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A p r i l 2 0 1 8 • ` 1 5 0 • VO L . 6 I S S U E 1 0 • N AT G E O T R AV E LL E R . I N

WEST BENGAL Tales from the heartland

Beyond

Capital Limits

shillong Ho Chi Minh São Paulo Florence Perth Chandigarh


N AT I O N A L G E O G R A P H I C T R AV E L L E R I N D I A

April2018 VOL. 6 ISSUE 10

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Voices

21

The Itinerary

18 WHERE’S MY PASSPORT? The capital may have its charm, but the country often resides outside city borders

22 MAPPING THE CITY OF STARS Star-gazing aside, Los Angeles offers undying energy and a thriving art scene

20 CREW CUT When travel touches upon the discomforting and the overtly political

30 LIVING UNDER A ROCK Stories of a lost kingdom live on in giant open-air reliefs and centuries-old temples in Mahabalipuram 34 GROWING UP WITH THE BRONTËS

Tea rooms and bookstores in Haworth, Yorkshire, invoke the life of the three literary siblings

40 A MASTER AT EVERY CORNER Vienna pays tribute to four stalwarts of Viennese Modernism 44 A RICH INHERITANCE TO DRAW FROM

Inside the colourful homes of women artists in Bihar’s Madhubani district 46 GLASGOW’S GOT THE GROOVE Scotland’s second city has unending charm and gallus 48 IT’S TIME FOR TIMOR-LESTE Coffee, dugongs, and virgin coasts in the first new nation of the 21st century

MARJORIE LANG/CONTRIBUTOR/MOMENT/GETTY IMAGES

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38 COME RAIN OR SHINE Sunny days and monsoon showers do not take away from Hong Kong’s charm


Regulars 14 Editor’s Note | 128 Travel Quiz

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The Focus 52 POSTCARDS FROM BENGAL From lush forests and tea estates to folk forms preserved with care, there is a story in every frame 60 LIVING LIKE BENGAL’S BABUS Stay in an 18th-century rajbari, a mansion amid orchards, and a home facing 500-year-old terracotta temples 64 FEEDING CALCUTTA’S HUNGRY TIDE

From Chinese breakfast and phuchka to biryani, lanes brim with food made by migrants to the city

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The Address 70 GONE WITH THE WILD At Nature’s Nest in Goa, rustic charm meets rare wildlife sightings 72 HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS The Project Café in North Goa is a heritage hotel, an art gallery, and an exhibition space

ON THE COVER Ottawa is the capital of Canada but it is Vancouver that will get your blood pumping. Rollerblading BEYOND along the ocean, CAPITAL LIMITS whooshing down ski slopes, drinking some of the best craft beer—Vancouver is proof that there’s life beyond first cities. Photographer Michael Wheatley captures the city’s joie de vivre with this picture of some of the 14 giant bronze statues called “A-maze-ing Laughter” in Morton Park. A P R I L 2 0 1 8 • ` 1 5 0 • VO L . 6 I S S U E 1 0 • N AT G E O T R AV E L L E R . I N

WEST BENGAL

TALES FROM THE HEARTLAND

SHILLONG HO CHI MINH SÃO PAULO FLORENCE PERTH CHANDIGARH

KOUNTEYA SINHA (ART), MICHAEL WHEATLEY/ALL CANADA PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES (COVER)

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The Destination 76 INVISIBLE CITIES NO MORE From Osaka to Chandigarh, we bring you 10 cities beyond the capitals that have enough to tantalise the modern-day traveller 84 CLASSICAL OVERTURES Florence’s allure is timeless, its mythical aura born from the Renaissance’s greatest minds 88 SHILLONG KEEPS ROCKING ON The city has grown from a charming hillside town to a place where every corner has a hip café and guitar heroes

98 SPOKEN OF IN CHINESE WHISPERS

There are numerous hidden gems in China if you book beyond Beijing 102 UNDER THE SKIN OF HO CHI MINH

Grand French architecture, heady coffee, and free culinary tours in Vietnam’s most populous city 106 CITIES ON THE RISE We take measure of America’s best small cities and discover the superlatives of 29 surprising destinations

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The Journey 116 AMONG THE BELIEVERS IN TAMIL NADU

Tracing grand churches, Carnatic music and cultural remnants of a Christian past 122 FINDING BUDDHA AMONG THE RUINS

Kauśāmbī near Allahabad is a treasure chest of secrets—of a citadel that once attracted merchants and monarchs, and became central to Gautam Buddha’s philosophy

