Inspiring, immersive, intoxicating India

Today’s blog comes from Tom Barber over at Bamba Experience, he’s a pro on all things Asia and he’s here to tell us a little bit about India..

India is a vibrant mix of a thousand cultures packed together shoulder to shoulder, all intensely humming to the tune of a different beat. It is a place that on immediate arrival assaults all the senses and bombards the brain. It is quite simply impossible not to be swept up in the beauty, the chaos and the adventure. Limitlessly kind and abhorrently cruel, scenes of the most majestic beauty vie for your gaze amongst pictures of squalid heartache. The impossibly tranquil and calm sit aside the horn-tooting buzz of the hectic. India is travel. India is exploration and India is one of a kind.

Breakfast was here today! Spotted crabs, scorpions and a variety of fish during a 20-min walk by the beach. . #goadetour #southgoa #goadiaries #goatourism #planetgoamagazine #goatimes #tuesdaymorning #mytraveldiary #myindiacnn #raptap #beachplease #beachside #mormugao #arabiansea #asiatravel #sogoa #westernghats #ourplanetdaily #seekthesimplicity #tuesdayfun #photooftheday #india_gram #indiaphotosociety #indianbloggers #pickmygoapic

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North to South, East to West, India is vast and packed with endless treasures for you to encounter. Beach bums can head South to the Psy-stomping infused beats and beaches of Goa or the serene backwaters of Kerala, whilst hardened hikers and Yoga gurus can head for the hills and experience the Dali Lama’s snow-capped backyard in the North-West.

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The aptly named Rajasthan (land of the kings) offers desert expanses and unforgettable camel safaris, that get explorers up close and personal with the night sky, back-dropped by the infinite Milky Way. Bond fans can recreate scenes form ‘Octopussy’ in the lake city of Udaipur, whist temple buffs will be spoiled for choice in Delhi. For the non-squeamish, have rodents skitter across your bare feet at Bikaner’s famous Rat Temple, in scenes straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.

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No trip to India is complete without venturing to the Taj Mahal with a hazy morning sunrise and a breakfast chapatti. Even the most seasoned traveller will find themselves gaping in awe for hours. Likewise, a trip to the nightly ‘puja’ ceremony at Varanasi’s Burning Ghats will render visitors speechless. Watch as delicate lotus flowers crowned with candles float peacefully across the mighty Ganges waters, listen to the transcendental chant of the pious Hindu crowds as incense wafts past your nostrils and lose yourself in the energy of India’s holiest site.

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Straying just a little from the beaten track rewards, explorers with inexhaustible discoveries. Untouched Tea-plantations and forests, Tiger viewing from sweltering jungles, Erotic themed temples, tribal communities, and secluded beaches. Not to mention a plethora of vibrant festivals and events, a feast of culinary delights and an abundance of friendly, smiling locals.

For some, one visit can be enough, but for most India always beckons you back for more. One thing however is for absolute certain, until you experience India’s beauty for yourself, mere words simply cannot do it the justice it deserves…

If all that has got you excited to experience incredible India, then head on over to the STA website and peruse our INDIA adventure tours

UK and USA Passenger Protection

Your guide to understanding the new enforced airline regulations.

As you may be aware, this week the UK and US governments introduced new aviation security procedures for travel to and from specific countries. We always want your trip to be enjoyable and stress-free, so please make sure that you are up-to-date and understand these new rules and regulations before you travel.

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Top 5 hipster neighbourhoods in Canada

Hey you, the one with the facial hair and trousers rolled up! We’ve found the five hippest neighbourhoods that are about to make your man-bun fall off. And no, they’re not in London or Melbourne but dotted across the glorious nation of Canada. From Toronto’s quirky street art to Winnipeg’s trendy Osborne Village, get ready to brunch your way around the hipster hoods of this vibrant country…

1. Toronto: West Queen West

Morning stroll

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10 images of Canada to make you book your flights immediately

Warning! You are at risk of having an uncontrollable urge to book flights to Canada after reading this blog. Toronto’s dramatic skyline, Lake Moraine’s juicy watermelon, Pemberton’s Music Festival and Fogo Island’s sumptuous breakfast are about to make your fingers start clicking on the search for Canada flights button. It’s a natural reaction, you’re only human but don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Wait until you see that little house in Quebec…

1. The Toronto skyline

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5 Thailand experiences your mates won’t have already done

So you’ve partied hard at the Full Moon, Black Moon, Blue Moon*, Jungle Moon, Half Moon, and you’re starting to think, well what else is there left to do in Thailand?

