Indians are known to make last minute travel decisions. While they can travel anywhere within India at a short notice, travelling abroad may not be possible as visas are required by most countries for Indian nationals. Processing visas can take anywhere between 3 days to a month depending on the destination and generally involves cumbersome documentation and paperwork which can dampen the spirits, especially for a last minute holiday plan.
However there are some fantastic holiday destinations that offer visa-on-arrival facility for Indians. You will be pleasantly surprised to see just how many “known” destinations feature in this list. So, when you get the travel bug next time, simply pack your bags and head out to these visa-on-arrival destinations.
Proudly self-declared as Asia’s World City, Hong Kong exhibits diverse streaks of cultures from across the world. An amalgamation of varied civilizations, in its truest sense, Hong Kong represents multiple personalities – equally vibrant and colorful.
With past footprints of British influence, Hong Kong today stands as a major tourist destination for the world, especially for the affluent habitants of China. Hong Kong uniquely displays a gamut of tourist attractions, which are as diverse and as extensive as its cultural heritage. Perhaps, that is why, the place has garnered so much of affection from all over the world.
The main tourist attractions are the Victoria Peak from where you can get stunning views of the Hong Kong city, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and Avenue of the Stars which allows you to soak in one of the world’s most spectacular skylines and also experience the stunning sound and light show. For kids, there is Ocean Park and Hong Disneyland where you can embark on a journey with magical adventures for all ages. The Ladies’ Market on the Tung Choi Street is a shopper’s paradise for women, with umpteen options and bargains galore – clothes, watches, accessories, jewelries, trinkets, home furnishings, etc., almost everything!
The best time to visit Hong Kong is from October to December. Even in other months, the city is equally livened up throughout the year. A visitor from India gets a 14-day visa-free stay in Hong Kong which is more than sufficient to experience this great city. You would be expected to carry the following documents with you:
– Your Indian passport (with minimum six months validity and at least two blank pages),
– Original confirmed return air ticket showing exit from Hong Kong within fourteen days,
– Foreign Exchange duly endorsed on the passport or valid International Credit Card.
The islands of Fiji are sprinkled over the South Pacific Ocean en route to New Zealand from Hawaii. With the international dateline running on its east, Fiji Islands are few of those frontiers to be “ahead” in time with respect to most other countries in the world.
Fiji is a stunning blend of tropical forests, coral reefs, coconut plantations, pristine and uninhabited beaches, lofty hills and more. As a privileged tourist to the Fiji Islands you will be warmly greeted by the friendly locals. Tourism is the main driver of the economy and you can expect to find world-class luxury resorts in Fiji located on various islands. A cluster of some of the best resorts is located in Denarau Island in Nadi which is also the international gateway to Fiji Islands.
Fiji is very popular as a honeymoon destination and may Kiwis and Aussies also have their weddings in Fiji. Many high profile celebrities and dignities get attracted to Fiji every year as it offers complete seclusion and solitude. The famous Hollywood movie, ”Castaway” with Tom Hanks in the lead was shot in Fiji and this island is now a popular tourist attraction. Apart from relaxing on the beaches, Fiji offers the adventure enthusiast a range of water sport activities like whitewater rafting, kayaking, surfing, jet boat safari, deep sea diving, snorkeling and more.
For Indian nationals arriving at Nadi International Airport, you will get a visa-on-arrival valid for 4 months from the date of arrival.
Fiji is best experienced as an extension to an Australia and New Zealand holiday where there is easy and direct connectivity to Nadi. Air Fiji also operates direct flights from Hong Kong to Fiji so you can actually combine both these visa-on-arrival destinations for a memorable holiday.
Regularly featured on our blog, Thailand is an extremely popular holiday destination for Indians, for first time and repeat travelers alike. Thailand attracts tourists like a magnet with its sun kissed beaches, delectable cuisine, rich history and vibrant culture, pulsating nightlife, enviable tropical climate and warm friendly people. And Indians can experience all this without burning a hole in their pocket thanks to cheap direct flights flying into Thailand from the major metros in India.
