Culture & Lifestyle / Holiday Hot Spots: Rediscover These South Asian Cities This Winter

Holiday Hot Spots: Rediscover These South Asian Cities This Winter

Culture & Lifestyle Nov 25, 2019

In this world where Instagram is ripe and we are all looking for our next social media-worthy post, we often forget South Asia as a travel destination. Sure, we got family to visit but that doesn’t mean you can’t carve out some tourist time for yourself and really check out these holiday hot spots? So go ahead and rediscover these South Asian cities this winter!

 

Islamabad, Pakistan

Holiday Hot Spots
Holiday Hot Spots: Faisla Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan. Photo Credit: www.busktlistly.blog 

The capital of Pakistan is somewhere you would have heard of before and if you have travelled to Pakistan you may have passed through here before. Islamabad is very different from how you may envision it. The roads are clean and it is formed in a grid-like system, much like New York. Rickshaws are banned due to the noise they make and therefore unlike most cities Islamabad is a lot quieter.

Things to do whilst visiting Islamabad include visiting the Pakistan Monument, it is advised to do this early in the morning as you will avoid the hustle and bustle of all the crowds. It is set up on top of a hill and so the tranquillity is perfect. If you are into your arts and culture then the Lok Virsa Museum is one to visit and it is not too far from the Pakistan Monument.

We all love taking in a good viewpoint and of course, if you are a social media addict you will want a pic for the gram so make sure you do not miss the Daman-E-Koh viewpoint. One place you will not want to miss is the Faisal Mosque, especially is you can catch it at sunset. It is one of the most well know landmarks in Pakistan and is absolutely beautiful. The structure of the monument is also different from your standard mosque that would usually consist of a dome.

Where to dine: Check out Monal Restaurant, in the Pir Sohawa district which is up on a hill, it is a little more expensive than most but the views are to die for.

New Delhi, India

Holiday Hot Spots
Holiday Hot Spots: India Gate,  New Delhi. Photo Credit: www.tripadvisor.com

The capital of any country is set to have a rich culture and Delhi is no different. The Mughal empire has left behind some great architecture in Delhi and the Red Fort is one of the. This sandstone structure shows you the difference in the Islamic structures and the British era additions that in turn spin the tale of the past. There are also the narrow bazaars of old Delhi where no matter which wrong step you take you will be taken in by what you bump into.

How about visiting the UNESCO heritage site, Humayun’s Tomb which is said to be what inspired the Taj Mahal, constructed for a Mughal Emporer the tomb puts together Persian and Mughal elements

For those who have not already visited the Taj Mahal this is something you must do when visiting Delhi. This can be done as a day trip or you could stay there, but either way, it is considered as one of the most beautiful buildings ever constructed and one of the seven wonders of the world, so that can be ticked off the bucket list as well. In the midst of it all let’s not forget the India Gate, which of course you would of seen in many films but is a memorial built in commemoration of more than 80,000 Indian soldiers who were killed during World War I.

Where to dine: Go up 240 feet up to the 24th Floor and visit Parikrama, the 360 degrees revolving restaurant in Delhi, where you can dine with views.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Holiday Hot Spots
Holiday Hot Spots: Burj Al Arab from Souk Madinat. Photo Credit: www.dubai-online.com

Dubai is actually the type of place you would rather visit in winter as the weather is a little more bearable then it is during the summer months. Dubai is also known to celebrate the New Year in style, whether you decide to spend it on the beach or in the luxury hotels, you will thoroughly enjoy the fireworks on display to ring in the new year. Dubai is a very busy city and there is so much to do there, from visiting the Atlantis and its waterpark to taking a ride at the newly formed Bollywood Parks, Dubai is a multicultural city and finding a cuisine you love will not be hard, from traditional Arabic food to American fast-food restaurants such as The Cheesecake Factory and Hard Rock Café, Dubai has it all.

Whilst here why not take a day trip to Abu Dhabi where you can visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the world-famous  theme part for the auto-lover, the Ferrari World.

Where to dine: With so many restaurants in Dubai it is hard to name just one, but one place that deserves a visit is the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, not only does it have some great restaurants but there are some stunning views of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Holiday Hot Spots
Holiday Hot Spots: Lalbagh Fort in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo Credit: www.flickr.com

Bangladesh was formally a part of Pakistan until receiving independence and for this reason, you will want to visit the Aparajeyo Bangla, a sculpture which is based on the Dhaka University campus. If you are travelling with kids then make sure you take a trip to the Shishu Park, which is the first amusement park for children in the country.

If you are more into the culture and heritage of Bangladesh then a trip to the Sonargaon is a must to catch a glimpse os the Islamic culture of the country. With a literal meaning of the City or Village of Gold there are mosque ruins and mansions and a small museum of local folk art.

Much like New Delhi and Islamabad, there is a rich Mughal influence here in Dhaka and one such place is that of the Lalbagh Fort also a UNESCO world heritage site, constructed by the third son of the Mughal Emporer Aurangzeb.

Where to dine: Malancha Restaurant will make you feel like a local, it’s where the students flock to indulge in biryanis, kebabs and it offers typical Bengali cuisine.

Chennai, Eastern India

Holiday Hot Spots
Holiday Hot Spots: Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Chennai. Photo Credit: www.epuja.co.in

Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu but unlike other places, it doesn’t have any famous monuments of tourist attractions however this does not mean there is not loads to do here.

A lot of people travel to Chennai to have a full body check as their hospitals are great and for a small fee they will check every little thing going on within your body and send you home with a report.

Tamil Nadu is known for its tea and coffee plantations and that is something you can visit whilst travel there. The historic neighbourhood of Mylapore is also referred to as the soul of the city. You will find the most impressive temple here, the 17th-century Kapaleeshwarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Fort Saint George is a legacy of the British East India Company and was completed in 1653 and is one of the first lasting footprints of Britain on Indian soil. Just outside here you will also find the gigantic building of the Madras High Court.

Whilst here make sure you take the chance to enjoy the markets and street stalls, this can be found in the area called Black Town.

Where to dine: Try Robot for something different. As the name suggests everything from the greeting, to table service is taken care of by robots.

Vallisa Chauhan

Vallisa Chauhan

Author

Vallisa Chauhan (@vallisatheadventurer) currently presents the breakfast show on U.K's Sunrise Radio. She has scripted and produced a full feature film called "Those 4 Walls" and is currently writing three more scripts. She has a keen interest in travelling and films and tries to fit in both as muc...

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