When the year is ending and you realise you really didn't stick to any of your new year resolutions, it's the perfect time to actually complete one – travel! Whether you wish to travel to the city of superlatives, Dubai, or the urban jungle of Singapore, we've got you covered. From the beaches of Andaman to the party islands of Thailand and the jungles of Sri Lanka, we've picked five perfect destinations that you can explore before the year ends!
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. Synonymous with its skyline, this tiny island-country is a perfect mix of modernity and history. Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade and the Singapore Flyer make for one of the most impressive spots in the Lion City. And what was once a concrete jungle is giving way to green buildings and natural as well as artificial green spaces across the land. Singapore is one place where you can experience different parts of the world, all in tiny corners of the nation. From the colourful gallis of Haji Lane to distinctive temples in China Town, from temple diyas illuminating the dusky skies in Little India to bright neon lights shaping the skyline of Geylang, every area in Singapore deserves to be explored. And when it comes to food, no other country beats the sheer variety of what is offered in Singapore. An island of feasting, you get everything here – hawkers selling chicken rice bowls to Michelin-stared restaurants serving elegant delicacies. And the Christmas celebrations, that usually start a couple of months early, and are a sight to cherish, making for an ideal reason to visit this island-country in the last months of 2017.
See and do: Admire the stunning skyline from Marina Harbour; take in the view of the city from one of the many rooftop bars and restaurants; shop till you drop in one, or all of the 21 malls of Orchard Road; gorge on some delicious street food in possibly every corner of the nation; see more than 2,000 varieties of orchids at the National Orchid Garden; groove with the super-tree grove at Gardens By The Bay; get a picture, or more with the iconic Merlion; understand Singapore's history at the National Museum; see lions, tigers, elephants and more at the Singapore zoo; experience adventure at the best theme park in south-east Asia on Sentosa Islands.
Thailand is the most popular international vacation destination for Indians, but despite being flocked by more than 16 million tourists yearly, it still has a charm to it that few other countries can boast of. Dramatic islands, laidback beaches, glittering temples and the ever present warm smile of locals makes this beautiful country a must visit. Thailand has everything from sky-scrapers adorning the chaotic cities, to rice paddies and squat villages defining the countryside. The northern region is covered with lush forests and jagged mountains dotted with glistening waterfalls, while the south is where the massive coastline and forest-topped islands are covered with azure waters and soft sands, perfect to spend your days chilling and doing nothing. Apart from the virgin forests and popular beaches, Thailand also has some stunning sacred spaces and temples. From ancient Banyan trees to gleaming golden temples, religion forms an integral part of both the urban and rural landscape in Thailand.
See and do: Gaze at the magnificence of the Grand Palace in Bangkok; go on a plush dinner cruise; visit the floating markets in Bangkok; relax on the pretty beaches of Krabi, Ko Kood or Koh Samui; explore Thailand's history in Chiang Mai; visit the Golden Buddha in Ang Thong Surat Thani; party under a full moon in Koh Phagnon; explore part of the Khmer ruins in Phimai; indulge in some cheap shopping at the Chatuchak Weekend Market; relax with a traditional massage; see some elephants in Kanchanaburi; end the day by gorging on some delectable Thai cuisine, available on the street as well as in high-end restaurants.
And to make sure you stay within budget, without compromising on the experience, book your vacation to Thailand for less than ₹50,000 here.
A rising star amongst the world’s most sought-after holiday destinations, Sri Lanka is home to dreamy beaches, and is a treasure trove of history – boasting of eight UNESCO World Heritage listed sites. Sri Lanka has been unfairly overlooked in favour of India and South East Asia for long, but it is that one destination that deserves your attention. Sri Lanka's 2000-year old history is intricately captured in its legendary temples, caves and forests. Move out of the historical centre and there is a massive coastline with untouched beaches waiting to be explored. The soft sands and crashing waves can lull anyone into a sense of calm and peace. And once you are done with rejuvenating on the beach, head to one of the many national parks, and have a chance of spotting leopards, water buffaloes, the magnificent elephant and all kinds of birds.
See and do: Wander past colonial gems in Colombo; see the sacred home of the world’s oldest living human-planted tree in Anuradhapura; stand awestruck by the sight of hundreds of elephants gathering in Minneriya; discover a favourite beach from one of many dotting the coastline from east to west; meditate in a 2000-year-old temple; try to keep a count of all dishes served to you with rice and papadam in a traditional thali; go crazy over the freshest seafood delicacies prepared right in front of you; catch a fish or two and learn how to cook it in a traditional Sri Lankan way; hike the many rainforest peaks; end your day with a pleasant cup of tea from a sprawling tea plantation.
Can't wait to travel to Sri Lanka? Book an epic adventure to Sri Lanka in under ₹50,000 right here.
Dubai is known for majestic skyscrapers, expansive desert and pristine beaches. Sunshine, seas, deserts, shopping and a whole lot of fun has positioned Dubai as the destination du-jour. The glitzy holiday hotspot of United Arab Emirates, Dubai is admirably a city of superlatives. It is also one of the most exotic and desirable getaway destinations on the planet with a breathtaking collection of premier resorts frequented by some of the most famous and influential celebrities in the world. When in Dubai, you will never fall short of things to do – have breakfast with falcons, ride a bike under water, dine inside vintage cars, visit an indoor theme park, learn to surf, or just gorge on some of the most delicious middle-eastern spreads.
See and do: Buy yourself a ticket to be on the (world's highest) observation platform of the tallest building on this planet, Burj Khalifa; experience the dancing Dubai Fountain with the Burj Khalifa in the background; have an adrenaline pumping ride on a desert safari; visit the extraordinary artificial island of Palm Jumeirah and see one of the most iconic hotels in the world, the Atlantis; watch a show at the iconic Dubai Opera; experience thrill and excitement at the world's largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds Of Adventure; don your filmy hat and head to the only Bollywood Theme Park in the world; shop till you drop at one of the many fashionable malls of Dubai.
Can't stop yourself from travelling to Dubai? Book an amazing trip for under ₹50,000 right here.
An archipelago of around 300 gorgeous islands in the Bay of Bengal, the breathtakingly beautiful Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a stunning coastline and lush forested interiors. Once the destination of the worst jail in the world, the city of Port Blair has blossomed into an amazing destination for both history buffs and culture lovers. Beyond the capital city lies Ross Island, an open museum of ruins from the Victorian era and silvery beaches. Further ahead is Havelock Island, the most popular of the Andaman Islands and a backpacker's paradise. For those looking for some beach nirvana, explore the stunning Neil Island, where time stands still and nothing can stop you from just letting go. The land of active volcanoes, beaches and forests, Andaman is still sparsely populated and largely unexplored. This is also the reason, in addition to it's obscure location, that entice intrigue and awe from travellers. Visit Andaman Islands to some mangroves, or just chill at sun-toasted beaches.
See and do: Dive underwater at Cinque Island; marvel at India's only active volcano on Barren Island; walk under the sea at Havelock Island; witness turtle nesting at Diglipur; shop for souvenirs at Aberdeen Bazaar; be awed by the sunset at Chidiya Tapu; go birding in Saddle Peak National Park; enjoy mangrove boat rides at Mayabunder; collect pearly white shells at Wandoor Beach; search and find the natural blue lagoon at the end of Elephant Beach; enjoy varied cuisine, from Chinese to Mediterranean and obviously, fresh seafood!