The sun is about to set on the year 2023 and it is time to refresh our travel plans with a new bucket list of destinations. Travelling opens our minds and sets our hearts racing for new experiences and adventures. As you make the list of places that you want to visit, we are here to help you make your bucket list and suggest easily accessible places for a quick vacation. Here are places that offer a diverse range of experiences, from vibrant city life to serene beaches, cultural richness and historical sites. So, let’s dive in…
Asia’s smallest country is a melting pot of culture and architecture. This vibrant country boasts a multicultural blend of Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Arab and English cultures with a Singaporean twist. The island country is a diversified combination of modern and traditional. The glittering panorama at the Marina Bay will leave you amazed and so will the mystic Cloud Forest. You can take a sci-fi trip to Sands Skypark Observatory deck or be mesmerized by the stunning Helix Bridge and Merlion Park. The “Lion City” will enthral you with its delightful culinary experiences, exciting nightlife and shopping destinations.
If you are longing for a beach vacation, Maldives is the place to be. This archipelago nation with 26 atolls is replete with the astonishing beauty that nature can offer. Be it the clear turquoise ocean shimmering with colourful corals or the palm trees lined golden beaches, Maldives is a paradise indeed. Spend some lazy days exploring its pristine beaches, reef-ringed isles and beautiful water bungalows. If you are a water baby, Maldives offers you the ocean at its finest. Try snorkeling and deep-sea diving amidst coral reefs. If you are lucky you can also get a glimpse of sea turtles, manta rays and whale shark. As the sun goes down, watch yet another miracle of nature where the water transforms into a magical cascade of twinkling lights, a trick played by bioluminescent phytoplanktons.
Dubai is all about the luxurious high life. A paradise for shopaholics, this place has something for everyone. From chic skyscrapers to magnificent malls, desert safari and glistening beaches, there are countless places to visit. Take a tour of the magnificent Burj Kalifa and the Palm Jumeira. Enjoy a yacht cruise across Dubai Marina to get a glimpse of where the rich and famous live. Once done, switch to an abra, an exquisitely embellished roofed boat, and take a tour of Dubai Creek to get the old-world charm of this desert city. Be awestruck at the magnificent Dubai Aquarium And Underwater Zoo as you walk through a giant water tunnel. Go on a desert safari and experience the rugged life of the ancient city and sink into the time. Be it scuba diving or skydiving, desert safari or skiing on ice – you can experience everything in Dubai.
This gorgeous island is replete with magnificent beaches, terraced rice paddies, beautiful temples, volcanic mountains and much more. This place is a melting pot of various religions which is distinctly visible in the architecture and ambiance of the place. Visit the distinctly different regions of Ubud, Kuta, Denpasar and Seminyak and experience the sanctuaries. Take a walk through the rice plantations, trek through jungles, feel the spiritual energy of the temples and explore the breathtakingly pristine beaches. Get a hands-on experience of the place by taking part in the unique Balinese dance and be awestruck by the beautiful culture. There is so much to see, explore and experience in this magnificent paradise.
Popular among tourists, Thailand can never stop to amaze people. The country is a distinct blend of modern and ancient. Bangkok’s towering skyscrapers, luxury malls, shopping centres, street bazaars and floating markets, are a paradise for shopping lovers. The party destination Phuket is the largest island in Thailand. Situated on Andaman Sea coastline, Phuket gets scores of tourists throughout the year. The historical land of Chiang Mai is the complete opposite giving out peaceful and serene vibes from its numerous temples and monasteries.
This place has a fascinating history, gorgeous landscapes and vibrant energy. Vietnam will make you feel alive as you experience the thrill, serenity and spirituality of the place. The magnificent Halong Bay’s towering limestone pillars and small islets amidst crystal blue waters is a sight to behold. The ethereal beauty of Hanoi, one of the world’s ancient cities, displays its colonial buildings, golden pagodas and unique museums in full galore. One of the oldest Asian cities, Hoi An, reverberates beauty and quiet ancient charm. On the other hand, Ho Chi Minh, the largest city in Vietnam, is fast-paced and chic keeping pace with modernization. Vietnam’s mouth-watering cuisine and traditional bazaars are something that everyone should experience. All these destinations are perfect for a quick vacation as there are direct flights and are visa-free/easy-to-get visa destinations. These countries offer flexibility in accommodation, dining, and activities making them accessible to a wide range of Indian tourists. So, let’s make 2024 the year to travel and make memories.
The author is the Director of Brightsun Travel Private Limited, India.