Plan Your First International Trip Without Pinching Your Pockets
Does a tad amount of your salary goes into the international travel saving fund every month? Have you been planning for your first big international trip but cannot decide which place to choose? Well, fear not. We have curated the top international destinations that can be travelled to without any hassle or any big savings.
The largest city and the capital of the Buddhist kingdom snuggled in the ferocious and grandeur laps of the Himalayas is Thimpu. The capital is the most populated city of Bhutan with a population of 1.15 lakh people. Thimpu was announced as the landlocked countries capital in 1961 by Jigme KhesarNamgyel who was the fifth DrukGyalpo of Bhutan. A little unknown fact about the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ or Bhutan is that only recently, in 1974 Bhutan opened its doors to tourists. It kept itself isolated to protect its culture from the entire world. Standing as the fourth highest capital in the world on an altitude of 2,334 m, Thimpu is far away from traffic and chaos. Here are a few places in Thimpu that serves its visitors a tour rich in culture and traditions.
PLACES TO VISIT
The Buddha Dordenma Statue is an enormous 169-foot golden statue of Lord Buddha on top of the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. The statue holds 1,25,000 miniature bronze and gold Buddha statues inside it.
The TrashiChhoe Dzong is a fortress and a Buddhist monastery. It is the official seat of the Druk Desi or the Deb Raja (civil administrative head).
Located at the city’s border, the Cheri Goemba built-in 1620 is Bhutan’s first Buddhist monastery. The monastery is a traditional retreat and teaching centre for the Tibetian Buddhism School. A hike of 45 minutes will land you to the monastery.
Motithang Takin Preserve
The Motithang Takin Preserve is a remarkable reserve for the national animal of Bhutan, the Cattle Chamois or Takin that is said to be a rare goat and antelope breed.
National Library of Bhutan
Instituted in 1967 to preserve the ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts, the library contains a huge collection of ancient Buddhist literature. It is also popular for the world’s biggest published book that weighs 68 kilograms.
How to reach?
Air: The Paro International Airport is the only airport of Bhutan that is located west of Thimpu. The airport is connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Guwahati. Thimpu from the airport is an hour and fifteen minutes away. You can avail a cab or a taxi to Thimpu.
Rail: There is no direct railway to Thimpu. The easiest way is to board a train from the Kolkata to Hisamara that is 17 km away from the Indo-Bhutan Border. From the Hasimara Railway Station you will have to travel to Phuentsholing and from there take a bus to Thimpu.
Best time to visit: October to December
Visa: Indian citizens intending to visit Bhutan are required to carry either a valid Indian Passport or a Voter Identity Card, issued by the Election Commission of India. No Visa is required to visit Bhutan.
Currency: Bhutan’s unit of currency is Ngultrum. It is of the same value as an Indian rupee. You can use Indian currency in Bhutan, but Bhutan currency cannot be used in India. ₹500, ₹100 and ₹2000 cannot be used in Bhutan
The world’s only island city-state, Singapore is one of the most popular tourist destinations on a budget in the world. Singapore is derived from the Sanskrit language (Singapura) which translates into the lion city. According to popular stories, a fourteenth-century saw a never seen before animal during his hike that he considered as a good omen. Due to this, he decided to name the city-state Singapura. In the third century AD, Singapore it was also formally known as the ‘island at the end’.Smaller than the size of major cities of the world, Singapore famous for having the cleanest streets in the world, its greenery, street food and for being the land of shopping malls. Singapore is also popularly known for its unique blend of religions like Malay, Chinese, Arab and Indian.
PLACES TO VISIT
Gardens by the Bay
Located in the heart of Singapore, the Gardens of Bay stretches up to 101 hectares consisting of three waterfront gardens. The largest garden consists of the flower dome that is the largest glass greenhouse in the world.
A popular island in Singapore that receives more than twenty million visitors in a year. The island is surrounded by fun theme parks, aquariums, beaches, thrilling adventure activities and much more. It also features the famous theme park Universal Studios.
The park is famous for hoisting the national mascot of Singapore the Merlion. The Merlion is a statue of a lion’s head attached to a fishes lower half body that spills water from its mouth. It is an extremely popular Singapore landmark.
Singapore’s first UNESCO world heritage site, the Botanic Garden is a 160-year-old tropical garden. It is the first and the only tropical garden to be featured on the UNESCO Heritage list. An award-winning garden largest orchard display in the world showcases over sixty thousand orchid plants.
The Orchard Road is a 2.2 km paradise for shopaholics. The entire street is a popular tourist attraction that consists of twenty-two malls, boutiques and shopping centres, making it a must-visit for tourists around the world.
How to reach?
Air: The best way to reach Singapore is through flight and land at one of the best airports in the world, the Changi Airport. The International airport is well connected through major cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and New Delhi.
Best time to visit: February and April
Visa: There is no visa on arrival for Singapore. An electronic visa for Indian citizens is mandatory before entering Singapore.
