7 Shades of Summer: Where else

Going places

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From Sri Lanka to Egypt to Thailand and to our own Kerala and Lakshwadeep
1. Sri Lanka

Summer is actually the perfect time to visit, as there is generally good weather from April to October. “Since the east coast boasts only empty beaches, it is not recommended for a family vacation,” says Singh. “Go instead to Hikkaduwa.” “There are local shops, a railway station and the main Galle road runs along the coast,” adds Pankaj Sawhney, a travel advisor in Lucknow. Check out the fishing harbor, the coral reef beach and if you’re in the mood for something different, try feeding turtles with your bare hands.

2. Egypt

Packages for as little as Rs 20,000 per adult for three days make for an exciting summer vacation plan. “Our most popular deal is the three day cruise on the Nile with a two day stay in Cairo,” says Akhilesh Singh, who heads a travel agency in New Delhi. Besides customised packages, this part of the world offers a very cheap vacation when compared to other travel spots. You can survive in a modest hotel for as little as $50 a day. Expert tip: if this is your first trip to Egypt, it is a good idea to research and plan your holiday well because tour guide costs can add exponentially to your budget.

3. Bangkok, Thailand

“Thailand continues to be the most popular tourist destination despite the rumours of protests,” says Sawhney, who also claims that at least 70 per cent of business comes from the traffic to the small country. “A couple of years ago, it was only small-time traders, businessmen from small towns that were experimenting with the place. But now it has mass appeal.” Known for its sandy beaches, great nightlife and the shopping of Bangkok, this is the ultimate destination for a fun family holiday.

4. Pangot, Nainital

What makes Pangot irresistible is that it is a very secluded place, despite being 15 km from the more crowded parts of Nainital. Famous for the birds that flock to the area, this small village is home to many migratory species— some 580 varieties in this region alone. The town has comfortable home stays, which are both cheap and relaxing.

5. Wayanad, Kerala

Wayanad boasts indigenous tribes, temples and trekking routes—the most popular being the trip to Chethalayam Waterfalls. Accomodation on offer includes both cottages and tree houses, surrounded by mountains and fields.

6. Kadmat Island, Lakshwadeep

If you want beaches and water sports minus the chaos of Goa, Kadmat Island is the place to go. Also known as Cardamom Island, it is known for its pristine waters alongside thriving cultural life. It also has deep sea fishing and museums.