There's quite a bit of travel-related news this week, but not much of it is good.
Cathay Pacific Airlines may still have a few seats left for their Flash Fare promotion, which began Monday at midnight. Check it out and massage the dates. Those destinations are pretty popular and the fares quite low, so expect them to sell out quickly.
The search goes on for survivors of a shipwreck in the Yangzi River as your correspondent writes this. 458 people were believed to be aboard the vessel. For anyone worried about friends or relatives, no Beijingers or foreigners are believed to be aboard. Tragic.
China now has its first confirmed case, and South Korea its first two deaths, from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). "The virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact. There is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission," the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement. That's interesting, considering that so far there have been 1,139 confirmed cases, with 431 deaths across 24 countries, according to a Reuters report. I'm glad it doesn't pass easily!
It must have been interesting for anyone who stumbled on a nude photo shoot at the Forbidden City. The photos surfaced online and people were either outraged, titillated, or both. Must have made some tour guides' day. "And over here on our right is ... whoa."
Ever made a wrong turn while traveling somewhere? That happened last weekend to a Russian airliner that was approaching Beijing. The only difference was that instead of going into the correct pattern for a final approach to Beijing Capital International Airport, the plane ventured into restricted airspace over the city, including over the China World Trade Center and the Dongbianmen area. It must have been a tad unnerving for anyone on a high floor in Guo Mao Tower Three, knowing that the airspace over Beijing is so limited that even China's leaders use ground transportation when they go to the airport. Anyway, the plane landed. Pilots make mistakes.
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