Travel & Holidays


After receiving a decent airfare offer from Scoot recently, I’ve booked a week holiday in Taiwan in November.
Anyone on here been before? Slightly worried about the language barrier but considering I’ve been to Japan with zero Japanese language knowledge I’m relatively confident that I’ll be fine.


Why Taiwan?


No but my friends who live in Shanghai say it is incredible. Its fast becoming a trendy travel destination with European travelers.

I believe they raved about the Taroko Gorge. They did a lot of hiking. So if you are into that pack your hiking boots.


To an extent it was luck of the draw of what sounded the most interesting and what was the most affordable (Flight and accommodation has cost me just over $800) for a one week trip to a destination that was relatively easy to get around and has a lot of interesting things to do.

I’ve already spent time in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan (and planning to go to Japan again in February) so they weren’t high up on the list, Mainland China seemed like a bit of hassle when it came to booking a trip at short notice with visas and the like (though next time I go to HK I’m keen to do a day trip to Shenzhen at the very least) and while I’d like to explore more of South East Asia (Thailand/Vietnam/Cambodia) I’d rather do that with my partner on an extended trip instead of solo for a week.

A bit of spontaneity when it comes to travel is also just something I tend to do… like the last time I spent a month or so in the US/Canada I took a trip to Iceland for 5 days in the middle of it and it was one of the best travel experiences I’ve had so far.


I hope to be doing Japan (Tokyo to be precise) at the same time, but it depends on if the ballot for the Tokyo Marathon brings me good news. Perhaps it would be a good time to see if I remember Grade 10 Japanese!


NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has pledged to reduce the station access fee on Sydney’s Airport railway line from $14.30 to $5 one-way for travellers, and abolish the fee altogether for airport workers, if Labor wins next year’s NSW state election.

I definitely support it. It is very expensive to travel by train between the CBD and Sydney Airport.


Music is no longer available through the in-flight entertainment system on Qantas Boeing 737 flights. The Boeing 737s operate most domestic flights and international flights to Denpasar, Noumea, Port Moresby and New Zealand. Music is also gone from domestic Boeing 717 and Airbus A330 flights where entertainment is offered in the form of an iPad with Q-Streaming.


I notice the absence of inflight radio channels while flying with Qantas recently. I loved to hear Billboard (two-hour show hosted by Rosie Beaton formerly of Triple J). It’s all been replaced by podcasts.


On my qantas flight from Perth to sydney in 2016, i noticed that magazines don’t contain the list of in-flight radio channels with names of songs being listed. Instead of listening to music, I just slept onboard the flight.


They had to have run the numbers on the sheer number of listeners of the music channels to decide whether such a move was inevitable (I’m sure it wasn’t costing them that much).


More on QANTAS


Personally I’ve preferred the music on my phone.

And the audio quality of the music on QANTAS is down there with a low birate digital radio station.


This comes from an offfficial account


It has something to do with Qantas’ 737-800 planes still using inflight entertainment system from the 1990s and early 2000s.


Good on Virgin for supporting Australian music I say.


Any budding pilots?


  • Wellcamp Airport to host one of two regional sites from mid-2019
  • Capacity to train up to 250 pilots a year from Australia and overseas
  • New hangar, classroom facilities and student accommodation to be constructed

The Qantas Group has today announced Toowoomba in southern Queensland as the first of two regional locations for its new Pilot Academy, due to open its doors by mid-2019.

The Academy is part of the Qantas Group’s strategy to build a long-term talent pipeline for its own airlines and help the broader industry meet the increasing need for skilled aviators.

Estimates suggest that 790,000 more pilots will be required globally over the next 20 years with around one third of them in the Asia Pacific.

Toowoomba is the first of two locations chosen from a shortlist of nine regional cities, with Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga still under consideration for the second academy site.


Too much choice here.


With the George & Paul cruise sold out, I reckon the next trips likely to sell out would be those hosted by “Baby” John Burgess and Ita Butrose. I hear those two are quite popular with many older Australians! :smiley:

Don’t know who’d want to spend one night let alone 18 on a cruise hosted by Bernard Salt though. :confused:



Speaking of cruises, I’m doing my first ever cruise to New Zeeland over the New Years period. I’ve never done a cruise before and this is P&O so I’m expecting it to be pretty bogan, but I’m not too fussed as the idea was about getting away with a group of friends. Although I’ve just found out that the boat we are on has been sold as of Feb next year to another cruise company. Hopefully they still put some effort into it. At least I know the boat was renovated only this year obviously so it was in good state so they could sell it so it might actually be a plus.


It’s the Big Melon.