Exotic locations for independent travellersPosted on: 28 April 2014 by Jennie Carr
Jennie Carr looks at interesting places to consider for a holiday with a difference.
The good news here is that your British pound will buy many rupees, and is probably at the best rate for more than ten years, which means there are great holiday bargains to this fabulous country. It offers a fabulous selection of places stay, hotels, ancient forts, maharajas’ palaces, small B&Bs and luxurious camping. There are great opportunities to discover this vast country, steeped in culture and history where every day will bring interesting surprises and charms. Visit the Taj Mahal one day, the Ganges and the ghats on another or maybe sample the chilled out atmosphere in Goa or stay on a houseboat in Kerela. India offers such contrasts!
Bali is a favourite for travellers and has much to tempt all ages, with places to stay across the range, deluxe 5* hotels to guesthouses and hostels. It is one of Indonesia’s many, varied islands which have the Post Office has listed lately as the best value long-haul destination by the Post Office. Silver Traveller, Kay Wiseman, had a fabulous time in Bali, you can read her blog. There is a wide variety of vegetation and topography, including stunning beaches, with craggy cliffs and verdant mountains inland. There is an exciting array of cultural and historical legacies to explore, including shadow puppets (wayang kulit) and gamelan.
Indonesia is becoming easier to get to, with direct flights from London and local, inter-island flights increasing too. For something rather special and a little more adventurous, Sumatra is a great choice, especially if you would like to meet orang utans in the extraordinary jungle.
Whilst it is outside Europe, Russia is surprisingly close and very changed from the Soviet days. Some would say Moscow has better shopping than Paris or Milan, which is good news as the rouble is better value than the euro. The art, museums and history is legendary, with Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg having unique, remarkable contributions in their world famous collections. The resorts of the Black Sea have become more widely known and appealing since the Sochi Games, with the region’s sub-tropical climate. And river cruises here are growing in popularity as a way to get the best of Russia.
A top tip here, whilst the infrastructure of the country and much of its hospitality will be undoubtedly improved due to the World Cup this year, it is a time best avoided, due to crowds and prices. It be might best to get in first. Rio de Janeiro will no doubt thrill the English team during their two week stay, with its musical beaches, rainforests, iconic landmarks, dancing cafes and high octane lifestyle. Manaus is the city from which to travel into the Amazon (prepare to be amazed) and enjoys the influence of the culture of the Native Brazilian people. Sao Paulo is a vast city, the 7th largest in the world, with its entirety covering an astonishing area, and its commerce and industry creating much of the country’s wealth. For a surprising city, Belo Horizonte has a new contemporary art gallery, excellent Niemayer designed museums and interesting dining. It’s also close to Ouro Preto, built in the 18th century for the gold and silver rush. The Iguazu Falls are not to be missed either.
This article is brought to you by Silver Travel Advisor, the voice of mature travellers.
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