Holiday without Visa Hassle
In which Kaustov Kashyap lists down places to visit without the Visa hassle.
Do you dream of going abroad for a vacation but want to avoid the hassle of the visa process? Worry not, because your Indian passport is strong enough to allow just that to several countries without the requirement of a prior visa.
While few countries do not require a visa at all, others are happy to stamp one on your passport on arrival. Where will you go?
Bhutan: A country where the Gross National Happiness is valued higher than their Gross Domestic Product, Bhutan is also called the Land of Happiness. Lucky for Indians as we do not require a visa to visit this country. Take a short flight or hit the road and be mesmerized by the beauty en route to Bhutan.
After landing at Paro, head straight to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital; this will take you about an hour. Visit ‘Buddha Point’ for a majestic view of the valley. Next, head to Punakha which is about three hours away. En route, halt at the Dochula Pass where you get a glimpse of the Himalayan ranges. Admire the architectural marvels of the Punakha Dzong and Wangdue Phodrang and leave for Paro. End your trip with a trek to the Paro Taktsang or ‘Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
Hong Kong: Yes, Hong Kong too, offers Indians, entry without a visa. For up to 14 days, you can stay in Hong Kong visa-free. A global financial hub, you will witness several skyscrapers here. A shopper’s paradise, night markets, Disneyland and eclectic food: Hong Kong has it all.
When here, visit the top sight-seeing attractions to make the most of your trip. Go to ‘The Peak’ for an uninterrupted view of the whole of Hong Kong. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions for a reason! Head to Lan Kwai Fong which is popular for its nightlife and is home to over 90 pubs, clubs and restaurants. And no matter how old you are, don’t miss going to Disneyland.
Mauritius: Indians can visit this beautiful country without the need for a prior visa. It offers visa on arrival for Indian nationals so all you need is your passport and a return ticket in hand. What’s more, you can stay here for up to 60 days. When in Mauritius, don’t forget to try its sumptuous seafood and visit some of the best beaches in the world.
Not just beaches, explore rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and ample wildlife. Visit the ‘Black River Gorges National Park’ for a spectacular display of flora and fauna. Trou aux Cerfs is a dormant volcano while La Preneuse is a beach in the Black River village. For a lesson in history about Mauritius’ colonial past, visit the ‘Eureka House’.
Bolivia: Bolivia boasts of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites and more importantly being home to (a part of) the Amazon jungles. What’s more, it also grants a 30-day visa on arrival for Indian passport holders.
While it is still an offbeat destination for Indians, the beautiful sights will leave you spellbound. One of its most popular tourist attractions is the ‘Witches’ Market’ where you will find yatiris (local witch doctors) wearing black hats and selling potions, powders and amulets to enhance your beauty, luck and fertility. Used in Bolivian culture, these trinkets can be a good souvenir to take back home. Don’t miss a trip to the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat.
Jamaica: Grab your passport and fly to Jamaica as this country doesn’t require a visa for Indian nationals. The birthplace of ‘Reggae’ and Bob Marley, Jamaica is a land known for its rich cultural heritage and historical reminiscences. Relax on its sandy beaches or go for adventure sports like zip-lining and jeep safari.
This Caribbean Island nation is home to rainforests, beaches, mountains and music. It is also known for its snorkelling, diving sites and its marvellous British-colonial style architecture. Hike to the ‘Blue Mountains’, play with dolphins at the ‘Dolphin Cove Jamaica’ or go surfing at the ‘Long Beach Bay’. For a dose of Jamaican history, proceed to ‘National Heroes Park’ or the ‘National Art Gallery’ of Jamaica to soak in its art. Go rafting at ‘Rio Grande’ river or chill with a drink at the ‘James Bond Beach’.
Fiji: If you love the sun, sand, beaches and a relaxing holiday, plan a trip to Fiji. With over 300 islands, this country has a lot to offer.
To make the most of your time, head to ‘Denarau Island’ which is famous for its activities like snorkelling, golfing, shopping and its nightlife. Couples can visit the ‘Mamanuca Islands’ and those who love wildlife can check out the ‘Kula Eco Park’. Nananu-i-Ra is popular for its safaris and kite surfing, while Fiji Museum takes you back in time with its collection of archaeological artefacts that are over 3,000 years old.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Another Caribbean nation, SVG is a cluster of 32 islands with coral reefs, lagoons, beaches and tropical rainforests. You can indulge in yachting, scuba diving and staying in luxurious rooms on these islands. Indian nationals do not require a visa to enter the country but will be issued a visitors’ permit on arrival, which is valid for a one month stay.
Many may not have heard about this nation and that makes it even more special. Go to ‘Bequia’ which is the second-largest island here and offers several water sports avenues to tourists. ‘Botanic Gardens St Vincent’ are one of the oldest gardens in the tropics while ‘Canouan’ is one of the smaller islands here.
Commonwealth of Dominica: Indians can visit this island country without a visa and stay there for up to six months. This is surely one reason to plan a trip to this place. Also called the Nature Isle of the Caribbean for its natural beauty, Dominica is home to rare flora and fauna, rainforests, mountains and Sisserou, a parrot only found here.
There is a lot to do at the Commonwealth of Dominica. Hot natural springs and tropical rainforests are some of them. ‘Morne Trois Pitons National Park’ should be on your list when here. It has the ‘Boiling Lake’, sulphur vents and ‘Trafalgar Falls’. ‘Cabrits National Park’ is home to coral reefs and wetlands. To learn more about this place, visit the ‘Dominica Museum’ in Roseau and for shopping go to the ‘Old Market of Roseau’.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus: A vibrant nightlife, shopping areas, entertainment facilities and beaches, TRNC is a holiday destination for those looking to have a good fun time. You can also go cycling and birdwatching here. Indians do not require a visa to visit Northern Cyprus and can stay there for up to three months. But you certainly need your passport, a return ticket and a few other documents at the port of entry.
There are several castles in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The ‘Kyrenia Harbor and Castle’ is one of the most tourist-friendly areas as it has bars, restaurants and a majestic view of the pier. The ‘Beşparmak Mountains’ are also home to three other castles and offer breathtaking views of the coastline. The walled city of Nicosia is another gem here and shouldn’t be missed. From a 500-year-old Turkish bath to the magnificent Selimiye Mosque and the historical Bandabulya Bazaar, it is full of unique experiences.
Kish Island: Ranked among the 10 beautiful islands of the world, Kish Island is a shopper’s paradise with several centres and tourist attractions to look for. You do not require any visa to visit this island which attracts over a million tourists every year.
The population of Kish Island is only 26,000 but the number of tourists who come here is so high that The New York Times included it in its list of 10 most beautiful islands in the world. Even though it is a small island, it offers plenty of things to enjoy. The beaches here have so clean waters; you can see fish swimming in them all the time. There is also an underground city in Kish Island which is about 1,000 years old and is partly open to tourists.
Cook Islands: You can book your tickets to the Cook Islands without any visa hassle as it does not need visitors to get a visa if they don’t intend to stay beyond 31 days. Its blue lagoons and reefs make it the perfect scuba diving destination. Don’t miss going to ‘Avarua’ for their Saturday market which has live performances as well.
‘Aitutaki’ is the main tourist hotspot in the Cook Islands and the blue lagoon here is its prime attraction. From fishing, snorkelling to swimming and kayaking, you can unleash the water baby in you at this island. ‘Muri Beach’ is the perfect place to go for a relaxing lunch by the walk followed by a romantic stroll on the soft sands in the evening. For a peek at the lush greenery of Cook Islands, go for the Cross Island Walk.