With Republic Day 2018 behind us, we now have 14 long weekends this year. And if the latest numbers from travel search engine Kayak are any indication, it seems like Indian travelers are fully utilizing these long weekend holidays. Many are booking their trips online, either with friends or family or solo, and they aren’t just looking at domestic destinations. Kayak’s latest data analysis revealed that international destinations are gaining popularity, even for short weekend getaways. Here’s a look at the top five international destinations. ALSO READ: Top 10 Cheapest Holiday Destinations in 2018 Revealed in New Study
First up in this list is the nation-city of Singapore. Despite its small size, this is a melting pot of different cultures, with Indians, Chinese, Malays and expats from around the world living together. It lacks the rough edges that you would find in other southeast Asian countries, coupled with some of the best food in the region. Singapore’s hawker centers and coffee shops are the stuff of legend, and so is its shopping scene.
Speaking of shopping, Dubai comes in second in this list. The shiny emirate is a favorite among Indians for its proximity and relatively cheap flight tickets. Dubai’s public transport and metro train system is a dream, getting you around much more cheaply than taxis. From the Ibn Battuta Mall of Jebel Ali in the southern end of the city to the abras and souks of Bur Dubai and the dunes towards the east, take your pick.
Grand palace and Wat phra keaw in Bangkok
What began as a small trading post by the Chao Phraya River has turned into the largest city in the country. Officially named Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, the city of Bangkok is home to more than 11 million people, massive high-rise buildings, an incredible night life and intense heat. Beyond its less-than-stellar reputation, Bangkok offers some magnificent palaces and temples, canals to travel along and bustling and sometimes hectic markets.
The famous Island of the Gods, Bali ranks in at number four thanks to its beautiful beaches, rugged coastline and dense hills and mountains that you can explore. Friendly and hospitable, Bali is a perfect international beach vacation getaway for Indians. You’ll hear the word ‘paradise’ a lot when describing this island, and for good reason. It has the calm corners for a quiet getaway and cultural attractions for the curious.
Hong Kong skyline
Finally, we have Hong Kong, the city and region that is part of China yet culturally different from the country. The personality of this region stems from its history under the Cantonese Chinese and the British. Today, it is as popular among international tourists as it is among affluent Chinese from the mainland. Hong Kong proclaims itself as the first World City of Asia, and while we’re not sure about the ‘first’ tag, it definitely checks out as a World City. NOW READ: Photos of Hong Kong’s Great Outdoors, Beyond the Urban Jungle
Kayak’s research has some other interesting results too. The average length of travel to the destinations mentioned above has actually increased this year. Last year, people stayed an average of 5-6 days. This year, however, the average length of stay is 7-8 days.