A land like no other the country is studded with archaeological sites of outstanding beauty. The Himalayan range forms the northern borders, constantly challenging the human spirit while three oceans surround peninsular India, offering white sandy beaches and tropical landscape. The thick forests in the central heartland protect the majestic tiger while the vast desert in Rajasthan forms an awe-inspiring backdrop to the forts and palaces that abound. While most travellers visit the more popular destinations like Rajasthan, Kerala, Varanasi, Khajuraho and Kashmir, a fair number venture out to the monastery in Tawang; the ruins in Hampi; the tribes in Orissa; the jungles in Satpura; the birds in Thattekadu or the arid mountains in Ladakh. A leisurely cruise on the Brahamaputra or Ganges or a week in one of the luxury trains is another way of experiencing the enigma that is India.
Wondrous Himalaya sheltering ancient Hindu and Buddhist cultural treasures, with snow clad peaks reaching out to the heavens. A land of medieval towns and villages, ancient temples and monasteries, friendly village folk and smiling children, Nepal is ideal for walks and treks, wildlife safaris, bird watching, white water rafting or just relaxing and admiring the beauty of the highest mountain peaks in the world. The capital city of Kathmandu and its surroundings are home to some outstanding sites, including the temples at Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath, and the heritage cities of Bhaktapur and Patan. The Chitwan National Park is home to the one-horned rhino.
The World Heritage Site of Lumbini is the birthplace of Buddha.
Burma, or Myanmar, is home to extremely friendly people, steeped in a strong cultural tradition where animist beliefs co-exist harmoniously with the teachings of Buddha. The highlights of the country include the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the capital city with its colonial charm, the countless pagodas of Bagan, the cultural town of Mandalay, the nearby ancient capitals of Ava, Amarapura and Sagaing, and the massive Inle Lake inhabited by the unique leg-rovers. One can cruise on the mighty Irrawaddy, a great way to see life along the banks There is an excellent beach at Ngapali with clean white sands and clear waters. For those interested in the hill tribes, Mrauk-U, Kalaw, Kyaingtong, Myitkyina and Putao are good bases.
Bhutan is a country of immense natural beauty with snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows and densely forested hills and ravines. The landscape is dotted with impressive fortresses, called dzongs, as well as monasteries. The dzongs of Punakha, 1Nangdephoedrong and Trongsa are particularly impressive. The Phobjika Valley, housing the village of Gangtey, is one of the last wintering grounds of the endangered black-necked cranes that fly in from northern China, Mongolia and Siberia between November and March. The Taktsang ("Tiger's Nest") is among Bhutan's most revered monasteries The valley of Bumthang is a popular base for treks.
The traditional greeting, Ayu Bowan, meaning "wishing you a long life, is testament to the friendliness of people here. The island's cultural triangle comprising the ancient cities and ruins of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy, is studded with beautiful monuments like the cave temple at Dambulla, the rock fortress at Sigiriya, the magnificent seated Buddha at Gal Vihara and the sacred Temple of the Tooth relic. Nuwara Eliya is tea country, offering scenic walks and golf. Galle and Trincomalee are historic ports and for the nature lover there are the rainforests at Sinharaja and Kanneliya. Yala has excellent leopard sightings, apart from elephants in the wild, and Bentota has some of the finest sandy beaches, along with Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Dickwella, Unawatuna, Arugam Bay, Nilaveli, Trincomalee... and many more along the unending coastline.