Ex­plor­ing global op­tions. ere are a few im­por­tant tips for any trav­eller. First and fore­most plan your trip. The ear­lier you book your tick­ets, the more rea­son­able a price you will be charged. Air­lines also have spe­cial fares which they an­nounce from time

Woman's Era - - Con­tents - By Veena Mo­han Adige

Mel­bourne and see the lovely South Sea (you can ac­tu­ally go down some two hun­dred steps and take a wash in the sea ev­ery few hun­dred me­tres) and reach the Philip Is­land where you can watch the beau­ti­ful pen­guin pa­rade. In Syd­ney you can see an opera, or see man­made struc­tures which are beau­ti­ful. But on the coastal area you can see nat­u­ral rocks sprout­ing in the wa­ters or take a he­li­copter ride to see them from above. These two, New Zealand and Aus­tralia, be­ing in the south­ern hemi­sphere, the weather is to­tally op­po­site from ours. They have win­ter when we have swel­ter­ing sum­mer and vice versa. And these two coun­tries are the lat­est on a trav­eller’s itin­er­ary.

United King­dom

UK is very beau­ti­ful. You can see the rolling green mead­ows, the moun­tains and lakes of Scot­land, the Lake District of Eng­land and the golf cour­ses of Ed­in­burgh. Since the Bri­tish ruled In­dia for two hun­dred years, we know their his­tory, we have heard and learnt of their po­ets, Wordsworth, Shelly, writ­ers Shake­speare and are quite at home here. We have Mumbai buses like the Lon­don ones, we have red postal boxes like theirs and there are many fa­mil­iar sights. We lived in Sh­effield, in the cen­tre of Eng­land for some years and we used to take a coach or drive to the coast on ei­ther side or go up to Scot­land or down to Lon­don when­ever we wanted. It was just a few hours away as UK is not very big.

An un­usual place we went was the is­land of Orkney. Be­lieve it or not, there is not a sin­gle tree on the en­tire is­land which is north-east of Scot­land and, on a clear day, you can see the coast­line of Nor­way. To go there you have to cross the choppy seas (be­lieve me, the North Sea can be quite choppy and you have to hold your breath as the tiny mo­tor boat seems to be go­ing through wa­ter as the waves are so very high). But it is worth a visit. The Isle of Skye on the north-west of Scot­land is an­other beau­ti­ful place. From In­ver­ness you have to go past the 22-mile-long lake in which the Loch Ness Mon­ster is sup­posed to re­side (we trav­elled here many times but never saw the mon­ster!). In UK the sun can rise as early as 4 am and set at 11 pm in sum­mer es­pe­cially in the north, while in win­ters the sun can be a wa­tery one ris­ing around 11 am and set­ting by 3 pm with heavy dark clouds lit­er­ally at hand touch­ing dis­tance.

Short and tourist-friendly va­cays

How­ever, if you want short va­ca­tions and tourist-friendly ones, then Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia are the an­swers. The weather is the same round the year and as they make their liv­ing through tourism, there are new sights ev­ery year and they are beau­ti­ful. Whether they are an­i­mal or bird pro­grammes, or whether they are man­made sci­en­tific ed­i­fices, these places are worth vis­it­ing. In Sin­ga­pore we came across a ro­bot who could an­swer any ques­tions. Only when we asked who is Shahrukh Khan he an­swered that he was a mon­key!

Nearby nat­u­ral beauty

Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sikkim are places one can go to see nat­u­ral beauty as well as man­made ones. In Sikkim there is a fresh wa­ter lake at a height of some 12,000 me­tres, just about 15 kms from China and wa­ter, which is very pure, blue and beau­ti­ful. Called the Tshangu Lake, it has a small clean and neat Shiva tem­ple, plenty of hairy yaks and lovely moun­tains to see. A hilly place, it has car­damoms and other spices but there is no reg­u­lar farm­ing and so they have to de­pend on tourism for in­come so that they can get food items from other places. Peo­ple here are nice and friendly though a bit lazy. We found them so maybe be­cause we went soon af­ter Dasera which is the time the Sikkim peo­ple travel to meet their fam­ily mem­bers and hence were re­luc­tant to work.

Nepal, frankly, is not very clean. But there is a lot to see. You can travel from west to east and see rugged moun­tains, sparse pop­u­la­tion and grassy slopes. Hindu tem­ples are a plenty and the Hanu­man Dhoka is the place of the fa­mous Vir­gin God­dess or Ku­mari. She is a small girl be­low 10 years


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