HIKE AROUND HONG KONG
Hong Kong may be famous for its food, shopping and nightlife, but the city also has beautiful parks and hundreds of kilometres of mountainous hiking trails.
To help visitors explore the city's natural side, Hong Kong Tourism Board has organised tours along a portion of its 100km MacLehose Trail.
It starts from the unique hexagonal rock columns in the Hong Kong Unesco Global Geopark of China and includes the East Dam of High Island Reservoir and the beautiful Long Ke beach, tucked away in Sai Kung Peninsula.
Held every Saturday and Sunday until March, the tour will take about five hours and costs $15 a person.
For more information on other hiking and biking tours, go to www.discoverhongkong.com.
LAST-MINUTE VILLA DEALS
Craving a getaway during the school holiday, but have not made plans?
Villa-Finder.com is offering deals of up to 60 per cent off its listed villas in Bali, Phuket, Koh Samui and Sri Lanka for this month.
They include Pra Nang Villa in Phuket, a five-bedroom villa set in the hills at the southern end of Patong Beach. The villa is offering a 46 per cent discount for stays this month and 62 per cent discount for stays from Dec 1 to 7. The usual rate is US$750 (S$1,050) a night.
In Koh Samui, Villa Malakor, on the grounds of an exclusive gated estate, offers a pool, a shared tennis court and spacious open-plan living space near attractions such as Chaweng beach and Bophut Fisherman's Village, which are a 10-minute drive away. The villa costs US$220 a night, with 25 per cent off stays this month.
In Bali, the Layar Villa in the centre of Seminyak boasts a beautiful garden, stone-carved bathtub, always-on-call staff and a free shuttle bus to the Oberoi and Petitenget area at selected times.
It costs US$356 a night, with 25 per cent off stays this month.
For other destinations in South-east Asia, go to www.villa-finder.com.
FREE TRANSIT VISA IN QATAR
From this month, Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority are offering passengers a free transit visa so visitors can spend up to 96 hours exploring Doha and the surrounding desert landscape.
The visa allows passengers with layovers of five hours or more in Hamad International Airport to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours in between flights.
To be eligible for the transit visa, passengers must have a confirmed ticket for a journey into Qatar and a confirmed onward journey out of Qatar on a Qatar Airways-operated flight.
You can apply for the free visa either on the outbound or inbound journey. But passengers travelling from the Gulf Cooperation Council states and the Middle East will be able to make a stopover in Doha only on their outbound journey, without additional charges.
For more information, go to Qatarairways.com/transitvisa.
NEW DAILY FLIGHT TO BANGALORE
Mumbai-based Jet Airways has announced the launch of a new daily direct flight from Singapore to Bangalore starting on Dec 14.
The new flight will leave Singapore at 7.15pm and arrive in Bangalore at 9.15pm, with connections to Hyderabad, Mangaluru, Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram.
The return flight will depart Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport at 11.10am and arrive in Singapore at 6.10pm.
For more information, go to www.jetairways.com.
Find last-minute holiday inspiration at the Chan's World Holidays Roadshow at One KM mall in Tanjong Katong Road next weekend.
A franchise of Chan Brothers Travel agency, Chan's World Holidays specialises in bespoke, halal and off-the-beaten-track tours and is offering a range of itineraries, including a five-day Let's Go Okinawa Japan tour.
With special departures on Dec 13 and 17 and direct flights to Okinawa on SilkAir, the tour's highlights include visits to Shuri Castle, Naminoue Shrine, Churaumi Aquarium, Okinawa's biggest mall and a sushi-making class.
All-in fares start at $2,388 a person.
For bookings and more information, call 6507-9595 or go to Chan's World Holidays Roadshow at Level 1 Concourse, OneKM, 11 Tanjong Katong Road, from Nov 18 to 20, 11am to 8.30pm.