Travel to these international locations just 5 hours from India this Diwali


From chic concrete jungles to tropical paradises – the international destinations that often feature on travel bucket lists are just a short nap away from India. We’re rounding up a list of just a few that you could head to this Diwali for a rejuvenating festive season. By Eshita Srinivas

Holidays outside India often mean meticulously planned paid time off, several packed suitcases and days spent crafting the perfect itinerary. However, if you only have a few days to spare this Diwali, there are plenty of countries a short flight away to satiate your wanderlust. Best part? Fast travel leaves plenty of room for exploration, especially when it comes to those must-see sites. And considering that it could well be the last weekend of the year – with Christmas coming on a Sunday – there’s no better time than now to grab your passports and your must-have planners to focus on. the perfect break this festive season.

These international spots are perfect for traveling from India this Diwali

Singapore

Glitzy architectural marvels against a backdrop of sunny skies, Singapore is one of the few places where luxurious shopping malls meet a host of innovative and eco-friendly spaces. The unique blend of Eurasian, East Asian and Southeast Asian cultures has given rise to the city’s thriving culinary culture, which offers everything from small four-course desserts to hearty bowls of ramen. And let’s not forget the tourist hotspot that is Universal Studios. We recommend grabbing a breakfast of kaya toast, taking a Singapore River cruise, spending a day at the Museum of Arts and Science, and exploring the city’s live music culture.

Flight time: 4h30 from Bangalore to Singapore

Book a stay at Marina Bay Sands here

Bhutan

If you have an affinity for the mountains, the topography of this neighboring country will seduce you. Known as “the Land of the Thunder Dragon”, Bhutan offers visitors a range of cultural and spiritual monuments to explore. There are also adventure activities like trekking, rafting and rock climbing. Best part? A vacation here is also easy on the pocket. We recommend exploring the culinary landscape of the Himalayan country, from ema datshi and dumplings to jasha maru and jasha tshoem and shopping at the weekend market in Thimphu.

Flight time: 2h20 from New Delhi to Paro

Book a stay at Le Méridien Thimphu here

Nepal

Home to ten of the 14 tallest mountains in the world, it’s another destination for travelers who love high altitudes. Naturally, we recommend hiking, mountaineering, rafting and paragliding. On top of that, tourists swear by the country’s forest reserves, which are home to several stunning wildlife. There are also several historical monuments and sculptures to explore. Don’t forget to savor the national dish, dal bhat, often served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as momos (dumplings), found on every street corner and accompanied by a unique tomato-based sauce.

Flight time: 1h40 from New Delhi to Kathmandu

Book a stay at Hyatt Regency Kathmandu here

United Arab Emirates

With only a three to four hour journey from India, an international trip to Dubai is a good idea during the Diwali long weekend. Whether it’s the city known for its state-of-the-art racing circuits or the metropolis known for its glittering streets and skyscrapers, the United Arab Emirates offers breathtaking experiences. Dubai, its largest city, is known for its skyscrapers and art buildings set against stunning beaches and sand dunes. We recommend skydiving over Palm Jumeirah and sampling machboos and khuzi. Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is known for its luxury resorts and beautiful natural islands and sand dunes. We recommend watching an F1 race here.

Flight time: 4 hours from Cochin to Dubai; 3 hours 20 minutes from New Delhi to Abu Dhabi

Book a stay at Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City

Malaysia

Pristine beaches, lush green forests, thriving modern cities and old-world colonial regions, all under sunny skies – Malaysia is truly diverse. We recommend visiting World Heritage sites such as Batu Caves, Manukan Island, Gunung Gading National Park and Christ Church of Malacca. The islands of Langkawi and Redang are also unmissable. The country often tops lists of the world’s best food destinations, so adding tastings of mi goreng, lamb rendang, nasi lemak and other local dishes to your itinerary is essential. Hiking in the forests, shopping in one of the country’s many colorful markets and lounging on the beaches is also a great way to spend your time here.

Flight time: 4 hours from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur

Book a stay at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur here

Oman

Mysterious caves meet modern architecture in the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Shopping here offers everything from the latest luxurious fashion trends to traditional handmade jewelry. We recommend sampling the world-famous dates and signing up for off-road experiences, as the country has impressive dunes and mountains to admire. A visit to the well-preserved historic forts and castles is also highly recommended.

Flight time: 2h30 from Mumbai to Muscat

Book a stay at Crowne Plaza Sohar here

Thailand

A must-visit destination on every traveller’s bucket list, Thailand’s nightlife, gorgeous beaches and culinary-friendly landscape make it an ideal travel destination. Of all the experiences the country has to offer, we recommend hitting the beaches around the Phi Phi Islands, visiting an elephant sanctuary, trying Pad Thai at one of the Michelin-starred street food stalls in Bangkok and digging into mango sticky rice after a night out at the beach. Other popular activities include a Thai massage, visiting Thai floating markets, and signing up for Muay Thai classes. This international destination is a place worth visiting if you are in India.

Flight time: 3h30 from New Delhi to Bangkok

Book a stay at SKYVIEW Hotel Bangkok here

Vietnam

Home to a myriad of beaches, forests, rice paddies, and historical landmarks, Vietnam has worked its way up many travelers’ bucket lists over the past few years. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, you might find yourself walking through the forests and having a one-on-one with the mountains or lounging on the beach reapplying sunscreen. The food here is incredibly cheap, and we recommend trying the banh xeo, banh mi, pho, and cha ca at one of the many food stalls lined up on every street.

Flight time: 4h50 from New Delhi to Hanoi (via VietJet)

Book a stay at the Sala Grand TuyHoa Hotel here

Seychelles

The tropical getaway that every traveler dreams of, this island nation offers turquoise waters, secluded white-sand beaches and gorgeous places to hike. We recommend going to Anse Lazio beach, visiting the giant tortoises of Curieuse Island, hiking in Morne Seychellois National Park and discovering the secret Praslin waterfall. Don’t forget to savor the fish curries, lamb stews and delicious rice creations during your stay. If you are asking for travel bugs, this international destination is the best to travel from India.

Flight time: 4h30 from Mumbai to the island of Mahé

Book a stay at L’Escale Resort Marina & Spa here

Maldives

A favorite destination for Indian celebrities, the Maldives is home to stunning natural corals, pristine beaches, vast green spaces and many historical sites. We recommend staying in a quintessential overwater villa, signing up for water sports, and taking a leisurely dip in the ocean. Taste local dishes like garudhiya, mas huni, masroshi, bis keemiya and boshi mashuni. It is one of the most popular international destinations to travel from India.

Flight time: 2 hours 45 minutes from Mumbai to Male

Book a stay at Baros Maldives here

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