Unlike most other popular tourist destinations, the variety of holiday experiences that Thailand offers are extensive. Beach bums can head straight to bustling Phuket or the more exclusive Koh Samui, Hua Hin or Krabi. For the historically inclined, head to Chiang Mai, the cultural capital of Thailand stocked with temples, night markets and street food. For the adventure inclined, Chiang Mai also offers outdoor activities like cycling, mountain biking, trekking, rafting, rock-climbing and more. Snorkelling and diving is best experienced in Ko Similan Islands (close to Phuket). And the capital city of Bangkok offers great shopping, dining and entertainment options. You can also experience the magnificent Emerald Buddha, housed in the most sacred Buddhist temple, Wat Phra Kaew.
Besides, Thailand is buzzing with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites show casing historical remains and fabulous architectures. The pre-historic settlement of Ban Chiang, the historic city of Ayutthaya and the historic town of Sukhothai are all world heritage sites. Thailand also tops in scenic natural beauty in the form of dense tropical forests and celestial waterfalls..
As Thailand is listed on this ‘visa on arrival’ category list, you should know that as an Indian citizen you are issued a 15-day visa upon your arrival in Thailand after paying a mandatory fee of 1000 baht. Other conditions also apply like possessing a return air ticket not exceeding your 15-day stay limit, a valid Indian passport with two blank pages at least and two recent passport-size photographs.
Like beautiful specks scattered on the face of the Indian Ocean, Maldives is an idyllic spot revered throughout the world for top class luxury and unparalleled natural beauty. The Island is a much favoured destination by global celebs and the world’s richest people, for the convenience of luxurious top-class amenities, within an island setting.
Asia’s paradisiacal beach destination, Maldives is a geological hotspot of coral reefs. Endless beach shores, pristine white sand, cobalt-blue waters and plenty of sunshine – all make Maldives a breath taking destination. What’s more, the aquatic beauty of the coral reefs makes underwater activities an experience of a lifetime here.
With a sunny tropical climate throughout the year, the average day temperatures are close to 30 degrees making Maldives a top snorkeling and deepwater diving destination. The tropical climate allows visitors to bask in the sun and enjoy getting tanned. Maldives gives you the incredible feeling of being marooned on a island like Tom Hanks in the movie ”Castaway” with the main exception that every creature comfort is provided and you just need to snap a finger to get what you want.
However, despite how alluring Maldives may sound, it does come with its own share of red flags. Maldives is known to be one of the most expensive destinations especially in the peak season period from November to March where the average hotel rates are more than US$ 1000 per room per night. Moreover, there are restrictions on what can be brought into Maldives and what can be taken out of the country which includes things like sand, seashells and corals! All that matchless luxury does come with its own sweet price.
Surprisingly, though, Maldives is a lot lenient with the visa policies. With legal travel documents, a return airfare and proof of sufficient funds (50US$ per person per day + at least 100US$ cash), the Maldivian officials will grant a free visa for a stay of 30 days. This duration can be extended up to 90 days at Male.
Seychelles is a group of 115 islands, with barely a few inhabited by humans. These lie in the Indian Ocean along the east coast of the African continent, very close to Madagascar. Undeniably, the beaches are the biggest attraction – you can expect exquisite ribbons of white sand lapped by turquoise blue waters with lush hills in the background.
With such a dreamlike setting, the Seychelles is an ideal honeymoon destination. Apart from enjoying the romantic setting of a beach front luxurious hotel, Seychelles offers a lot more – it’s the top spot to watch birds and giant tortoises in their natural habitat. And a vast living world lies just below the turquoise waters, beckoning divers of all levels. And when you tire of beaches you can venture inland on jungle trails, indulge in fine dining or enjoy the sublime laid-back tempo.
The overall ambiance in the Seychelles is very relaxed and the nightlife is surprisingly happening for a less inhabited place like the Seychelles. Great nightlife scene is mostly situated around the more prominent hotels, with the Lovenut, Tequila Boom and Katiolio being the few longstanding, famous clubs.
