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6 pocket-friendly foreign destinations to head to

November 05, 2018 09:31 IST

The six destinations have a lot to offer in terms of adventure, culture and entertainment, says Priyadarshini Maji

Photograph: Kind courtesy JESHOOTScom/pixabay.com

The year-end festive season is just round the corner and there is a rush for tickets to exotic locations.

According to recent data from TripAdvisor, bookings for cultural tours are up 45 per cent globally over last year.

Nikhil Ganju, country manager, TripAdvisor India, says, "Like food experiences, which have seen massive growth globally, cultural tours are becoming an integral part of traveller itineraries in 2018. Cultural experiences such as architectural, historical, literary, and art tours are becoming very popular."

Despite the sharp depreciation of the rupee, international destinations such as Dubai, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, and Pattaya remain relatively less and are great options for short vacations.

Says Balu Ramachandran, head of air & distribution, Cleartrip: "For the price-conscious traveller, there are always cheaper options in Asia like Sri Lanka, Bangkok, and Dubai, where the depreciation of the rupee will not be as impactful as it is in Europe, the US and the Middle East."

Given the short timeline during these festive seasons, explore these budget international destinations that will fit into your tight holiday schedule.

 
1
Thailand
IMAGE: A tourist takes a picture of the Reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

A four-hour flight to Thailand makes it one of the most popular international destinations among Indians.

The two most popular tourist spots in Thailand are Bangkok and Pattaya.

Apart from shopping, the country has much to offer in temples such as the Reclining Buddha and the numerous historical monuments.

In Pattaya, the top attractions are Alcazar Cabaret, Underwater World and the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden.

Other than the temples and the beaches, the golden triangle, where the borders of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand meet, is a must-visit during this time of the year.

Or for leisure, you can just brush up your Thai cooking skills by joining a local class.

Please click for more images
IMAGE: The Giant Swing, a 223-year-old landmark in Bangkok, stands outside the Wat Suthat Bamrung temple in Bangkok. Photograph: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters
IMAGE: Thai transvestites dance at a cabaret show in Pattaya. Photograph: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters
IMAGE: The Nong Nooch Tropical Garden. Photograph: Kind courtesy Brenden Brain/wikipedia.org
IMAGE: A glimpse of Thai food Photograph: Kind courtesy tourismthailand.org
2
Dubai
IMAGE: The Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, is in Dubai. Photograph: Mosab Omar/Reuters

Dubai is known to be an extremely tourist-friendly destination that is also light on the pocket.

Here, you can get a 360-degree view of the city from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa or visit the Dubai aquarium, go on a desert safari, do some indoor skydiving, or take a seaplane flight.

You can even mall crawl -- choose from the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates among many more.

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IMAGE: A view from the Burj Khalifa. Photograph: Kind courtesy Creative Commons
IMAGE: A desert safari. Photograph: Kind courtesy Creative Commons
IMAGE: Visitors look at the aquarium in Dubai Mall which covers the area of 50 soccer pitches. The Dubai Mall includes the aquarium, one of the world's largest, an Olympic-sized ice rink, a gold souq and shops covering 5.9 million square feet. Photograph: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters
IMAGE: Shoppers at the Dubai Mall. Photograph: Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters
3
Singapore
IMAGE: A view of the Marina Bay Sands hotel and the Art Science Museum in Singapore Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

Diwali is celebrated in a big way in this little red dot country.

Its key attractions are the Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Night Safari, Sentosa Island, Universal Studios, and the Singapore Flyer, which is one of the largest working wheels that offers an excellent view of Singapore.

Other attractions include Gardens of the Bay, a nature park noted for its innovative architecture, and the Veeramakaliamman Temple.

