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Being a lady in India, marks a new denomination when one is on pursuit of solo travel. Folks call over a hundred times to check if you’re okay, two bottles of pepper spray in anticipation of any mis-happenings, always vigilant while on the fancy idea of enjoying a spotless holiday. But this time whatsoever, I gave no heed to any anticipation, but took charge, and traveled solo; all the way to Andaman Isles.

The airport at Port Blair

The airport at Port Blair

Surrounded by the Bay of Bengal, this cluster of 200+ islands towards the east of India, is one of the prime hotspots for tourists; families and foreign visitors famed by its blue beaches, coral treasures and hospitality of its indigenous crowd. While foreign nationals arrive here for that much wanted freedom into the calmest of beaches, Indians bring in their spirit of nationality along, as this union territory is an integral part of Indian history. Three of the best beaches in India, belong to Andaman Isles, beat that!

A dockyard overlooking Haddo

A dockyard overlooking Haddo

The islands can be accessed through air and water; flights regularly ply from Chennai or Kolkata to Port Blair, the capital and one of the main towns of Andaman isles, alongside regular cruise liners from Vizag and Chennai to PortBlair; the only (dis)advantage being that the journey via sea takes around 72 hours- 3 good days! Have a lot of time to spare the best of the journey? – Experience the wavy KaalaPaani and taste the sea, see its beauty in its true form! It is always suggested that one has quite a load of time, over 2 weeks of travel time to Andamans as the natives say that touring the whole of the island and seeing all its bounty would take more than two months! That’s a lot of days!

the town of Port Blair

the town of Port Blair

After freshening up, I saunter out braving the heat to my own rented bike, over towards Corbyn Cove’s beach, one of the most famous beaches around port Blair. This beach, around 6 kms from Port Blair main town,  mainly caters to families from India who laze around, relax with good eateries and home-stays nearby.

After a winding picturesquic road-trip,  I reach Corbyn’s Cove, welcomed but tall coconut trees and a few dogs who sniffed at the possibility of an unlucky fish.

The picturesque way towards Corbyn's Cove

The picturesque way towards Corbyn’s Cove

The way towards Corbyn's Cove

The way towards Corbyn’s Cove

The Corbyn's Cove

The Corbyn’s Cove

She just plays silently making mudpies along the beach of Corbyn's Cove

She just plays silently making mudpies along the beach of Corbyn’s Cove

Corbyn's Cove premises

Corbyn’s Cove premises

A girl awes at the oncoming waves

A girl awes at the oncoming waves

After soaking up the sun, I venture out of Corbyn’s Cove, into the main town, in an intend to visit the Marine Museum and fish reserve – just opposite the university of Port Blair, displaying the coral and Marine wealth Andamans have. I see a wide variety of fishes from the waters of Andaman; colorful, beautiful and some of them utterly obnoxious!

The entrance to Museum of fishes

The entrance to Museum of fishes

Sea Urchins at display

Sea Urchins at display

I put on my glasses into the heat, off to the most awaited place of the entire trip – A place which was dreaded by the pre –independent India, where the revolutionaries were beaten their wits down, the vigour controlled, their air trolled on – The Silver Jail, or Cellular Jail of Andamans, fondly remembered and called as KaalaPaani.

The entrance of the cellular Jail

The entrance of the cellular Jail

The Jail was built in 1896 and completed construction around 1906. The hard labour with the blood and sweat of the native greater Andamanis marked the beginning of a cold era in the history of Indian independence, with Jailor David Berry taking in charge. A few glimpses from the cellular jail brings us back the hardwork and torture the revolutionaries underwent, to grant us freedom. It’s an array of emotions that comes up chocking you in the deepest of your hearts as you step into the premises of the jail.

The homage lamp at the entrance of the jail

The homage lamp at the entrance of the jail

A part of the building

the artifacts from the jail evoken a sense of patriotism that no other historical monument in India can give

the artifacts from the jail evoke a sense of patriotism that no other historical monument in India can give

the dreaded jail - called the SIlver Jail or Kaalapani

the dreaded jail – called the SIlver Jail or Kaalapani

Veer Savarkar Cell

Veer Savarkar Cell

The light and sound show at the Jail begins at 6:00 pm in the evening and it enumerates the atrocities committed by the British against the revolting citizens of India, transported to Kalapaani, tortured and sunk in the deep ocean for good riddance. The Indian Government has made it a national museum of high importance; with the art gallery and the artifacts gallery showing the images and details of the inmates, the life at this dreaded jail. 

