Doable long weekend trips from India?

Old Aug 4th, 2010, 03:28 PM
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Doable long weekend trips from India?

I had posted a while back about the possibility of traveling with my husband to Hyderabad, India while he is on business. We have decided to go, and the details are still being finalized but it will probably be early next year. However, I am a planner and starting to research of course. We would like to do as much traveling as possible on the weekends and will be able to take a few 3-day trips. I definitely want to do one weekend to visit the Taj Mahal and another weekend to rent a houseboat in Kerala which was highly recommended by a friend who has been there.

While I am interested to explore India, I know the chances we will return to Asia any time in the near future are pretty much slim to none, so I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to visit nearby countries if possible. But just doing quick searches on travel sites, it seems like it's nearly impossible to fly anywhere from Hyderabad without having to switch planes at least two or three times and wait for hours in between, making it somewhat unrealistic to do another country in a 3 day weekend.

For example, when I searched on Orbitz the shortest travel time from HYD to Bangkok available is 9 hours 25 min, but from Mumbai, which is definitely further away, you can get there direct and it only takes 4 hours.

I tried Air Asia but you can only go from India to Malaysia. Are there any other low-cost airlines that I'm overlooking or other options I'm not aware of that would get us there faster? Or should we just forget traveling to Thailand, Nepal, etc and focus on places in India? I thought the Maldives would be a doable distance but that isn't looking so good either (15 hours from HYD (?!) vs 5 from Mumbai)

It seems like you can't really fly anywhere outside of India directly from Hyderabad, so would it make more sense to just have our driver take us to another more central airport to cut down on the long waits between flights and having to switch? Or would the drive be just as bad? Driving to Mumbai seems way too far....

I never use a travel agent but I'm starting to wonder if I'll need one to figure all of this out!

Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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You should also check into the requirements for your visa. On a tourist visa you are supposed to stay out for two months if you leave India, unless you want to deal with a bunch of bureaucratic paperwork, and rely on the border guards interpreting the rules your way. If you have long stay visas it may be different.

But there is so much variety within India that I'm not sure it's worth going elsewhere. If you want mountains you could head for Ladakh, as well as as Sikkim and Darjeeling. If you want Tibetan Buddhism you could visit Dharamsala, and you should certainly include time in Varanasi.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 05:52 PM
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visa came immediately to my mind too....

sri lanka might be a choice.... or the maldives or the seyschelles....

kathmandu of course
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 06:11 PM
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Your visa will be a big issue. There is so much to see and do in India, I'm with Thursdays on this - stay in India.

The flight times from HYD are such that few places are even practical for a three day weekend.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 10:43 PM
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Yup, you're basically cactus on the visa front UNLESS you plan every one of your weekend trips in advance and include those in your visa application, complete with supporting documentation. There's no guarantee you'll succeed, but it's now your only option.

Stay in India. There is a ton of great stuff to see.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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Thank you - I never would have thought/known about the visa issue. We'd be there for 6 weeks so I'm not sure what type of visa that is (we aren't that far along in the process but someone had mentioned to me it's not a tourist visa b/c of my husband working there). I know one of DH's coworkers who was there went to Nepal for a long weekend so I'll try to find out from her how she did it.

We may be able to tack on another week at the end of the trip, so maybe that would be the time to go somewhere else...maybe fly to Thailand or Maldives and then fly home to the States.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 05:22 AM
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The visa restriction is relatively new - just the last few months, so your DH's coworker's experience may be out of date. Tacking time on at the end (and the beginning!) is a much better idea.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 05:26 AM
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Oh ok, yeah she was there last year so that wouldn't be relevant then.
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