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92 MAKING SENSE OF SÃO PAULO The Brazilian city’s spirit lies in its people—large-hearted, fashion-forward and hard-working


Editor’s Note Shreevatsa Nevatia

Bombay never gets old

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the place I end up defending in arbitrary conversations. Strangely, I still end up recommending it as a holiday destination to friends and relatives. Experiences, I argue, are more varied in cities like Bombay than in places where nature is, at best, monochromatic. The advantage of something man-made is that when making it, we would have made contingencies for specific comforts and luxuries. This April, our issue celebrates that man-made structure of the city— something we have invented, something that has the capacity to be sublime. Often the yardsticks for our urban and architectural achievements, capitals invariably get much of our attention. The cities we focus on have proven their worth despite relative unimportance; none of them are the capitals or centres of their respective nations. We tell you the story of Shillong, a city nestled in the hills and one that defines its very own kind of urban. We bring you lists of American and Chinese cities that are on the rise. For that essential dose of antiquity, one writer recommends Florence. For shades more colourful and modern, you could spend 36 hours in Ho Chi Minh City or even a weekend in São Paolo. Our hope is our features will help start a debate. Cities are competitive, and much like Bombay and New Delhi, we imagine a sparring that is fascinating and heated. We know the champions, so we use this issue to highlight strengths of the challengers. This time, we present our brand new capitals of the world.¾

Walter Bibikow/AWL Images/getty images

much like New York, Madrid and London—this city takes the shape of the prism you watch it through

hen flirting with adolescence, I came to love Bombay because of its pizza. To an 11-year-old boy from Calcutta, the toppings here were too many to be true. The crust was, of course, thinner, and the delivery was a good 10 minutes quicker. Over the years, my innate materialism has helped me fall in love with this city even more. I have found delightfully obscure books in stores dotted around the south of the city. I am pernickety about the clothes I wear, and the ones I have bought in Bombay have always fit. Even for a picky eater like me, the food served by the city’s restaurants and cafés has always been abundant. Bombay, for the longest time, is where the cool has been for me. Bombay grew up to become Mumbai, but its new name never found a place in my lexicon. The fact that it’s now referred to by multiple names only proves one thing—Bombay, true to its portrayal in the many novels of Salman Rushdie, becomes what you make of it. The great cities of the world all have this chameleon quality to them and Bombay—much like New York, Madrid and London—too takes the shape of the prism you watch it through. Its infrastructure might leave much to be desired. The traffic might be a nightmare, but the metropolis continues to shape-shift like the stars of Bollywood. For me, no amount of pastoral beauty or wildlife can ever replace the charms of chaotic Bombay. It’s the city I miss when I am away and

our mission National Geographic Traveller India is about immersive travel and authentic storytelling, inspiring readers to create their own journeys and return with amazing stories. Our distinctive yellow rectangle is a window into a world of unparalleled discovery.

​Write to me at natgeoeditor@ack-media.com or Editor, National Geographic Traveller India, 7th Floor, AFL House, Lok Bharti Complex, Marol Maroshi Road, Andheri East, Mumbai- 400059. april 2018 | national Geographic Traveller INDIA

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THE ITINERARY TAMIL NADU

LIVING UNDER A ROCK STORIES OF A LOST KINGDOM LIVE ON IN GIANT OPEN-AIR RELIEFS AND CENTURIES-OLD TEMPLES IN THE SEASIDE CITY OF MAHABALIPURAM BY ARUNDHATI HAZRA

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n a single day and night of misfortune…the island of Atlantis… disappeared in the depths of the sea.” Plato first told the story of the mythical land of Atlantis over 2,000 years ago, but it has fired the imaginations of hundreds of writers and explorers over the centuries. The legend touched me too—a National Geographic documentary that I watched as a kid, about a band of explorers looking for Atlantis made me dream of being an archaeologist, and I rued the lack of any sunken cities to discover in India. It was much later that I learned that lost kingdoms waited to be uncovered not far from my own backyard, in the temple town of Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) that I occasionally visited as a child. The city was a key seaport when the Pallava dynasty ruled much of modern Tamil Nadu between the fourth and

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ninth centuries A.D. It is mentioned in numerous travelogues, including that of Marco Polo, who wrote about seeing its “seven pagodas.” Historians believed that six of the pagodas or temples were consumed by the sea, leaving behind only the Shore Temple. The theory was somewhat confirmed when the deadly 2004 tsunami uncovered stone remains near the temple. To soak in the legend and reality of Mahabalipuram once again, my mother and I take an early morning bus from Chennai to the city. It travels

