fearful, any trekkers are strongly advised to first secure knowledge about safety from black bears.
Pablo Bateson, Katoomba NSW
Andrew Bain provides a valuable update on the important community asset of walking tracks but not all of the news is welcome. For instance, there is an increasing tendency towards commercialising long-standing tracks, with Tasmania’s Three Capes Track the latest example.
The Tasmanian Government is considering establishing up to six huts along The South Coast Track while in the Blue Mountains in NSW entrepeneur Dick Smith has proposed the building of a track from Katoomba to Kanangra through a trackless wilderness area.
Finally, there are still some new tracks awaiting development, one of which the proposed Great Norfolk Walk, running around the 28-kilometre Norfolk Island coastline.
Geoff Mosley, Hurstbridge, VIC
YOU’VE GOTTA LAUGH
Douglas Milne (Traveller Letters, August 20), you forgot the No. 1 commandment – thou shalt have a sense of humour when reading Traveller.
Yours is sadly missing.
Denise Kruse, Strathfield, NSW
I endorse the suggestions from Debbie Wiener (Traveller Letters, August 27) on desirable hotel room features except for the ubiquitous hairdryer. I rank this unnecessary, noisy, antisocial appliance with the evil garden leaf blower and cringe on seeing them in hotel rooms.
If people want to dry their hair, what’s wrong with using a towel? Then again, my own baldness may preclude an unbiased opinion.
John Byrne, Randwick, NSW
I enjoyed Debbie Wiener’s letter and would like to add my gripe; namely, when you know you left one of your best shoes under the bed, your bracelet on the bedside table or, in my case, a giant sunhat languishing on a chair, why are you firmly told “no , housekeeping say nothing was left in your room”?
Granted it is the fault of the guest not checking before departing but I have never had success with this situation, even offering to pay for shipping
Susie Holt, South Yarra, VIC
Alex Danilov (Traveller Letters, August 27) gives some useful advice on travel to Cuba. However, parts were a little misleading. First he stated that the cheapest travel option from Australia “seems to be via Dallas or Los Angeles”.
Unfortunately, there is no single cheap way as prices vary a lot depending on airline specials and times of the year for any of the following routes which we have personally flown – via the US, Canada, Spain, France, China, UK or Chile.
There is no quick way either as these various routes all take around 24-30 hours “non stop” depending on connections. So you really need to first decide do you want to fly non-stop or do you want to combine the trip with a short or long stay somewhere else? Then start looking at various airlines for that route. Cost can vary from $1800 to $2400 depending on time of year and airline specials and even up to as much as $4000.
Second, it was stated that direct flights from the US “are only for Cuban expats or US citizens” and not for “foreigners”. This is incorrect. Any nationality has been able to fly direct from the US on charter flights for the past two years provided you meet the same rules that apply to US citizens.
Third, in regard to the statement that “some people say that this US autumn there will be lots of flights” being “said more in hope” – in fact for many months now dozens of commercial flights have been on sale from six airlines with Jet Blue Air making its first flight on August 31 and Air America on September 7.
John Varley, Abbotsford, VIC
Thank you Richard Tulloch for your “Extreme excitement” No. 33 in your Icon series, (Traveller, August 20). I once had a ride on the back of a bicycle in New York which went from extreme excitement to sheer terror.
The seat had no protection from the buses, taxis, trucks and cars among which the cyclist darted and weaved for 20 minutes from my station to the hotel. At $3 a minute it was an expensive near-death experience.
That very afternoon in New York a double-decker tourist bus had an accident and I feel I’m very lucky to be alive. I should simply have walked with my suitcase.
Evelyn Lawson, Karingal, VIC
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The story Traveller letters: Why do Aussies always dress like they are at a Pattaya Beach bar first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.