Where You Should Be This Holiday Season

Partying in Dubai, gambling in Macau, chilling on a Lankan beach + more—take your pick

SRI LANKA Take the family to the country’s north-east region, which has finally opened up to tourists after the end of the civil war almost three years ago. It now boasts a safe and spectacular coastline as well as incredibly luxurious properties such as The Beach House Pasikudah (www.beachhousecollection.com), which opens in October, and the wonderfully remote Chaaya Blu Trincomalee (www.chaayahotels.com). The former has 32 suites and two beach pavilions; most come with private plunge pools and butlers. The resort also has a water-sports centre, including a PADI dive school. The latter features beach chalets and organises whale-watching trips. Cinnamon Air (www.cinnamonair.com) has launched a seaplane service from Colombo to Trincomalee, so visitors no longer need to endure the arduous six-hour drive from the capital in the south to get to the far-flung beaches in the north. The journey time is now less than an hour on these nine-seater, low-flying planes that afford arresting views of lush hills and rivers along the way. Besides, Indian passport-holders can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) on www.eta.gov.lk, which enables them to get a visa on arrival. Getting there: Sri Lankan Airlines (www.srilankan.com) flies to Colombo from Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai.

MACAU Get visas on arrival and hit the Cotai Strip for a spot of gambling this Diwali. Try your hand at blackjack, baccarat and roulette at the world’s largest casino inside The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel (www.venetianmacao.com), which houses 3,400 slot machines and 800 gaming tables. You can also choose to take in the cultural and historical heritage of the city with the hotel’s half-day Discovery Tour of Macau. Use the complimentary one-way CotaiJet ferry tickets for two to Hong Kong for a quick look at the busy metropolis and to explore its many shopping options. Visitors can also choose to stay at Conrad Macao (www.sandscotaicentral.com) and take advantage of its ‘The House of Dancing Water’ package. Besides accommodation for two in a deluxe category room and breakfast, it includes tickets to The House of Dancing Water show, which is staged in a purpose-built theatre holding water equivalent to five Olympic-sized pools. The HK$2 billion (Rs1,560 crore) production has dancers gliding across the theatre and performing some spectacular leaps and acrobatics. Getting there: Thai Airways (www.thaiairways.com; stopover in Bangkok) flies to Macau from all major Indian cities.

BRUSSELS Start the revelry early this year at the Belgian capital’s all-night arts festival, Nuit Blanche (www.nuitblanchebrussels.be), which shines a light on the city’s creative scene. As part of this event, on 5 October, people will have free access to galleries and museums that will be showcasing works by up-and-coming homegrown artists. The setting promises to be exciting, with plenty of concerts, film screenings, theatre performances, guided tours and open-air parties to enjoy. Audiences can also get creative by enrolling in one of the various workshops taking place across the city. Getting there: Brussels Airlines (www.brusselsairlines.com) and Jet Airways (www.jetairways.comfly to Brussels from Mumbai and New Delhi.

DUBAI Looking for a quick party fix? Head to Dubai for an Alicia Keys concert (www.doneevents.com) on15 November, when she’ll play at the newly expanded Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. The singer will be joined on stage by R&B star Jason Derulo. Her set will include songs from her latest album as well as from her older, Grammy Award-winning works. After the concert, go to one of the bars inside Dubai Media City, such as the Media One Hotel’s pool bar, THE DEK on 8 (+971 4 427 1000). Or make your way to the Cavalli Club (www.cavalliclubdubai.com) inside Fairmont Dubai—just 20 minutes from the concert venue, its three suspended lounge bars are a favourite with A-list celebrities. If your interests lie outside of pop ballads, The Killers will bring their whimsical, high-energy rock anthems to the beach alongside Atlantis The Palm (www.atlantisthepalm.com) as part of the Sandance music festival (http://sandance.ae) on 11 October. On the 15th of the following month (same date as the Alicia Keys concert), acid jazz band Jamiroquai will entertain crowds as part of Sandance, too. Getting there: IndiGo (www.goindigo.in) and Emirates (www.emirates.com) fly direct from Mumbai and New Delhi.

KONARK Home to the Sun Temple—an archaeological marvel that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and miles of uninterrupted coastline, this sleepy town in Odisha comes alive during the prestigious Konark Dance Festival (http://orissatourism.gov.in). Held in the first week of December, patrons of classical Indian dance will get to sample the very best of its kind here. The venue, an open-air auditorium with the Konark temple and the sun setting behind it as its backdrop, certainly adds to the charm of this five-day cultural extravaganza. While this year’s line-up is still under wraps, expect to see some big-name performers. Last year, Odishi dancer and Padma Shri award-winner Madhavi Mudgal took to the stage. Getting there: IndiGo (www.goindigo.in) flies to Bhubaneswar from Kolkata. Konark is a two-hour drive from there.

