Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations

Tripoto
2nd Dec 2014

Auro Beach, Pondicherry

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Anna Park, Pondicherry

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Sunrise on a rocky beach

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Sunset in Goa

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Varca before a storm hit

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

White snow, grey clouds in Sikkim

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Above the clouds, Sikkim

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

When the sun breaks through, Sikkim

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Green and grey in Coorg

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Green and Grey in Coorg, part 2

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

When clouds, mist and rain meet: Coorg

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Drive at your peril! Coorg

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

When even potato plants bloom in Ladakh

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

Zanskar River beginning to freeze

Photo of Off-Season Tripping: Top Five Destinations by Sarah

There are a lot of people who’ll be pretty upset with me for letting the cat out of the bag, but here it is: it’s better to travel during off-season. I’ll give you good reasons. First, it will be cheaper. During season, rates go sky high, because for tourist destinations, you’re their meal ticket. Second, it will be far less crowded. This is obvious – there are times when you can travel, like holidays, and winter destinations are meant for the winter while summer destinations are meant for the summer. Take that schedule away and half the problem of a place being too touristy will be sorted.

Third, you will have a different experience from everybody else. They will see what they expect to see. You might not see that, but you will get to see a lot of hidden gems that you will treasure. Finally, you can expect a better experience from the people around. They won’t look at you first and foremost as an easy mark, so you will be far more likely to make friends – the real kind.

Pic credits:

Auro Beach, Pondicherry, Rock Beach, Pondicherry, Sunset in Goa, Sunrise in Goa, Clouds before a storm, Varca, GoaWhere clouds meet mountains in Sikkim, When the sun breaks through, Sikkim, Snow and dark clouds, Sikkim, Frozen Zanskar, Ladakh, Zanskar River just beginning to freeze, Flowers bloom in Ladakh

Go in March. They’ll tell you that it’s a winter-only destination. I urge you not to believe them. A lot of people do believe them, which is why in past February, it will be deserted in Pondicherry. The really nice resorts lower their rates with nice packages; the beaches will be nice and deserted; the museums will be open but not rushed; even the restaurants won’t be thick with the tourist crowd. But the weather won’t have got so hot as to be bad, and it won’t be rainy all the time, either. It’s the perfect combination, in fact; I’d pick March over December anytime.
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Sarah
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Sarah
Go in May. May is one of the best times to visit Goa! It starts getting hotter, so a lot of beach shacks will be down and out. But there will be a few still left. The rates at most beachside resorts in Goa in May are similar to the beach huts during season, so you’ll get good location with amenities like swimming pool and breakfast buffet at a much better rate. There won’t be tons of tourists turning Goa into mini Russia and mini Israel everywhere you look. Service is better at the few shacks that are there because they’re not trying to get as much business in dollars as possible. And best of all, have you seen the sea when the weather is oscillating between sunshine and rain? It’s one of the most beautiful sights you could ever see. The seas won’t be as rough as they get during the monsoons, so you can even have fun in the water.
Photo of Goa, India by Sarah
Photo of Goa, India by Sarah
Go in June. Nobody thinks of going to Sikkim in June. There are risks, of course – there might be small landslides. But people live there all through the year, remember? They are used to dealing with things like that. You won’t be in any extra danger. You’ll get off-season rates and if you go to Pelling, you’ll be one of about six people staying at any hotel. You find that the drivers are not in a huge rush to get back to base because they’ve another job waiting. You’ve given them an unexpected piece of work by being there then, and they will give you their time in return. Best of all, Sikkim flowers during this time. Around every lake you visit, you will find that blooms have taken over. Everywhere you go, on the mountainside, you’ll see myriad hues of lovely flowers. Yes, you might have to wait a while for clouds to clear up for you to get a glimpse of the mountain ranges. But it’s worth the wait.
Photo of Sikkim, India by Sarah
Photo of Sikkim, India by Sarah
Photo of Sikkim, India by Sarah
Go in July. Nobody goes on vacation in July. Do you know why that’s wonderful for you? It’ll be easier to get leave from work because you don’t need to cover for everybody else. Now, here’s why I say Coorg: it’s one of the wettest places in the country. This might sound odd, but Coorg is one of the greenest, loveliest places ever. When you go there during the monsoons, you won’t be able to go for the treks because it’ll be too slippery. But you will be able to drive everywhere, because roads are still manageable in July, and you will get better rates at homestays. They’ll be less crowded, so you can ask for personalised food, even things like their lovely pork curry that they don’t put on the menu. A lot of the highest points of Coorg are at their most glorious when you can touch the clouds. You can do this during the monsoons. Waterfalls will be magnificent. Just make sure that you have very powerful headlights, because fog and mist can be a problem.
Photo of Coorg, Karnataka, India by Sarah
Photo of Coorg, Karnataka, India by Sarah
Winter - It is perfectly possible to go to Leh and Ladakh in the winter. Indeed, the Chadar trek – the trek over the frozen Zanskar river – is only possible in the winter! Yes, it will be very cold indeed, but you will find that even if you’re not a trekker who’s serious enough to take on the Chadar trek, you will still find treks that are open to you. You’ll have to get fleece and feather jackets along anyway. If you don’t want to buy a feather jacket, you can rent one in Leh. So it isn’t that different, really. You can also simply experience Leh by going to the monasteries, and maybe go on to Uley and try to spot a snow leopard. Why go with the crowd when the crowd just gets in the way?
Photo of Leh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Sarah
2 Comment(s)
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Leh, Himachal Pradesh sounds stupid.. go get a map of India
Fri 10 21 16, 08:15 · Reply · Report
Nice one
Tue 06 07 16, 02:29 · Reply · Report