The jail at night

The jail at night

Returning home, I slept off, for a bright day ahead tomorrow, to the 3 main historical islands of Andamans.

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The Three gems

After a hot breakfast, the next day, I started my bike off to the shipyard and ferry services at Rajiv Gandhi park for water sports near Haddo. This water sport park provides water entertainment services like banana boats rides, speed boats rides and jetty services to other islands. From here, I caught a ferry service to the three gems of Andaman; The Ross Island, Viper Island and North Bay Island.

Ross Island- the headquarter island of the British

That's me under a huge tree at Viper Isles

That’s me under a huge tree at Viper Isles

The British had controlled the logistics of the administration at Andaman isles from the Ross island with pubs, offices, tennis courts and pools. The whole of Ross Island currently consists of the remaining ruins, tree-roots creeping between brick cracks and breaking them, a few destroyed by the tsunami and the rest, standing shivering reminding us of a passed era. Ross island had once sported swimming pools, gymnasiums, tennis courts, grand restaurants and stays, winery and entertainment club houses for the british officers staying on the islands.

The rooted remains

The rooted remains

Ross Island

Ross Island

Viper Island was the next stop- where the jail for women were located while the British ruled . It’s a small island, in tsunami ruins, with blue waters trotting the banks of a dilapidated shed built for the light and sound show. The little ferry boat shot ahead through the vast sea, rhytheming up and down, showing it’s true colors.

The gallows of Viper Island

The gallows of Viper Island

Overlooking the sea- Ross

Overlooking the sea- Viper Isles

The most awaited of the three islands came next, The North Bay, where I was told that I’d do, the highly coveted water sports at Andaman; the snorkeling and scuba diving – which is seeing those corals in real, away from the TV set, touching them by my own and yes, adding to my belief that the world is indeed beautiful!

Some swim gears kept at the NorthBay for divers and sea enthusiasts.

Some swim gears kept at the NorthBay for divers and sea enthusiasts.

I barely tried to hide my excitement and kept awing at the sea and its bounty every three minutes!

After wearing those swim clothes, I was given the scuba diver attire, an oxygen cylinder filled and those flappy feetguards. While masking my face, the instructor advice me to breathe through my mouth alone to avoid accidents. I dive in, and he leads me to those  blue waters with the most beautiful variety of fishes  and corals in India. As I pass a huge coral, a school of parrot fish surprises me, by swimming right behind my ear. We went exploring the world of Nemos and sea urchins hidden in coral pockets for over a span of 3 km in the sea front. It was the most beautiful experience of my life, that left me immensely amused and profoundly hungry after all that workout swimming in the sea!

That's a co-diver and me swimming amidst fishes

That’s a co-diver and me swimming amidst fishes

With some good food and a nice evening waiting, this 2nd day came to a wonderful end – and kept me in the toes for the next week to come soon, to see more of this wonderful place. And on a note, I have never felt this safe being a lone lady traveler to be traveling to any part of India, as when I traveled to Andamans.The Andamans and Nicobars are rated as low crime rate regions. With a blend of indigenous great Andamanis, Nicobaris, other tribes and the famous Jarawas, Andaman and Nicobar isles is another good example of myriad culture- melting pot.

DAY 3

The 3rd day comes and I have two best island to take me into paradise – First was Havelock Island’s famous Radhanagar beach. After boarding a ferry called the Bambooka, the passenger ship at an early time of 6:30 am, I enjoyed the most awesome three hour passenger  ship ride from Port Blair to Havelock.It was a perfect clouded day. The ship rimmed through Kalapani and the crew entertained a few passengers with a few adventure stories, the rest of them just chilled out near the railing, water splashing, bubbling and tearing beneath.

The sea journey through the blackwaters

The sea journey through the blackwaters

At the rail of the passenger ship - Bambooka

At the rail of the passenger ship – Bambooka

Havelock islands from far away.