Historians believed that six temples were consumed by the sea, leaving behind only the Shore Temple

along the East Coast Road, offering us lovely views of the pinkish blush of sunrise over the Indian Ocean. The town is stirring to life as our bus pulls in—women buying jasmine garlands for their homes and hair, men sipping on their first cup of filter coffee for the day. We step into the first eatery we see, a hole-in-the-wall outlet with a name in Tamil we cannot read, where plates of steaming hot idli-sambar are wordlessly set before us. One bite of the fluffy idli and we realise that menus are not needed here; a plate of vadasambar later, we joke that we should skip the sightseeing and just focus on the food. Mahabalipuram’s monuments— rathas (chariot-shaped temples), mandapas, massive, open-air reliefs— were carved over the seventh and eighth centuries, and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our first port of

CREATED BY SWASTI VERMA/GETTY IMAGES

Believed to be the last of seven temples standing, the eighth-century Shore Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the finest examples of Pallava architecture.


THE ITINERARY SCOTLAND

GLASGOW’S GOT THE GROOVE SCOTLAND’S SECOND CITY HAS SOMETHING THE CAPITAL DOESN’T—UNENDING CHARM AND GALLUS

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cotland’s biggest city is too often in the shadow of its rival, Edinburgh, around 65 kilometres to the east. Edinburgh may have fringe-fest flair, but Glasgow has character— and a swaggering charm embodied in the Glaswegian word gallus, meaning “daring” or “cheeky.” As a UNESCO City of Music and the 1990 European City of Culture, Glasgow is applauded for its arts scene. Restoration of the School of Art, the city’s architectural masterpiece, should be complete by the end of 2018. Also this year a 150th anniversary exhibition honours the birth of the building’s renowned architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose design sensibility shaped how the city is seen by the world. But for the heart and soul of the city, look to the locals. The city slogan, after all, is “People Make Glasgow.” —Peter Ross

Riverside Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid, showcases transportation history.


THE FOCUS

ITS FORESTS ARE HOME TO THE BENGAL TIGER, TEA ESTATES HERE GROW MUSCATEL-FLAVOURED BREWS, AND ITS LITTLEKNOWN TOWNS NURTURE VIBRANT FOLK ARTS. WITH A HISTORY SPANNING CENTURIES, THERE IS A STORY IN EVERY FRAME IN BENGAL. TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHS BY

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POS TCARDS


WEST BENGAL

F RO M B E N GAL

Kids usually spend summer mornings swimming in the village’s ponds at Noya in West Midnapur district. After all, child or not, who doesn’t love cannonballing into cool waters on a hot summer day. APRIL 2018 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA

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THE FOCUS

Phuchka at Elgin Road

A refreshing shikanji at Shubiji’s

Signature pav bhaji at Maya Ram

FEEDING CALCUTTA’S

HUNGRY TIDE

FROM CHINESE BREAKFAST AND PHUCHKA TO BIRYANI, THE CITY’S LANES BRIM WITH DIVERSE FARE BROUGHT IN BY MIGRANTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

BY CHANDNI DOULATRAMANI | PHOTOGRAPHS BY MANJIT SINGH HOONJAN

Preparing a dal vada at Victoria Vada

Fish balls and prawn crackers, Tiretta Bazar

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Classic Calcutta mutton biryani at Aminia

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WEST BENGAL

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Freshly baked bread and an assortment of sweets at the 100-year-old Saldanha Bakery

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Art THE ADDRESS

HOME IS WHERE THE

is

the project café in goa is a heritage hotel , an art gallery and an exhibition space. the real surprise? most of what you see is for sale 72

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GOA

By Tejal Pandey

public as The Project Café (TPC) Goa in December 2017. Following in the footsteps of its precursor in Ahmedabad, TPC is a first-of-its-kind venture that lets guests experience art, retail, food and literature, all under one roof. Drasty Shah, co-founder of the project, describes it best as a “functional museum,” one where “everyone is putting in their signatures.” Collaborating with over 40 Indian and international artists and designers, the idea here is to build not just a collection of things, but one which “you can use and which is dynamic.” So it comes as no surprise when I learn that everything from my favourite wooden table at the restaurant-café and bar, Bismarckia, to the antique four-poster bed in my room is up for sale. And if I do plan on buying anything, including eclectic products by brands like Runaway Bicycle, The Burlap People and Bombay Perfumery in the retail area, I need to make it quick, as they might not be here for long. Three months down, I’m likely to find products by a new set of designers and artists. The same applies to each of the villa’s six rooms that will undergo a complete makeover in a year. Creations by designers and architects such as Pulin Shah, Neeta Kumar, Hiren Patel and Anuj Sharma, which blend modern amenities with vintage sensibility, will be succeeded by new ones. To me, the thought of this ever-changing continuum within the expanse of an ageold home is exciting and intriguing, for it challenges the idea of permanence and time itself.

