Asia

My Favourite 5 Indian Destinations

I fell in love with India

around 5 years ago and ever since that first trip I have returned on 4 occasions and traveled extensively around its regions. In all honesty, I didn’t even think I would like it there, I knew that I liked the food, but that was pretty much it. Once I arrived however, my opinions quickly changed and I am planning on returning for my 6th time this October. If you choose to decide to spend your holiday in India then here are some of the places which I would recommend that you go to.

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Kashmir

In terms of sheer natural beauty, Kashmir is up there with the best of them and it was the place which I first visited 5 years ago. Here you will find true Indian culture in the small villages that are littered through the region, wide plains and fresh lakes, all with the backdrop of the impending Himalaya mountain range.

Goa

If you are looking to party in India then Goa is the place for you, this is a 24/7 happy place where you can relax on the beach by day and party on it at night. The clock ceases to exist when you get to Goa and it truly is a revelers dream. For those not wanting anything to crazy, there are many areas of Goa which are set away from the bars and clubs and offer relaxing tranquility on the Indian Ocean.

Agra

India’s main event is undoubtedly the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world and a truly breathtaking building which has stood the test of time. In order to see the Taj Mahal and the surrounding buildings, you should stay in Aggra, a very ‘Indian’ city which bustles with markets and somewhat surprisingly given its proximity to the Taj Mahal, it isn’t too touristy.

Bangalore

Bangalore is a modern metropolis which is also home to India’s high-tech industry so much so that it is often referred to as the Indian ‘Silicon Valley’. There is a very international feel about this city and the drinking and dining scene are growing rapidly with lots of trendy new bars and restaurants popping up throughout the city. This is a great city to relax in for a few days, especially if you have been putting in the work traveling through some of the more rural areas of India. Throughout the city you will find many plazas, shopping centers and open parks where you can enjoy the warm climate and some modern Indian culture.

Jaipur

To experience the very best of India’s rich history you should go to the northern city of Jaipur. Once the home of the royal family which ruled the region of Rajasthan, this city houses a vast number of ancient houses and temples with the opulent Palace complex amongst the most popular of the attractions in the city. There is a very local feel about the city and in terms of markets, you will do well to find many as grand or busy as there are in Jaipur.

Your Guide for a Great Trip to Phuket

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Phuket is an extremely popular tourist destination, and this Thai island attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly. The great party scene, cheap prices, beautiful beaches, and fun vacation atmosphere make this a top-notch holiday destination.

Where to stay

One of the best tips for traveling to Phuket, especially if you have some money to spend, is to stay in one of the many gorgeous Phuket villa rentals. Available homes range from one-bedroom houses, to villas, which can sleep 24 guests. For those who really want to go all out, a small island off the coast is for rent too, with a luxurious private villa, perfect for 38 guests.

 

The vacation rental villas are perfectly maintained, and most, if not all, feature pools and breathtaking views. Private chefs can be hired for your comfort as well. If you’re after a luxury experience you won’t forget, bypass the tourist filled hotels and head to your private home away from home.

When to visit

The island of Phuket is a year round beach destination. Rather than having four traditional seasons, it is easier to group Thai weather into rainy, and not-so-rainy. The rainy season lasts from September to October. Don’t let the rain scare you off though, as normally a day during the monsoon season will be mostly sunny, with a massive downpour lasting briefly each afternoon or early evening. In a lot of ways, September and October make good months to visit Phuket because there are less tourists around, and prices are often slightly cheaper during these months too.

If you prefer to visit during the drier months, that’s fine too. April and May are definitely the hottest months of the year, with temperatures soaring to 36 degrees with frequency. That said, April is a really cool time to visit because Thai New Years falls on April 13th, and the country celebrates magnificently.

More: Paradise reborn in Phuket

The weather is best during the months of June, July and August, and during this time temperatures will usually be between 20 Celsius and 33 Celsius. Be aware that because these are the top tourist months, beaches will be busy during this time, and some local places will take advantage of the high demand and bring their prices up too.

