Explore Exotic and Colorful India
India is an exotic, ancient, multicolored land. The size, variety, and grandeur of this country makes it a feast for visitors. Every region is different. The bordering Himalayas contain the highest peaks in the world, which run over the border to include Mount Everest in Nepal.
The Ganges Plain, by the phenomenal river of the same name, is one of the world’s greatest stretches of flat land—as well as one of the world’s most densely populated regions. There are towns here dating back to 3000 B.C. and temples that draw Hindu pilgrims by the thousands. The country’s diverse population shares the land with elephants, tigers, camels, and millions of sacred cows.
The religions of India are as varied as its climate. You’ll find Hindus, Muslims, Bahai’s, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. The different groups are lively and colorful, each with their own festivals, dances, culture, and cuisine. Each has left its artistic mark on India—ancient, elaborately carved temples, mosques, and gudwaras are located throughout the country.
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- Population: 1,236,344,631 (July 2014 est.)
- Capital City: New Delhi
- Climate: Varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
- Time Zone: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
- Language: English is a subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages.
- Country Code: 91
- Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan.
- Coastline: 7,000 km
With its historic castle and medieval streets, the Portuguese town of Óbidos has a lot to offer visitors. And if you have a sweet tooth, you have another big reason to stop off in this town if you’re rambling through Europe. At this time of year, Óbidos plays host to its annual International Chocolate Festival, which draws attendees from across Portugal and beyond. Amid the many showcases lining Óbidos’s streets, you’re sure to find a chocolate (or two…or 10) to suit your tastes. Professional chocolatiers compete for the Chocolatier of the Year award, while visitors can revel in the many chocolate statues—provided they don’t melt in the Portuguese sun.
The clear, turquoise waters of Mexico’s cenotes (sinkhole ponds) are well known to visitors, and attract thousands of people seeking to explore the underground delights they have on show. But some of these enchanting sinkholes have a more sinister side. None more so than the so-called Pet Cemetery near the popular expat hub of Tulúm.
When emerging markets get going, they can really soar.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed 526% from September 2001 to October 2007. The problem is that these incredible highs are often followed by incredible lows. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing today, as emerging markets hit their lowest level since 2009.
The mood on copper has tarnished lately. The industrial metal was down 17% in late 2015. It hit a six-year low in August.But the situation for copper is not as dire as it seems. In fact, we could be in for an upside surprise this year.
He marched his army from Macedonia to beyond the borders of the known world. On the banks of the Ganges, in modern-day India, he finally stopped. The Indians called him “Sikandar,” but we know him better as Alexander the Great. And legend has it that remnants of his army settled in the Himalayas, where they have remained to this day.
Over the next two years, the emerging-market scene will have a new favored son… Overall, India has been a bit unloved by international investors—never quite living up to the hype that the rest of the BRICs seem to enjoy. But that’s all changing. Favorable demographics and a businessfriendly government have set India on the path to renewed growth again.
Argentina has welcomed its fair share of Italian immigrants down through the years. So it’s fitting that natives of the southern- Italian city of Naples will celebrate the tango with the Tanotango Festival from September 4 to 7. Theaters, bars, and streets across this ancient city will be packed with dancers, demonstrations, and music. Take a visit to the Cape Coast, Ghana, on September 6 to catch Oguaa Fetu Afahye, when local chiefs dressed in traditional garb lead a procession through the streets imploring the gods to keep the town healthy.
Big changes are underway in India. Did you notice? The Indian stock market certainly has. After going nowhere for the better part of six years, Indian stocks finally kicked into gear a few months ago. After going nowhere for the better part of six years, Indian stocks finally kicked into gear a few months ago.
Last November I turned 10 years old as a travel photographer (in human years I am now 55). Before that, I practiced law for almost 20 years. I changed careers about 20 years before I intended to, but being a full-time travel photographer has been a fulfilling experience; I no longer think of myself as a lawyer.
