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Explore South Asia as a traveller, not a tourist

WION Delhi, India Nov 15, 2016, 10.10 AM (IST) WION Edge

Intro

Home to distinguished festivals, less-travelled places and friendly people, South Asia should be on your travelling itinerary. Forget about the places that have been travelled by all and try something new with us. 

Here is a list of some of the most cool-things/places to uncover: 

Afghan

The war-torn country of Afghanistan is a must see for history buffs. Take a trip down memory lane in Herat, a key medieval city, and sit beside the quaint lakes of Band-e-Amir. You can take guided walks in the by-lanes, marvel at the architectural remains of monuments and go on a bazaar shopping spree for Afghani steals. 

A rider on a horse overlooking Band-e-Amir lake, the first national park in Afghanistan in the central province of Bamiyan (AFP)

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Bangladesh

Teknaf Game Reserve in Bangladesh is for all who love to spend some time enjoying nature’s beauty. Located at the southernmost tip of the country near the Myanmar border, the Game Reserve’s highlight is that it is isolated from the mainland. To reach this place, you have to walk for miles, hike through a dense forest and follow sign boards before you see any local tribal people.

Teknaf Game Reserve in Bangladesh (Others)

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Bhutan

Popularly known as the happiest nation in the world, Bhutan’s north-eastern corners qualify in the list of beautiful places in the world that have largely remained off the tourist radar. The Lhuenste district, which is home to picturesque mountain ranges, dense forests and small cottages, is a visual treat. The area also has some pilgrimage sites for those interested in the country’s Buddhist traditions.

Lhuntse Dzong Fortress in Bhutan (Others)

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India

A continent in itself, India can cater to just about every kind of traveller. Amidst the several options available, you must visit Ziro in north-east India. Apart from its natural beauty, the area also hosts the country’s biggest outdoor music festival, which is celebrated every year. Ziro offers a holiday away from chaos.

View of Ziro Valley in Northeast India (Others)

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Maldives

The quintessential honeymoon destination of South Asia, Maldives is more than just beaches and romantic dinner dates. For the adventure lover in you, Maldives offers some of the most exciting beach activities. When visiting, you must try stand-up paddle-boarding to enjoy the island’s marine life. From stingrays to small sharks, you can see it all while on the clear blue waters.

A visitor paddleboarding in Maldives (Others)

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Pakistan

Shandur Polo Torunament in Pakistan offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for sport lovers. Touted as the most remote polo tournament of the world, it is held every year in July in Shandur Pass. Full of action, the event witnesses horses racing some 3700 meters above sea level. To reach the area, it takes nine hours from Chitral to the west and 13 hours from Gilgit to the east. 

 

Sri Lanka

Famous for its spices globally, Sri Lanka is also home to offbeat locations, not explored by many. One such town is Haputale, perched on a narrow mountain ridge. At an elevation of 1,579 meters, it is on the central highlands of the country. The area reminds one of Sri Lanka’s British legacy with a huge spread of tea plantations around the town. You can bunk up in local motels to absorb the feel of the place. 

 

Nepal

The landlocked mountain nation of Nepal is best suited for those who love to trek. For those who want to experience more than trekking, Chitwan, a national park in the southern region is a must visit. Home to wild animals, the area was earlier used as the royal family’s hunting ground. Hunting is no longer allowed in the region, but you can enjoy some quiet time in the reserved area or go canoeing on the nearby river. 

Chitwan National Park, Nepal (Others)

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Pakistan

The Shandur Polo Tournament in Pakistan offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for sports lovers. Touted as the most remote polo tournament of the world, it is held every year in July in Shandur Pass. Full of action, the event witnesses horses racing some 3700 meters above sea level. To reach the area, it takes nine hours from Chitral to the west and 13 hours from Gilgit to the east. 

Shandur Polo Tournament in Pakistan (Others)

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Sri Lanka

Famous for its spices globally, Sri Lanka is also home to offbeat locations, not explored by many. One such town is Haputale, perched on a narrow mountain ridge. At an elevation of 1,579 meters, it is on the central highlands of the country. The area reminds one of Sri Lanka’s British legacy with a huge spread of tea plantations around the town. You can bunk up in local motels to get the real feel of the place.

St. Benedicts Monastery in Haputale (Others)

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(Contributed by: Zeba Khan)

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