Places to see

While laying on the beach, cocktail in hand is a perfectly acceptable way to spend your hard earned vacation, here are some great sights to see during your trip:

Big Buddha is exactly what the name implies. A really big (statue of a) Buddha. This iconic landmark stands 45 meters tall, and is one of the islands top tourist attractions. From the statue you’ll be able to enjoy great views of Phuket town, and the coastline and its beaches. Personally I enjoy the trip up to the statue, as the road leading there winds through the ‘real’ Thailand, and as such visitors get to see a little more then just the touristy main drag.

Khao Sok National park is one of the worlds oldest rain forests, and here visitors can bask in the glory of the luscious vegetation, and explore grand waterfalls housed in limestone rock formations. For those hoping to see elephants, this is a great place to find them!

Wat Chalong is another great spiritual sight to see during your stay. This is the biggest temple on the island, and it’s an awesome sight to see due to its colorful decorations, featuring imagery from Thai and Buddhist mythology.

Things to Do

As mentioned earlier, lounging by the beach is one of the best ways to spend a day in Phuket. Patong beach is perhaps the most well-known, and therefore the busiest, but it won’t disappoint. Other great beaches include Kalim Bay and Cherng Talay.

Phuket’s crystal clear waters are well suited for scuba diving and snorkeling. Snorkeling gear is abundantly available for rent, and for those wishing to get their scuba diving certification, that is possible on Phuket too.

Another unique way to spend an afternoon is to visit one of the islands viewpoints. Radar Hill is a great one, and it is said to be the highest point on whole of Phuket. Visitors will reach this viewpoint by traveling up long winding roads through the countryside, but will be rewarded with views over Patong, Chalong and Phuket town. Other viewpoints worth checking out are Rang Hill, for an inland view, and Panwa, which allows for 360 views over the island.

Get a famous Thai massage! Don’t leave the island before you’ve treated yourself to a massage. The country is famous for its massages, and they are cheap too! Throughout Phuket Town and all over the beaches you’ll find them offered.

Phuket makes a great vacation destination, and with these tips in hand you’ll surely have the experience of a lifetime. Enjoy your trip!

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Top Asian Cities to Visit This Year

Asia is a deeply fascinating continent that offers any tourist a wide range of choice, from the idyllic beaches of Thailand and China’s Great Wall to the temples of Hanoi and the bright lights of Tokyo. There is so much to discover on this great continent that many set months aside to travel through it and experience as much as they can. If you don’t have months that you are able to spend traveling throughout the continent then that is just fine, you can still explore some of its most impressive cities on a long break or a vacation for a week or two and here are some of the best cities to visit.

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Tokyo, Japan

This thoroughly modern cosmopolitan city offers tourists bright lights, crazy technology, exquisite cuisine and natural beauty and a trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without visiting the country’s neon capital. Tokyo is a city of invention and re-invention that is constantly seeking to push the boundaries of technology, it embraces its traditions through its restaurants and bars and its packed stadiums showing sumo contests. The city is clean and safe and getting around is very easy with fast trains, efficient bus services and private car services available to ferry you from point to point.

Seminyak, Indonesia

Bali has become a hotspot for tourists over the last 20 years and Seminyak offers tourists the most beautiful beaches on the island. The city has an atmosphere that is laid back and relaxed and it offers tourists not just phenomenal sunsets but also a trendy city with upscale restaurants and trendy bars. If you are heading to Indonesia then don’t miss out on this incredible city.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai is one of China’s most popular cities for travelers and it very easy to see why, the largest city in China and one which offers tourist the chance to experience the city’s past, its present and even its future. The Huangpu River splits the city in two and separates the districts of Pudong and Puxi, Pudong is the ultra-modern, sci-fi-esque quarter of the city and Puxi is where you will be able to glimpse in to Shanghai’s rich cultural past. Bars, nightclubs, shows, museums, statues, theaters and more shops than anyone could wish for, Shanghai has everything that a traveler requires.

Nalaikh, Mongolia

Just a 30 minute ride from Mongolia’s capital city is the national park of Terelj where you can experience a day or two of the nomadic Mongolian lifestyle. In this vast region you can stay in a traditional yurt and exploring the region on horseback with some true Mongolian cowboys. If you are looking for truly memorable and entirely different sort of vacation or even an extension to your Asian adventure then this part of Mongolia will be the perfect option. This trip will be sure to fill up your camera reel and make you think very differently about your way of life back home, traveling should always be a great experience and this will be one that you are never going to forget.

 

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