Havelock islands from far away.

settlements at Havelock dockyard

settlements at Havelock dockyard

Fancy water treelings - Havelock's dock

Fancy water treelings – Havelock’s dock

A lazy boat rests at Havelock

A lazy boat rests at Havelock

The ship docks at Hahvelock isles and I wander around into the little dockyard where the autos and taxis waited for customers. A few hotels nearby and some curio shops selling local flavours, this island entry is one of the most famous locations preferred by travelers! 
I hop on to an autorickshaw plying to take me to Radhanagar Beach- Havelock islands. It is one of the most sought after clear blue beach and one of the best in India as rated by travel gurus. I am no guru but as I approach, I am charmed by the blueness of the ocean, the paleness of the sand and the beauty around. I open my camera and never closed it, for  an hour more.

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A child runs off, to the blue waters

A child runs off, to the blue waters

A girl runs off to the sea

A girl runs off to the sea

RadhaNagar Beach

RadhaNagar Beach

The Radhanagar Beach

The docks around Radhanagar

The docks around Radhanagar

A girl walks around searching curios at Radhanagar beach market

A girl walks around searching curios at Radhanagar beach market

coconut monkeys

coconut monkeys

Sabzi, Dal, Rice and Yummy!

Sabzi, Dal, Rice and Yummy!

Wandoor Beach 

 Time had come for me to leave Havelock over to my next destination. I jump into a cruise liner waiting for the passengers around 1:00 pm in the afternoon, to take me back to Port Blair and visiting another beach  –Wandoor Beach, landlocked in the interiors of SipiGhat – a small village that is abound with natural beauty- at the end of endless paddy fields and little settlements.

Wandoor is a village towards the outskirts of PortBlair, at a distance of 25 kms from the town.

bluest of waters at Wandoor

bluest of waters at Wandoor

The remains after the Tsunami of 2004

The remains after the Tsunami of 2004

The remains after the Tsunami of 2004

The remains after the Tsunami of 2004

The remains after the Tsunami of 2004

The remains after the Tsunami of 2004

Untouched sands and un-exploted blue shores – that’s the land called Andaman for you. After a good loitering of around a few hours, I head back to my hotel at Haddo, with quite a heavy heart, feeling awful to having to leave this place. To get me into a finer tasting of the essence of Andaman, I check in at a seafood shack facing the Haddo dock, ordered a cheesy Andaman style, fish thaali meal  – Bingo! That hit the right spot. But, while I gobbled down that, I made a promise to myself; that I’d be a fool not to return here, I’d be silly if I don’t share this experience out to others. This is a place to visit, a heaven to let go all your bad days – and rejuvenate yourself – All for the love of solo- budget travel !

Bon Voyage Ladies of the house!

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highly expressive, roaring appetite for books, food and design; have occasional bouts of flippancy to all things needed. Always hungry for Biryani. Nomad. Binger. Lover.

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15 Types Of Travel To Add To Your Bucket List

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When it comes to travel, do you tend to find yourself sticking the same kinds of experiences? If you do, then you’re certainly not alone. Whether you like to go to the beach and kick back for a weeks’ peace, or you like to be a bit more active and find yourself at once with nature, it’s not always the best idea to stick to what you know. Because the world of travel can be super exciting. The world itself can be incredibly exciting too. So why limit yourself and the experiences that you have? Maybe it’s time for you to shake up your travel?

If that’s the case, then you’re going to want to work on a bucket list that will broaden your horizons and give you the kinds of experiences that you’ve only ever dreamt of having. Because you can go out and have them. Some will push you and the types of travel and transport methods that you’re used to, and some will open your eyes to the kinds of travel experiences you can have around the world. But all in all, you’re going to find that you shake up your world as you know it.

From cultural experiences, to seeing some of the most mesmerizing corners of the world, here are the fifteen types of travel you should add to your bucket list.

Solo Travel

We’re going to kick this off with a bit of solo travel. It’s not going to be for everybody, but it’s something that everyone should still consider. They say you should travel alone at least once, because it’s something that can really change your perspective on life. Of course, this is only going to be relevant if you’re at the stage in life where you can actually do this. If you can, add it to the top of your list.

Backpacking

Next, it’s on to backpacking. Even if you’re used to first class travel and staying in luxury, forget it for just a second. Because a backpacking experience can be absolutely incredible. From the views you’ll see when off the beaten track to sleeping under the stars if you choose to camp out! Packing up a bag and just heading off to some of the world’s most stunning spots is second to none.

