Surreal Escapes

, Adventure

New goals, new destinations and new experiences… This New Year make memories all over the world

Hot air ballooning, Cairo

Just outside Luxor on the Western banks of River Nile lies a desert valley called the Valley of Kings. For over 500 years, Pharaohs and other royalty were buried in the beautifully constructed tombs here. While it is a fabulous place, it is even more beautiful when seen from the air. Wake up before dawn and opt for a hot air balloon ride. The quiet gliding motion is not only surreal but made more rewarding with the sight of a stunning sunrise

HOW TO REACH: Fly to Cairo and drive (700 km) or take a local flight to reach Luxor

Snorkelling at the Red Sea

Aqaba is at the southern end of Jordan and also at a unique position since it is at a junction with two other countries. However, more importantly, it is located at the edge of the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea. The coast is filled with fabulous reefs and marine life. Besides which, the water is crystal clear on bright days, so go diving or snorkelling to see a variety of corals and reefs as well as a variety of marine life.

HOW TO REACH: Fly to Amman and drive to Aqaba (335km).

Paragliding, Zurich

Interlaken is situated in the heart of Switzerland, the country that is uniformly beautiful and is superlatively stunning. If for someone admiring everything from the ground level is not enough then jump off from one of the peaks that surround Interlaken with a paragliding gear. The panoramic views of the snow-clad peaks, the two lakes and the lovely town of Interlaken spread out is surely going to make you spellbound.

HOW TO REACH: Fly to Zurich and take a train to Interlaken (120 km/2 hours)

Cruising the Mekong, Ho Chi Minh City

The Mekong is among the world’s largest rivers and flows through six countries. Its seasonal variations make is among the most temperamental rivers. But going on a cruise through its various tributaries and canals makes for a fantastic experience. From fastmoving motor boats to rice boats and even rafts, there are many ways to do it. Along the way one can witness locals live their daily life producing a variety of products, including handicrafts, chocolates, baskets etc.

HOW TO REACH: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and opt for one of the many operators who offer cruises varying from half a day to several days.

Underground salt mines, Warsaw

Less than 30 minutes from Krakow is a network of underground salt tunnels, which form part of a 13th century salt mine that was functional till 2007. At a depth of nearly 330 metres and with nearly 290 km of tunnels this is among the oldest salt mines of the world. Walking through the tunnels, with interesting sculptures and wide caves, is an interesting and surreal experience.

HOW TO REACH: Fly to Warsaw and take a train or drive to Krakow (280km). Take a taxi from Krakow to Wieliczka (15km).

By: Anita Rao Kashi

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