Well stop right there. We’ve found five Thai experiences that will make you put your neon paint into semi-retirement. We’ll guarantee you’ll meet locals like never before, work with remote hilltribes, become an expert tightrope walker and chef extraordinaire all at the same time.

*think this is actually a beer not a moon-related party.

1. Lend a helping hand to the hilltribes

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5 Thailand experiences your mates won't have already done

So you’ve partied hard at the Full Moon, Black Moon, Blue Moon*, Jungle Moon, Half Moon, and you’re starting to think, well what else is there left to do in Thailand?

Well stop right there. We’ve found five Thai experiences that will make you put your neon paint into semi-retirement. We’ll guarantee you’ll meet locals like never before, work with remote hilltribes, become an expert tightrope walker and chef extraordinaire all at the same time.

*think this is actually a beer not a moon-related party.

1. Lend a helping hand to the hilltribes

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A Married Couple Embark on a 'Flash-Packing' trip around the World!

Back in 2014, thanks to a little inspiration from STA Travel, Paul and Vanessa Smith embarked on a ‘flash-packing’ trip around the world. Obviously, we wanted to hear all the juicy stories from their time circumnavigating the globe. So we fired a few questions at Vanessa. She spilled the beans.
#couplegoals

How did STA Travel help you on your round the world journey?

I booked my trip 10 years ago with STA Travel (in the Earls Court branch). STA Travel were very influential in planning our trip. We visited the Covent Garden branch (in London) twice and they were absolutely brilliant at giving us ideas and advice for the various countries we wanted to visit!

Travel and holidays have always been our ‘hobby’ and we’ve been lucky enough to have shared some amazing trips away including Mauritius, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Kenya, South Africa and many parts of Europe. These holidays gave us the appetite to embark on a longer trip together. Paul had an opportunity to take redundancy and so we jumped at the chance!

‘What better way to share such an incredible journey than with the one you love!’- Vanessa Smith


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7 alternative places to visit in the USA in 2017

Forget the Hollywood Sign, Empire State Building and Grand Canyon! We’re here to share with you those little hidden gems you’ve never thought about visiting in the USA. From prisons housing the world’s most infamous criminals to speakeasies hidden behind telephone boxes, museums full of shrunken heads and sleepy sloth sanctuaries, here’s our pick of 7 alternative places to visit in the USA in 2017…

1. Antelope Canyon

antelope canyon
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A day in Melbourne

Our Student Ambassador Katya from RMIT University has moved to Melbourne from Newcastle and shares her top tips on where to go in the city

Forget Sydney, London and New York – Melbourne is the most livable city in the world and this is why…

Best Bars
No.1 – The Croft Institute – 21 Croft Alley, Melbourne
Hidden down a laneway in Chinatown, The Croft Institute is a wonderfully, creepy science lab- inspired bar. Even the toilets look like a mental asylum!
Open 5pm – 1am (Mon –Thurs), 5pm – 3am (Fri -Sat), closed Sunday

Image: wa2up.com
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Top spots along East Coast USA!

Thinking of a summer road trip in the states? Excellent! But before you go any further, forget those West Coast ideas and get ready to drive the lesser known road of East Coast USA. From Boston to Miami you’ll embark on a roadie that’s jam-packed with history, charming towns, iconic cities, buzzing nightlife and some of the most fantastic food you will ever eat, move-over California, we’re all about cruising the East Coast this year! To help you plan this epic drive, here’s our pick of ultimate East Coast stops along the way…

Boston

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