Long Haul Flight

If you tend to keep most of your travel experiences close to home, then it’s time to break the mold and fly long haul. You may never have been out of the country, and while that’s completely okay (because there’s just so much to see), heading to somewhere super far away is both scary and unforgettable. So do it. Head to Asia or Australia and see what the other side of the world has to offer.

Private Jet

Or how about flying by PJ? That’s private jet to those in the know. And while you may think this is for the super duper elite, this post on The Latest Trends in Private Jet Activity shows that its so much more popular than you think. Maybe you can charter something as a one-off, or borrow from a friend? Even if it’s something you don’t do for twenty years, add it to the list. Because wouldn’t you love to do it, just once?

Interrailing

Next, there’s interrailing. If you have no idea what this is, you’re about to be enlightened. Because interrailing involves traveling by train to the destinations like you want to see. So it’s kind of like a road trip, but on the rails! And it’s absolutely worth a space on your must-do list of travel experiences. Just take a look at these incredible interrailing destinations to see why you have to do it.

Road Trip

And while we’re on the topic, there’s always road trips too! If you’re a big fan of road trips, then why not take your passion and take it around the world? Because the world’s greatest road trips are just waiting for you to experience them. If you’re not a seasoned traveler in this way, give it a try starting from your local town. It’ll certainly broaden your horizons a little.

Luxury Accommodation

Maybe you tend to stay on the frugal side of things when you travel? If that’s the case, then it’s time to shake things up. Because everybody needs to enjoy an incredible luxury experience just once in their life. Take the review of the Maldives luxury accommodation above. You don’t have to watch it all, but doesn’t it give you a taste of what you could experience? Even if it’s your once in a lifetime, save up for years, kind of trip – make some space for it on your list.

Family Favorites

Next, you’ve got the ever favorite option of going on a family vacation. And we’re not just talking about taking the kids to the coast for the weekend, but something bigger! Whether you want to head to an all-inclusive family resort, or head off to Disneyland with the extended family, it’s something that you’re going to want to splash out on every once and awhile. Because you all need the break.

Group Travel

And of course, you’re going to want to get in some group travel too. This might be something that you look to cover off as a family, or you might want to make some time for friends instead. Because traveling as a group is a completely different experience than going alone or as a couple. You tend to do more and try to see more. It’s something to try at least once in your lifetime and see how you get on.

Cruise

When we think of traveling anywhere or going on vacation, two types of travel will always come to mind; by road or in the air. But we never really seem to make much time for the water. Yet, traveling by boat can be a really incredible way to see the world – especially on a cruise. So much so, that the popularity of cruises continues to rise. You get to see some incredible spots and enjoy life on deck. What’s not to love?

Hiking

Another underrated travel method is by food. Okay, so you may not be able to do this entire travel experience on foot, but the bulk of it will be. Even if you’re not the most outdoorsy of people, this type of vacation can open your eyes. There are so many hiking trails that can blow your mind; it’s something that you need to try once in your life.

Camping

At the same time, you should also give camping a go too. It’s something that we often remember doing as small children, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t carry it on well into adulthood and even do with your kids. You can even give it a twist too. Why not camp in a tipi? Or rent a cabin in the woods? There are so many wilderness experiences to have, that it seems a shame for you to miss out on them.

Vintage Train Tour

So we talked about traveling by train in the form of interrailing, but now we’re going to talk about another kind of train travel and, in particular, The Orient Express. It’s vintage, luxury, and incredibly exciting. If you love all things Art Deco and you’ve always wanted to travel through Europe in style, why not consider adding this to your travel bucket list?

City Break

Next up, we have the classic city break too. When you tend to head to different coastlines and beachy vacation destinations, or even out into the country, you may want to think about changing things up and seeing different cities. While this won’t be for everyone, you shouldn’t shut it down until you’ve tried it – even if you’re not a city lover. Because the likes of Rome and Paris could sure change your mind!

Business Travel

Finally, the last type of travel we have to talk about is business travel. Okay, so technically you’re not really going to be able to go on a business trip unless you actually you’re in the line of work that allows you to go on business trips. But, if you are, then you need to try and plan one in. Traveling for business isn’t everyone’s favorite kind of travel, but it’s exciting. You can often see a different side to the world and enjoy a completely different experience too. So if you are in a line of work where you can travel, take every opportunity that comes your way.

