13 - 19 September 2013 #673

Jet, set, go

Have an international holiday this Dasain

It’s that time of the year when Nepalis go through their annual moral dilemma:  escape the chaos of Kathmandu on an extended holiday or stay on for tika? If you are leaning towards option one, let Nepali Times help you plan your travel. We bring you destinations from the hills to the coastlines. Happy picking and happy Dasain!

Maldives

Tucked in the Indian Ocean, Maldives offers spectacular topography, pleasant climate, and gorgeous silver-sandy beaches. Sports enthusiasts can have an amazing time here scuba diving, snorkeling, and wind surfing. Male, the capital of Maldives, is often buzzing with activity. Dotted with hygienic parks, wide roads, and innumerable mosques, the city is just the perfect place to help you forget the dust, smog, and pot holed streets of Kathmandu. The grand National Museum in the Sultan’s Park is a major attraction that must be explored.

How to get there: fly from Kathmandu to Doha and then onwards to Male

Round trip: starts from Rs 135,438

Visit Maldives


Sri Lanka

There couldn’t be a better time to visit Sri Lanka. The weather is pleasant and the Indian Ocean is calming down which means you will get to clock in a lot of beach hours. The capital, Colombo, is the perfect launch pad to explore this magnificent island. Head out to Galle Face Road for a cool breeze and try your hands at kite flying. The half kilometre long promenade is teeming with locals during the weekend and is ideal for people watching. If you are in the mood for some exercise, climb the 11-storey high Buddhist temple nearby. In the evening make a stop at the Dutch Hospital, an old hospital building converted into a shopping and restaurant complex.

If you feel like you’ve spent too much time in the sun and are missing Kathmandu’s hills, head to Candy and soak in the history and culture of the island.

How to get there: fly from Kathmandu to Delhi/Mumbai and then onwards to Colombo. Or from Kathmandu to Bangkok and then to Colombo

Round trip: starts from Rs 46,400

Sri Lanka Travel


India

Nestled in the western corner of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer is a remarkable city that rises magically from the sand dunes of the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer’s mesmerising ancient fort, built in 1156, is perched on a hill that directly overlooks the city. It houses five palaces, several temples, and exquisite mansions as well as shops and residences. The havelis, the fort, and its enclosed palace are all carved from the same golden honey sandstone, hence the city’s designation as the Golden City. No place evokes exotic camel-train trade routes and desert mystery as well as Jaisalmer.

How to get there: fly from Kathmandu to Delhi, then take a bus to Rajasthan

Round trip: starts from Rs 15,500. AC Bus from Delhi-Jaisalmer-Delhi: Rs 3,600

Incredible India


Singapore

One of the few countries where Nepalis still get visas on arrival, Singapore is a multicultural city state that packs a punch for its small size. Visit Gardens by the Bay, the 101 hectare iconic garden dedicated to horticultural artistry in the midst of the city. Right beside it is the Marina Bay where you can enjoy amazing water and light shows every evening. For an authentic slice of the country’s history, head to Chinatown Heritage Centre where Singapore of the late 19th century and early 20th century has been recreated. Shop till you drop at the high end stores in Orchard street or at the street side stalls in Bugis. After that relish in the culinary delights that await you at every street corner and if you still have time to spare, visit Sentosa Island and Universal Studios. This little red dot has everything for everyone.

How to get there: direct flights available

Round trip: starts from Rs 55,000

Your Singapore


Cambodia

Long overshadowed by Thailand, this south-east Asian nation is finally emerging as a go-to destination for holiday makers on a budget. The stunning temples of Angkor are undoubtedly one of the prime attractions of Cambodia. But the chaotic, yet calm capital city Phnom Penh on the banks of the Mekong River is woth a visit too.

Head to Siem Reap for good wine and food and for art aficionados, a stroll around the old market with its colonial and Chinese style architecture will sooth your soul. For those who prefer the countryside, Cambodia’s dazzling rice paddies and swaying sugar palms will make anyone melt in delight.

How to get there: fly from Kathmandu to Bangkok and onwards to Phnom Penh

Round trip: starts from Rs 83,000

Tourism Cambodia


Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, has developed as a destination for adventure seekers and shoppers alike. The city hosts Formula 1 Grand Prix every year during November-December, a testimony of its growing affluence. You could visit the largest mosque in UAE, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which has 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. For the adventure enthusiasts a safari in the desert of Abu Dhabi is worth trying and so is sky diving at the Abu Dhabi Country Club’s Spacewalk facility. 

Round trip: starts from Rs 59,000

UAE Tourism


Hong Kong

Hong Kong is known for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor. Victoria Peak, the famous vantage point, provides spectacular views of the city. Make a trip to the Historical Museum to better understand the city’s past and cultural heritage. Hong Kong is a sprawling archipelago of 260 islands so hire a speed boat and discover the rugged coastline. Edward Youde Aviary in Hong Kong Park is the best place for bird watching. 

Round trip: starts from Rs 46,000

Discovering Hong Kong


Vietnam

Keen to be known for its splendid natural beauty and ancient traditions, Vietnam has transformed itself into a vibrant tourist destination from a war-torn hinterland. Places of interest include the majestic Bay of the Descending Dragons – the Ha Long, Nha Trang the most popular resort town, the Hoi An fishing village, the rice terraces of Sa Pa, and the rich and fertile Mekong River delta. Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam, which has reserves of pristine tropical forest and coral reefs. 

Round trip: starts from Rs 67,000

Vietnam Tourism


Lhasa

Situated at an altitude of 3,409 metres, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. Lhasa literally means ‘place of gods’ and the city’s rich cultural heritage offers plenty to explore. Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is one of three holy lakes in Tibet and is said to be the female guardian of Buddhism in Tibet. Potala Palace is another landmark in Lhasa symbolising Tibetan Buddhism while Jokhang Monastery in Barkhor square has been a key centre of Buddhist pilgrimage for centuries. 

Round trip: starts from Rs 67,000

China Tibet Tourism

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