The main hotels are clustered in the three main islands – the capital Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. On top of ultra-luxurious hotel options, the Seychelles has plenty of quaint, affordable self-catering facilities and guesthouses. But thanks to its location, flying to Seychelles is expensive and this will always remain an exclusive destination, ideal for honeymooners or for travelers who want to get away from it all. May – September are typically the cooler months in Seychelles and gets the bulk of tourists.
The visa-on-arrival in Seychelles is granted for 30 dayswhich could be extended anywhere between another three months to a year, subject to following requirements.
– The passport must be valid for at least six months.
– Pre-booked accommodation even before arrival (mandatory).
Kenya is a preferred tourist destination in the African continent for viewing wildlife. Though still a developing site, Kenya is a tourist-friendly country offering many options for game safaris to witness the Big Five in their natural habitat.
Featured in the past on our blog for great game viewing, Kenya is widely popular for the Masai Mara National Park that is spread over the two nations of Kenya and Tanzania. Maasai Mara is Africa’s most popular reserve for the huge animal reserve it contains. Lions, cheetahs, crocodiles are some of the deadliest predators found here, preying on herds of impalas, zebras and wildebeests. If the far-reaching landscapes make up for astounding backdrops, then it’s the wild beasts here that make up for the real adventure.
Other reasons which make Kenya popular amongst tourists are its fantastic white sandy beaches in Mombassa, Diani and Watamu. Kenya also offers you the opportunity to interact with the local African tribes, who still live a traditional lifestyle! You can socialize with the locals through non-profit trip volunteering – like teaching, environment conservation, healthcare/ childcare, community development works, etc., and if you want to take some souvenirs, then nothing beats the local handicrafts, which are a signature offering of the tribes here. Beaded ornaments, decorated gourds and distinctive red- checkered cloth typical of the Masai men, are great souvenir alternatives.
On your landing at the Kenya airport, you get a visa-on-arrival for a month for a fee of $ US50. The visa can also be extended to a maximum of three months. Additionally, it is advised to have all your legit travel documents along with evidence of enough funds to support your entire stay in Kenya.
Indonesia (Bali & Lombok)
Another widely featured destination on our blog and a popular tourist destination, Indonesia offers Indian nationals visa on arrival for a fee of US$ 25. Indonesia is a large country but we stay focused on the two main islands of Indonesia – Bali and Lombok.
Bali and Lombok are the ultimate holiday havens. It’s not without reason that Bali has garnered a world-famous reputation. Picturesque locales, vivid cultures and a unique blend of the two, makes Bali a favoured destination. Dubbed as the Island of the Gods, Bali is brimming with charming beaches, happening nightlife and a spellbinding cultural heritage. From the budgeted backpackers to the super-filthy rich, Bali is graced and revered equally by one and all.
True is the case with Lombok as well, which is also an island resort, just like the Bali, and situated not very far off from it. In fact, Lombok is often touted as the “unspoiled Bali” or in the obvious terms an emerging Bali to be precise. Yet, with regards to Bali, Lombok is much less developed, tourism facility-wise. To sum up Lombok in one line – it is a rare landscape of multiple natural wonders.
The visa on arrival in Indonesia is issued for 30 days, and is rarely extended beyond that. The visa fee us US$ 25 and to get the visa, you must meet the following requirements.
– Possess a return ticket to point of origin/ onward destination.
– Should enter from valid/ designated entry points.
– You must pay a nominal departure tax on your exit.
About Odyssey Travels
Odyssey Travels is a leading IATA accredited Travel Company, established in 1992. We specialize in planning customized holidays in India and abroad for our clients which includes air ticketing, worldwide hotel reservations, inclusive tours, sightseeing activities, visa assistance & travel insurance services. For further information or to make a booking contact 020-66442929 or visit http://www.odysseytravels.net/
Diving in Bali (720p)
Scuba diving in Bali. This DVD is available at http://www.bubblevision.com/marine-life-DVD.htm
Diving in Bali is a document of an extraordinary expedition I made to Indonesia’s magical island of Bali in 2006 with Aquamarine Diving, http://www.aquamarinediving.com
From Tulamben’s awesome USAT Liberty wreck, to the reef manta rays of Nusa Penida, via the fascinating macro marine life of Tulamben and Seraya Secrets, the footage covers the breadth of Bali’s fascinating underwater world.