There is no dearth of space at The Project Café, whether one wants to curl up with a book from the permanent library by Roli Books (right), enjoy an open-air performance on the lawn under the night sky (middle) or some quiet time in the morning on the balcão at the entrance (left). APRIL 2018 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA

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PHOTO COURTESY: THE PROJECT CAFÉ

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discover the bismarckia tree in the late afternoon, on the first day of my short stay at Amalia Villa, a 130-year-old Portuguese home in the heart of Assagao in North Goa. After a languid lunch of fresh red snapper and heavenly pineapple serradura, the Portuguese whipped cream dessert, I step outside on to the red stone balcão (a typical Goan balcony or verandah) for some fresh air. Standing before me is an unusual palm with pleated leaves that fan out as though abloom. Faded jade, like the colour of the sleeping sea on a gloomy day. I soon realise this shade of teal is liberally sprinkled across the 13,000-square-foot property that is spread over three houses. From painted wooden doors to the shell windows studded with mother-of-pearl, the cohesive, minimal palette of stark whites and sea greens suffuses all in its airy lightness. Amalia, which sits in a quiet lane dotted with similar traditional homes, largely retains the flavour and essence of its original design—high ceilings, sloping roofs topped with Mangalore tiles and of course the balcãos, a trademark of Goan Portuguese architecture. With these come bits of inherited history too: framed portraits of Amalia’s previous owners still adorn the walls at the reception, and I learn that the bismarckia was most likely a souvenir brought back by the erstwhile family from their travels to Madagascar, where this nobilis variety belongs. Now refurbished into an experiential design project and multidisciplinary space, the villa opened its doors to the


THE DESTINATION

INVISIBLE CITIES N

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THERE IS MORE TO A COUNTRY THAN ITS CAPITAL AND SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS LOOK BEYOND. FROM OSAKA TO CHANDIGARH, WE BRING YOU 10 CITIES THAT HAVE ENOUGH TO TANTALISE ANY MODERN-DAY TRAVELLER

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BY MARIELLEN WARD


WORLD

British Columbia

Canadian sprinter Harry Jerome’s bronze sculpture stands tall inside Vancouver’s Stanley Park. It also best represents the city’s spirit— being on your mark is probably the best way to explore it. APRIL 2018 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA

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MICHAEL WHEATLEY/ALL CANADA PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

1

Vancouver,

You would be hard pressed to find a single quality of life index that doesn’t include Vancouver in the top 10. This beautiful Canadian city, squeezed between snow-capped mountains and the Georgia Strait, glistens with prosperity and wellness. Though it doesn’t have Toronto’s cultural muscle or Montreal’s old-world charm, Vancouver has a lot to offer—especially for those who enjoy leisure activities in the great outdoors. With the Pacific Ocean on your doorstep and one of the world’s greatest ski destinations, Whistler, just a road trip away, there is no excuse to be a couch potato in Vancouver. Sea kayaking in the Georgia Strait; doing the ‘Grouse Grind’ (a gruelling run up a local mountain) in North Vancouver; rollerblading along the city’s ocean beaches; cycling around Stanley Park—the options are limitless. Vancouver also offers a happening food and nightlife scene, and is especially popular with craft beer lovers and sushi fanatics. Neighbourhoods such as West Vancouver, Granville Island, and Kitsilano burst with cafés, bars, and restaurants that feature local, organic seafood and produce. On warm summer nights, these areas are alive with excitement until the wee hours.


THE DESTINATION

3

Texas U.S.A.