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IMAGE: The Singapore Night Safari. Photograph: Kind courtesy visitsingapore.com
IMAGE: Monorail vehicles pass in front of the Merlion statue on Singapore's Sentosa Island. Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
IMAGE: The Universal Studios. Photograph: Kind courtesy acbarbosa-274257/pixabay.com
IMAGE: An aerial view shows the main grand stand and the F1 pit building behind the Singapore Flyer observation wheel. Photograph: Matthew Lee/Reuters
IMAGE: Gardens of the Bay. Photograph: Kind courtesy cegoh-94852/pixabay.com
IMAGE; The Veeramakaliamman Temple. Photograph: Kind courtesy cegoh-94852/pixabay.com
4
Bali
IMAGE: Bali beach. Photograph: Kind courtesy Mariamichelle-165491/pixabay.com

Bali is a pocket-friendly location for beach lovers and those looking for a quiet vacation.

The November season is the best time to explore Bali.

Apart from surfing the beaches, you can also visit the famous Uluwatu temple and catch a performance at the Bali theatre.

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IMAGE: The Uluwatu temple. Photograph: Kind courtesy Carfiend/wikipedia
IMAGE: The Bali theatre. Photograph: Kind courtesy frejka-668358/pixabay.com
5
Hong Kong
IMAGE: An aerial view of the revered 26-metre tall bronze Buddha statue at the Po Lin Monastery on Hong Kong's Lantau island. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Though it isn't really a short-haul destination, the holiday is nevertheless very refreshing.

Key attractions include Lantau Island, the Tian Tan Buddha and the Temple Street Night Market, Also check out Hong Kong from Victoria Peak.

Hong Kong is not only an ideal destination for adults, but a great place for the kids too.

If travelling with kids, head to Disneyland, take a ride on the Peak Tram or visit Ocean Park.

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IMAGE: Temple Street Night Market. Photograph: Kind courtesy Matthias Süßen/Wikimedia
IMAGE: Victoria Peak. Photograph: Kind courtesy Daniel Case/wikimedia.org
IMAGE: The Disneyland in Hong Kong. Photograph: Kind courtesy dassel-989431/pixabay.com
IMAGE: A tram approaches on its way up The Peak in Hong Kong. The Peak Tram, one of the oldest modes of transportation in the city, started its service in 1888, carrying passengers up 368 meters (1,207 feet) on a 1.4 km (0.8 mile) track. Photograph: Soo Hoo Zheyang/Reuters
IMAGE: Visitors look at divers swimming in a giant aquarium at the marine-themed zone at Hong Kong's Ocean Park. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
6
Macau
IMAGE: Macau Casion Lisboa. Photograph: Kind courtesy Ziiad/ wikimedia.org

Even for normal tours, Macau is an offbeat, albeit popular, destination.

On a quick trip, include a visit to the Casion Lisboa, Macau towers, St Paul's Church (a Unesco world heritage site) and the Nyong Ping Piazza.

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IMAGE: Macau towers. Photograph: Kind courtesy AndyLeungHK-4930458/pixabay.com
IMAGE: St Paul's Church. Photograph: Kind courtesy Makalu-680451/pixabay.com
IMAGE: Nyong Ping Piazza. Photograph: Kind courtesy Wing1990hk/wikimedia
7
Sri Lanka
IMAGE: A view of Colombo. Photograph: Kind courtesy Anuradha Dullewe Wijeyeratne/wikimedia.org

Though the weather on the east coast is best during between May to September, the best time to visit Sri Lanka is during December and January.

Key attractions in Sri Lanka include Colombo, Kandy, Galle and Bentota.

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IMAGE: The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Photograph: Kind courtesy McKay Savage/wikimedia.org

Water sports enthusiasts would find a wide variety of options at Bentota and Galle.

Trekking enthusiasts should attempt to scale Little Adam's Peak in Ella or reach the top of Diyaluma Falls.

IMAGE: A glimpse of Galle. Photograph: Kind courtesy lapping-3464230/pixabay.com
IMAGE: A glimpse of Bentota. Photograph: Kind courtesy Vincent van Zeijst/wikimedia.org
IMAGE: Water sports at Bentota and Galle. Photograph: kind courtesy Redmarkviolinist/wikipedia.org
IMAGE: Trekking Adam's Peak in Ella. Photograph: Kind courtesy Bcd4e6/wikipedia.org
IMAGE: Diyaluma Falls. Photograph: Kind courtesy Ji-Elle/wikipedia.org

 

Priyadarshini Maji
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