The video features 158 species of marine life, and their common and scientific names are available by turning on the captions with the CC button under the video. Viewers can now contribute subtitles for the marine life names in this video in many languages. Find out more at https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6054623.
From Tulamben there is footage of the wreck of the USAT Liberty in both day time and night time, including the humphead parrotfish that spend the night there. Also from Tulamben are numerous marine live encounters from dives at the Drop-Off and the Coral Garden.
Just around the corner we make a dive at Seraya Secrets, a macro hotspot where I encountered seahorses and nudibranchs.
From Padangbai on the east coast of Bali we have footage from The Blue Lagoon and Pura Jepun.
From the island of Nusa Penida we have the manta ray cleaning station, Manta Point, and Ped.
Full list of dive sites featured in this video:
1. USAT Liberty Shipwreck, Tulamben
The USAT Liberty was torpedoed by the Japanese off Lombok and beached at Tulamben in Bali. In 1963 the last eruption of Mount Agung caused the wreck to slide deeper into the sea where she lies today. The USAT Liberty shipwreck makes an excellent dive site. This video features the towering stern, the coral-encrusted gun on the bow, green humphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), a Pacific hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata bissa), garden eels, sweetlips and lots of other interesting marine life from the wreck and its surroundings.
The USAT Liberty also makes a fantastic night dive. Green humphead parrotfish sleep in the protection of the wreck. Other highlights include a Spanish dancer and a bluespotted ribbontail ray.
2. Coral Garden, Tulamben
The Coral Garden at Tulamben lies conveniently right off the middle of the beach. Skunk cleaner shrimps tend to moray eels and groupers at a cleaning station based around a barrel sponge. Also featuring a ribbon eel, ghost pipefish, leaf scorpionfish and trevallies schooling in the shallows.
3. Tulamben Drop-Off
Video from the Drop-Off at Tulamben, Bali, featuring a spectacular giant purple knotted sea fan, nudibranchs, a ghost pipefish and a seahorse. Before and after exploring the Drop-Off we spend time in the shallows where we meet Tulamben’s famous schools of trevallies.
By night the drop-off at Tulamben provides plenty of treats for the visiting diver. This video includes a squat lobster, a cone shell, a dwarf cuttlefish, a hermit crab and various pretty reef fish.
4. Seraya Secrets
Seraya Secrets, nearby to Tulamben, is an exellent muck dive known for weird and wonderful critters. Here we encounter some batfish around the artificial reef project in the shallows. A little deeper we find 2 thorny seahorses, catfish, an anemone crab and nudibranchs.
5. Blue Lagoon, Padangbai
The Padangbai area on the east coast of Bali provides some fantastic diving. Just north of Padangbai lies the Blue Lagoon. This footage comes from my first ever dive in Indonesia with a video camera and features leaf scorpionfish, cuttelfish, anemonefish, lionfish, shrimps, catfish, nudibranchs, moorish idols and a goby.
6. Pura Jepun, Padangbai
Pura Jepun also lies just north of Padangbai and is home to some fantastic marine life. This video features clownish, sweetlips, angelfish, a peacock mantis shrimp, a stingray, a panther grouper, a wart slug, ribbon eels, a scorpionfish and a flying gurnard.
7. Manta Point, Nusa Penida
On the north-east side of Nusa Penida lies a cleaning station for reef manta rays (Manta alfredi) known as “Manta Point”. On 23rd May 2006 we had the pleasure of diving with these graceful giants.
8. PED, Nusa Penida
Ped is sloping reef on the north coast of Nusa Penida. Here we encounter a variety of tropical reef fishes including angelfish, triggerfish, anemonefish and scorpionfish, as well as a rhizostome jellyfish.
Thanks to Toao (http://www.soilsound.com) for the music tracks, “Deep Blue”, “Starbeam”, “Afterglow”, “Time & Space” and “Woodsman”, and to Erik Verkoyen for “Prickly Shark”.
I have more scuba diving videos and underwater footage on my website at:
I post updates about my videos, and interesting underwater videos from other filmmakers here:
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