Decided on a holiday at the last-minute and have no time to apply for a visa? No problem! Just pack your bags, buy a ticket and land up at any of these destinations that offer not just a great break but also a visa-free or a visa-on-arrival facility.
With eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, being here, there are great opportunities to hike on many rugged trails. You can also raft down its roaring rivers, or go bungee-jumping, paragliding and canyoning. A stroll down the picturesque city squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur gives you a peek into quaint palaces, shrines and temple art of this hilly kingdom.
One of best reasons to get interested in the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ is its high Gross National Happiness index. Bhutan’s innumerable offerings begin from the moment you fly past the incredible views of Mt Everest and Mt Kanchenjunga. Its many monasteries reveal how Buddhism is not just a religion but a way of life here. And for those who crave adventure, Bhutan offers activities like hiking, biking, trekking, kayaking and rafting.
Often referred to as the Las Vegas of Asia, there’s more to Macau than meets the eye. Besides the bright lights and glamour of the casinos, Macau offers many cultural experiences in its monuments. The ancient A-Ma Temple is representative of Chinese culture, the ruins of 18th-century St Paul’s Cathedral, and Senado Square with its European styled buildings.
Remember the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” that inspired many travellers to discover Jordan’s gorgeous desertscape and ancient monuments? There’s plenty to do here, from taking a dip in the Dead Sea with its hypersaline water that keeps you afloat, visiting the mystical Lost City of Petra that goes back to 300 BC or going up in a hot air balloon over the vast expanses of Wadi Rum’s desert wilderness. Jordan is also a delight for adventure lovers and foodies.
Siem Reap, in northwestern Cambodia is a temple town that attracts travellers throughout the year for its most famous temple complex – Angkor Wat. The first look at this incredible World Heritage Site leaves you breathless. Built in the 12th century, the Indian influence on architectural style cannot be missed. Get there early to catch the sun light up its spires. A bicycle tour is an interesting option while the adventurous ones could try a hand at zip lining. Among the many impressive sights is the ten-foot-tall statue of Lord Vishnu crafted from a single block of sandstone. Look out for the areas of Ta Phrom temple that were seen in Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider.
There are many islands in this country, Bali being the most popular one. Amidst the many must-visit ancient temples like Tanah Loh, Uluwatu, Saraswati and the beautiful Besakih, Bali offers treks that take you to the top of its volcanic mountains, providing phenomenal views. You can also try your hand at surfing. The waves at Kuta Beach are perfect for beginners while seasoned ones can go to Uluwatu, Nusa Dua and Canggu.
Contrary to common belief, this group of 115 islands spread out in the Indian Ocean, is not just for the glitzy but also for budget travellers who can avail of options like self-catering facilities and family-run guesthouses. The combo of sun, sea and sand in this spectacular tropical paradise offers charming vistas at every turn. Activities like snorkelling, diving and deep-sea fishing besides horse-riding and trekking promise an unforgettable holiday.
This haven of over 1,000 islands offers blue waters, beautiful coral islands and white beaches. Diving and snorkelling are the best way to view its water world comprising over 20 different species of whales and dolphins. Or opt for glass-bottomed boats, which also offer surreal views of the marine life. Night-fishing and big-game fishing could bring in some prized catches like swordfish and barracuda. Don’t forget to dine in an underwater room where shoals of fish, sharks and turtles swirl over your head as you enjoy a meal.
Gorgeous islands boasting beautiful beaches, exotic street food, bustling markets, pretty lakes and gibbons at Khao Sok National Park are some of the reasons to visit this country. Besides Phuket or Koh Samui, also enjoy Bangkok’s vibe, its ancient temples, monasteries, markets and street food.
Be it a family vacation, honeymoon, or a trip with friends, Mauritius works for all. There’s a lot to do – from hopping into glass-bottomed boats to watch the corals, scuba diving or dolphin spotting. Do visit Chamarel Village to admire its seven-hued layers of sand and the Grand Bassin that has a 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva.