When I wrote 10 Easy-to-Visit Countries for the Indian Traveler last week, I was, to be completely truthful, pretty overwhelmed by the response. But it wasn’t just the sheer volume of global page views that blew me away – we all know the breadth of the Indian diaspora and the increasingly voracious appetite that Indians have for travel. Instead, it was the fact that hundreds of readers took time out of their busy day to comment, to correct and to advise each other. To a degree, that simple post transformed into a forum for fruitful exchange and learning sans the trolling, criticism and one-upmanship that’s unfortunately all too prevalent on blogs today. And I find that really awesome. Thanks for keeping it classy and informative, folks! Wait, I hope I just didn’t jinx myself!
After reading all of your comments, I thought that a Part 2 is not only warranted but would also be welcome. As some readers were quick to point out, Indians can actually visit over 50 countries either with a visa-on-arrival or without a visa altogether. And so, here you have it – 10 more countries that you can visit later this week, if you so wish. Just to clarify, I didn’t forget the others – I merely ignored them either because a) they’re really freaking far or b) you’d probably need an additional transit visa to get there.
Please leave a comment if I’ve made a mistake or if you’ve been to any of these places and have stories to share. Those are especially fun to read!
1. Hong Kong
What to See: If you’re planning a trip to Hong Kong, then you might as well start exercising your neck from now because you’re going to be looking up A LOT. People often say that Hong Kong’s skyscrapers make New York look like a village. I know that Hong Kong isn’t a country, but it might as well be – it offers more to do than most! For cool things to do in Hong Kong, check out our list here.
How to Enter: For a stay of less than two weeks, you can get a visa-on-arrival at Hong Kong Airport.
What to See: Comprised of almost 13,500 islands, Indonesia has something for everyone. Literally. You can trek to see endangered Orangutans in Sumatra, dive to get close to over 3,000 species of fish, feel the rumble of volcanoes, party in Jakarta and chill in Bali. And that’s just scratching the surface’s surface.
How to Enter: You can get a visa-on-arrival for a stay of up to one month. It costs around $25.
What to See: Love-struck honeymooners, luxurious resorts and turquoise blue waters.
How to Enter: Once you drum up the necessary finances to visit this tiny, sinking island nation, you’re granted a free visa-on-arrival for 30 days. Though you’ll probably be broke well in advance of the expiration date!
What to See: For a country with just one million inhabitants, Mauritius is a melting pot of cultures and flavors. “Thanks” to indentured labor under British rule in the 1800s, people from mainland Africa, China and India came to Mauritius’s shores and never left. And who can blame them? Mauritius is home to spectacular beaches, untouched forests and vibrant markets.
How to Enter: Entry to paradise is visa-free, my friend.
5. Myanmar (Burma)
What to See: Word is just catching wind that Myanmar has opened up so go, go, go, before it finds itself squarely on the tourist trail. A visit here is a trip back in time where just two years ago there wasn’t a single ATM. Gaze upon the stupas in Bagan at sunrise, eat something other than khao swe and drift slowly on the Ayeyarwady River – come here to get away from it all.
How to Enter: It takes just three days to get your approval letter through Myanmar’s new e-visa system.
What to See: Nepal is a backpacker haven, making it a great place to visit even if your friends are too busy slaving it in their cubicles to join you. Chances are, you’ll easily find company for the Annapurna Circuit or a bungee jump in the cafes of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
How to Enter: Indians do not require a visa to enter Nepal. Just carry your passport or a government-issued photo ID and you’re good to go!
What to See: This reclusive central Asian country is most famous for The Pamirs, the Wakhan Valley and its pretty capital, Dushanbe. Make a visit to Tajikistan if you want to be the only result in your friends’ Facebook Graph Search for “My friends who have been to Tajikistan”. That is, if they ever search for that.
How to Enter: Indians can enter visa-free, along with the citizens of North Korea, Moldova and Afghanistan.
What to See: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, laze on the beaches of Zanzibar and spot The Big Five from the safety of a jeep.
How to Enter: Indians can get a visa-on-arrival for $50. They do, however, also require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination just like everybody else.
9. The Seychelles
What to See: What does the name of this country sound like the most? If you can answer that question, then you’ll basically understand what this 115-island country is all about!
How to Enter: Anybody everybody is allowed to enter the Seychelles without a visa as long as they have a valid passport, a return ticket, proof of accommodation and proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Whoo hoo!
10. Uganda / Rwanda / Kenya
What to See: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda for rare mountain gorillas, Masai Mara or Mt. Kenya National Park for The Big Five in Kenya and Volcanoes National Park for more gorillas in Rwanda.
How to Enter: Visiting these three countries in the same trip has become a lot easier thanks to the East Africa Tourist Visa. For $100, you get a multiple entry visa that lasts 90 days. While you still need to obtain a visa from the consulate of one of the three countries beforehand, the visa entitles you to visit the other two freely.