After March 15, fully-vaccinated visitors are no longer required to self-isolate at an approved quarantine hotel in Vietnam. Photo: iStock
There is talk of either a one day or three-day quarantine on arrival to Vietnam. If it is for one day will I have to go to a special quarantine hotel or my normal hotel? There are conflicting reports. D. Marshall, Caloundra NSW
According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the requirements for visiting Vietnam will change from March 15. After that date, fully-vaccinated visitors are no longer required to self-isolate at an approved quarantine hotel for any period. Travellers entering by air must show a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure or a negative RAT taken within 24 hours. The most recent dose of COVID-19 vaccination must have been given at least 14 days and no more than six months before departure. Visitors must also show proof of medical or travel insurance that covers treatment for COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of $10,000. A RAT is required at your accommodation within 24 hours after entry. Provided the result is negative, visitors are allowed to travel freely.
I’m visiting Norway and the US this year, which both accept a negative RAT. However the pathology labs on the Qantas website only offer a PCR test, at about $150. Are there any labs in Melbourne that will do on-the-spot RATs and provide the required documentation for travellers? R. Morgan, Bulleen VIC
Qantas’ lab locator webpage now has details of RAT facilities and lower prices. Assuming you’ll be leaving from your nearest airport, Melbourne’s Tullamarine has a Histopath testing facility (histopath.com.au) where you can get a PCR test with results within 90 minutes at a cost of $79, or a RAT within 30 minutes for $59. Histopath also has test facilities at Sydney and Brisbane’s international airports.
For either of your destinations you can be tested up to 24 hours before flight time, and getting a pre-flight RAT is the best option. The quick turnaround means you won’t have to get to the airport hours before flight time.
My husband and I will spend five days in Ljubljana, Slovenia, after a trip to Venice. Any advice on what to see and do in Ljubljana and surrounds, preferably avoiding a hire car? J. Barrows, Hawthorn VIC
With its cobbled streets, riverside cafes, car-free centre and baroque architecture, Ljubljana is one of Europe’s prettiest and most likeable capitals. Ride the funicular to the city’s 16th-century citadel and check out the Museum of Puppetry while you’re there, take a stroll through the morning markets in the squares behind the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and grab biscuits and coffee at Tri Marije, the artisan coffee truck just a two-minute walk from the Dragon Bridge. The former Austro-Hungarian army barracks in the Metelkova district has been repurposed as the city’s Museum District, well worth a look.
There are some excellent resources to help plan your trip, starting with Traveller’s own website (traveller.com.au). Head for the Destinations page and key in “Ljubljana”. Another good resource is Culture Trip (theculturetrip.com).
For a day out, Lake Bled is the country’s icon, and Slovenia’s postcard industry has every reason to be grateful. You can take a bus from the bus station close to the main railway station in Ljubljana to Bled in just over an hour. Alternatively, take a tour, your hotel can advise.
My wife and I are heading for Los Angeles where we pick up a hire car and drive to the Grand Canyon followed by Colorado. Could you suggest a possible itinerary with places to see on the way and on our return trip to LA? J. Geddes, Nowra, NSW
Assuming your first stop from LA might be Las Vegas, you could then continue into Arizona to visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon and from there head north to take in Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks and Monument Valley before travelling east into Colorado, or else continue along Highway 40, heading for Albuquerque followed by Santa Fe and Taos. These are some of the oldest cities in the US, now transformed into artists’ colonies founded by some of the high practitioners of modern art, among them Georgia O’Keefe. Another facet of Santa Fe is the continuing presence of several substantial native American communities, and places such as Acoma Pueblo, Taos Pueblo and Puye Cliff Dwellings maintain their connection with the sun god and the eagle dance.
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In Colorado, Denver, Aspen, Rocky Mountains National Park, Boulder and Mesa Verde National Park would all be high on my list.
On your return journey to LA my preferred route would be across Nevada and through Yosemite National Park to San Francisco. From there take California Highway 1 south to LA. Take it slow, it’s a wonderful drive with essential stops at Carmel, Monterey, Big Sur and Hearst Castle.
This is a huge drive, and you need two weeks at least.
When you switch sides and drive on the right, the temptation is to drive close to the right-hand side, making it a terrifying experience for your passenger. Look to the left side of the road and focus on driving close to the lane markings until you become accustomed to the switch.
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