Butler Park

Austin is one of those cities that almost everyone agrees has ‘it.’ In this case, ‘it’ is a warm, welcoming vibe infused with stellar cultural events, great neighbourhoods, lots of green spaces, and a unique Mexican-American culture. Austin always ranks high on best places to live in the U.S.A., but there is more to the city. It makes for a great holiday destination. Sample this: In an online survey, it scored an ‘A’ for nightlife and an ‘A+’ for diversity. South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits are just two of the cultural and music festivals that draw crowds of tourists, and help give the city its unique character. These festivals encourage diversity, innovation, new voices, and a kind of exuberant cultural freedom that you cannot find in the more conservative U.S. cities. Austin is also noted for its vibrant dining scene—picture breakfast tacos—and outdoor spaces. The Colorado River slices through town and is lined with riverfront parks that feature art exhibits, music stages, and food trucks. MexicanAmerican history and culture can be found in the cuisine, street art, and the magnificent Mexic-Arte Museum. The warmth of the town is matched by the climate—temperate in winter and hot in summer. 78

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Chandigarh, India

Rock Garden

The first thing you notice about Chandigarh is that people drive in their lane. This might not be true elsewhere in India. But in Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana, people seem to appreciate order above freedom. One of the only planned cities in India, Chandigarh was designed in the 1950s by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier to be the ideal city. The streets are laid out in a grid pattern; markets, hospitals, schools, and other civic amenities are evenly spaced; trees, parks, and green spaces predominate; and public buildings are nothing less than works of art. Chandigarh’s attractiveness as a city is aided and abetted by its location. It is a short enough train ride from Delhi, while far away enough to get you close to India’s wilderness­, near the foothills of the Himalayas. Often called the cleanest city in India, it is also noted for being the happiest. Pollution is almost non-existent, gardens are everywhere, and when you walk in the forest around Sukhna Lake, you will feel you are far from the humdrum of city life. A feeling of peace, the sounds of bird songs, and a fresh breeze blowing down from the Himalayas reinforce the idea that Chandigarh is indeed the ideal city.

RICHARD CUMMINS/ LONELY PLANET IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES (WOMAN), HIRA PUNJABI/LONELY PLANET IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES (WATERFALL)

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Austin,


WORLD

5

Japan

Dotonbori Canal

With more than 19 million people, it’s hard to imagine Osaka as the ‘little city that could.’ But compared to its glamourous rivals Kyoto and Tokyo, Osaka doesn’t get a lot of tourists, and therein lies the charm. The third largest city in Japan, Osaka doesn’t have the historical and cultural cache of other Japanese cities—it is largely an industrial city—but it is known for its friendly people, and a vibrant party and food scene. Quickly gaining a reputation as a culinary capital, there are some local dishes you just can’t miss. Okonomiyaki is a kind of cabbage pancake made with a wide variety of meats, or seafood, and flavoured with a Worcestershire-like sauce, ginger, and spring onion. Takoyaki are wheat balls with an octopus centre, and katsuneudon is a distinctive broth made from kombu (a type of seaweed) full of thick noodles, deep-fried tofu, and other meats or seafood. Affordability is another draw. It’s much cheaper to eat and stay in Osaka than Tokyo or Kyoto, and you don’t have to spend a lot to eat well. The city has a youthful, quirky vibe, and you can spend hours exploring neighbourhoods like Ura-Namba (a hidden gastro gem), admiring street art, and discovering interesting places to eat and drink. Two-Michelinstarred Kigawa and trendy Torame Yokocho top the list.

Kaohsiung,

Taiwan

Spring & Autumn Pavilions

Kaohsiung may seem like an unlikely tourism hub. The second largest city in Taiwan, Kaohsiung is the country’s largest port and an industrial centre. But it’s also a modern city that has embraced and reinvented its manufacturing past. Kaohsiung has worked hard to develop its tourism industry and create attractive urban landscapes that include wide streets, al fresco cafés, bicycle lanes, and cultural spaces. At the revitalised Pier 2, shipping warehouses have been converted into hubs of art, creativity, and innovation. Designer workshops, boutiques, and trendy coffee shops are interspersed with theatres, art galleries, outdoor art installations and gardens made with materials from Kaohsiung’s industrial past—think old railway tracks covered in flowers. Some of the best night markets in the country can be found in Kaohsiung, such as Ruifeng for small plates of food, and Xinjuejiang for non-stop shopping at bargain prices. The city is a multi-ethnic hub, adding cultural richness to the cuisines, art, and merchandise on offer. Add to this a sunny and pleasant climate, two swimming beaches within city limits, and a nearby 1,000-hectare forest where you can enjoy nature. Visitors who take the time to visit Kaohsiung will find a fun, modern city with lots to do, indoors and out. APRIL 2018 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIA

