There was a time when we used to dream of sipping juice by a beautiful beach or roaming on the streets of some exotic location. Those dreamy days are back again. In this Corona Virus pandemic times, the idea of lazing on a beach has only remained a dream. Locked in houses, globally, people are eagerly waiting for normalcy to resume and themselves to escape away. However, the options have become very limited. With prime European & American cities massively impacted by Covid-19, the fact that even if the pandemic clears by August 2020, the cold winter chill will descend over the northern hemisphere and hence make those two continents extremely tough to venture this year.
Then, there is the China problem – widely perceived as the country who gifted the life taking virus to the whole world… any country east of the Indian Subcontinent and south of Russia will be avoided by tourists worldwide. This is because, people sitting thousands of miles away, who haven’t seen the world much, assume that part of the map as everything Chinese. However for Indians and South East Asians (my blog’s prime reader base) who are waiting to break free, here is my list of 15 places to visit between Sep 2020 to Feb 2021. The above date range has been recommended with the assumption that Covid-19 will continue to torment us at-least till July 2020 and it is only after that, that normalcy will resume.
Recommended places to travel between Sep 2020 to Feb 2021
The ranking is based on lowest impacted Covid patients per one million population of the country – hence minimal impacted corona virus affected countries appear in top half of the rankings.
- Nepal & Kailash Mansarovar
Nepal has the least impact of Corona virus and is flanked by the majestic Himalayan ranges. If you can travel in the early part of winter then it makes good sense to club your Kathmandu and Pokhara route with Kailash Mansarovar. Nepal gives visa free entry to Indians, is a very cheap, low crime destination and has good food to savour.
Vietnam has been trying a lot recently to lure Indian tourists. Ho Chi Minh has started many direct flights to and fro India. They are also trying to ease their existing cumbersome visa process. There is likelihood that Vietnam (and some more countries listed below) will further ease their visa process to attract tourists post Covid-19. The ideal Vietnam itinerary will to be land at Ho Chi Minh, do the Halong Bay cruise at Hanoi and a compulsory few days at Da Nang.
While Cambodia isn’t as popular a destination as others in this list, but a very low Covid count and fact that the Angkor Wat and Sihanoukville beach areas are fantastic to go anytime between Sep and Feb makes this an ideal destination. Here’s hoping they relax their visa norms to attract tourists too.
For a densely populated, polluted, poor and a not so clean country, India has stunned the world with relatively low Corona virus numbers. India in itself is more than a country and Sep to Feb is an ideal time to roam from Kerala to Manali, from Raan of Kutch festival in the west to Meghalaya in the East. If you really want a long break and can afford it, then I suggest a one month tour to India between Sep to Feb.. Starting with Amritsar to Delhi to Royal Rajasthan to Gwalior to Agra to Shillong to Ayurvedic massage resort in Kerala to lazy beaches of Goa to Bollywood shooting at Mumbai and then fly back home. This may yet total to roughly seeing only 30% of Incredible India!!
5. Sri Lanka
The land of quality seafood, lamprais (a local rice and chicken or mutton curry mix delicacy), elephant orphanages, tea gardens and beautiful beaches.. Sri Lanka will come out a very popular destination post Covid. Visa fee is waived for Indians travelling there and a seven day itinerary will involve Colombo – Pinnawala – Sigiriya – Kandy – Nuwara Eliya – Colombo.
Indonesia is visa free for Indians, so cheap a country that Australians often camp there for 14-28 days, rich in nature, temples, volcanoes, islands, food and cheap shopping. Bali is a must visit, Lombok is a close second and Bandung to follow up. Buying paintings there is a must as they come so cheap and so beautiful.
Many people who are not too aware of geography may assume Taiwan as a part of China. It is not. Many Indians aren’t aware that Taiwan is a visa free country for them. Taipei, Taichung City and Taroko National park are a must see; but do be careful of the fact that Taiwan isn’t a vegetarian friendly country.
