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Danang - Miami of the East

  Having explored the north of Vietnam , it was time to move down South from Hanoi towards the more tropical climates. Danang, which is right in the center of the country was the next logical stop for us with its diverse geography containing vast expansive beaches to amazing hills.  Why Danang? Danang is one of the newest cities in  Vietnam with a large expansive waterfront skyline. It is fast catching up as a major tourist destination and has been coined as the Miami of the East. Along with amazing sunsets at the My Khe beach, one can also visit the nearby Bana hills to get a feel of the mountains. The city has some amazing bridges, water cruises, and in a way, it feels different from the whole of Vietnam due to its well-designed architecture.  How to Reach & Where to Stay? Danang is very well connected from all major countries through its International airport. The airport being right in the center of the city makes the commute times even less. One can easily book a grab under

Matheran: The Woodland Overhead

This Mumbai trip was proving to be very unpleasant, the humid heat was killing me. I often have to visit the city of dreams, the financial capital of India, and mostly enjoy my time here. So many tourist attractions, so many great destinations to spend your evenings, not this time. I craved for a hill station where I could just spend a relaxing weekend, breathe in some fresh air and enjoy some breathtaking views. A hill station in Maharashtra, I must be joking!

The Smallest Hill Station in India

My colleague actually surprised me that Thursday by informing me there indeed was a hill station close to Mumbai, just about 90 km! Matheran, literally the woodland overhead, is India’s smallest hill station, an enchanting place to visit during a weekend. His description left me expectant and excited. The quaint Maharashtra hilly town seemed an ideal weekend destination for spending a quiet, relaxing and yet happening vacation amidst the mountainous curves and whispering nature.

Fond Memories to Cherish

Matheran doesn’t fit into your usual concept of a hill station, it affords a very different, a very exhilarating experience, something to be cherished forever. The dense forest cover, the rich variety of flora and fauna, crisp fresh air, the amazing number of species of rare birds, captivating curves, spectacular views- everything makes this seemingly sleepy town a dream destination for those who are fed up of the crowded, commercialized hill stations.

Automobile Free Zone

Matheran hill station is one of the very few places in the world that has been declared “automobile-free zone”. This affords you the refreshing experience of breathing in a fresh, peaceful environment, a rarity in today’s world when we have got accustomed to noticing the pollution levels and wondering how long it would actually last. The total absence of vehicular traffic ensures a serene, peaceful environment for an out-of-the-world vacation, and also gives you an opportunity to ride the now redundant cycle-rickshaws and also exercise your own leg muscles! The luxurious Matheran resorts are all located in this serene setting one must experience in their lifetime.

How to Reach

The Nearest Airports are Mumbai and Pune from where cabs are easily available. Mumbai to Matheran is 90 km while Pune to Matheran distance is approximately 120 km.

The Nearest Railway Station is Neral that is on Mumbai-Pune route and also on Karjat route. This is 21 km from Matheran. One can take buses or cabs from here.

Buses are available from several cities in Maharashtra.

One of the most fascinating ways of travelling to Matheran is the toy Matheran train from Neral station that takes you through amazing cliffs and curves providing panoramic views of the mountains and the valleys. This journey takes half an hour. Must try if possible!!

Things to do in Matheran

Natural beauty is scattered abundantly all around in this tiny hill station. You can’t even imagine the presence of so many panoramic site seeing points within the radius of merely 2 km, there are at least thirty-eight of them. Don’t miss any of these, it’s sheer music created by nature. Birds seem to be singing as the winds play the instruments. Some of the best places to visit in Matheran are Panorama Point (providing a 360 degree of the western ghat hills and Neral town), Louisa Point (a crystal clear view of the Prabal Fort), One Tree Hill Point, Monkey Point, Heart Point, Porcupine Point, Rambagh Point, well the list is endless! Don’t miss the sunrises and the sunsets in Matheran, especially from the Panorama Point, you will tell these tales to the next generations.

Best Time to Visit

There’s so much more to be done during your weekend here, the best time to visit Matheran is post-monsoon period. You can go on a shopping spree at the Mall Road, especially the leather items, honey, Chikki and handicraft objects. If adventure is your cup of tea, try your hand at trekking, the difficult hikes at the Shivaji Ladder will stay with you for a long time to come. And then there is the fun of horse racing waiting for you at the Olympia Race Course.

The beautiful hilly town of Matheran is ideal for a short weekend to spend some peaceful yet fun-filled time. One can find good, reasonable accommodation here, some good Matheran Hotels are Springwood Heritage, Kumar Plaza, Usha Ascot and The Byke Heritage. 

So, plan your next vacation at Matheran hill station, the forest at the top!


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