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Osaka,


THE DESTINATION

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Shillong Keeps Rocking On 3

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MEGHALAYA

2

THE NORTHEASTERN CITY HAS GROWN FROM A CHARMING HILLSIDE TOWN TO A HUB WHERE MANY A CORNER THROWS UP A CAFÉ AND GUITAR HEROES ABOUND

BY SAMRAT | PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANURAG BANERJEE

MAHESH/GETTY IMAGES (RIVER)

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THE DESTINATION

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Modelled on its Parisian namesake, Hotel de Ville is one of Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic landmarks and houses the City People’s Committee. The gorgeous yellow-and-white building provides ample photo ops. Facing page: The Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is one of the biggest in the city and dedicated to the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.

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VIETNAM

36 hours of grand French architecture, heady coffee, and free culinary tours in Vietnam’s most populous city BY Sayoni Sinha

DAY 1

lies another architectural marvel, the

CITY FROM THE SKY One of the best vantage AM points to take in Ho Chi Minh’s cityscape is at the 68-storey Bitexco Financial Tower in District 1. Most tourists head to the tower’s observation deck, Saigon Skydeck, on the 49th floor. But you’d rather visit the Eon51 café on the 50th floor, where the expansive view comes without a cover charge. Order a cappuccino and let Saigon’s vibrant skyline blow you away. If you feel like splurging a bit, head up another level to Eon51 Sky Dining, the 360-degree fine dining Asian restaurant. Slurp down a pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) while watching the sun beam over Ho Chi Minh’s skyscrapers, Cantonese pagodas and the Saigon River.  

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Saigon Central Post Office, constructed

by French architect Marie-Alfred Foulhoux (often incorrectly credited to Gustave Eiffel) in 1891. It prominently features on the tourist map for its striking design, complete with a giant clock face and arched windows. Its cavernous vaulted ceilings, art deco tiled floors and walls adorned with rare maps of Vietnam would thrill any history geek.

up a ladder to reach a U.S. military helicopter perched atop this building’s elevator shaft in a bid to escape the Communist forces who claimed the city a day later. This rooftop at 22 Lý Tự Trọng Street in District 1 may not be a tourist attraction, but remains one of the most significant sites in the city.

HUNT FOR A BARGAIN

Developed from stalls run by vendors in the early 17th century, the Bến Thành Market at Lê Thánh Tôn, District 1, lies in the heart of Ho Chi Minh, close to several tourist sites. Here, haggling is part of the shopping experience. In addition to clothes, footwear, brocade and jewellery, visitors can score some great souvenirs too. Hot-selling goods include the nón lá (the Vietnamese conical straw hat), wooden slippers, coffee

3

PM

ON TOP OF HISTORY While there are no signs or plaques commemorating the role played by Pittman Apartments’ rooftop in the city’s history, the defining image of the fall of Saigon on April 29, 1975 was captured here by Dutch photojournalist Hubert van Es. The famous photo showed the South Vietnamese clambering

2

PM

EXPLORE FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Ho Chi Minh’s upmarket French Quarter boasts beautiful art deco buildings reminiscent of the French rule in Vietnam between 1887 and 1954. The area brims with broad tree-lined boulevards and side streets, where colonial facades stand alongside swanky hotels and high-end fashion stores. Western and Asian design elements seamlessly fuse in the Vietnam History Museum building, located next to the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Though closed for renovation until 2019, a famous landmark in the French Quarter is the Notre Dame Cathedral opened in 1880 to provide religious services for French Catholics residing in Vietnam. The neo-Romanesque structure was built using red brick and stained glass, both imported from France. Across the road

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THE JOURNEY

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TAMIL NADU

TAMIL NADU T H E

B E L I E V E R S

INDIA’S SOUTHERNMOST STATE IS KNOWN FOR ITS GRAND TEMPLES AND ARCHITECTURE, CLASSICAL DANCES AND SOULFUL CARNATIC MUSIC. BUT ALSO DOTTING THE COASTS OF TAMIL NADU ARE ELABORATE CHURCHES AND CULTURAL XXXXXXXXXXXX (XXXXXXXXX)

A M O N G

REMNANTS OF A CHRISTIAN PAST

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHS BY

DEEPTI ASTHANA

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National Geographic Traveller India April 2018  

Preview of the April 2018 issue of the Indian edition of National Geographic Traveller.

National Geographic Traveller India April 2018  

Preview of the April 2018 issue of the Indian edition of National Geographic Traveller.

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