Saint Helena, one of the most inaccessible islands where Napoleon was exiled, opens to tourism

Made famous by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled there from 1815 until his death in 1821, the island of Saint Helena has long been too remote to be affected by tourism. But this may be about to change. From October 14, the South African company Airlink will begin weekly flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg. Flight time will be about six hours with a stopover in Namibia. Until now, the tiny British territory was only accessible by boat. Located in the South Atlantic to the West of the…

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Kerala travelogue: What to eat, where to stay, and when to visit God’s own Country

We began our descent into Kochi at 7:30 pm. There wasn’t much to see outside – it was almost dark – but from what little we could make out, the land seemed to be dense with trees, and the air heavy with moisture. Narrow streams, which we decided were the famous backwaters, snaked through the land. And judging by the thick clouds we’d just dodged moments ago, it was raining. Perfect. This was an accurate description, we would learn the next day, when the bright morning sunlight made everything look…

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Udaipur travelogue: What to do, where to eat and when to visit the city of lakes

The first sound that greeted you at the arrival lounge of Udaipur’s Maharana Pratap Airport was Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu’s. The flat screen TV, hoisted on a pillar, was playing Pooja Bhatt praying in a temple, and Sanjay Dutt doing what he does best: singing Tumhe Apna Banane Ki Kasam Khai Hai in Sanu’s voice. My mother tugged at my father’s shirt, “You remember the last time we came here? Everyone was playing songs from Sadak. It’s happening again!” Last time was 25 years ago. This was my first visit…

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Puducherry travelogue: What to eat, where to stay, and when to visit the pristine paradise

It had rained the previous night. It was 9:30 am. The bus that would take us to Puducherry was about to leave in an hour. We were in 10 kilometres away, navigating through narrow lanes, in an alien city, driven by a man who couldn’t understand us, and who seemed to be harbouring a personal grudge against Google Maps. After ignoring the robot lady’s soothing tones for the tenth time, and swerving into yet another muddy lane, he dropped us at what seemed like the outskirts. This was Koyambedu Bus…

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Travel diaries: The cities where you can find luxury, for less

Istanbul, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam have been identified as some of the international destinations where travellers can sleep like a king, on a pauper’s budget. After crunching the numbers from 2016, online booking site Hotels.com has come up with a list of the destinations where travelers can find luxury for less. That is, stay in five-star hotels for $150 (approx Rs 10,000) or less. Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) and Old Town Tower, the most beautiful bridge in Prague, Czech Republic. (Shutterstock) A scan of the top…

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