Maldives is a relatively cheap island destination but has very limited features. It is best for people who want to go to a vacation only for sake of selfies. Locked in a quality resort and surrounded by the lovely Indian ocean is what you get in exchange of Instagram worthy pictures. It gives free visa on arrival to Indians. Ideally a three night stay or a maximum of four night stay is enough; do remember to take an all meals inclusive package with the resort…else it becomes a tourist trap as in the night you will find yourself stranded in that only resort in that island and be forced to pay expensive ala-carte dinner costs.
With cheap shopping, delicious Thai food, lovely temples, extremely hospitable people, nightlife and grand malls, Thailand will never get off the tourism radar. If one has to die, they rather spend a year in Thailand and die! It is that good a place. Thai visa fee is currently waived off for Indians and an ideal fifteen day vacation will involve Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Phuket. Avoid visiting in September as it rains heavy there.
10. South Africa & Mauritius
While Covid-19 hasn’t impacted many parts of Africa, I will keep my recommendation limited to the best. A two week trip to South Africa and Mauritius will involve landing at Mauritius, then move to Cape Town, then get thrilled at Kruger National Park and finally, fly back from Durban. Mauritius is visa free for Indians and in months of Sep to Feb that part of the world will be a dream luxury destination.
While Kuala Lumpur is primarily a mall-hopping city; with the Petronas towers, Pink mosque and Batu caves to view, KL features in world’s top ten most visited cities of the world. Add the beautiful cities of Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu, you can fit in a not so expensive two week relaxing holiday there. Cheap (yet delicious) food and cheap shopping are also key features of this country.
In Palawan islands, the lovely country of Philippines holds an island, consistently rated as the second best island in the world. A trip to Philippines must involve a minimum seven day stay at Palawan and four day stay at Cebu. If you cannot decide where to go, you should pick this country. Hopefully Philippines will make an Indian national travelling from India, visa free, post Covid.
13. UAE – Dubai & Abu Dhabi
Dubai (and Singapore) are essentially cosmopolitan mall-cities with not much nature or history to savour. However, both these cities fall under the world’s top ten most visited cities. Both have excellent food options, great for branded shopping, branded amusement parks to thrill kids, top airports, cleanliness and safety. For Dubai, a one week trip is recommended that will include visit to Global Village, Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi mosque, Ferrari world, Atlantis, Burj Al Khalifa and a lot more. Hopefully both these countries will make visa process easier for Indians post Covid-19 to lure tourists to come in.
While Singapore (perceived as a Chinese country due to its 75% Chinese heavy population) has unexpectedly got high numbers of Covid-19 cases, compared to its size and population, expect Singapore to bounce back faster than many. The beauty of Singapore lies in the fact it is one the rare cities of the world which is extremely friendly for the disabled, aged and even for idiots!! There are directions flashed everywhere, public transport is best in class, help is available at every tourist spot, people speak nicely to tourists and it has enough to see worth a five day trip. If you want to extend your holiday, club it with Bali or take a cruise.
Australia too has an unexpectedly high number of Covid-19 cases for its low population spread across an extremely vast landscape. However, with less population to handle, unlimited resources and best in class infrastructure, just like Singapore, expect Australia to bounce back fast. Australia deserves a three week trip and the route I will suggest will be land at Darwin, then move to Gold Coast, then to Hobart, to Melbourne, to Sydney and then fly back. Sep to Feb is a great time to be there and here’s hoping Australia relax on their visa norms too, post Covid-19.
Hope you liked reading this blog and at the least, it provoked you to start dreaming of holidays again. Take our help for planning holidays, once you are ready. We only do customized vacations tailored to your group/family needs – whether it’s dietary needs, individual traveler physical limitations, travel history, dreams and tastes. Post Covid-19, airfares will reduce, hotels will offer better deals and cruises will come cheaper – at least for a short time. A consultant guiding you, from start to end, to a personalized hand held tour, should benefit you more. Our contact numbers are mentioned in the poster below.