It's hard to summarize the diversity of travel to Thailand. Its capital, Bangkok, is a teeming metropolis with gilded temples and palaces, while the two coastlines, on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, have postcard-perfect beaches. In the mountainous interior, hill tribes live as they have for millennia. And wherever you travel in Thailand, there's the food: fresh seafood, countless curries, and noodle dishes so delicious you'll never want to return to your local Thai take-out.
Singapore is their first introduction to Southeast Asia, and the island nation seems to exist in two worlds at once. When you visit Singapore, the sparkling boutiques and department stores on Orchard Road and the hotels, both historic and new, may remind you more of Houston, Texas, than of the inscrutable East. But Singapore travel has its exotic elements too - in the shophouses of Chinatown, for instance, as well as the temples of Little India and the city's night markets.
The former Portuguese enclave of Goa, midway down India’s southwest coast, has been a holiday destination since colonial times, when British troops and officials used to travel here from across the country for a spot of “R&R”. Now it’s the golden, palm-fringed beaches spread along the state’s 105km coastline that pull in the tourists – around two million of them each winter. Cheap air travel has spawned a dramatic rise in the number of domestic visitors in recent years, and planeloads of
From its glittering skyscrapers to its sweeping sand dunes, this multi-cultural metropolis is as awe-worthy as ever. Once a small fishing village, Dubai has emerged recently as a truly cosmopolitan city. It has world-class shopping—and the world’s largest shopping mall to boot—as well as snowy indoor slopes for skiing, the world’s tallest tower, beautiful beaches, and even man-made islands. Plus, you can always access the untamed desert, where you can drive or ride camels along the glittering
Manali, at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, is a hill station situated at a height of 2050m (6398 ft) in the Himalayas. Situated on the Beas river (Vyaas in Hindi) and near its source, it is a popular tourist spot for Indians in summer and a magical, snow-covered place in winter. A staging point for a number of treks (Beas Kund, Chandrakhani Pass) and sports such as white-water rafting, Manali is also on the road to Ladakh via the valley of Lahaul and Spiti and the Rohtang Pa
India’s most remote state, the Andaman Islands are situated more than 1000km off the east coast in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, connected to the mainland by flights and ferries from Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakapatnam. Thickly covered by deep green tropical forest, the archipelago supports a profusion of wildlife, including some extremely rare species of bird, but the principal attraction for tourists lies in the beaches and the pristine reefs that ring most of the islands. Filled with colourful
Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands, a volcanic chain extending as far as the Seychelles. Fringed by 160km of sandy beaches and an azure sea, with a backdrop of rugged peaks and shimmering sugar cane, this pear-shaped tropical island is a dream holiday destination. An islander once told Mark Twain that “Mauritius was made first and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius”. Thanks to year-round sunshine, the island’s beaches are its key selling point, many lined with world-cla
Malaysia has a rich cultural heritage, populated by a mix of Malays, Chinese, Indians, and indigenous groups. There is also an outstanding variety of natural beauty in the country ranging from spectacular beaches to some of the oldest tropical rain-forests in the world. Meanwhile beach bums should head to the east coast islands, for white-sand beaches, clear waters, and superb snorkelling and diving. People from all over the world travel to Malaysia to see the cosmopolitan capital of Kuala Lumpur, t
The state of Kerala stretches for 550km along India’s southwest coast, divided between the densely forested mountains of the Western Ghats inland and a lush, humid coastal plain of rice paddy, lagoons, rivers and canals. Its intensely tropical landscape, fed by the highest rainfall in peninsular India, has intoxicated visitors since the ancient Sumerians and Greeks sailed in search of spices to the shore known as the Malabar Coast. Equally, Kerala’s arcane rituals and spectacular festivals – ma
For a small island, Sri Lanka packs a mighty punch. From palm-fringed beaches and luxuriant rainforests, to misty mountains and tea plantations, boasting a superb array of exotic wildlife, and one of Asia’s most spectacular collections of Buddhist monuments, few countries can offer such a variety of attractions. Whether you fancy looking for leopards and elephants at Yala National Park, discovering the origins of your cuppa at Dambatenne Tea Factory, or climbing up to the palace in the clouds on t
Think of Nepal and you think of mountains – this little country, sandwiched between India and Tibet, boasts the world’s highest and most breath-taking stretch of the Himalayas. But it is also incredibly diverse, with crumbling Hindu temples and lofty Buddhist monasteries, ancient festivals and laidback lakeside bars. Use our map of Nepal to start planning your trip. You won’t be short of places to explore at this astonishingly varied destination. Marvel at the exquisite Janaki Mandir, a Mughal
More fully known as the Hong Kong SAR – wears a lot of hats: it remains one of the world’s largest financial hubs; its modern face hides a surprisingly traditional culture; and it’s also an experiment in governance with which the mainland authorities hope to win over a recalcitrant Taiwan. While Hong Kong’s famous addiction to money and brand names tends to mask the fact that most people work long hours and live in tiny apartments, the city is bursting with energy and the population of seven
Bali is known as the Island of the Gods for a reason. It’s one of 17,500 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, yet even among its colorful neighbors—and even after decades of tourism development—it stands alone in its incomparable beauty. It is part of the Coral Triangle, which has the highest diversity of marine species on earth, making the coral reefs that surround the island a spectacular sight. Despite the island’s small size, its population holds most of Indonesia’s Hindu minority. Ba
Maldives are a gorgeous chain of islands in the Indian Ocean-Arabian Sea area consisting of 26 atolls. The Maldives are well-known as a world-class diving destination with crystal blue waters teeming with a diverse array of ocean life. There are also plenty of private bungalows and resorts abutting the islands’ white, sandy beaches, though in recent years cottages and apartments in the Maldives’ major towns have become more prevalent. Of particular note is the islands’ capital, Malé, which sit
Rajasthan, described by many as the region that captures the true essence of India, is the second largest state of the country and a place where you can touch, taste, and experience the local culture and traditions just by walking through the stone streets. The majestic palaces and fortresses make travel to Rajasthan a remarkable and distinctly unique experience. Each corner of every city vibrates with foot traffic, and hums with the ceaseless, yet orchestrated chaos of automobiles and bicycles. In R
The northern most state of Jammu and Kashmir offers a heady combination of imposing mountains, placid lakes mirroring the sky overhead, picture pretty gardens, not to mention the lip smacking cuisines. A tour to Jammu Kashmir is no doubt lends an experience of touring the heaven, right here on earth. Pay a visit to the archaic city of Srinagar in your Jammu and Kashmir Tour. Every pillar in this beautiful city, adorned with magnificent lakes and gardens would tell you the tale of a glorious love affa