Currency: The Singapore dollar is bound to fluctuations. The current value of the Singapore Dollar is 0.019 SGD. The Singapore dollar is Singapore’s official unit of currency.
The most popular tourist destinations of Indonesia, Bali is located at the west of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Bali is well known for its rice fields, extravagant ten thousand temples, white sand beaches, coral reefs, sheer mountains, active volcanoes that enhance the serenity of this place. Bali is also famous for its rich art inspired by the Hindu-Javanese, culture, Balinese dance, lip-smacking extraordinary cuisines and a never-ending list of adventure sports. A casual day out exploring the mesmerizing nature around Bali or adrenalin and blood-pumping activities, Bali offers everything under the sun possible to its tourists. Bali is also famously called the Land of the Gods and “The Island of Thousand Temples”.
PLACES TO VISIT
Pura Tanah Lot
The Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most magnificent temples of Bali. The view of the stunning seaside that hosts this beautiful temple is a sight to behold. Sadly, entry to this temple is banned but, you can still visit it to experience a surreal view of the island and shrines.
Mount Batur is one of the sacred active volcanoes of Bali. Lying in the Kintamani District, the volcano is a 1700-meter hikers delight. Tourists specially visit this volcano for a meaningful meal with a blooming sun by the side.
Ubud Monkey Forest
The Ubud Monkey Forest is a 12.5-hectare sanctuary for the Balinese long-tailed Monkey. Around 700 monkeys are found freely wandering in the forest. Settled in Padangtegal, the villagers consider the sanctuary as a great spiritual centre for the village.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Indonesia is the third-largest producer of rice, hence paying a visit to the famous rice fields of Bali is a travel must. Located 10 km north of the Ubud town, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces are one of the most picturesque spots of Bali.
The scintillating turquoise blue water, towering palm trees, sloping hills of Crystal Bay makes it one of the most attractive beaches of Nusa Penida. Crystal Bay offers many water sports like snorkelling and scuba diving with the coral reefs.
How to reach?
Air: The best way to reach Bali is by air. You can choose to book a flight from any of the major cities of India to the Ngurah Rai International Airport. You can also opt for a flight from India to Singapore and then board another flight to Bali.
Visa: Indian passport holders don’t need a visa if their stay is for thirty days or less. You will get a Visa Exemption Stamp at the immigration counter free of any cost. People willing to stay for more than thirty days can get an extension from the Immigration office.
Best time to visit: April, May, June and September
Currency: The colourful currency in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR). 1 Indian rupee is equivalent to 198.04 Indonesian Rupiah.
The capital city of the Kingdom of Thailand, Bangkok with a population of over eight million is the most populous city of Thailand. Bangkok is located on the delta of the Chao Phraya River that is 40 km away from the Gulf of Thailand. Originally known in Thai as Krung ThepMaha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep, the city holds the Guinness book of the world record for having the longest name for a place. Bangkok welcomes more than 20 million international tourists every year, making it the most visited city in the world. It is the only city in Thailand that is crowded with small towns, ancient villages and temples. It is majorly acclaimed for hosting a huge number of Buddhist temples in every nook and corner.
PLACES TO VISIT
A Buddhist temple, the Wat Pho is one of the largest royal Buddhist temples of Bangkok that feature a giant Buddha in a reclining position. The Buddha is 46 metres long and is covered top to toe in gold leaf. It has also been recognised by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme.
Wat Arun or the Tempe of the Dawn is one of the most stunning temples situated on the bank of the Chao Phraya river. The temple derives its name from the Hindu God Aruna. It is one of the most illustrious landmarks in Thailand. The first rays of sunlight that fall on the temple is a breathtaking experience.
The Grand Palace
Soaking in the history and culture of Thailand, the Grand Palace was the official residence of King Rama of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. This 150-year-old palace is a stunning piece of architecture. The palace also consists of the temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) dating back to the 14th century.
Chao Phraya River
The Chao Phraya River is a precious river of Bangkok and Thailand. Named as the ‘River of Kings’ by King Rama I, the first monarch of the reigning Chakri dynasty of Siam. It is famous for its ferry rides and dinner cruises surrounded by tall Bangkok building.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
The Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World is one of the largest aquariums of Southeast Asia. The size of the aquarium is nearly the size of three Olympic pools with around thirty thousand marine animals such as striped frogfish, nautiluses, garden eel, African lungfish, blind cavefish, giant water rats and gigantic spider crabs. many kinds of sharks like the black-tipped, ragged tooth and leopard sharks are the main highlights of the Ocean World.
How to reach?
Air: Bangkok has two major international airports, the Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport. Major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmadabad fly directly to Bangkok.
Best time to visit: November and December
Visa: A tourist on-arrival visa at the immigration checkpoint for not more than fifteen days is allowed for visitors of twenty countries. The visa cannot be extended. Visa can also be obtained from the Thai Embassy in India.
Currency: The official currency of Bangkok is the Thai Bhat. One Thai Bhat is equal to 0.43 Indian Rupee.
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