Visit the small museum near the Sun Temple—it is run by the Archaeological Survey of India and houses fascinating sculptures dating as far back as the 13th century. 

What do you think of this story? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter

You may also like:





Sunayana Kumari


Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • German envoy, Khurshid music video goes viral

    New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) A remake with a twist, a new video of popular Bollywood track "Kal ho naa ho", featuring German Ambassador Michael Steiner, his wife Eliese and former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid has gone viral online, garnering over 600,000 views within three days of going live on Youtube. "Kal ho naa ho" is a song which continues to touch listeners even after over a decade since its release. Steiner fills in for cine star Shah Rukh Khan, lipsyncing the lyrics penned …

  • Shruti Hassan to endorse electronic products brand Lloyd

    New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) Actress Shruti Hassan has signed up to endorse consumer durable brand Lloyd in India. The 29-year-old will endorse air conditioners, LED TVs, washing machines, refrigerators and small home appliances for Lloyd in India through promotion, advertising and marketing. "It is an honour and privilege to be associated with Lloyd which has state-of-the-art innovative and technologically advanced products which are exceptionally stylish in their design. I look forward to an …

  • Grateful I'm alive: Pooja Missra on nightmare in Nepal

    New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) She went to Kathmandu to launch her special calendar, but ended up facing the horror of a 7.9-magnitude earthquake, that devastated Nepal on Saturday. Model Pooja Missra is heaving a sigh of relief and is grateful to God that she's back safe, sound and alive. The model, whose antics on reality show "Bigg Boss 5" made her a popular name, was heading to the holy Pashupatinath temple when the tremors shook the Himalayan nation. "I was going to the Pashupatinath temple. …

  • Hrithik Roshan supports global aid for quake-hit Nepal

    Mumbai, April 27 (IANS) Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan has appreciated the efforts of various countries like US, India and China to help Nepal cope with the devastation caused by the earthquake. The 41-year-old has urged people to help restore normalcy in Nepal in every way possible. US, Pakistan, China, Australia, India n many more hv not wasted a moment 2 aid n help Nepal. The toll after Saturday's 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal has climbed to 3,351 and 6,833 people have been …

  • 'Upset' Vir Das calls police intervention at show 'wrong'

    New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) Actor-comedian Vir Das got "upset" when his standup comedy show here was disrupted by police after an unknown person filed a complaint against him as he attempted to spoof former president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam. Vir was performing his new sketch called "UnbelievabLISH" as part of his Unbelievable Tour at the Siri Fort Auditorium on April 25, when he was interrupted midway by a man who asked him to stop talking about Kalam. In one bit, I tell a story about how I …

  • Movie star Salma Hayek explores Lebanese roots with film of The Prophet
    Movie star Salma Hayek explores Lebanese roots with film of The Prophet

    By Sylvia Westall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Movie star Salma Hayek said on Monday her new film The Prophet was a labour of love that helped her explore her relationship with her late Lebanese grandfather who adored the book that inspired it. The animated film, which draws on the 1923 book by Lebanese-born writer Kahlil Gibran, tells the story of Almitra, a headstrong girl who forms a friendship with the imprisoned poet Mustafa, voiced by actor Liam Neeson. Mexican-American actress Hayek co-produced …

  • B-Town puts forces behind fundraising for quake-hit Nepal

    New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) At a time when Nepal is grappling with the consequences of a devastating earthquake, Indian film fraternity members like Anil Kapoor, Dia Mirza and Vir Das have urged their fans and friends to unite and donate through various sources for relief efforts. "Rang De Basanti" actor Kunal Kapoor is co-founder of the platform, which is running an online campaign dedicated to help Nepal with the tag 'JoinHandsforNepal' on micro-blogging site Twitter. Celebrities like Dia …

  • Abhishek Kapoor To Marry Long Time Girlfriend Pragya Yadav On May 4
    Abhishek Kapoor To Marry Long Time Girlfriend Pragya Yadav On May 4

    Abhishek Kapoor of Rock On! And Kai Po Che fame , is all set to tie the knot next month to his long-time girlfriend Pragya. Abhishek and Pragya will wed on May 4th, in a private ceremony at Juhu’s ISKCON temple.While Pragya’s parents are Indians residing in Sweden,they will fly down for the ceremonies. Confirming the news says Abhishek kapoor, “I have a live-in relationship with my girlfriend Pragya. …