Some cities lends itself well for off-the-radar adventures where you don’t have a clue about your current location. These spontaneous urban escapades are a great way to unearth the hidden gems, get a feel of the local culture and meet new people. Here is the list of cities which are best experienced without a guide book and map.

Venice

 

1x1.trans 5 Best Cities to Get Lost In

The ultimate head spinner of a city – try navigating endless identical canals and streets that veers off into blind corners while your senses are being assaulted by stunning scenery. Getting lost in Venice can be a very rewarding experience – drift away from the crowds to vendors selling fresh produce from their gondolas and peaceful sunlit courtyards.

Find your way back :- Venice is a tiny town so even if you get hopelessly lost, you are always a few minutes away from a water taxi ride. Continue Reading…

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Looking for a vacation spot that’s (almost) all yours? Here’s our list of the world’s best secret islands that offer the perfect mix of seclusion and value.

Con Dao Islands, Vietnam

 

1x1.trans Worlds Best Secret Islands

The Con Dao are a group of islands in southern coast of Vietnam with an ominous past. They were home to the most notorious penal colony in Indochina for many years until their abandonment at the end of the Vietnam War. These days, the islands are preserved as Con Dao National Park – a group of 16 islands teeming with dolphins, turtles and spectacular coral reefs. Couple of dive shops and a few resorts are the sparse tourist developments in the island.    Continue Reading…

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 Koh Kong, Cambodia

 1x1.trans Top Budget Honeymoon Destinations in Southeast Asia

The perfect holiday destination to connect with nature;this secluded island has wild elephants roaming amongst fragrant Cardamom plantations and several deserted beaches. Check in at any of the numerous cheap resorts and homestays for as low as Rs. 500 a night. Travellers who are in the mood to splurge can book a room at the luxurious Song Saa Private Island resort. Getting to the island involves a 30 minute speedboat ride from Sihanoukville.

 

Perfect for :- Couples looking for the secluded island experience

 

Best time to visit :-Year around except for the rainy season (May – October) Continue Reading…

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If the spike in airfare has had you having second thoughts about taking that international vacation, we got some great news for you.. There are several holiday destinations where you can offset the increased flight fares with budget hotels, cheap and efficient public transport and delicious street food.

Here are the top budget international getaways you can travel to without breaking the bank.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

1x1.trans Top Budget International Getaways for 2014

Vietnam is a recent addition on the Southeast trail but quickly became a backpacker haven thanks to availability of cheap hotels. It is still possible to find rooms for less than Rs.1000 in the country’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh. Explore Vietnam’s rich culture while gorging on delicious bowls of pho and noodle soups (around 70 rs) a pint of local beer (for less than 50 rs). Continue Reading…

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1x1.trans Barcelona Snapshot   Casa Batlló

Antoni Gaudi’s mind had a knack of conjuring up visceral, surreal and visually stunning designs; and the Casa Batlló ranks right up there as his most iconic work. The structure was built to look more like a layers of an animal rather than a residence. Known locally as the “House of Bones” due to its visceral and organic texture, the Casa Batlló was commissioned by Batlló family and is located in the upscale Eixample district in Barcelona.

Continue Reading…

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The best time to travel is in your 20′s – when you’re independent and legal to do most of the stuff yet young enough to be forgiven for having a little too much fun. Set yourself a modest budget; squeeze your belongings into a backpack; sleep in a shared dormitory; survive on street food and bargain like your life depended on it and get out there to create some amazing experiences that will stick with you forever. Here are 10 of the best trips you should take in your 20′s!

    Backpack across the North East
1x1.trans 10 Trips You Should Take In Your 20s

This is one of those trips best undertaken with no concrete plans and no pre-decided schedule. Stick to public transportation – trains, buses, shared jeeps and hitchhiking. Look around for budget hotels and bargain on the fares – clean bedding and clean toilets should be you sole requisites. The suggested itinerary is Gangtok – Pelling – Bhutan – Darjeeling – Shillong – Cherrapunji – Kazringa.

Continue Reading…

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From a secluded Tibetan Colony in Chhattisgarh to a luxurious Leopard Safari camp in Rajasthan. Here are the top destinations in India to visit before they go mainstream.

Parul & Bhogwe, Maharashtra

 

1x1.trans 5 Places to Visit Before They Get Famous

This Konkani settlement is the perfect place for an authentic farm stay experience replete with relaxing walks around the plantations and delicious Malvani cuisine. The area was once a village built around a Surya temple where the rays of the sun touched the idol before disappearing into the horizon. The phenomenon was lost to multiple renovations but the magic still lingers in this quaint township. Stay with the Samants and experience life on a farm, get a fish spa in a natural stream, sunset trek to the beach, go on plantation walks and gorge on some delicious Malvani cuisine. The nearby Bhogwe is another secluded area that is yet to pop up on tourist maps. The area is home to rustic cottages crafted from bamboo and cane that offer stunning views of the ocean.

 

  Continue Reading…

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Addicted to your smartphone? We have scoured the planet to find middle-of-nowhere destinations that are miles away from any phone and Wi-Fi networks;  where you can unplug and get a digital detox to clear your mind.

Baja Camp, Mexico

1x1.trans Top Destinations for a Digital Detox

Location :- Isla de Espíritu Santo – a deserted nature reserve off the coast of Baja California, reached by a 2 hr boat ride from La Paz.

