March is one of the best times to set out on a holiday – no matter which part of the world. It that time of the year when spring has started making tentative appearances in the colder climes while the weather is still cool and fresh in the tropical regions. So before you rush to your travel agent, take a look at these holiday destinations from around the world.
- Dubai, UAE
March is one of the most pleasant times to visit Dubai before the summer heat sets in. Dubai has now for many years been considered the “shopping capital of the Middle East” where its numerous shopping centers cater to every kind of consumers and stock everything from cars to jewelry. On the swankier side are shopping malls – all glass-and-chrome affairs and offering every luxury brand in the planet. However Dubai is also known for its souk districts which offer a more atmospheric shopping and where half the satisfaction of getting a good deal comes from hours of bargaining with the sellers. For the culturally-conscious though, there is the Dubai Museum at the Al Fahidi Fort, the heritage neighborhood of Al Shindaga as well as many quaint tourist villages. For the more active type, Dubai has several theme parks, amusement parks and even arrangements for desert safaris.
- Easter Island, Chile
One of the most-frequented travel circuits in Chile center on the Easter Island which is located around 2000 miles away from the mainland. The Easter Island is famous for Rapanui sculptures and thousands of tourists come every year to witness the mystery and workmanship of these images. The Easter Island sculptures occur along the coastline and are formed in the shape of giant stone monoliths known as Moai. Most of these sculptures are to be found on the Ahu Tongariki, Ahu Akivi and Anakena beaches while Rano Raraku volcanic site contains around 300 of these Moai in various stages of construction.
- Jaipur, India
The desert state of Rajasthan in India is famous for the forts and palaces of erstwhile Indian royal families. Jaipur as the capital city of Rajasthan has many such places and it is a good idea to come here in March before the weather becomes too hot April onwards. For history buffs, must-sees are the Hawa Mahal, the Amer Fort, the Jal Mahal, the City Palace, the Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort and of course the Jantar Mantar, one of the five observatories ordered by Sawai Jai Singh which indicate the heights attained by medieval Indian astronomy. Jaipur is also a shopper’s delight where its bustling bazaars showcase the best of ethnic jewelry, crafts fabric and shoes. Jaipur is well-connected to New Delhi by road and can be reached in around three hours by the National Highway 8.
- Eden Prairie, Minnesota
It is not always possible to plan a grand overseas holiday, either due to constraints of time or money. So the next time you are looking for a quick getaway to a quiet place, keep in mind Eden Prairie in the state of Minnesota. Lying on the north bank of the Minnesota River, Eden Prairie has several lovely lakes and water bodies. The suburban city has one of the highest ratios of open spaces, parks and multi-use trails within the metro area in the country. Eden Prairie owes its name to the founder of the first community Robert Anderson who found the beauty of the land comparable to the loveliness of Biblical garden. Even today it is one of the few cities to have more than 4500 acres of open space within metro limits, around 17 lakes and more than 100 ponds. Some of the largest recreational water bodies in Eden Prairie are the Staring Lake, Round Lake and Riley Lake while Miller and Flying Clouds Fields are the most notable community parks.
- Beirut, Lebanon
While this Arabian city is known for its artistic and historical treasures, these days its culinary culture acts as a prominent attraction to visitors from across the world. Lebanese cuisine gets its unique identity by being the product of several culinary cultures from West Asia as well as Europe. The Mediterranean influence on Lebanese dishes is seen in its generous use of olive oil, garlic and seasoning by lemon juice. An important aspect of dining in Lebanese households is the ‘mezze’ or an array of small dishes presenting a variety of textures, colors and tastes. Among the places in Beirut famous for traditional Lebanese food and its mezzes are Abd El Whab and Istambouli while for more cosmopolitan tastes, check out Le Chef and Balima Café in Saifi Village.
- Busan, South Korea
Busan is the largest port city in South Korea as well as the second-busiest city after the national capital, Seoul. Among places of historical interest are the Beomosa which is the city’s main Buddhist shrine as well as Chungneolsa, a famous Confucian shrine. However Busan is also popular as a summer getaway because of its six beaches which attract tourists from across the country. Gwangalli beach is much-frequented for its cafes, restaurants and pubs and the Grand Gwangan Bridge is an imposing sight. The beach at Haeundae is lined by luxury hotels as well as a carnival boardwalk. Dongnae Oncheon is another area catering to visitors with its natural spas, baths fine resorts and hotels.
- Tangier, Morocco
This is another place in West Asia where March is one of the best times to visit. The Moroccan city of Tangier is especially popular with western tourists for its beaches, miles of golden sands and azure blue waters. Camel rides and windsurfing are other fun activities for tourists. Tangier is also famous for the string of bars and cafes on the beachfront. Part clubs and part bars, these popular hang-outs have not only great food but also have a rich history associated with them. Check out bars like ‘Windmill’ which is reputed to have been frequented by Joe Orton and ‘The Sun Beach’ where Tennessee Williams is thought to have drafted his famous play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Other than these there are restaurants like Emma’s BBC Bar and Miami which offer good food and pleasant ambience. After doing the beaches and the bars, tourists can head for the Grand Soco which is Tangier’s main market square. One can either browse through the shops or simply take in the atmosphere of the place.
- Sorata, Bolivia
If however you have been planning a holiday in the southern continents for a long time, this might be the best time to land in Sorata, Bolivia. This place offers a soothing ambience in the midst of ancient colonial relics and surrounded by one of the most beautiful natural settings in South America. The town of Sorata is in fact perched on a hillside with the high mountain peaks of Ancohuma and Illampu towering in the background. Sorata is a laid-back town where tourists love to unwind amidst the rejuvenating landscape. However for the more action-oriented, Sorata acts as a base camp for long treks into the neighboring mountain slopes. Amateurs can also plan short single-day hikes in the hills. You can either set camp at Sorata or hire lodging in the nearest big city which is La Paz.
- Beaches of Zanzibar
The Zanzibar archipelago in the Indian Ocean is a haven for visitors seeking to chill out on white, sandy beaches far away from the noise and hustle of more popular beachfronts. There are around 25 prime beach locations where the silver sands are lapped by azure waters of the Indian Ocean. On the eastern side are beaches like Matemwe, Kiwengwa, and Pwani Machangani while on the western coast the most popular is the Mangapwani beach. On many of these beaches it is so quiet that the only sound is that of the waves washing up on the shore. Those interested in history can also check out the old part of Zanzibar City known as the Stone City which figures on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites and has many remarkable architectural examples of Arab, Indian, European and African traditions.
- Underwater World, Singapore
One of the most popular travel destinations in Southeast Asia is the small city state of Singapore whose nature parks are among the best in the world. The Underwater World in Singapore is a tropical oceanarium which has around 2500 creatures from 250 species. The underwater tunnel with moving walkway lets visitors have a fish-eye view of life beneath the surface of the sea so that you can see fishes all around you. Singapore Wetlands is the latest addition to this oceanarium where you can spot freshwater and estuarine animals found in Singapore as well as in neighboring areas. Underwater World offers several surface attractions as well like the Turtle Pool, the Touch Pool and the Living Reef.