Tuesday 20 March 2012

Last Minute Holidays By Air - Indonesia

Indonesia - The world's largest island archipelago combines mystique, adventure and beauty to make a heady holiday cocktail. Java's Borobudur, a Mahayana Buddhist relic, which includes 5km of Buddhist carvings and rises from a carpet of pretty paddy fields, will be a sight you wont forget in a hurry. Tana Toraja in Sulawesi is home to ethnic Toraja People and a cultural discovery. See the traditional tongkonan houses and be mystified by their funeral rites, which includes buffalo and pig carnages, tall wooden effigies and hanging graves. Head to familiar Bali and immerse yourself in its concoction of temple ceremonies, scenic treks, quaint beach town, shadow-puppet theatre and vivifying spa retreats. Kalimantan's steaming jungles and their reticent inhabitants (proboscis monkeys, sun bears and orang-utans) and the tribal hamlets are great exploration spots. Visit Komodo  National Park, home to the Komodo dragon, the world largest living lizard, and dive in its waters alongside manta rays and dolphins. Hire a mountain bike to scale Sumatra's volcanic craters, mountains and jungles for wildlife sightings, and cycle to the volcanic Danau Toba Lake.

Visa: Tourist are issued a visa on arrival (valid for 30 days from arrival, Rs.1120) your passport must be valid for at least six months from the arrival date, have at least one unused page for a visa on arrival sticker, and a confirmed return/onward ticket.

Monday 19 March 2012

Last Minute Holidays by Air - Mauritius

Mauritius: On your way from the airport, you'll go past bustling Port Louis with its well preserved colonial relics, museums and famous Chinatown. The Historical Le Morne Brabant peninsula with its 4km shoreline in the extreme south hosts some of the country's best beaches and takes its name from the stunning single-standing basaltic rock that looms over it. Go hikking in the country's sole national park, Black River Gorges, covered in dense forest rife with endemic species of flowering plans and birds and a hauntingly beautiful crater lake. Thumb-shaped Le Pouce Mountain in the north-west is ideal for mountain biking, especially when you pedal your way up to staggerring views of the island and then spend the come-down at swanky party town Grand Baie. Mauritian cuisine is a schizophrenic crowd-puller, refelecting its jumble-sale population and colonial influences - be sure to nosh on dhol purri, gateaux piment (chilli cakes) and spicy camarons (fresh-water prawns in hot sauces). Volcanic Rodrigues Island, 500 km north east, is a getaway from a getaway, with some of the best diving you'll find around here.

Visa: Free tourist visa or upto 60 days. Carry two passport sized photos, hotel confirmations a confirmed return ticket. Your passport will need to be endorsed with Rs.4500 for each day there and should be valid for at least six months from your date of arrival. 

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Last Minute Holidays By Air - The Seychelles

The Seychelles: Nature has been unsparing in its generosity to this cluster of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Jungle-wrought before its first human settlements two centuries ago, the Seychelles today are a perfect shoo-in for paradise. You're spoilt for choice when it comes to solitary, celluliod-friendly beaches, and whether you go to the more populated inner islands or the outlying ones, you're bound to feel like you've made a good choice. The inner granitic islands of the Seychelles are its most populous; Mahe is the largest with lovely bays, sun-spangled waters and granite peaks, an island whose beauty isn't hindered by its classy bouquet of vacation opportunities. The Country's interiors are largely made up of the magnificient Morne Seychellois National Park, which embraces the Seychelles highest Peak and is choked with various forest systems. Languish on Praslin island, yet another beach haven that strikes a balance between Mahe's relative humdrumness and the comatose pace of the smaller La Digue island. Its world heritage Vallee de Mai National Park is home to the rare coco de mer palms. Aride and Bird Island northwards are the Seychelles hottest birding and eco tourism hubs crawling with legions of terns, noddies, hawksbills and also green turtles. Wee granitic cousin island too, only 1 km in diameter, is swamped with more than 3,00,000 birds. The Seychelles is a proper dream sequence except it's real and increasingly affordable? No, there is no catch.

Visa: Tourists are issued a visa on arrival for a maximum of 15 Days provided you have a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of arrival, a return or an onward ticket, proof of accomodation and sufficient funds (approx Rs.6670 Per Day Per Person)   

Last Minute Holidays By Air - Hong Kong

Hong Kong - To Enjoy Hong Kong nuances, and it does have those - you have to submit to it first. Once you have powered through its explosion of crowds, cars and concrete, and your eyes have adjusted to blinding neon, you'll find that below its slick exterior, Hong Kong can be downright soulful. Tuck into dim sums and jasmine tea alongside the locals in traditional tea-houses and smoky canteens in the central district. Visit the ornate Man mo and Wong Tai Sin temples and breathe in the air, thick with burning incence and fervent prayers. Hire a junk, traditional Chinese fishing boat, for a picnic across the beautiful Aberdeen harbor. Ocean Park, a massive theme park with fun rides, aviary and marine shows and recreations of China's past, is perfect for kids. Temple street in Central Kowloon is a delightfully unruly ghetto rife with hawkers, soothsayers, out-of-work opera troupes and food stalls serving what you hope are only rare crustaceans. For bargain shopping and laidback waterfront lunch, visit the popular open air Stanley Market. later, take the 120 year old funicular up to Victoria Peak for unparalleled views of the city's skyline in all its glamour and restlessness, with the rest of China strretching out behind its mountains to the north. A tranquil retreat from the city's buzz is the verdant Lantau Island, home to Hong Kong Disneyland and Hong Kong's biggest Buddhist monastery, where you can reflect over views os the rolling hillside along with a 100ft tall statue of Buddha. Hong Kong's eastern roots, covered with its western makeover, leave you with a destination that's a delight to deconstruct
Visa: No Visa for Indian nationals travelling to Hong Kong for a maximum stay up to 14 days.