Things you should know about Chinan passports

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What are your top travel trips for Bosnia and Herzegovina, of which Sarajevo is the capital? TIP OF THE WEEK

After a walking trip in Slovenia with my wife a few years ago we were due to catch a Backroads tour in Dubrovnik several days later so, in the meantime, we flew from Slovenia to Sarajevo, where we spent three nights then hired a car and drove to Dubrovnik.

I would highly recommend anyone with a few days to spare in this region to visit Sarajevo. The city has recovered largely from the three-year siege, although the scars are evident. Siege tours are interesting, as is the multi-religious aspect of the city with synagogue, mosque and church in the same block.

We arrived there in Ramadan and the atmosphere in the old town at dusk was fantastic, as was the ambience of the newer sections where people sipped on a drink at the street-front cafes watching the passing fare. Between Dubrovnik and Sarajevo stop in Mostar and take in the old town and the fabulous bridge.

If you are really keen drop in at Medjugorje for something different. Car hire was not expensive, even the fact that we dropped off in Dubrovnik after hiring in Sarajevo.

Bill Higgins, Cammeray, NSWVALID COMMENT

In regards to Michael Gebicki’s article about things you should know about ‘s passports (Traveller on Sunday, December 17), clearly passports need to be considerably more robust, resistant to damage, dampness or bending, which destroy their validity and require costly replacement.

Once, damaged passports could be dried out and flattened to remain valid until expiry. Today it is vital to have complete passport security, so a microchip containing all of a passport-holder’s details should be embedded in a tiny, sealed waterproof corner location, unaffected by bending. The visual photograph and information should be permanently printed on a waterproof, flexible page (think n bank notes).

Fergus Maclagan, Milsons Point, NSW KYOTO, WITH LOVE

I enjoyed reading the interesting article “20 reasons to love ??? Kyoto” (Traveller on Sunday, October 29, 2017). My husband, who is French-n, lived in Japan in the 1970s and I am originally from Japan.

We’ve travelled in Japan, including Kyoto, on many occasions yet despite that we didn’t know about the village of Miyama or the Murin-an Garden, both of which were mentioned in the article. As described, Miyama, with its community of thatched-roof houses, is certainly a best-kept secret.

We’ve also enjoyed taking a long walk from Arashiyama up to Daikaku-ji and visiting various temples along the way, including Chikurin (bamboo forest) and Nenbutsu-ji. We also walked on the Philosopher’s Path from Ginkaku-ji to Nanzen-ji some years ago.

In November for the first time, we visited Otagi-nenbutsu-ji, which has 1200 rakan statues and is not far from Nenbutsu-ji mentioned in the story.

We also went to the mountain monastery of Hieizan-Enryaku-ji, which takes only 18 minutes by train from Kyoto to Hieizan-Sakamoto station and then a 30-minute walk to the funicular railway to Hieizan. Along the way, we visited various temples and gardens.

Japan has become a popular travel destination and naturally Kyoto has become crowded with Japanese and non-Japanese tourists, particularly during its best seasons – spring and autumn.

Kyoto residents have started to have some negative feelings about the crowding and about some badly-behaved tourists. Sadly, the problem of some tourists not respecting the places they visit is a worldwide one.

Takiko Yalichev, Lavender Bay, NSWSOUTHERN COMFORT

A recent letter to your weekly Tripologist column (Traveller on Sunday, December 10) requested suggestions for a travel agent for a trip to South America. I cannot recommend the Sydney-based Eclipse Travel enough.

They cater for bespoke private itineraries and have three levels of accommodation which one can chop and change according to budget. We were met at the airports by a private guide/driver, transferred to our accommodation, pre-arranged tours organised.

We met other tourists from one of the major travel agents on our train ride to Lake Titicaca, and on discussion our costs were about $4000 cheaper for much the same product, except of course for the size of the group.

Eclipse travel consultants are highly trained and professional. We have now travelled twice with Eclipse, and each occasion the trip was organised promptly and efficiently.

David and Kerrie Maitland. Baulkham Hills NSW

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