Accommodation :-  5 green canvas tents on the ocean shore with two double beds. There is also a separate lounge and dining area.

To Do :-  Go fishing in the Sea of Cortés and get your catch made into ceviche by the camp chef, kayak your way into the numerous inlets in the area, go scuba diving amongst the sting rays and whale sharks.

Continue Reading…

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South Africa is a land of endless beauty that seamlessly blends a balmy climate, sprawling outdoors and vibrant culture. One of the fastest growing lesiure and business travel destinations, South Africa boasts of an unmatched diversity in terms of culture, activites and sightseeing spots. Check out the top rated attractions and activities in Via’s Travel Guide to South Africa.

Visit Via Holidays to create your South Africa travel plan and customized holiday packages online.

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1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

There aren’t many journeys which makes you say “That was one hell of ride” at the end of it. In some way the phrase describes life itself and at least a few would have uttered it during their final moments on this planet. Anyway, since we don’t intend to spark off existential debates, we went with an equally deserving trip that will entice the same reaction at the end.

Ladakh is considered the Holy Grail of biker trails and offers an enchanting mix of terrifying passes and awe-inspiring beauty. The entire trip will require at least 9 days, but some stretch it to 15 days to fully take in the experience. The passes open up during May/June and remains so until the end of October. If you are looking for a quieter time, try to visit during the first week of September, away from the peak season.

1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

 Traversing the stark landscape of Ladakh is more than about having a fit body, it is about having a stronger mind. There have been instances of perfectly healthy people who succumbed to altitude sickness, fatigue and depression during the trip. A few sessions of meditation should help in this regard, the next step is to ensure that your bike is in top notch condition. This involves getting the engine tuned, new tires, accelerator and clutch cables and clutch plate. Other essentials include a tool repair kit and puncture repair kit along with a foot pump. This is by no means a final check list but the other things you require are carriers for the additional baggage, a comfortable helmet with a visor, balaclava to protect your face from the truck exhausts and gloves. Also, don’t forget a raincoat, socks, first aid kit, energy drinks, protein bars and dry fruits.

1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

Getting There

There are multiple ways to undertake the Ladakh Biker tour, however, the most preferred one is to drive from Manali. It will save two days of acclimatising, which you will have to face if you flew into Leh. The first obstacle in getting to Ladakh is the famed ‘Rohtang Pass’, the name roughly translates to ‘Pile of Corpses’. The name apparently came from numerous people dying while trying to cross the treacherous pass. Petrol Pumps are scarce in this route, sometimes the distance from one fuel station to the next could be as much as 300 km!! So plan your fuel stash carefully.

Conquering the cold desert – Lahaul Valley

Once you enter Lahaul Valley, the tourist crowds fade out into the hotels from where they will travel back to Manali the next day. Finally, some much needed quiet descends upon the valley, the hot momos and thupka will keep you up and running though this stretch.

1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

Riding through Baralacha La & Sarchu Plains

As you ride through Baralacha La, you will notice that the mountains now seem scaled to 10x times their size compared to yesterday. Somewhere along the route, you will cross over from Himachal Pradesh to Jammu & Kashmir. As you stare ahead, you will see the endless chain of mountains that was used by the Kipling Lama, Kim to enter into India.

1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

Leh

Leh is one of those places where everything is tuned up a notch including the silence, peace and hospitality. The massive Tanglang La stands before you and your entry into Leh. As you make the descend towards Leh, the quaint monasteries Shey and Thiksey gently rise out of the rocks.

1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

 Exploring Leh

This is the most popular “first break of the trip” spot for bikers and is lined with several accommodation and refreshment options. Lounge in one of the cafes or stroll around to shop for trinkets and shawls for people back home.

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On the shoulders of Giants – Khardung-La

From Leh, you set forth to Nubra Valley, through the Khardung La – considered to be the world’shighest motorable road. Like much of the roads you have already crossed, and yet to traverse, there isn’t much of a road here. Melt water has eaten through most of it and you will have to manage to ride over the leftover ashpalt.

Absolute Silence in the towering Karakorams – Nubra Valley

Share the road with two humped Bactrian camels as you cross the frenzied Nubra and Shyok rivers. As you ride, you will catch a faint whiff of apple and apricot from the numerous orchards in the area. You can crash for the night at one of the numerous campsites or at a Ladakhi home.

1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

Exploring the Nubra Valley

Bikers usually spend two days in Nubra, exploring the outer reaches of Hunder and the hot springs of Panamik before heading back.

1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

On the way to the Tibetan Plateau

You will have to traverse another brutal mountain pass to arrive at one of the most stunning place on the planet – the Changthang. Home to the Mount Everest and the source of Yangtze and Mekong rivers, the sight of the Great Tibetan Plateau alone will make your trip worthwhile.

The final countdown – Pangong Lake

1x1.trans Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh

Two hours of ride on fairly decent roads later you will be surprised by a sudden gleam of deep blue in the landscape. The bluish hue of the Pangong Lake is accentuated by its barren surroundings and standing on its bank is a memory you will truly remember for the entirety of your life. From here, you can start your journey back home.

To book your Motorcycle Tour to Ladakh, drop by Via Holidays

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