Are you inspired yet? The chances are, your answer is going to be yes. Even if you’ve always been happy with your yearly vacations or your sporadic trips to see friends and family, you now know what other options are open to you. So whether you’re itching to plan in something new and fun or not, definitely consider an alternative type of travel when your next opportunity crops up.

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India

Why Visit Ooty in Summers?

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Ooty is branded as the Queen of Hills, and it is because of its sheer beauty and radiance. The city is alluring throughout the year, and it makes up for a perfect destination for a year-round trip. Ooty is nestled between the beautiful the Nilgiri Hills and remains one of the favorite tourist destinations for people looking for a low-key travel destination.

The ideal time to visit Ooty is from March to June since the temperature stays below 20 degree Celsius. Although winters can be chilly, the summer is where the colors are at! The monsoon season brings greenery and fresh winds to complement the atmosphere.

Since most people visit Ooty in summers; it makes sense to look for 5 star hotels in Ooty beforehand. Travel websites offer incredible deals on flights, and hotels. You need a one-stop solution for a trip that makes your life easier and convenient.

Here’s a list of places that you should visit on a summer trip to Ooty!

Ride the Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

flickr/lomadi

Constructed by the British in 1908, The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a world heritage site. The 46-km toy train journey commences from Mettupalayam and covers beautiful tunnels, curves, bridges and more to reach Ooty. On the way, a traveler is greeted by beautiful lush green foliage and the Nilgiri hills. The train goes from 300 feet to 7200 feet and will make paint some breathtaking views in your psyche. The valley view is enchanting and magical!

Ooty Lake

Picturesque Emerald Lake

flickr/sankaracs

A popular destination in Ooty, the lake was built in 1825 and is about 2.5km long. One can go for picnics, paddle boating and enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the Nilgiris. Make sure you reach Ooty Lake post lunch to enjoy the summer time breeze!

Doddabetta Park

Doddabetta Park

flickr/ganuullu

Standing at a peak altitude of 8,600 feet, Doddabetta Peak is the highest point in Southern India. It gives users a breathtaking view of the Nilgiris and is a must visit spot of Ooty. The panoramic views will leave you gasping for breath; such is the beauty of this place.

Pykara Waterfall

Pykara Waterfall

flickr/deepgoswami

Located at about 20kms from Ooty, Pykara Waterfall makes up for a great outing. It is surrounded by pine trees, a lake, and the waterfall itself. People usually come here for picnic and adventurists can do some speed boating on the lake. If you are going with your beloved, the walk through the pine trees is especially magical!

Botanical Garden

ooty botanical garden

flickr/abgpt

The botanical garden is spread over 22 hectares and hosts more than 650 species of flowers and trees. It is a delight for any nature lover, and more so if you are a horticulturist. There is a 20million-year-old tree nested inside which is a major attraction for tourists. A tribe called Toba is settled on the top of the Botanical Garden, and their culture is evident in the surroundings.

Stone House

A paradise for history buffs, the Stone House was built in the year of 1822. It hosts several ancient relics and has an amazing architecture to go with it! It is also the first Bungalow of Ooty, and today it hosts the Government Art College in its premises.

If you are scheduling to visit Ooty, then April to June remains the best season for a mesmerizing tourist experience. The weather is pleasant, and you might even get to experience the first glimpse of a monsoon! Visit it in summer and wake up to the misty clouds. A travel website usually makes the process easier, and you can find solutions for all your needs in one place. Yatra, MakeMyTrip, and others are famous in India for their offers and seamless, straightforward services. Ooty is a spellbinding place, and you should put it on your list for a happy summer!

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Growing Economies: Interesting Places Ripe For Investment

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Whether you are looking to move abroad to start a new life or want to take your business into a new and exciting marketplace, there are a few interesting options out there that might be worth checking out. While the ‘safe bets’ of the United States, China, and the major European nations will always be attractive, scratch beneath the bigger economies and you will find plenty of opportunities.

While moving to one of these places on the plane might be something of a risk, it’s also important to remember that being brave can often pay off. Smaller, developing nations can often be home to an exciting environment that offers astonishing rates of growth. Here are some of the best, up and coming areas in the world that might be worth your time.

