WE’RE ALL EARS
We are going to the United States in October with our family and want to spend Halloween at Disney World Orlando. We arrive in Los Angeles and want to drive to Las Vegas plus see Salvation Mountain and the Integratron Dome, then fly to Orlando. Any suggestions of the best way to do this?
It’s about a three-hour drive from Los Angeles to Salvation Mountain, which is south of Palm Springs. This mountain side is painted and sculptured as a tribute to God. Once you’ve spent time there, take the 90minute drive back up to Palm Springs and spend the night at the Best Western (bestwestern.com), a well priced hotel with breakfast.
While you’re in Palm Springs, you may like to ride the Aerial Tramway (pstramway.com). It’s the world’s largest rotating tram car which travels over 4km to the mountain-top station with an elevation of more than 2500m. As it travels, it slowly rotates giving you amazing views of the valley below. At the top are restaurants, observation decks, history museum and hiking trails. The next day head south to the bottom entrance of the Joshua Tree National Park – a one-hour drive – then make your way through the park to the northern end. Be sure to stop at the entrance and grab a pass. Explore at leisure the spectacular landscapes, plant life and rock formations of the two different desert ecosystems that meet there. Take lunch and snacks as there are no official cafes in the park.
After you exit the park, it’s an easy 30-minute drive to Landers where you will find the turn-off to the Integratron. This dome-shaped structure in the Mojave Desert was built after an engineer allegedly received instructions from the planet Venus during a UFO encounter.
People head to this all-wood, acoustically perfect sound chamber to enjoy sound baths played on quartz crystal singing bowls.
From Landers, it will take about four hours to reach Las Vegas. Once here you could look at staying at Circus Circus (circuscircus.com). It’s well priced, in the middle of the action and
features plenty of activities the family will enjoy including a new water park, the Adventure Dome full of rides and attractions, plus free circus acts.
In Orlando, the B Resort and Spa (bhotelsandresorts.com) is well priced for families. It’s part of Disney World and includes free transport to all the parks and attractions.
We are travelling to Shanghai and are interested in visiting the cargo/wharf area to view Shanghai’s maritime industry. How do we travel from the inner city to the port?
Parts of the original wharf were demolished in 2004, then restored and incorporated into what is known as the Bund, meaning embankment, on the bank of the Huangpu River. The most popular way to the Bund is the metro line two or 10. Get off at the East Nanjing Road station and it’s about a 10-minute walk. The port of Shanghai is industrial and not a place you’d visit.
Instead, visit the China Maritime Museum, which is located by the lake in Lingang New Town. You will need a day to explore the six exhibition halls, two special zones and science movie theatres all contrasting the past, present and future of their maritime industry. It’s open from 9.30am to 4.30pm every day except Monday. To get there, hop on the metro train service line 16 to Dishui Hu Station. Leave this station from exit two and take a taxi to the museum for about $3.
The new Shanghai History Museum, at People’s Square, houses more than 1000 cultural relics including skulls, pottery and other artefacts in more than 9000 sq m.
Allow plenty of time to explore these displays. You also have the Shanghai Municipal History Museum, under the Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower. It showcases how Shanghai developed from a small seashore fishing village into the biggest city in China with waxworks, dioramas and life-size recreations of old Shanghai.
My husband turns 60 later this year and loves the horse races. On his bucket list is racing in Hong Kong but I’m not sure how
to approach this as there are two big tracks and he wants to go to both, either in November or December. Can you help?
The Hong Kong International race event runs early December each year and if your husband is a racing enthusiast, then this is the pinnacle. A tour with Australian Racing Tours (australianracingtours.com.au) begins December 4. It includes a guided tour of Hong Kong, the International Jockeys Challenge at the Happy Valley
racecourse, Breakfast with the Stars and Barrier Draw at the Sha Tin racecourse, meetings with racing celebrities plus a suite at the races. There’s also plenty of time for sightseeing and exploring. Ambassador Travel (ambassadortravel.com.au) is also hosting a tour to this year’s Hong Kong International. It too features all the attractions of the racing week, plus the option to play golf in Shenzhen, China, extend your tour to Macau or perhaps Beijing. If you’d rather plan your own time in Hong Kong and visit the courses at leisure, Discover Hong Kong (discoverhongkong.com) can tailor an itinerary to include the horse races plus your other interests.
LUGGAGE ON STOPOVER
We want to visit our daughter, who lives in Amsterdam, but avoid the leg of the journey that involves a 13- or 14-hour flight. Is it possible to have two stopovers which may or may not involve an overnight stop, while our main luggage goes straight through to Amsterdam?
It may be possible to go via Perth with another break in Asia or the Middle East. This type of trip is something you should speak to your travel agent about. They can advise you.
UNITED STATES Mickey and Minnie Mouse love Halloween at Disney World, Orlando, in Florida; the Shanghai Municipal History Museum showcases how China’s biggest city was once a small fishing village, and Sha Tin Racecourse, Hong Kong, is perfect for racing enthusiasts.