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Top five places to explore this winter break

These past couple of months have been quite hectic for us all due to COVID-19, but what is the one escape we all have been craving? Well, here’s the one for me: travelling. Don’t we all remember the night before a flight? The buzz of excitement in our heads and the giddy little feeling in our chest? However, travelling is a lot more than that. Sapna Aidasani, the Marketing Director of Pluto Travels and an upcoming travel blogger, stated that “Travel to me is about learning, it is my heartbeat. With every trip I take I learn something new, every place I have been to has added something to me,” in a recent interview. Her words made me realise how much I missed travelling because of the pandemic but with the ease in travel restrictions, we all can think of planning a trip this winter break. Here are our top travel picks for your next getaway!

Figure 1. Sunrise from the plane. Image credits: Eva Darron.

1. Krabi, Thailand.

Located on the west coast of southern Thailand, it is a tropical paradise with breathtaking scenic views, beaches with clear water, and sunsets worthy of praise. Home to varying attractions such as hot springs, wildlife sanctuaries, limestone cliffs, and many more, the island sets a high bar amongst the tropical attractions. As the cherry on top, the place also has one of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs, because of which it is known as an excellent spot for coral diving. 

Here are the must-visit destinations at Krabi:

  • Railay Beach 
  • Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple)
  • Phra Nang Cave Beach
  • Ko Hong
  • Thung Teao Forest Natural Park

Figure 2. Krabi Island with boats lined up. Image credits: Moka.

2. Langkawi, Malaysia 

Malaysia has no shortage of astounding sights for your eyes. One of them is Langkawi, situated in the northwestern area of the Malaysian peninsula; this site offers a multiplicity of activities to enjoy. These include The Oriental Village with its picturesque sights and attractions, diverse wildlife to explore, alluring natural landscapes, and let’s not forget the mouthwatering local delights that drown your taste buds in a sea of flavours. Nehsan Selveraj, student at Middlesex University who hails from Malaysia stated, “The place has so much to do, it is one of my go-to destinations for a quick de-stressing trip. Every time I go there it leaves me awestruck with the display of culture, authentic foods, and much more.” One of the prime quality about the place is the number of options available for duty-free shopping. 

Here are the spots we think should be on your shopping spree list:

  • Zone Shopping Paradise 
  • Coco Valley Duty-Free Complex 
  • Teow Soon Huat Duty-Free
  • Jetty Point Duty-Free Shopping Complex

Figure 3. Bridge surrounded by cloud. Image credits: Manish Tulaskar.

3. Hokkaido, Japan

Situated in the north of Japan, Hokkaido is known for its national parks, rural landscapes, and mainly its snowy weather that attracts large group of tourists each year. Moreover, it is the ideal place for a relaxing holiday, peculiarly because of the volcanic hot spring that melt the stress out of your body and the breathtaking views are an additional treat to your senses. As a travel blogger who wants to gain something new out of every experience, Sapna feels that, “Japan has a sense of true high-end luxury. Not just in terms of chic interiors or expensive commodities, it is about how comfortable and welcomed they truly made us feel.” 

Here’s a list of the must-visit national parks at Hokkaido:

  • Shiretoko
  • Daisetsuzan
  • Onuma Park
  • Akan Mashu National Park
Figure 4. Cold volcano with trees in the front. Image credits: Jeongmuk Kang.

4. Mylapore, India 

If you are a fan of exploring temples and cultural heritage sites, then located a few kilometers to the south of Chennai lies Mylapore. It has buzzing energy with residents spread all over, and gives a deeper insight into the culture, history, and religious practices of southern India. During a brief chat with Middlesex alumni, Lovell Menezes, he mentioned his visit to Mylapore from three years ago. “The people were warm and welcoming. The food made my taste buds swirl in flavours, and the architecture of the temples was a true sight to behold.” 

Here are our picks from Mylapore: 

  • Nageswara Rao Park
  • Chennai Lighthouse 
  • Kapaleeshwarar Temple 
  • Our Lady of Light Shrine (Luz Church)
  • Fort St. George
Figure 5. Temple during the sunset hour. Image credits: Vinoth Chandar

5. Chile, South America

Stretched along South America’s western edges lies Chile, the place with a diverse set of climatic conditions. Starting from the north of the country, with deserts up to the south with the ice and inverted waterfalls, the place is an impeccable getaway from our monotonous life. The country has tranquility spread all across a perfect blend of towns filled with native culture to keep you engrossed during the visit. From mountains and beaches, to deserts and cities, this destination upholds the expectations of tourists. A student at Middlesex  University, Aryan Dhanak, took a trip to Chile right before the pandemic and mentioned, “Chile was a memorable experience. My personal favourite was the alluring natural views. The country’s capital city has modern-looking buildings with a touch of historic architecture that captured my attention. It is a must-visit spot for all!” The country has a lot to offer, and we cannot wait to explore it all. 

Here are our favourite spots to visit: 

  • Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Valle de la Luna and the Atacama Desert
  • Santiago: Chile’s Cultural Capital
  • Valparaíso
  • Pumalín Park

Figure 6. Lake and mountains with greenery. Image credits: Olga Stalska.

With the constant hard work that goes into assignments, assessments, work and other ongoing things in our life, we all deserve to take a break. The world is filled with natural beauty, and astounding wonders to explore from, be it in terms of culture and history or natural sceneries and entertainment sports. So, this winter break, take the initiative to reward yourself with a holiday. Many of us don’t wish to travel internationally, and for those of us, we have something too. Stay tuned for our upcoming article about the gems to explore in the UAE. We want to end this with a valuable tip from Mrs. Sapna Aidasani, “Take pictures, make loads of memories, and make sure to enjoy your holidays without any social media interruptions.” 


  • Punya Rajesh
    November 22, 2021

    This article is helped me decide where to go for my Birthday

    Thanks, Tripti Ramchandani for the lovely Article

  • Preeti
    November 22, 2021

    Thanks for the insight loved it

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