Malaysia

Petrona towers malaysia

Malaysia might be a small country of 29 million people, but its economy has been showing some encouraging signs in recent years. The nation has worked hard to reduce poverty levels in the past half-century or so, and while it was affected by the global financial crisis in 2009, it has bounced back quickly. Cheap manufacturing costs and little bureaucracy in business regulations means that Malaysia is open for business in a big way.

Czech Republic

Prague czech republic

For such a relatively young nation, the Czech Republic has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and is now one the best opportunities for business people in Europe. It has a GDP of around $205.3 billion and is well known for its welcoming nature towards entrepreneurialism and business. It’s also politically and economically stable and has a reasonably well-developed social backbone that provides citizens with a good life overall.

Poland

Warsaw Poland

Poland is another European nation well worth checking out if you have a business. The country provides an excellent environment for entrepreneurs. The population is well educated, and Poland also offers one of the most skilled workforces in the world. It’s well-placed, too, with easy access to the rest of Europe. While many Poles moved to different nations when they joined the EU, it’s interesting to note that many are now returning.

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Dubai UAE

The UAE has been of interest to many major global companies for many years now. But there are more opportunities there than you might think. Ras Al Khaimah has always lived in the shadow of its neighbors in the United Arab Emirates – Dubai and Abu Dhabi are a good example of this. However, there is a lot of potential in the small emirate known as RAK, thanks in no small part to the leadership of the Al Qasimi family. A quick look at the Al Qasimi family history reveals the influence they have had on the nation-state, and it is now a place that welcomes business opportunities from around the world. It is also one of the fastest growing areas on the planet for tourism, and able to rely less on sales of oil than its sister emirates in the UAE.

Singapore

Singapore

The former British colony is known as one of Asia’s four economic tigers, and there has been incredible growth over the past few years, particularly in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors. With low unemployment and high GDP per capita, it’s easy to see why so many businesses are looking to enter the Asian market head to Singapore first. And you won’t be alone – immigrants are expected to make up half the population by as early as 20130. It’s a dynamic place in the world, full of movers and shakers and is known as one of the most welcoming nations for entrepreneurs.

India

Mumbai

While India has slipped from its top spot of recent years, it’s still a place where investment can pay off. It’s a fast-growing, diverse economy that has an incredibly skilled workforce. Given its workers are well-educated and English-speaking, it’s a no-brainer for many entrepreneurs who want to invest in technology, business outsourcing, and software. In fact, India is ranked Number 3 in the world for differentiation, and its unique business environments mean that many movers and shakers thrive in the country.

Thailand

Bangkok

It’s well worth investigating Thailand for business opportunities. It’s especially true if you are in the manufacturing or agricultural industries, as these are the two sectors which tend to keep unemployment and poverty low, and the economy has been growing steadily over the past decade or so. Tourism is another industry worth investigating – especially if you have an interest in the more adventurous activities that go down a storm with backpackers and holidaymakers. It’s incredibly welcoming to new businesses moving to the area, too, and if you are looking for a place with something different, Thailand has a lot going for it.

Israel

Israel jerusalem

Israel isn’t without its risks, of course, given its location in the complicated Middle East region. But it’s one of the best nations in the world for opportunities in the technology sector and is an incredibly advanced economy. The people are well educated, and Israeli culture has a lot of influence throughout the world in many different areas, including science, the arts, and politics. Yes, there are plenty of terrorist threats to contend with, but as we have seen everywhere else in the world, it’s not just a problem in the Middle East. And the simple fact is that it is a great environment for all kinds of entrepreneurs, and offers a high quality of life to its residents.

Indonesia

Jakarta Indonesia

The Indonesian Islands cover a vast area in the sweet spot between Asia and Australia, and the archipelagos are a natural bridge between two continents, making it an attractive proposition for many entrepreneurs. Indonesia enjoys the largest economy in the region and is known as one of the world’s richest nations. Major exports include natural gas and crude oil, palm oil, and coffee and cocoa. But it’s also becoming something of a centre for technology in the region, and many entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the super cheap manufacturing costs in Indonesia.

Any of these countries tickle your fancy? Let us know about them in the comments section below.

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