The sun was setting in Northern India as we crested the hill, making our way to Ranthambore Fort. Birds exchanged their evening chatter from the treetops, now turning gold in the low sunlight. Along the path, a bearded man appeared in a temple door, inviting us to remove our shoes and receive a blessing.
Begin the month in Scotland’s Spey Valley where, as part of “Whisky Month,” the Spirit of Speyside Festival runs from May 1 to 5. Tastings, workshops, and even a guide on how to properly photograph a “wee dram” of whisky are all on the schedule.
If you want to increase your future returns while reducing your risk, you should add some emerging-market stocks to your portfolio. It may surprise you that adding riskier, emerging-market assets to a portfolio will reduce overall risk, but it shouldn’t. These markets do not move in lockstep with the U.S. market, which hit a series of all-time highs in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Over eight years ago, I decided to leave behind the urban jungle of American cities to travel. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the lush green suburbs of Buenos Aires. I’m constantly reminded of Jumanji out here. Thick green, leafy vines have completely taken over property walls and fences, wrapped themselves around tree trunks and flower pots. Palm trees and banana trees rise up like proud flags beside homes and office buildings.
As I tapped away at my battered laptop that morning, sitting outside my beach hut, it came to me that I was living the dream. This was it—and I was doing it! I was living the freelance lifestyle. It was so perfect it was almost a cliché: I had just been for a long walk on the beach, followed by a breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, and muesli delivered to my hut, and there I was, dressed in a bikini and a sarong, sitting in a hammock strung between two palm trees, typing away.
Not the safest religious tradition we’ve ever heard of, but the Fire Wheel Festival in Sinca Noua, located near the city of Brasov, Romania, does sound like quite a sight. Celebrating the start of Orthodox Lent on March 3, the village asks its young men to roll hay wheels to the top of a local hill before each wheel is set alight. What follows is a true feast with music, drinking, and dancing.
For any careful investor it’s important to understand not just the current trend but rather where we’re headed. As such, keep an eye toward the future for the growth leaders of tomorrow. Since 2007, emerging markets have been outspending American consumers. Take a look at the charts here to see how the international growth/redistribution of current consumption trends will change the landscape of international business.
Tucked away in Ecuador’s imposing Andes mountains are hundreds of green valleys where tumbling rivers nourish fertile soils and temperatures are near perfect all year round. These are among the best places to live in the country, and expats are busily discovering them. You’ll meet couples in this mountainous region who report expenses of $1,440 a month including rent. Most do not own a car.
Begin November with a little panache at the 119th Argentine Open Polo Championships in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires. Not so much a sports event as a key occasion in the local social diary, it runs from November 5 to the end of the year. For something more exotic, check out camel racing. India’s Rajasthan desert in Pushkar hosts the Pushkar Fair from November 6 to 17.
There are communities in many parts of the world where arts and crafts are still made by hand…and markets in other parts of the world ready to pay good money for them. Bringing them together is the perfect way to create an income for yourself while enjoying a life of travel or living overseas at a lower cost than back home.
My former attorney colleagues and I used to joke that there were three kinds of closing arguments you could make to a jury: the one you carefully prepared, the one you actually delivered, and the one you wish you had given. Few things ever happen as planned. Nevertheless my “life” plan (the one I carefully prepared) was to practice law until I retired at 65; then I would pursue photography and maybe make a little money on the side.
In the spring of 2010, our family of four sailed around the world—25,000 miles, 110 days, 11 countries. We were hired by Semester at Sea, a University of Virginia program that allows students to spend a semester traveling internationally by ship, to coordinate spiritual life for the shipboard community and plan programming for the 18 children onboard. Our son Andrew was then eight years old and our daughter Lizzie was five.
A dense skyline of high rises juts into the sky, homage to dozens of varied architectural styles. Numerous LED screens displaying advertisements and neon restaurant signs have led some folk to call this “little Hong Kong.” But Panama City is much more than its skyline.
