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Made in India Magazine | October 22, 2020

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VISALESS TRAVEL DESTINATIONS ON AN INDIAN PASSPORT

VISALESS TRAVEL DESTINATIONS ON AN INDIAN PASSPORT
Gaurav Malhotra

Foreign travel has always been a stressful thing for most Indians because of the visa hassles involved. But what if we told you that you could travel to over 50 countries without a visa? In this article, we give you a list of six great places you can visit ‘on the go’.

Out of the 200 or so countries in the world, about fifty of them will accept Indian passport holders without a visa, or they will issue visa on arrival. That’s about a fourth of the world waiting for you to explore it. For the full list of countries, please click here. In this piece, we will give you a shortened list of what we think are the absolute toppers of the list when it comes to travelling ‘visaless’ on an Indian passport.

1. Laos
Laos is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and known for its mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries. It is a reclusive country, and is just emerging from a strife-torn past, so this is a perfect time to discover this little gem. You could travel the largely untouched Bolaven Plateau on motorbike, or you can walk the streets of Vientiane’s Chinatown. The Mekong River offers plenty of opportunities for boat cruises.

You will need to fill out a form on arrival, always carry a photograph with you, and your passport needs to be valid for at least six months.

2. Thailand
Thailand is a country on Southeast Asia’s Indochina peninsula known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. Fun, food, beaches and shopping – you just cannot go wrong with Thailand. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Indians because of the hassle-free visa process. Carry your photographs, proof of funds, confirmed itinerary, and 1000 baht along with your visa application form. Head to the visa-on-arrival desk at the airport and you will be approved within minutes.

3. Cambodia
The temples of Angkor Wat are a must-visit in Cambodia, which does not have the slick tourist air of Thailand but makes up for it with natural beauty, history and architecture. Cambodia gives you a 30-day visa on arrival as long as you bring with you photographs, proof of funds, confirmed itinerary and US $20 for visa fees. Six months of validity on the passport is a requirement.

4. Vietnam
Not just a war destination, Vietnam is a vibrant country with plenty of great street life and natural wonders. Vietnam issues a 30- or 90-day single or multiple entry visa on arrival. You need a prior approval of a Vietnam-based tour operator, which will cost you around $25, and a further $25 or so at the airport for a visa stamp.

5. Madagascar
Ever since the animated movies featuring the animals of Madagascar came out, this African country has witnessed a boom in tourists eager to catch a glimpse of the hundreds of rare indigenous species of animals, birds and plants. There are caves, canyons, rainforests, volcanoes and waterfalls waiting to be explored. A 90-day visa on arrival means that you have plenty of time to dig in and look around.

6. Ethiopia
Axum, the oldest city of Ethiopia, was once home to the Queen of Sheba, she who visited the wise King Solomon in one of the most iconic legends of the Bible. The city of Gondar contains magnificent castles, and the stunning Simien Mountains will enrapture you with their majesty. In Addis Ababa, the capital, the bones of Lucy, mankind’s oldest ancestor, are preserved. There are some gorgeous churches to visit in Lalibela, and Mercato, one of Africa’s largest markets, will allow you to shop till you drop.

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