We brings you a list of some really interesting budget foreign destinations that are easy on your pocket.
When you think international holidays, do you immediately start calculating for how many months you’ll have to save to get there? Fret no more, dear Indian traveller. Yes, you will still have to save, but the good news is that there are many destinations that you can visit without having to pay through your nose. Here are top picks for budget foreign trips from India.
1. Colombo, Sri Lanka Most people briefly stop in Colombo before heading to the gorgeous beaches on the western coast, or the cultural triangle. But if all you have is a few days off, and you want to get out of the country, head to Colombo and give it a chance. Visit the Gangaramaya Temple and other nearby Buddhist temples for a spiritual experience. Walk around in the Colombo Fort area where every building has a rich history, and so many tales to tell. Bargain to your heart’s content at Pettah Market, Colombo’s huge open market where you will find anything from fruits to jewellery. Savour delicious Sri Lankan food, especially if you like seafood. But vegetarians, don’t worry, there’s plenty for you too!
2. Koh Samui, Thailand Koh Samui is one of those places that you can safely say – “Ah, the pictures weren’t photoshopped!” The white beaches, blue waters and coral reefs literally are that lovely. Scuba diving enthusiasts can have a whale of a time here, while there’s plenty of exotic flora and fauna in the tropical forests if you’re up for some exploring. Of course, for the beach bums, this is a paradise to sit and sip your minty cocktails. Cheap flights to Bangkok are available from various Indian cities, and you can then take a connecting flight to Koh Samui, where hotels and B&B’s that cater to every kind of traveller dot the island.
3. Kathmandu, Nepal Very often, we forget about our immediate neighbors, don’t we? Just across the border and a very short flight away from New Delhi sits Kathmandu, with promises of mountains and spirituality. Apart from being a gateway to the Himalayas for mountaineering enthusiasts, Kathmandu is a nice blend of the old and new, the modern and the traditional. The Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has several palaces and temples within its precinct waiting to be explored. The Thamel area has tons of shops selling anything from mountaineering gear to souvenirs. The Pashupatinath Temple is the city’s oldest Hindu temple, while the Bodhnath Stupa is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the world. Unlock personal achievements by completing breathtaking climbs in Nepal
4. Singapore Yet another ideal destination when you have limited time and a tight budget is Singapore. The glitzy city has much more than the fashion labels at Orchard Street. Soak in the culture at Chintown Heritage Centre, or take a cruise on the Singapore River. Visit the Singapore Zoo, which is one of the best in Asia, and also make sure you don’t miss the Night Safari. Spend an evening at the Marina Bay area. Explore the many dining options by the River at Clarke Quay. Plan your trip early for cheaper flight tickets and book your hotel in advance too.
5. Malacca, Malaysia We’ve all heard of Kuala Lumpur, but how many of us have really given thought to Malacca? With its Portuguese influence clearly visible in the buildings and streets, Malacca is a city that is brimming with history. Jonker Street is a great place if you want to stumble upon antiques and other collectibles. With its myriad of colours, Malacca is a photographer’s delight too. Get here by road from the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur; it’ll just take you about an hour and a half.
6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates It takes a while for an outsider to look beyond the layers of glamour that Dubai seems to have become synonymous with. But when you do, you’ll notice that there is so much you can do in this incredible city. A long walk around the old Bastakiya district is a must-do for the history buffs. Whether or not you want to make a purchase, you must definitely visit the Deira Gold Souk just for the experience. Get away from the traffic and crowds and take a desert safari and do some dune bashing. Or just be a tourist and visit the Burj Khalifa and other notable skyscrapers, if only for the splendid views. Make your way to Dubai’s famous skyscrapers for some holiday-worthy views
7. Bangkok, Thailand How many of you have asked friends to purchase electronic goods or branded accessories from Bangkok? I’m sure there are many. Now, you can head there and buy them for yourself, because if you plan reasonably well in advance, tickets to Bangkok are pretty cheap from Mumbai, New Delhi or any other major Indian city. And Bangkok is not just a retail-therapy haven, but it is full of beautiful Buddhist temples, lip-smackingly delicious street food and lovely floating markets. Bangkok: perfect for shopping, visiting temples, watching fights and eating to your stomach’s content!
8. Bali, Indonesia Rice plantations so green that you wonder if nature has some kind of Photoshop, intricately-sculpted temples, blue-green seas and sandy beaches – these are just a few things from the mixed goody bag that is Bali. Experience a little of everything when you’re visiting this beautiful island. Laze on the glorious beaches of Seminyak and Nusa Dua. Visit the crafts villages in Ubud and the surrounding villages. Water sports enthusiasts have tons of options to go surfing or diving. If you’re feeling more adventurous, trek up Mount Batur, one of Bali’s active volcanoes. After your trek, treat those sore muscles to a relaxing Balinese massage.
9. Male, Maldives The Maldives, with its turquoise waters, colourful sea life and exotic spas, has in the recent years been wooing the Indian traveller like never before. Male, the capital of Maldives, is located in the North Male Atoll, and is connected by air to major Indian cities. The underwater life in the sea lends a whole new meaning to the term colourful, and scuba diving enthusiasts are set to have a highly memorable experience. After a few days in the capital, head out to explore another inhabited island to get a true taste of the culture in this beautiful country.
10. Phuket, Thailand Yes, Thailand features again in our list. That’s how budget-friendly it is. The world first noticed Phuket after the 1974 James Bond flick The Man with the Golden Gun was shot there. And it continues to attract travellers with its sandy beaches, clear waters and vibrant nightlife. Whether you are looking to have a quiet time by the beach or party hard, Phuket is a great option.