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East meets West in this sun-soaked state, where Indian culture intertwines with Portuguese influences left over from a 500-year occupation. The beaches have long served as a magnet for serene hedonists. To the north, the tourist-centric scene is prevalent, with an international flair that is now skewing more hip than hippie. Travel south for stretches of unspoiled sand and an escape from large resorts. Temples, mosques and wildlife sanctuaries provide diversions from the beach.
Candolim is just north of the Mandovi river and is home to Goa's most popular and well known resort and holiday village. As such, it's not a typical backpackers destination. The Candolim beach itself does not have much to offer when compared to its livelier neighbor, Calangute. However, if sunbathing and take the occasional dip is your thing then Candolim will offer you the perfect experience. One of the more interesting sights from Candolim beach is the bulk carrier ""River Princess"" which ran aground 100 metres offshore. While at the Candolim beach do not miss out the Aguada Fort. The fort was built by the Portuguese way back in 1912 for defense against the Dutch and the Maratha invaders. Candolim is aslo a very popular evening destination as it has a number of very good resteraunts and night clubs.
Also known as the ""Queen of Beaches"" , Calangute is is Goa's flagship beach. It is also the most commercialized of all beaches in Goa. Due to its extreme popularity, Calangute beach beckons tourists and backpackers from all over the world and the beach remains choc-a-block with tourists all year around. The beach is dotted with shacks and a lot of the clubs open up onto the beach. There are lots of shows held on the beach including rock, pop beat shows, open air dances, and fetes. Calangute offers all modern amenities like a post office, banks, foreign exchange offices and medical facilities. When in Calangute a must see is the Church of St. Alex, built in 1741.
Love garlic? You’ll love the food in Pune. Unlike other cuisines of the subcontinent, Pune cuisine relies heavily on the aromatic bulb. Soothe your palate with sweets like bhakarwadi, a pastry rolled with coriander, tamarind and sesame seeds, or cool off with a thick milkshake made with dried fruit.
Known as both the "Garden City" and "The Silicon Valley of India," Bangalore (officially "Bengaluru") is a techie’s paradise, boasting the highest concentration of IT companies in the country. When you’re done geeking out, there are plenty of gardens, museums, natural features, palaces and temples to fill your dance card. Visit Vidhana Soudha, Cubbon Park and the Ulsoor Lake of Bangalore, well known for its beautiful locales and boating facilities. Bangalore is also a major centre of Indian classical music and dance, and of vivid, cutting-edge nightlife.
Want to make your co-workers insanely jealous? Just casually drop "I’m holiday making in the Maldives this year" into conversation, preferably in the dead of winter. Or better yet, go there without mentioning it to anyone—then send them a "Wish you were here!" postcard.
Phuket offers a rainbow spectrum of spectacular holiday sights from blue lagoons and pink sunsets to orange-robed monks. Three wheeled-Tuk Tuks, taxis, buses and long tailed boats transport visitors between these marvels. Phuket's south coast offers its most popular beaches. The north is more tranquil. Koh Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay and Patong Beach are popular spots. Diving, snorkeling, wind surfing and sailing are just a few active options. Inland, forested hills, mountains and cliffs wait to be explored.
Mauritius is arguably Africa’s wealthiest destination, a tropical paradise with tons to do. Port Louis, the modern capital of this 38-mile by 29-mile island, is a bustling port with a revitalized waterfront and a busy market. But most visitors gravitate toward resort areas such as Mont Choisy, quiet Trou-aux-Biches and the more bustling Flic en Flac, popular with scuba divers. Rivière Noire is ideal for those looking for great deep-sea fishing.
Maybe your local zoo has lions, leopards, zebras or elephants. Maybe they even have wildebeest. But we bet they don't have 1.3 million wildebeest—never mind 1.3 million wildebeest in migration, with predators in hot pursuit. It's one of the most awesome sights in nature, and you can see it at Masai Mara in southwestern Kenya.
Bali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. Soak up the sun on a stretch of fine white sand, or commune with the tropical creatures as you dive along coral ridges or the colorful wreck of a WWII war ship. On shore, the lush jungle shelters stone temples and mischievous monkeys. The “artistic capital” of Ubud is the perfect place to see a cultural dance performance, take a batik or silver-smithing workshop, or invigorate your mind and body in a yoga class.
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