Take to the streets in Santiago, Chile, from January 3 to 20 for the Santiago a Mil international theater festival. You’ll find large-scale spectacles like “the noise of colors” extravaganza, a forest of paper giraffes, and outdoor performances of Romeo and Juliet.
Begin your holiday season in earnest in Mexico City with a huge Christmas Market running throughout December. In amongst the stalls, piñatas and ice rinks you’ll find the world’s tallest Christmas tree. In Europe, Christmas markets large and small brim with handicrafts, mulled wine and seasonal fare, but Germany is king of them all.
We dropped our insurance a long time ago when we sailed around the world, finding health care costs to be minimal in most foreign countries. Some even had better medical technologies than the U.S. In French Polynesia, my breast mammogram was free. The dentist in Malaysia used impressive new medical devices and innovative procedures.
Peter’s hip first started bothering him when he fell hard during a basketball game. He ignored the slight injury and continued to jog on the beach and spike volleyballs with our grown sons (I’m their avid cheerleader). Left unattended, advanced arthritis eventually set in to create agonizing pain. Since we run adventure charters aboard our catamaran Freebird, this was a big problem. Our safety depends on Peter’s good health.
The best time to buy stocks and other assets is when investors are running scared. I’ve been banging this drum all year—especially when it comes to Europe. I believe the crisis there is about to throw up a genuinely once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity for contrarian investors.
One of the world’s great port cities, Mumbai is highly charged and energetic, bursting with stock-market money, a glamorous international art scene, and high-end bars where the beautiful people stay until the wee hours drinking champagne. Away from the bustling boulevards you’ll ﬁnd nameless alleys where coconuts sell for 30 cents, haircuts are a buck, and the city’s frenetic trafﬁc…
Playing in the mountains of Colorado was my passion for decades. Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and Ultimate Frisbee were all great fun, but they eventually took their toll on my body.
Here’s a trend you can take to the bank: as consumers in the U.S. and Europe cut back on spending, the source of growth for companies will shift to consumers in fast-growing overseas markets.
January 1, get initiated into the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club by diving into the frigid English Bay. The swim dates back to the 1920s. The coldest recorded water temperature? 38 F in 1928.
Globetrotter: Bite-sized news and notes from around the world.
From steaks in Buenos Aires to tapas in Madrid, some cities are worth visiting for the food alone. Below, our writers give their tips and recommendations for eating well in 10 of the world’s culinary capitals. First up is Bangkok. Bangkok’s lower Sukhumvit Road area is an oft-missed foodie’s paradise.
I’m often asked the best thing I’ve ever experienced on assignment as a travel writer. There have been so many incredible experiences, but visiting Kabini River Lodge in early 2006 is definitely near the top.
India has great long-term prospects. No doubt about it. Indeed, India has enjoyed very decent growth rates for the last decade, pulling many of its people out of poverty in the process. But investing in India can be tricky, as I will show.
There are many ways to profit from the big boom in the emerging markets. And you’d be surprised how easy some of them are for North American investors.
President Obama is in India promoting trade between the U.S. and the world’s largest democracy. The visit puts a spotlight on India—one of the emerging market giants.
The financial editors at IL Investor have a simple rule when it comes to their research: They only want investment ideas where the odds are stacked in your favor. That’s why they always look for bargain prices in high-growth markets.
Each Thursday we select the best idea from what they’re working on and send it to you.
Here are details from Chris on an investment mistake you may be making…and how to rectify it immediately.
Surgery in India was the only way to save William Cory Foulk’s 30-year-long calling as an endurance athlete. The cutting-edge procedure he needed wasn’t available in the U.S.—and it wouldn’t be for another five months.
A new nose in Prague…a facelift in Thailand…a curvier chest in Mexico…cosmetic surgery used to be for the rich-and-famous only. But these days, it’s so affordable overseas, the middle-class masses are picking up their passports to seek a better-looking physique oceans from home.